Nick Segner wrote:Stefan-
Thanks so much for your response.
I forgot to mention my zone (8b) here on the Olympic Peninsula of Washington state. We are in a rainshadow behind the mountains and have very very dry summers (and only approximately 20" rain/year).
I'm intrigued by the pruning technique.
One other thing that came to mind- the video didn't address flower/fruit thinning. Assuming you mostly grow eating apples, what do you do along those lines?
Ann Torrence wrote:
Stefan, our DVD came last week. My husband and I watched it, took notes, stopped it to discuss how to apply various advice to our arid system, and scheduled to watch it again! I missed the codling moth trap-that sounds incredible.
Can you recommend a couple pollinator cultivars to incorporate to make sure we have good coverage. I tried to get only mid-season and later, but no one really knows how different cultivars will perform here. I have Geneva, Snowdrift and Chestnut crab (1 each) in one acre, but I'd like to put something with an extended bloom time in the other parcel as well. Something good for cider is a plus.
Ann Torrence wrote:I wonder if the alfalfa in the alleys would be defeated by 6 mil plastic...
Michael Qulek wrote:I've read that another fruit that birds prefer to cherries is Mulberry, so I planted Illinois Everbearing next to my cherry trees.
Zach Muller wrote:
Stefan Sobkowiak wrote:Give the tree 4-5 years or 3-4 years of care to get it off to a good start then STUN. I made the mistake in one block of trying it from planting year and now have STUNted trees.
Hey Stefan, thanks for all your contributions and insights on the forum thus far, so awesome of you. I would love to hear more details on your experience with timing the STUN. I have been thinking a lot about how much to water for proper establishment of my trees. Also in my forest garden there are always tree seeds germinating, so I have to decide what to weed out and what to allow. Some thing will germinate uncontrollably like mulberry, hackberry etc. so utter neglect means these natural growers will take hold. You mention letting the tree go at planting year, and 3-5 years, did you have any species that made it after being let go after 2 seasons of care?
Nick Segner wrote:Stefan-
Thanks for your great film and taking the time to answer questions on this forum.
I just got the DVD in the mail and had to borrow a TV to watch it twice now. I was keen to see it as we just bought a small farm with 300 dwarf (M9) apples on a collapsing trellis, without working irrigation and out of control as it hadn't been pruned in a few years. We are scrambling to adapt this orchard to organic/permaculture/soil food web practices.
I have two questions:
1) First, you mention that your apples are also on dwarf rootstock, but there wasn't any info on trellising in video - do you use one? Conventional "wisdom" is that dwarf trees are trellis dependent but have you found a way around that?
2) Second, I am kind of stunned by your training technique after having read a lot of other material on pruning.. My understanding was that branches should be ideally at a 45 to 60 degree upward angle and never at a downward one that you utilize. I know that the tree won't have a lot of vegetative growth at downward angles and the branches in our orchard that are sloping downward DO have a lot of fruit but how do you keep regenerating growth to have 2-5 year old branches that will bear the most fruit? Is it simply because you prune out any branches that are 50% of the size of the trunk that encourages enough new growth?
Bill Erickson wrote:OH my, Stefan has done an awesome job there. What hardiness zone is it there in Quebec? That looks like something I'd like to try myself, along with the hugelkultur I am planning for my properties. Not sure what a good nitrogen fixer would be for my zone 3a to 4b areas.
Most standard size fruit trees require around a 25 foot spacing, with dwarf and semi-dwarf getting down to 10 to 15 feet. There is also the need for cross pollinators for the fruit.
Very interesting video.
John Saltveit wrote:That rock pile looks great to attract garter snakes so they'll eat your slugs and snails. I plan on making one of those myself, whenever I get the mythical "enough time". Nice thing about carnivores-they won't eat your plants!