Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Adding fruit trees

We've given up on the apple orchard that we planted a couple years ago. Why? Because the spot we chose is simply too far from the house to provide protection from the deer. The fence we put up? Ha. Not even going to go there.

So we decided to start over and put the trees up in the chicken pasture. It's fenced, it's close to the house, and it's got chickens - what could be better?

Here's what we got in order of planting, left to right, front to back (that's not going to do you any good but I'll be able to identify the trees based on it). I'm including notes from a variety of sources here so that I can easily refer back in coming years. 

"The large, golden fruit of the yellow delicious apple tree ripens late, developing a fine, sweet flavor. While they are best known as fresh eating apples, yellow delicious also work well for pies, applesauce and preserves. They also store well, keeping 3–6 months if refrigerated." source
Yellow Delicious - perfect for my strudel
"In summer, this variety yields sweet, purple-red plums; in spring, it offers white, fragrant flowers; and in fall and winter, the tree offers structural interest and a great place to hang holiday lights. A heavy bearer, Methley grows clusters of plums all throughout the tree. Disease-resistant to fungal diseases like rust.  Ripens in mid July. Self-pollinating." source
Hardy to zone 4! Mary's Jam - oh yes.
"Cold-hardy native of Canada. Round, red, mildly tart fruit has a soft texture when cooked. Gives apple sauce and cider a spicy kick; bakes up juicy and tender. Ripens in mid Sept." source

Pies! Applesauce!
"A heavy producer. The number of deliciously tart cherries from one of these trees will amaze you. The fruit is perfect for juice or any number of dessert recipes. The sturdy, vase-shaped tree is a beauty in the landscape. Bears just a few years after planting. Disease-resistant to brown rot and leaf spot. Developed by the University of Minnesota, introduced in 1950. Cold-hardy. Ripens in mid-June. Self-pollinating." source

I love cherry pie
"Outstanding fresh-eating qualities make this variety an American favorite. Fruit is aromatic and sweet as honey with an explosively juicy, crisp texture. Grow this naturally compact tree even in small spaces. Originates from Excelsior, Minnesota in 1974. Cold-hardy. Ripens in early September."  source
Our "out of hand" apple
I think I got a decent mix of product - some for baking and canning, some for eating straight from the tree. All should tolerate our growing zone and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the deer can be kept out of the chicken pasture. We've managed to keep them away from the two small peach trees that are up near the house so I do have some expectation that I'm not actually insane.

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