Win a Fokin hoe blade this week in the Gear forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • paul wheaton
stewards:
  • Mike Jay
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Miles Flansburg
garden masters:
  • Dan Boone
  • Dave Burton
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Shawn Klassen-Koop
  • Pearl Sutton
  • Mike Barkley
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think if we get a lot of input from everyone here, this could be a super valuable resource for figuring out which fruit trees and berries will grow best in your area.

You are in the right spot if you are in a Continental Climate Hardiness Zone 4- warm to cool summers and very cold winters. In the winter, this zone can experience snowstorms, strong winds, and very cold temperatures(source)

If you think you are not in the right spot or you want to check your climate zone and hardiness zone for sure, click on the main thread to find out and get additional information Fruit Trees and Berries that Grow Best in Your Area Naturally and it will have a link to your specific climate zone and hardiness zone for you to post!


Familiar places in this area...

Minneapolis, Minnesota, USA


(source)

This list won't be perfect, as there are so many different factors that affect a fruit tree's growth, but it should be a good help by seeing which trees do well for others in a similar area who have had success with a particular variety. By growing trees that are already slightly adapted to your area, saving the seeds, and growing new fruit trees, you could help create many more new varieties that are very adapted to your specific area!

Hardiness zones are one important factor and show the average annual minimum temperature for a location. You can click on https://garden.org/nga/zipzone/index.php?zip=27822&q=find_zone&submit=Go+%3E to find your exact hardiness zone, and there are also links to lots of other good information.


(source)

Fruit tree nurseries usually list hardiness zones for their fruit trees, but I've often found they tend to exaggerate the growing zones and are often unreliable.

They often leave out one very important aspect... climate zones.

What is a climate zone you may ask?

A climate zone takes other important things into consideration, such as humidity and rainfall. There are many different subsets and climate zones, but I believe this website does a great job of simplifying it into a few main climate zones of A-D below, and I'm adding Oceanic/Mediterranean due to their unique climate...

A) Tropical- hot and humid, average temperatures are greater than 64°F (18°C) year-round and there is more than 59 inches of precipitation each year

B) Dry- dry (not humid) and little precipitation

C) Temperate- warm and humid summers with thunderstorms and mild winters

D) Continental- warm to cool summers and very cold winters. In the winter, this zone can experience snowstorms, strong winds, and very cold temperatures—sometimes falling below -22°F (-30°C)!

E) Oceanic/Mediterranean- more average temperatures, not too hot in the summer or cold in the winter, usually has rainy winters and dry summers (source)



If you live in the US, you should be able to tell your general climate zone based on the map below and the descriptions above of what it should be like there.

I couldn't find a great general map for Canada and other countries, but you should be able to generally tell from the descriptions above. If you want to find out your exact climate zone, you can check out a cool map here World Climate Zones to find your zone with links at the bottom of the page based on the color, that you can click on with detailed information of your climate zone.


(source)

This should be a huge help to others with that same climate and hardiness zone to help them decide what to plant!

If you could post your general location in your state or country with your reply, that would be an awesome help!

The trees should be able to grow well naturally without extensive disease or pest control.
COMMENTS:
 
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Jay, just to check, are you really in zone 4?  Worst case low temps of -25F to -30F?  I thought Vancouver island was a bit warmer but I could be way off base.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in a spot that used to be zone 4a and now it's classified as 4b.  But we hit -29 last night which is soundly in 4a.  My plantings are new but here's what I've seen so far:

Apples are great
Rhubarb grows well
Strawberries grow well
Raspberries grow well
Plums grow well
Lowbush blueberries, blackberries, saskatoons, cranberries, highbush cranberries, aronia, chokecherries and hazelnuts are common in the wild
I have two older pears that flower well, one produces sweet small pears, the other hasn't fruited in 4 years.  So I think the right variety of pears are solid here

Things I've planted that may or may not grow well, time will tell:
Sea buckthorn
Nanking cherry
Cornelian cherry
Gogi
Honeyberry (should be rock solid)
Highbush blueberry
Butternut

 
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in Central Wisconsin, Zone 4b, so continental climate and quite sandy with first water at 10 ft.
Lots of wild cherries that tend to attract tent caterpillars, and one cultivar: Danube, that doesn't. I may try to graft Danube on some suitable wild cherry.
I have a lot of apples, that are growing quite well and I'm looking to make applejack.
The Mulberries black and white, which I started from seed are starting to give fruit
Rhubarb, red and green grows well thanks to the
Comfrey with which I make comfrey tea, a potent fertilizer. I'm planning to make one or two more beds of comfrey.
Strawberries [the June kind]. Honeyoye is doing well and I will replant a bed of it as this bed is getting a little old.
I will intersperse with Jersey Giant asparagus: The asparagus have deep roots while the strawberries have shallow roots, so I do not expect too much interference: There are wild asparagus and wild strawberries that grow well close to each other. Since asparagus tend to get weedy, I might as well give them a useful 'weed' to cover the ground.
I have not had much luck with plums so far. I only have one tree, Toka, I think, which gets so sick from tent caterpillars that I was thinking to cut it when, miracle, it gave us a nice crop. I have stayed the execution.
I was not having much luck with pears either: They would all catch the blight. but 2 years ago, I found two that didn't AND survived the winter.. Wish I could remember the name of the cultivars now.
Hazelnuts are very common but worms and squirrels get most of them. I may try a few hazelnut trees this year
I have blueberries that are starting to give better now that I found the trick to make them happy: Acidifier! [Aluminum sulfate]
I have highbush cranberries that only my chickens will eat, wild turkeys too, sometimes.
Chokecherries are abundant as well and I have a hedge of aronias from which I made a delicious jam.
I want to encourage the honeyberries that I planted close to the foundations [so the deer do not come after them]. They taste quite good.
The red oaks, unfortunately all have the wilt, and I despair to have any survive. When I cut one, I cut it and lay the branches and trunks along the road, on this side of the ditch, to make a snow trap. Some had mast this past year, but they rarely do: too crowded and sick.
I have been babying a number of lindens/basswoods so they will make great blossoms for my bees, and also perhaps enough for some tea. 3 are starting to give and it is a delight to hear my bees in them!
I do not have butternuts yet, but I plan on planting some. My attempts at chestnuts have been a failure so far. I will plant some in the chicken yard. The chickens will pick the pests away, I trust, and the rich soil that is there should suit these trees.
Brambles grow well there. I'm raising red raspberries Boyne in a raised bed, but I may have to redo that patch: It is getting full of weeds. I just started the yellow raspberries, Sweet Anne, and they gave me a handful of delicious berries in the fall, and no pests!
Unfortunately, I mixed them with blackberries [prime ark Jim] and I heard later I should not have done that. We'll see, and if I must move them, I will: They are only a year old, so...Those fall berries are in a raised bed and have a couple of hog panels over them so I can cover them to extend the ripening season if need be.
 
pollinator
Posts: 593
Location: Western Washington
151
bee duck forest garden homestead personal care rabbit
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks for the information Mike and Cécile! I'm helping a good friend of mine in Ashland Wisconsin develop a food forest, so this is all good to hear. Cécile, do you dislike the taste of the high bush cranberries?

I was surprised when I started researching for my friend that there really is quite a lot of variety that can grow in zone 4! We're trialing black walnut, butternut, cascade English walnut, and Carpathian English walnut, among other things. And some hardy mulberries (Northrop/Northrup is supposedly hardy to zone 3 or something)

Have either of you tried growing apricots there like Scout?
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 5
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I don't know how to process high bush cranberries.  They're small with a pit.  I'm guessing wine or some horribly tart juice could be a use.  I'm glad chickens like them, I'll remember that.

I have one apricot planted and it didn't die last winter.  We'll see how it does come spring.  
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Landreth wrote:Thanks for the information Mike and Cécile! I'm helping a good friend of mine in Ashland Wisconsin develop a food forest, so this is all good to hear. Cécile, do you dislike the taste of the high bush cranberries?
I was surprised when I started researching for my friend that there really is quite a lot of variety that can grow in zone 4! We're trialing black walnut, butternut, cascade English walnut, and Carpathian English walnut, among other things. And some hardy mulberries (Northrop/Northrup is supposedly hardy to zone 3 or something)
Have either of you tried growing apricots there like Scout?



Ashland? You probably get a lot of lake effect snow which might make you a zone warmer?
For the taste of high bush cranberries, yep, that is not my cup of tea. Even if you wait for them to freeze on the bush so they would mellow a bit, they will give you quite a pucker! Before they freeze, you bite in one and your mouth goes instantly dry. I think it would require bushels of sugar to make them palatable in a jam. I have a half dozen of them at least, and besides turkeys toward the end of winter or my chickens, nothing will eat them. If you have a recipe to help them go down, let me know! They only have the name in common with the low bush, bog type, which I really like.
Aronias taste so much better and you can make jam. Really tough plants, and they will grow there. I have a hedge of 6-7 of them and they are gorgeous in the fall.
Honey berries are also a good choice. Borealis is the one everyone wants, it seems.
Black walnuts and butternut should make it in Ashland. Never heard of cascade walnut but I'm open. Carpathian, I tried twice. They did say zone 5 but I'm stubborn and I thought, maybe if I create a micro climate and give it a lot of water, stand on my left foot during the full moon, add mulch, it will be OK. Nope. They died.
I thought that here was pretty much the northern limit for mulberries, but I raised mine from seed from local trees and with this big success, [I now have 26] I thought I perhaps had a landrace, but Mike has some in Antigo, so maybe some are making it farther north. Northrup you say? I'll have to see what else they might have. I like nurseries north of me because their stock is hardier [unless, of course, they bring it from anywhere south and quickly sell it to hopeful gardeners like me. I once bought a greengage plum, remembering my youth, and even though it said zone 5, I thought: maybe if I create a micro climate and give it a lot of water, stand on my left foot during the full moon, add mulch, it will be OK. Nope. it died. I'm a slow learner when it comes to that and I will often try something that just will not make it.  We *also* need to mention our failures or we will never learn.
Scout apricot? I have not heard from it. I see Rolling River nursery has them. zone 5-9 [But maybe I'm stubborn and I think, maybe if I create a micro climate and give it a lot of water, stand on my left foot during the full moon, add mulch, it will be OK. "-) I think we should start looking at nurseries that have northern stock and establish a file. It seems that sometimes we get some extremely hopeful descriptions. The Arbor day foundation has me in zone 5. Yeah. right. If they were not so cheap, I would not buy there.
By the way, nuts generally have a very long taproot, which makes transplanting hard, that is why I always get the smallest specimen I can with the longest roots relative to the top. However, since I'm in sand, perhaps making a hole much deeper,[like 5 ft] and install a wick [like a cotton rope/ cord] and add the "Soilmoist"in the hole, we might facilitate their early growth? "Soilmoist is the same thing they use in diapers: it attracts water and keeps it nearby to make it available to trees. What do you think?
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I think Ashland is zone 4.  It's on Superior but in a NE facing bay so I think freezes over reliably.  

Cecile, do you have any spare mulberry seeds?  I got bare root trees planted this spring but I didn't create a micro climate, give them a lot of water, stand on my left foot during the full moon or add mulch..

For nurseries north of us, I found HoneyberryUSA.  They're in northern MN and they have a good selection of berry bushes.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, and there's also a permaculture nursery near Ashland called The Draw.  I don't think they do the internet much...
 
James Landreth
pollinator
Posts: 593
Location: Western Washington
151
bee duck forest garden homestead personal care rabbit
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Ashland is strange. It’s listed as zone 4 or 5 depending on who you ask (quite a big discrepancy!) BUT I hear from people all the time there that it can get to -40...which would make it zone 3, I believe.

I actually visited The Draw because you mentioned it in another post, Mike. It was a really excellent nursery. I highly recommend it if either of you are ever in the area. He has all sorts of chestnuts, walnuts, and even persimmons and mulberries that do well there (his mulberries and persimmons are seedy though :( )


Here’s a link to where you should be able to buy Northrop Mulberry. I read that it was originally sold at St. Lawrence Nurseries, but it’s not carried there now I don’t think. I’ve never bought from Tree Peony but I might try it for this
https://www.treepeony.com/products/northrop-mulberry

Burn Ridge also carries Scout Apricot, and says it’s hardy to zone 3. Maybe it’s a different cultivar, or either Burnt Ridge or Rolling River are wrong:
https://www.burntridgenursery.com/SCOUT-APRICOT-Armenianca-Vulgaris/productinfo/NSACSCO/

Speaking of St. Lawrence, they also have this apricot here (I have also not tried it but might give it a shot)
https://stlawrencenurseries.com/collections/apricots/products/adirondack-gold-apricot

It looks like Burnt Ridge is out of Cascade Walnut for now, but they definitely had it listed as zone 4. They also have this other English walnut that is theoretically that hardy. This is my first year hearing about it. https://www.burntridgenursery.com/SUPER-NUT-ENGLISH-WALNUT/productinfo/NSWASUP/

Thanks for the information, both of you! I’ll have to try standing on my left foot under the full moon one these days. That’s a new one
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:I think Ashland is zone 4.  It's on Superior but in a NE facing bay so I think freezes over reliably.  
Cecile, do you have any spare mulberry seeds?  I got bare root trees planted this spring but I didn't create a micro climate, give them a lot of water, stand on my left foot during the full moon or add mulch..
For nurseries north of us, I found HoneyberryUSA.  They're in northern MN and they have a good selection of berry bushes.



Yep. I see Ashland is in zone 4b, just like me. I would never have thunk it. Wow.
The mulberries were too good and I didn't save seeds. [I figured 26 mulberry bushes and trees were probably enough]. But tell you what: I might do you one better: I have some I am training as trees and others I will keep as bushes. The bushes can be layered and you might be able to get some free ones this fall? Or I'll save you some seeds. Same with aronias if you are tempted.
My understanding is that some mulberries are male and some are females, yet *all* of those that are big enough are bearing, so I'm not sure what to make of that... I'd hate to give you some duds. If you have enough room, we could shoot for 5-6 layerings and for seeds, whatever you want. They have the reputation for being messy and they recommend not putting them near walkways. [You might end up with a really pretty dotted purple carpet. That's a style ;-) ].
When the snow is gone, I will look and see if some have self seeded. Their leaves are really pretty obvious because the leaves will not be just one kind. Some are regular and some look like a mitten.  I will want those out, but they will have leafed, so...
Think about it and let me know next weekend.
 
Posts: 80
Location: Minnesota
49
books homeschooling kids cooking purity trees
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
I'm in SW Minnesota, zone 4.  

Perennial fruits that we grow in our yard and garden include:

Strawberries (plant)
Rhubarb (plant)
Cherry (tree)
Nanking cherry (bushes)
elderberry (shrubs)
black raspberries (brambles)
raspberries (brambles)

Fruits that we forage in our area include:

Mulberries
Elderberries
Gooseberries
Choke cherries
Chokeberries
Sumac berries
Raspberries
Black raspberries
Apples
Pears
Wild plums
Crab apples
Wild grapes
Rhubarb (at abandoned properties or local homes that don't harvest theirs, with permission)

If you're interested, you can see a list of all of the wild plants we foraged in 2018 and some photos of some of the fruits here: Our 2018 Foraging Wrap-Up or check out a typical summer month's foraging with photos and information about how we use them here: Our June Foraging Wrap-Up.



Fruits-we-grow.jpg
[Thumbnail for Fruits-we-grow.jpg]
Fruits-We-Forage.jpg
[Thumbnail for Fruits-We-Forage.jpg]
 
garden master
Posts: 768
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
199
bee fish food preservation forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:I'm in a spot that used to be zone 4a and now it's classified as 4b.  But we hit -29 last night which is soundly in 4a.  My plantings are new but here's what I've seen so far:

Apples are great
Rhubarb grows well
Strawberries grow well
Raspberries grow well
Plums grow well
Lowbush blueberries, blackberries, saskatoons, cranberries, highbush cranberries, aronia, chokecherries and hazelnuts are common in the wild
I have two older pears that flower well, one produces sweet small pears, the other hasn't fruited in 4 years.  So I think the right variety of pears are solid here

Things I've planted that may or may not grow well, time will tell:
Sea buckthorn
Nanking cherry
Cornelian cherry
Gogi
Honeyberry (should be rock solid)
Highbush blueberry
Butternut



Awesome list Mike! It's nice apples grow so well thwre, I wish apples grew better where I'm at. It's so hot here in NC, I've had to do a lot of research to find ones that can survive our heat and humidity!
 
James Landreth
pollinator
Posts: 593
Location: Western Washington
151
bee duck forest garden homestead personal care rabbit
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Have you heard of Hidden Springs Nursery Steve? They're in Tennessee I believe. I'm sure it's a different climate but maybe the varieties they carry will serve you well
 
Steve Thorn
garden master
Posts: 768
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
199
bee fish food preservation forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Landreth wrote:Have you heard of Hidden Springs Nursery Steve? They're in Tennessee I believe. I'm sure it's a different climate but maybe the varieties they carry will serve you well



I haven't, thanks for the recommendation James, I'll have to check them out!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:Oh, and there's also a permaculture nursery near Ashland called The Draw.  I don't think they do the internet much...




They do have a website, though. I think I will manage to go there this spring as they have a lot of what I'm looking for [chestnuts, hazelnuts, beech...] It is over 4  hours from me but hey, they are also a permaculture site, so I'll drive the distance. Here is their website: http://www.thedraw.org/nursery/
Closer to me is the Woodstock Nursery, near Neillsville. They are closer and their line of fruit trees is impressive.  I think this is the one that used to sell grafted trees n demand [You'd ask them for a specific graft and they would graft it and sell you the tree on the spot] (At least that is what I think I remember)
http://wallace-woodstock.com/
I also bookmarked another on near Stevens Point that looked promising but I managed to misplace the bookmark... I'll keep looking.
Finally, here is one in Pembine called The tree Store, at least I think there is one there but it is a PO box. I am leery of getting things from an outfit that has a PO box: They just might be shipped to that site from southern locations. They do give the hardiness, though... but...At any rate, this is their website:
http://thetreestore.info/
If you can think of others that either you have ordered from or been to, let us know. I'm looking for trees from a hardy stock.
I was thinking, do you guys save seeds? I have extra from  both yellow and blue false indigo. [and many many other things]
Since in the fall, they freeze and go down like asparagus or rhubarb, I was thinking of planting a few on the edges of the driveway, just for pretty. If you have so extra of something else, we could swap?
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Oh, I'll take some yellow and blue indigo seeds!  I'll send you a PM with what I have to trade.

I just checked out The Tree Store and it does sound good.  Cheap prices and a few I hadn't seen before.  They say Manchurian Apricots are good to zone 3.  Theirs are full sized and from original seed stock.  I sent them an email to see if they grow their stuff on site or ship in their inventory.  I'll report back what they say.

I've ordered from Reeseville Ridge Nursery down in southern WI.  They were affordable and easy to work with and I did a review for them in the Nursery and Seed review grid.  Haven't had their plants get through their first winter yet so.....

When you come to Ashland, swing by my place Cecile
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:Oh, I'll take some yellow and blue indigo seeds!  I'll send you a PM with what I have to trade.

I just checked out The Tree Store and it does sound good.  Cheap prices and a few I hadn't seen before.  They say Manchurian Apricots are good to zone 3.  Theirs are full sized and from original seed stock.  I sent them an email to see if they grow their stuff on site or ship in their inventory.  I'll report back what they say.
I've ordered from Reeseville Ridge Nursery down in southern WI.  They were affordable and easy to work with and I did a review for them in the Nursery and Seed review grid.  Haven't had their plants get through their first winter yet so.....
When you come to Ashland, swing by my place Cecile




Will do. I'm getting ready for Friday already, looking at all the seminars and the demos. It is impossible to see everything so I started with the ones that had only one presentation to check if there is one I absolutely have to see.
Hmmm Manchurian apricots for zone 3 give me pause. I thought they were OK for zone 5. I checked and I can message you too.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
For those of you in the rough vicinity of Madison WI there's a Garden and Landscape Expo Fri/Sat/Sun this weekend that Cecile and I will be going to.  Lots of gardening and permaculture topics (as well as conventional stuff).  So if you want to get out of the cold, check it out
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:For those of you in the rough vicinity of Madison WI there's a Garden and Landscape Expo Fri/Sat/Sun this weekend that Cecile and I will be going to.  Lots of gardening and permaculture topics (as well as conventional stuff).  So if you want to get out of the cold, check it out




And here is the website but hurry to get a room. They are going fast!
www.wigardenexpo.com
 
James Landreth
pollinator
Posts: 593
Location: Western Washington
151
bee duck forest garden homestead personal care rabbit
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:Oh, and there's also a permaculture nursery near Ashland called The Draw.  I don't think they do the internet much...




They do have a website, though. I think I will manage to go there this spring as they have a lot of what I'm looking for [chestnuts, hazelnuts, beech...] It is over 4  hours from me but hey, they are also a permaculture site, so I'll drive the distance. Here is their website: http://www.thedraw.org/nursery/

I was thinking, do you guys save seeds? I have extra from  both yellow and blue false indigo. [and many many other things]
Since in the fall, they freeze and go down like asparagus or rhubarb, I was thinking of planting a few on the edges of the driveway, just for pretty. If you have so extra of something else, we could swap?



My friend John (in Ashland) might start saving seeds. He knows people there who farm and garden pretty extensively. I'll ask him when I get the chance.

When contacting The Draw, I had better luck calling than emailing. It is well worth the visit though. The guy is really nice and knowledgeable and he's got a LOT of experience growing things out there that haven't been experimented once. He's grown peaches with some success, and things like mulberries, apricots, chestnuts, all kinds of walnuts, pine nuts, etc.
 
James Landreth
pollinator
Posts: 593
Location: Western Washington
151
bee duck forest garden homestead personal care rabbit
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:

Hmmm Manchurian apricots for zone 3 give me pause. I thought they were OK for zone 5. I checked and I can message you too.



St. Lawrence's "Adirondack" apricot is a type of manchurian and should be hardy to zone 3 or 4, so it might be a real thing. But I read all sorts of mixed things about what tree is hardy to what zone. I'm surprised by how much nursery websites really conflict with each other even on the same cultivars
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 4
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

James Landreth wrote:
St. Lawrence's "Adirondack" apricot is a type of manchurian and should be hardy to zone 3 or 4, so it might be a real thing. But I read all sorts of mixed things about what tree is hardy to what zone. I'm surprised by how much nursery websites really conflict with each other even on the same cultivars




I'll have to look at that one. As far as zone assignments, Yes, I've noticed: they are somewhat capricious. Indeed the same cultivars should have the same zone. The folks who sell plants have a vested interest in claiming that these are better adapted to the cold than they really are. I have noticed that some orchards now give a better reference to the NRCS data base from the USDA, and that is probably more reliable:
https://plants.sc.egov.usda.gov/java/
 
pollinator
Posts: 156
Location: Zone 3-4 (usually 4) Western South Dakota, central Black Hills
39
bike books building cattle chicken dog food preservation homestead hunting cooking sheep
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Best I can discover, the average number of frost-free days where I live is 89. Since fruit trees (and most other crops) need a certain minimum frost-free growing season in order for blossoms to survive and produce fruit, it’s not unusual to have a fruit tree that does grow but seldom succeeds in setting fruit. It seems to be really difficult to determine whether a tree, bush, etc., will fruit here. Annuals have times to maturity listed. With more expensive perennials it seems you just roll the dice. It’s frustrating.
 
Steve Thorn
garden master
Posts: 768
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
199
bee fish food preservation forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy Skillman wrote:Best I can discover, the average number of frost-free days where I live is 89. Since fruit trees (and most other crops) need a certain minimum frost-free growing season in order for blossoms to survive and produce fruit, it’s not unusual to have a fruit tree that does grow but seldom succeeds in setting fruit. It seems to be really difficult to determine whether a tree, bush, etc., will fruit here. Annuals have times to maturity listed. With more expensive perennials it seems you just roll the dice. It’s frustrating.



Hopefully this will be the perfect place to discuss that, and there's been a lot of great discussion above already, !

Like you mentioned, it's nice with the usual higher price of perennials, to have a heads up if a variety will do good to get some fruit production established, and then experimentation can be done later with other varieties.

If you've got specific varieties you are looking at, you could list them to see if other people have had success with them!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy Skillman wrote:Best I can discover, the average number of frost-free days where I live is 89. Since fruit trees (and most other crops) need a certain minimum frost-free growing season in order for blossoms to survive and produce fruit, it’s not unusual to have a fruit tree that does grow but seldom succeeds in setting fruit. It seems to be really difficult to determine whether a tree, bush, etc., will fruit here. Annuals have times to maturity listed. With more expensive perennials it seems you just roll the dice. It’s frustrating.



89 days? Indeed, it must be discouraging. I'm wondering if you live high in the mountains, perhaps on the north slope or what. The info I was able to find on Rapid city, which I know best because of the Sturgis rally is that you have sometimes some really bad spring/ summer storms. I was in Sturgis a few years back when you got hail that killed 40 heads of cattle. I was also there a couple of years later when there was a snow storm that dumped 6 inches of snow in Lead. Getting back to camp on the bikes, we were more than worried, as you can imagine. And that was in the first week of August! so yeah, you have challenges. Other years, the heat has been absolutely brutal crossing the Dakotas, and on the bike, I almost fainted from dehydration twice, also the first week of August. I have not seen much more Continental a climate than that.
You made me curious so I looked at the average freeze-frost in spring and fall:
https://www.weather.gov/unr/asf This gives May 24th as the last spring freeze
www.weather.gov/unr/aff This gives October 12th as your first frost in the fall. Now, these are averages for Rapid City, and the rest of the charts indicate fluctuations. and they mark Rapid City as a zone 5, which I would never have guessed because of these spring storms I mentioned. That was a surprise. Here is the map of zones in South Dakota: You say 4a or even 3. Yikes, yes, that is challenging.
https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/wp-content/uploads/2004/10/south_dakota_map_lg.gif

The other  thing I wondered about is pollinators. As a beekeeper, I know  it is difficult to keep bees in cold weather, and on these windswept plains, they have  to be moved in a potato shed or seriously wrapped. but South Dakota is only second to North Dakota in honey production, so you are doing better, a lot better than average for pollinators.
https://www.statista.com/statistics/191996/top-10-honey-producing-us-states/
(I confess sheepishly that my state of Wisconsin does not figure even in the top 10).
Do you think you might be living in a microclimate, [perhaps a valley where you miss the sun for a good part of the day], a hollow where the cold air sits and kills your chances?
Other than that, all I can think of is a mismatch of species to locations like heavy clay soil, difficulty in irrigating [I recall that at the camp, they had to truck the water daily because the water was something like 140 ft. down]...
As I'm reading what I have, I'm afraid I am not very helpful. I wish I could help you more...
What cultivars do you have?
 
Cindy Skillman
pollinator
Posts: 156
Location: Zone 3-4 (usually 4) Western South Dakota, central Black Hills
39
bike books building cattle chicken dog food preservation homestead hunting cooking sheep
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Encouraged by a Wyoming friend, I’ve ordered some fruit trees. His climate is apparently much like mine, only with bad soil into the mix. This is why we grow our food on the hoof or the claw... critters better at eating grass and bugs than we are. LOL I got three Highland heifers last September 8 and the afternoon after we brought them home it hailed like crazy... three major storms in a week. I had also just planted two trees (shouldn’t have done that. It was just ASKING for hail, doing that.) Now we have three roofs to replace and we live too far out for roofers to be willing to come at any price (and it’s not even that remote). DH and I could do ours and the shop, but my mom’s roof is way too complicated. :-( Anyway... I’ll stop whining now. ;-)

These are the trees coming— hopefully not a waste of money and effort.. again.  Apples: Ashmead’s Kernel, Black Oxford, Newton Pippin, Sweet Sixteen. Cherry: Montmorency, Evan’s Bali. I can grow raspberries and I’d like to try blueberries. We do have some poorly Juneberry/Saskatoon “trees”. The local nursery carries them, so I’ll try to get some, or if not I may try rooting some from what we have wild. I’ve noticed the bees seem to be doing better, but I plan to get some in case we need them for the apple trees. Maybe they’d be happy in a greenhouse over-winter... I’m doing Suskovich chicken tractors this spring, and they could be made into greenhouses in winter, I think. I expect I’ll plant the trees on the south side of my mom’s house. Since pine beetles killed much of the forest, there’s decent sun there and some protection from north winds.

We live in the central Black Hills, about a mile elevation, in a fairly wide gulch. Our 12.5 acres of mostly meadow runs north to south. We get pretty good sun though we have Hills to the east and west (and also the north, less so). We often have nicer weather than Rapid City, but they really are zone 5, and we really are 3-4 here. We just tend to get extremes they don’t get so much in the plains. That’s what makes us less viable for planting. We do get late storms, late freezes, hail of sometimes epic proportions. Lucky my girls have shaggy heads like little bison. Here they are—well, two of them anyway.
EB95C0A1-7AF5-41E2-961D-39DFF9664710.jpeg
[Thumbnail for EB95C0A1-7AF5-41E2-961D-39DFF9664710.jpeg]
 
Steve Thorn
garden master
Posts: 768
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
199
bee fish food preservation forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cécile Stelzer Johnson wrote:I'm in Central Wisconsin, Zone 4b, so continental climate and quite sandy with first water at 10 ft.
Lots of wild cherries that tend to attract tent caterpillars, and one cultivar: Danube, that doesn't. I may try to graft Danube on some suitable wild cherry.
I have a lot of apples, that are growing quite well and I'm looking to make applejack.
The Mulberries black and white, which I started from seed are starting to give fruit
Rhubarb, red and green grows well thanks to the
Comfrey with which I make comfrey tea, a potent fertilizer. I'm planning to make one or two more beds of comfrey.
Strawberries [the June kind]. Honeyoye is doing well and I will replant a bed of it as this bed is getting a little old.
I will intersperse with Jersey Giant asparagus: The asparagus have deep roots while the strawberries have shallow roots, so I do not expect too much interference: There are wild asparagus and wild strawberries that grow well close to each other. Since asparagus tend to get weedy, I might as well give them a useful 'weed' to cover the ground.
I have not had much luck with plums so far. I only have one tree, Toka, I think, which gets so sick from tent caterpillars that I was thinking to cut it when, miracle, it gave us a nice crop. I have stayed the execution.
I was not having much luck with pears either: They would all catch the blight. but 2 years ago, I found two that didn't AND survived the winter.. Wish I could remember the name of the cultivars now.
Hazelnuts are very common but worms and squirrels get most of them. I may try a few hazelnut trees this year
I have blueberries that are starting to give better now that I found the trick to make them happy: Acidifier! [Aluminum sulfate]
I have highbush cranberries that only my chickens will eat, wild turkeys too, sometimes.
Chokecherries are abundant as well and I have a hedge of aronias from which I made a delicious jam.
I want to encourage the honeyberries that I planted close to the foundations [so the deer do not come after them]. They taste quite good.
The red oaks, unfortunately all have the wilt, and I despair to have any survive. When I cut one, I cut it and lay the branches and trunks along the road, on this side of the ditch, to make a snow trap. Some had mast this past year, but they rarely do: too crowded and sick.
I have been babying a number of lindens/basswoods so they will make great blossoms for my bees, and also perhaps enough for some tea. 3 are starting to give and it is a delight to hear my bees in them!
I do not have butternuts yet, but I plan on planting some. My attempts at chestnuts have been a failure so far. I will plant some in the chicken yard. The chickens will pick the pests away, I trust, and the rich soil that is there should suit these trees.
Brambles grow well there. I'm raising red raspberries Boyne in a raised bed, but I may have to redo that patch: It is getting full of weeds. I just started the yellow raspberries, Sweet Anne, and they gave me a handful of delicious berries in the fall, and no pests!
Unfortunately, I mixed them with blackberries [prime ark Jim] and I heard later I should not have done that. We'll see, and if I must move them, I will: They are only a year old, so...Those fall berries are in a raised bed and have a couple of hog panels over them so I can cover them to extend the ripening season if need be.



Awesome list Cecile with varieties and other useful growing info!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy Skillman wrote:

These are the trees coming— hopefully not a waste of money and effort.. again.  Apples: Ashmead’s Kernel, Black Oxford, Newton Pippin, Sweet Sixteen. Cherry: Montmorency, Evan’s Bali. I can grow raspberries and I’d like to try blueberries. We do have some poorly Juneberry/Saskatoon “trees”. The local nursery carries them, so I’ll try to get some, or if not I may try rooting some from what we have wild. I’ve noticed the bees seem to be doing better, but I plan to get some in case we need them for the apple trees. Maybe they’d be happy in a greenhouse over-winter... I’m doing Suskovich chicken tractors this spring, and they could be made into greenhouses in winter, I think. I expect I’ll plant the trees on the south side of my mom’s house. Since pine beetles killed much of the forest, there’s decent sun there and some protection from north winds.

We live in the central Black Hills, about a mile elevation, in a fairly wide gulch. Our 12.5 acres of mostly meadow runs north to south. We get pretty good sun though we have Hills to the east and west (and also the north, less so). We often have nicer weather than Rapid City, but they really are zone 5, and we really are 3-4 here. We just tend to get extremes they don’t get so much in the plains. That’s what makes us less viable for planting. We do get late storms, late freezes, hail of sometimes epic proportions. Lucky my girls have shaggy heads like little bison. Here they are—well, two of them anyway.




I just love your highlanders: They look downright kissable! [You'd just have to keep those beautiful pesky horns away].
So would it be fair to say that you are about 2,000 feet higher than Rapid City? "In general, air temperature declines 3.5–5°F for every 1,000
foot increase in elevation. At elevations of 3,000–4,000 feet in winter, freezing generally occurs when surface temperature at sea level hovers around 40°F (Mass 2008)."
So yes, that would put you one full zone colder.
Now for the microclimate:
Living in a gulch would mean that your trees might end up in a frost pocket, since cold air falls, unless you can plant them up on the slopes? [but then, if you have to water...] Having hills to the East and West might mean that the sun rises a little later and sets a little sooner, so shorter day? But if the gulch is nice and wide, it might not make much difference. The hills to the north might protect your trees from the worst of the wind. [Here, we always have to have a windbreak  or tree trunk protection because the winter winds burn and desiccate the bark].
It is a nice variety of trees you are getting. Of your apples, the only kind I know is the sweet sixteen, which is indeed sweet but it will need deer protection: Here, it is the only tree they keep after. [But muleys are a little more grazers than browsers, so it might be OK]. Next year, the tree will be big enough, it should not be a problem, but the first year, it was very badly 'trimmed'.
The Montmorency cherry should grow, although it *should* grow here too but cherries are a big crop closer to lake Michigan because of the lake waters that keep the temperatures warmer longer in the fall and delay flowering in the spring. Mine faltered and I have better luck with the wild ones that are sweet but small or the Nanking and Hansen bush cherries, but just try to keep wild turkeys away from them! Ha!.
I grow Boyne red raspberries: Very hardy and very sturdy canes. No need for a trellis. They hold the fruit well and detach when pulled without falling apart like some others I know. I remove all fruiting canes at the end of the season [or very early in the spring] to make room and sunshine for the rest of them. I have branched into Sweet Anne yellow fall raspberries because they are primocanes, [fruiting on this year's wood] so you get a crop in the fall, then you can cut all canes close to the ground: They are very sweet and bird seem to expect red fruit, so I have not had much trouble with them. This way, I get 2 crops of raspberries.
The Saskatoon Juneberries are really an understory tree, so yes, they do look a bit thin and out of place standing out in the field. I have mine in the forest where they get the benefit of shade and shelter from the wind.
Blueberries will do fine, but they are like bog plants: They need water and very acid soil [like 4.5 PH]. The need for water prompted me to dig a ditch 30 ft. long, 4 ft wide and 4 ft deep. I lined it with tarp so it was not tight like a pool but it would delay infiltration [I am on 35 ft of sand]. Then, as long as the big roof and its gutter were there, I installed a 10"PVC pipe from the bottom of the downpour directly to my ditch and covered the whole thing with the best dirt I could find. The first year was a little disappointing, but now, I'm getting decent crops [I love blueberries!]
I'm also raising chickens for eggs and even in this cold weather, they are doing quite well, but I just have the traditional chicken coop and a yard that I have to shovel. I'm not happy with the arrangement and am tempted to create a "winter run", like Mike Jay did for his except that I have a couple of apple trees in the yard already. I need to think it over. I might create a tunnel to escort them to the 2 orchards, but I would need to fence the orchards which are not fenced right now.
 
Cindy Skillman
pollinator
Posts: 156
Location: Zone 3-4 (usually 4) Western South Dakota, central Black Hills
39
bike books building cattle chicken dog food preservation homestead hunting cooking sheep
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks, Cécile!

They are kissable, but not while DH is watching! ;-) All he sees is the possible germiness. LOL I brush them when it’s warmer... at present their hairdos are all frozen stiff.

I hadn’t thought of it, but there is a south-facing slope/hill/gentle ridge running east/west partway across the property. Its east end is near the house, so reasonably accessible to water. Great idea... thanks! That would put the trees west of a wooded area, but it’s pretty sunny there most of the day all the same. We’re far enough north to have very long days in summer (and short in winter of course). I’ll give that some thought.

As for deer, we have white tails and elk, so yes, heavy-duty protection is always a must. Plus, being browsers with itchy heads, I’d be concerned about my heifers’ depredations as well.

Your raspberries sound wonderful. I’ll keep an eye out for those varieties. I probably won’t get them planted this year... I have so many projects and raspberries get started fairly quickly. I do want to get the apples in for sure since they take longer. The Saskatoons we have growing are in the midst of a big chokecherry bush that died of fungus. I would likely take it out in any case since chokecherry foliage is dangerous to livestock in some circumstances . I don’t care for them, but there are plenty in the public woods if I decide I want to harvest any. I need to research whether other cherries are a problem. (Oops!) If they are, I guess I’ll just have to fence them off. Anyway, thanks for the heads up on the Saskatoon. If/when I get some I’ll be careful to choose an appropriate location where they’ll have some shelter.

Your comments on the blueberries interest me. We do have some boggy areas. Sometimes they’re really, really boggy areas. According to old maps there’s a creek running through our bottomland, and since so many pine trees have died, I believe it. The problem is, since the days of the legendary creek of yore, the bed has completely filled in, and the water spreads out and slowly slouches across the whole lowland area. I’d like to dig it back out, but I’m afraid of the govt goons and their satellite imagery. >:-(  Anyway, water does flow through in reasonably wet spring seasons... sometimes all summer and fall, too. Maybe that would wash away any acid amendments, or maybe it would be good... what do you think? I’m really impressed with all your innovations and hard work with the blueberries! And the chicken tunnel to the orchard sounds wonderfully whimsical. I can just see the fluffies wending their way to their summer job in the orchard. So cool! I hope you’ll do it. It’s too cute not to!
 
Steve Thorn
garden master
Posts: 768
Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, NC, US
199
bee fish food preservation forest garden homestead hugelkultur cooking trees
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alicia Bayer wrote:I'm in SW Minnesota, zone 4.  

Perennial fruits that we grow in our yard and garden include:

Strawberries (plant)
Rhubarb (plant)
Cherry (tree)
Nanking cherry (bushes)
elderberry (shrubs)
black raspberries (brambles)
raspberries (brambles)

Fruits that we forage in our area include:

Mulberries
Elderberries
Gooseberries
Choke cherries
Chokeberries
Sumac berries
Raspberries
Black raspberries
Apples
Pears
Wild plums
Crab apples
Wild grapes
Rhubarb (at abandoned properties or local homes that don't harvest theirs, with permission)

If you're interested, you can see a list of all of the wild plants we foraged in 2018 and some photos of some of the fruits here: Our 2018 Foraging Wrap-Up or check out a typical summer month's foraging with photos and information about how we use them here: Our June Foraging Wrap-Up.



Great list Alicia! The photos are amazing too, such a good range of fruits with great colors!
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:I just checked out The Tree Store and it does sound good.  Cheap prices and a few I hadn't seen before.  They say Manchurian Apricots are good to zone 3.  Theirs are full sized and from original seed stock.  I sent them an email to see if they grow their stuff on site or ship in their inventory.  I'll report back what they say.


Ok, here's what they said.  Unfortunately I didn't ask about apricots:

The Tree Store wrote:Thank you for your interest in our products! Some of our products are grown in northern Wisconsin and some are grown in northern Michigan, The American persimmon seedlings are grown in northern Michigan. Thanks again!

 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Cindy Skillman wrote:Thanks, Cécile!
Your comments on the blueberries interest me. We do have some boggy areas. Sometimes they’re really, really boggy areas. According to old maps there’s a creek running through our bottomland, and since so many pine trees have died, I believe it. The problem is, since the days of the legendary creek of yore, the bed has completely filled in, and the water spreads out and slowly slouches across the whole lowland area. I’d like to dig it back out, but I’m afraid of the govt goons and their satellite imagery. >:-(  Anyway, water does flow through in reasonably wet spring seasons... sometimes all summer and fall, too. Maybe that would wash away any acid amendments, or maybe it would be good... what do you think? I’m really impressed with all your innovations and hard work with the blueberries! And the chicken tunnel to the orchard sounds wonderfully whimsical. I can just see the fluffies wending their way to their summer job in the orchard. So cool! I hope you’ll do it. It’s too cute not to!



Actually, you may not want to dig the silt out of the creek: Not only is it backbreaking work but the lowland area will be just what the blueberries need: They like it consistently moist, but not "wet feet", like a gooseberry for example: Gooseberries like it definitely wet and they will do well on the edge of a stream.  The silt is likely to give you better soil.
The pines that died perhaps supplied the ground with enough acidity too: I had to add some aluminum sulfate to mine to correct the acidity to 4.5 PH [from 6.5 PH] and it needs to be readjusted periodically.
Otherwise, don't worry about the "government goons": They are more interested in folks that change the direction of a stream or folks that hold the water so their neighbors can't have any. The satellite imagery is done when leaves are off the trees: Since that soil is on your property, the government has nothing to say if you move a few truckloads of that good soil where YOU want it, like  in a bed closer to a rain spout. Toss a few handfuls of rye grass where you removed the dirt and it will look green and relatively 'untouched'.
The chicken tunnel is still in the thinking stage: I have 3 plots where I want them to do their thing: Their regular yard which will be their winter yard [and most of it will be covered like a greenhouse], the woods attenant that are losing the red oaks, [I'm trying to replace that area with a forest of fruit trees and bushes], and the regular orchard, which needs to be cleaned of debris [dead /rotting fruit in the fall].
Those 3 areas will need fencing as soon as the ground melts. I will breach the fence around the yard in 3 places and install a movable tunnel: Hoops made of rebars sticking about 1 ft up on which I will impale hoops made of 1"PVC. The tunnel will not be higher than knee high to me, and narrow enough for 3 chickens side by side, if that. Over this, I will drape a length of strong plastic like they use for green houses, but more opaque [some have some reinforcing threads that really resist tearing] that will lead them to another chicken yard for a while [until another area has regenerated]. They sell clips to hold them tight to the hoops. That tunnel will be semi permanent and movable from the coop to each of the 3 areas.  They will be there during the non freezing temperatures but I would save the tunnel and the hoops for the following year. I just need to lead them out of the coop to the breach in the fence, like 20 ft and 30 ft, the chicken yard being in the center. I can't make them longer than this because I'm sure the chickens will balk at leaving the coop if I do. Although I can feed and water them outside so they will follow the food and the water.
I'll sink some timbers this spring to make the fence, or I may get myself some movable electrified chicken fence. I'll have to see how far the money goes.
The fly in the ointment is that I want their regular chicken yard to have trees in it too, so I cannot cover them in the winter, it would totally screw them up, but I can put them on the edges?
As you can tell, this project is still in the thinking stage, but I'm starting to have a few things nailed down. How big will the greenhouse/ winter area be? Not sure. Roof? not sure either. Still thinking.
I really love the various Permies sites & threads because you always get some nugget, some new ideas to make things easier and cheaper, it sends us in a new direction. It sure makes this long winter shorter.  ;-)
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Cecile, your chicken plans reminded me to post about my system.  Maybe there's a tidbit that you could swipe for your design.  Here's a Link
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Does anyone have a yummy pear variety that you grow in zone 4a that I could get some scion wood from?  I'm helping put together a grafting class this spring and due to the government shut down we aren't getting any pear scions from the USDA.  Thanks!!!
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:Does anyone have a yummy pear variety that you grow in zone 4a that I could get some scion wood from?  I'm helping put together a grafting class this spring and due to the government shut down we aren't getting any pear scions from the USDA.  Thanks!!!



I'm not sure about yummy but I found a place right here in Wisconsin that sells scion wood. Since they are in Suamico, it might be a good thing? They have a number of scions for apples, pears and plums. They mention a Blakeney cider pear. [I'll confess I didn't know you could make cider out of pear, but logically, yes, it should exist]:
http://maplevalleyorchards.com/scionwood/
I hope you can find your happiness here. I see they also have grafting tools... So I may find my happiness there too. They do mention that the folding one is beveled on one side, like you told me. They do not say if the other one is. I guess I should call them Monday and ask.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Thanks Cecile, I'll give them a call.  I'm surprised they have that many varieties of pears this far north.  I think pear cider is called perry.  Happiness is all around us today  Except in the basement where the missus is doing our taxes...
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:Thanks Cecile, I'll give them a call.  I'm surprised they have that many varieties of pears this far north.  I think pear cider is called perry.  Happiness is all around us today  Except in the basement where the missus is doing our taxes...




Yep. I found out you are  right about the perry, Mike. Now I remember the "poiré" I saw in some stores in Normandy when I was a kid. I need to finish the applejack I have outside. Maybe I could do that with pears too. Yum.
I'm surprised too to see so many kinds of pears way up there, but looking at the zip code 54141 for Little Suamico, they are actually in zone 5a! who would have thunk!?
I think I may get a grafting knife from them. I'll be ready for April!
I will be going to UWSP to try and recruit some helpers for planting my trees: Young folks who are seeking Forestry Education need practical credit. There is no pay for that work since they are getting credit through the UW system, but I'll have a big pizza party, recommendations and soda in the offing for them if they can plant all the trees I'm thinking of. LOL. I would just need to coordinate with tree delivery.
Since I'm planning to plant the forest, there will be roots in the way, so it will be well deserved! Sweet shrubs, witch-hazel, black tupelos, maples... They will be small, mercifully, so the transplant shock will be minimal. I'm also going to lift a few comfrey plants and make cuttings to place around apple trees in the orchards and around the mulberries. Only one concern: Deer may be fond of the stuff. Hmmm... Need to think it over. Also some false blue indigo: They grow 3ft. max, so they should do well under standard and semi-dwarf trees and they are legumes with great blooms for my bees. Inside the chicken fence, some nut trees will go. Yellow horns, chestnuts, butternuts or buartnuts... They will need protection from my little dinosaurs, but hopefully, they'll grow fast [the trees, not the chickens] and I'll be able to remove the protection in a couple of years. I'm also thinking about making a double fence for the chicken run in places and plant comfrey there. On D-Day, I'll remove the inside "wall" to a few plants and let the chickens have at it for a day or so. They were so fond of the comfrey I cut for them this year that if I leave them eat it for 2 days, they may totally destroy it! I will have to zip tie it right away after they are done eating. I figured this way, I will not have to cut and transport their forage again.

Had a look at your winter run for your chickens again and I will be building one for sure this summer. One complication I may have is that I want to be able to dismantle it in the summer so the chickens really have the whole run of the place. They should be able to scratch the winter litter out of the building, or just about and enrich the trees there. A door, a wall only hip high [so I can collect water and water them and the trees], a corrugated plastic panel roof. I'm looking at impaling the transparent corrugated panels on bolts, then installing a bolted wide flashing protection over the top. [I'd have to remember to paint the numbers on them so I know which ones go where]. Bending a wide flashing 20 ft long may be tricky. I've done short ones for my hives but nothing that grand. I may ask a local shop to do shorter lengths, like 8 ft, and deliver. They may even sell bent flashing at H.D.
 
Cécile Stelzer Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: zone 4b, sandy, Continental D
40
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mike Jay wrote:

Mike Jay wrote:I just checked out The Tree Store and it does sound good.  Cheap prices and a few I hadn't seen before.  They say Manchurian Apricots are good to zone 3.  Theirs are full sized and from original seed stock.  I sent them an email to see if they grow their stuff on site or ship in their inventory.  I'll report back what they say.


Ok, here's what they said.  Unfortunately I didn't ask about apricots:

The Tree Store wrote:Thank you for your interest in our products! Some of our products are grown in northern Wisconsin and some are grown in northern Michigan, The American persimmon seedlings are grown in northern Michigan. Thanks again!



I asked them the same question about chestnuts, buddleias, Manchurian apricots and American Tulip tree. We'll see what they answer. I checked on an apple and was taken to a different site, so they might very well get them shipped for sale. Asking them point blank about a specific tree/bush should give me a straight answer. I might still get some of their 2 for one that will grow zone 4 but I'd rather populate with stuff I'm sure will make it here.
This week, I will also start assembling stuff for the chicken's winter run. First the pallets. Not sure how to affix them to the dirt floor. Did you bolt in cement? impale on rebars? I'll start asking. At least price the stuff. I'm pretty sure I can find storm doors at rummage sales, which would probably do the trick, we'll see.
 
Mike Jay
steward
Posts: 4170
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
1043
books food preservation hunting solar trees woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Hi Cecile, I'll answer your pallet question over in the thread on the run so that the info is all in one place for people.  Here's a LINK.
 
You know it is dark times when the trees riot. I think this tiny ad is their leader:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!