Orchard Update

Oh, the orchard. Lots and lots of fruit trees. Last year we didn't know what all was growing. We knew we had a bunch of apple and a few pear trees, and a whole lot of miscellaneous stone fruit. I'm happy to report that we almost have it all sorted out now.

The trees bloomed beautifully this spring.

As the fruit developed, we were able to tell what was what. As we already knew, we have loads of peach trees. We had been told that there were cherry trees, but we didn't know which ones they were until recently. There aren't very many (it looks like there used to be a lot more), and they aren't very big, but we are picking a few sour fruits now; maybe we'll get enough for a small pie. It helped that we cut so much other growth away last fall. We are seeing that several of the cherry trees have secondary trunks that have sprouted from the rootstock; after the small fruits on these sections ripen for the birds, we'll trim them off to let the desirable trees flourish.

There seem to be nectarines in one corner of the orchard. I assumed they were peach trees, but the fruits are smooth instead of fuzzy. The fruits are "oozing" from multiple spots. Insect damage? Possibly. We'll watch to see if any fruits mature. The nectarine trees are heavily infected with leaf curl fungus.

And we have a clump of apricot trees. Or, to clarify, apricots trees were planted, and several still have the identifying tag, but the main trunk is dead. However--you guessed it!--there are lots of healthy trunks coming up from the rootstock. I consider them "trash trees", and we're working to cut them out--although we are saving a few well-formed and well-placed trees for shade in the pasture.

The pears, apples, and peaches look fabulous at this point. They have set numerous little fruits, and it's time to thin them. Right now I can still have hope that the fruit will ripen without disease problems. I know that that outcome is unlikely, but I still want to hope...

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