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Old 01-19-2019, 09:21 PM   #1
RB II
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Fruit trees in home garden/yard

Forever, I have wanted to plant fruit trees. I have always had plenty of space on the ranch, but never wanted to fence off/set aside a space for that and have to drive to tend to and pick the fruit.

We are building a new house and I will have space to plant maybe 6 nice fruit trees and some raised bed garden spots.

I am thinking about an orange, peach, plum, pear and one or two other trees. These will be for eating vs canning.

Also thinking about a blackberry vine. Best seedless variety (if there is such a thing) for most production and flavor. Not worried about thorns/thornless.

Questions on fruit trees:

1. Can I just plant one of each/any of these trees without pollination issues?
2. Which varieties of each should I get?
3. Spacing?
4. Shade, partial or full sun? I am planning on the area for these on the West side of the house, but will have a nice border of trees on that side to provide shade from the afternoon sun/heat. So will have morning and noon full sun. But have a good space on the NE side of the house also for more afternoon sun.

I have done a good amount of research and have a list of some "recommended" species from the Web. But know that there are a good many here who know first hand what works best in our area.

BTW, I live in Huntsville, so just a little North of the coast.

Your input is appreciated.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:24 AM   #2
SeaOx 230C
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Most pears, some peaches, some plums are not self pollinators. So they require another variety to cross pollinate with. Make sure which is which. Different varieties have different chill hour requirements, so gotta check that.

You may be little North for oranges. However there are several apple varieties to choose.

I am in Liberty county and have:

Pineapple pear
Flordahome pear
Granny Smith apple
Anna apple
Florida Prince peach
Texas Royal peach
Climax blueberry
Tiff blueberry
Miho satsuma X 2
Fantastic avacodo

Expect for the satsuma and avacodo those would work in your area also.
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Old 01-20-2019, 08:51 AM   #3
Mattsfishin
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I have started growing the carnival apple. Supposed to take the heat and less chill hours. Check with the local master gardeners in walker county. Also the montgomery county master gardeners will be holding a sale this coming saturday. If there is something you like get there early. The rush will be on when they cut everyone loose. I will be there getting my paw paw trees. If you need some help to carry anything take a wagon or I will share mine. Usually at the head of the line if there is something I really want. Check their website and you will see a list of what they have. Some people complain about prices but I have found them to be competitive. They usually have the best price around on micro life organic fertilizer.
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Old 01-20-2019, 09:34 AM   #4
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If you have done your homework, you should already have a lot of useful information. There are tons and tons of good articles online. Rather than try to repeat that stuff, I'll just offer what works for me and doesn't work located here on the edge of the big thicket north of Livingston.

Highly Successful: pears, plums, figs, grapes, and blackberries

Successful: peaches, pomegranate, mulberry

Unsuccessful/don't bother: Citrus and apples

First, the Highly successful.

For plums:
• Full sun,sandy loam, ph 6.5 to 7
• Open center system needs pollinator
• Santa rosa, methley
Heavy producers that make the best tasting jellies you will find anywhere.

Pears:
• Warren, Bartlett,Kieffer
• Full sun needs pollinator
Low maintenance very heavy production, attracts "yotes"...have a couple of trees over 50 years in production with zero maintenance

Figs:
Brown turkey and celests, very easy to grow, very heavy producers need full sun and generally self pollinating
Low maintenance, heavy producers, excellent tasting fruit.

Grapes: Very heavy production from muscadine varieties. Have had mixed results with seedless varieties but anything muscadine produces tremendous amounts of extremely tasty grapes every year. Needs full sun and benefits from pollinators.

Blackberries: The Brazos berry is can't miss in East Texas but I prefer the thornless Ouachita berry. Heavy producer and the thornless canes really make it easy to harvest them. Heavy producer...more fruit that we can use.

In the "Successful Category", start with peaches:
• Full sun,sandy loam, ph 6.5 to 7,
• 400 chilling hours(number of hours below 45 deg)
texstar,floridaking,gulfprince,junegold
• Open center system, benefits from fruit thinning and self pollinating
Only reason I categorize them as "successful" rather than "highly successful" is the chilling requirement...some years we meet it, some years we don't and production is directly correlated to those chilling hours.

Pomegranate is very successful here and is easily propagated. I'm currently trying a Pakistani mulberry tree and it is growing very well and hopefully this year will produce its first fruit.

In the "don't bother" category are citrus and apples for opposite reasons. Apples don't get enough chilling hours and citrus can easily get too much requiring planting in containers which you have to move in and out...not worth the trouble for me. Have had 5 deg. lows here but not enough for good apples and too low for citrus.

Over the years, I've tried a lot of different varieties here and learned what works for us and what does not. I hope this summary helps aid your decisions.
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Old 01-20-2019, 05:05 PM   #5
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Needs 6 hours of full sun minimum

Make sure you don’t plant it deep.....the root crown needs to be above the mulch and dirt line ....look up root crown and planting tree

I look at the space you plan on giving them then double it ..... these trees need to have room to grow .....

All the fruit tree sales are going on now .... most want you to plant after the last freeze ....
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Old 01-20-2019, 07:18 PM   #6
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Matt has inspired me to give raspberries a try this year.
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Old 01-21-2019, 11:25 AM   #7
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A point to add w/ Mudskippers excellent post: The trees need to be in an area where there is good air flow as well as full sun--helps dry dew/ rain etc. quickly, helps prevent a myriad of fungal diseases. As to pollinators, Methley plum seems to be almost a universal plum pollinator. Just about any two peach varieties that bloom at the same time will pollinate-watch for the chilling hour requirement. (i.e. a 200 hour peach will have bloomed and dropped before a 450 hour will budbreak.) Never heard of a seedless blackberry, wife runs them through colander and uses juice to make cobblers, etc. rather than listen to me grumble about seed under my bridge. I have best luck with Kiowa, Brison, and Brazos is the old standby. (All thorny -will reach out and touch you in passing!)
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Old 02-05-2019, 01:23 PM   #8
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Make sure and go to the Master Gardener Fruit tree sales coming up. Pick the on that is closest to you. It will have all of the varietals that will grow in your area. I have an apple, fig, avocado, lemon, and orange. All have done well.
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Old 02-05-2019, 07:18 PM   #9
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Not trying to diss anyone here, OK? Just my experiences and research.

Most fruit trees do not "require" 2 varieties to produce fruit. They just produce better with 2. Will get more fruit set. BUT, the 2 different trees also have to bloom @ the same time or it will not matter, no pollination will take place between them. Do some research on the subject and draw your own conclusion.

Experiment! I have spent Mucho $ planting trees that I had no chance of growing nor hopes of producing fruit but I still keep experimenting.

I think I have @ last count, close to 30 fruit trees on 2.5 acres. some small, some large. Some have produced early and prolifically and some have been in the ground for several years and have not even grown much. It's been a challenge for me! My goal is to be able to go into the "orchard" any day of the year and pick some kind of fruit off of some tree

Enjoy the challenge.
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Old 02-07-2019, 11:57 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfie#2 View Post
Not trying to diss anyone here, OK? Just my experiences and research.

Most fruit trees do not "require" 2 varieties to produce fruit. They just produce better with 2. Will get more fruit set. BUT, the 2 different trees also have to bloom @ the same time or it will not matter, no pollination will take place between them. Do some research on the subject and draw your own conclusion.

Experiment! I have spent Mucho $ planting trees that I had no chance of growing nor hopes of producing fruit but I still keep experimenting.

I think I have @ last count, close to 30 fruit trees on 2.5 acres. some small, some large. Some have produced early and prolifically and some have been in the ground for several years and have not even grown much. It's been a challenge for me! My goal is to be able to go into the "orchard" any day of the year and pick some kind of fruit off of some tree

Enjoy the challenge.

Correct


Needing 2 to cross pollinate and make fruit depends on the variety for sure. Some varieties of peach, plum, pear, apple are self -pollinators some are not.




For example I have two apples, a Granny Smith and an Anna Apple. The Granny Smith is some what self fertile, the Anna is not. The Granny Smith is listed as a good pollinator for the Anna as both are low chill hour and should bloom close to the same time.



The self-pollinators will make fruit with 1 tree but will make much more if cross pollinated with a different variety that blooms at the same time of year.


Those varieties that are not self fertile will not make fruit with out cross pollinating with a different variety. Some times even though you only have 1 these type will make some fruit if some one in the area has a tree that it can cross pollinate with.
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