Megan Palmer

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since Jul 09, 2013
Queenstown, NZ
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Recent posts by Megan Palmer

I'd be inclined to do all three - take cuttings, air layer and plant some pits. You haven't mentioned whether your friend's apricot is grown on its own rootstock or grafted. As Kalaina mentions, the drought tolerance will be from its root stock so a pit grown tree will be hardier. No need to wait ten years to find out if the fruit grown from a pit is any good, my apricot seedling blossomed at four years old but has taken another two years to bear fruit, it is sited on an exposed steep site and lost the blossoms to wind, snow and frost in previous years. Plant lots of stones, after one year, you can graft onto the whips with buds/branches from the cuttings/air layered trees to speed up the fruiting. Here are photos of a pit grown apricot and peach tree planted in 2012
4 days ago
Hello John, yes you guessed correctly! Queenstown is 300m above sea level and we only get snow cover on the ground two or three times a year over winter and it doesn’t stay around for any longer than a week at the most. However, it is officially spring by the calendar now and since mid September, it has snowed twice to ground level - fresh snow on the mountains is common right up to Xmas, the mountains that you can see in the background are the Remarkables Range where there’s a ski field (2300m) and scenes from Lord of the Rings were filmed😉 We are blessed with a pretty amazing view from our home!
4 days ago
Despite two spring snow falls to ground level and heavy winds in the past three weeks, the pit grown apricot tree at home has set fruit. Fingers crossed i’ll get some fruit this year - lost them to the wind and frosts the last two seasons😏
5 days ago

David Livingston wrote:"Growing fruit trees from seed is indeed a long term investment since it will be a minimum of 7 years from sprouting to first fruiting and more likely 10 years to a decent harvest quantity."

Peaches and apricots that I’ve grown from pits only took 4 years to fruit and this year, year 6 will yield a very “decent” harvest if the blossoms are anything to go by - providing the wind, frosts, birds or possums don’t put pay to the fruit.
5 days ago

Phil Gardener wrote:Those look great, Megan!  That's quite a slope you have there, and the water moderating your temperatures!  Looking forward to following this thread as your trees grow and mature!

Hello Phil, the plot of land that our house is on is very small, less than 500m2 but close to town and overlooks Lake Wakatipu, the longest and 3rd largest lake in NZ. The views more than compensate for the small plot and for the last 10 years, I have been gardening at a community garden located 3km from where we live.  I’ve planted a number of pip/pit/stone grown fruit trees over the years and have posted photos in another thread of some more peaches and a plum tree grown from seeds. I have also grown feijoa’s and Seville oranges from seed but both have succumbed to the cold weather in winter – we are at 300m above sea level and get snow to ground level two or three times a year. My objective for growing from seed is to obtain hardier fruit trees that do not need to be cosseted and will survive outdoors without protection over winter. If they don’t produce good fruit, I can always practise grafting onto them!
3 weeks ago

Jonathan Ward wrote:I don't have much land but right now I am working on Apple tree a pear tree and a plum tree from seed.  They are all in cold stratification process now.  I'll update once I see what happens.

Hello Jonathan, our home is on a very small plot less than 500m2 so most of my gardening is done at a community garden where I've planted a number of fruit trees that have been deliberately planted from seed/pips/pits or have popped up in the garden beds where I've buried the contents of my bokashi buckets. As others have mentioned, worm bins are also a prolific source of fruit tree seedlings. I figure if the fruit are no good, I can still use the trees to practise grafting onto! Here are some more photos of a pit grown plum, another blood peach (that are known as black boy peaches in NZ) and a white peach that hasn't blossomed yet - it was sown in 2015.  If you open the photos on a computer, you may be able to see blossoms on just one branch of the plum and the peach blossoms are on the verge of opening.
3 weeks ago
I have just noticed that the black boy peach pits planted in late March have germinated. They have been sat on a south facing terrace exposed to the elements, late spring snow last week to ground level and another cold front has just hit us. They are tough! Hope the blossoms survive the winds, they have only just opened. Last week's snow and wind made all the apricot tree blossoms drop. Too soon to tell if any of the flowers have set fruit. Both trees were grown from pits and planted in the ground 2012. First flowered in 2016 but last summer was the first time i got any fruit on the peach. The apricot still hasn't fruited - fingers crossed that i might get some this year.
3 weeks ago
Here are an apricot and free stone blood peach that were grown from pips, they were planted in the ground in 2012 and first blossomed in 2016. The site is windy and does not get much sun in winter and only managed to fruit for the first time this summer (southern hemisphere). I sowed a number of stones in late March and they have been sitting in a pot through winter, frosted and snowed on and still managed to germinate.
3 weeks ago
Hello Phil, I was given a white fleshed peach seedling a couple of years ago and am waiting impatiently for it to start fruiting. There used to be a tree beside the Lake Hayes walking track that had the most delicious white peaches that I stupidly never collected pits from to grow - the fruit were tiny due to neglect but tasted divine. Several years ago I was heartbroken to discover that the tree had been cut down, along with the quince and pear trees that grew beside them. Such philistines whoever cut them down😕 
2 months ago

Judith Browning wrote:Megan, those peaches are beautiful.  Are you going to plant some more from seed

Hello Judith, I planted all the pits after I ate them but not sure how they will do, several were cracked so I removed the kernels.  In the past, I have managed over 90% germination planting straight into pots and overwintering naturally. Ought to know by Christmas if they are successful.  Over the years, have given away many seedlings, the original peaches were given to us by a friend and when she moved house, gave her two seedlings that are now almost 2m tall and producing prolifically. These peaches are seldom sold commercially, they bruise very easily and are tastiest when fully tree ripened otherwise can be very sharp. They are always free stone, unlike your blood peaches. They are a lovely peach to grow and eat
2 months ago