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 Post subject: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 02, 2012 10:49 pm 
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Huffs Nooch

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:23 pm
Posts: 126
Location: Seattle, WA
So despite living in a major city (Seattle), our house happens to back up against a half-block stretch of undeveloped land full of trees/bushes/grasses. I just discovered that within all that wildness is essentially a natural orchard of what I believe to be the following:

A common fig tree
A plum-of-some-kind tree
Two apricot trees
A some-kind-of-yellow-fruit-I-can't-see-well tree (that's a technical term)

I am SUPER excited about this. I have a random urban orchard! But I know absolutely NOTHING about freaking fruit trees. The fig tree is in perfect shape and FULL of unripe fruits, the plum-y tree is dropping unripe baby fruits for no apparent reason, the apricot trees are producing but have a lot of not-healthy-looking leaves, and the mystery tree, while healthy-looking, is unidentifiable to me. Google and wikipedia only do so much.

Does anyone have any good resources? Or tree knowledge? Or happen to be an arborist? :)

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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 6:51 am 
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Seagull of the PPK
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Location: Brasil
take a pic of the mystery tree!!! even just the trunk or leaves if you can't really see the fruit.

Figs like to be cut. Obviously after all the fruit is done. New growth is where the fruits come from.
Plums and peaches i've worked with before but they've always been sprayed to death. You might want to think them iif the fruits are too close, they'll not grow right and may drop if you don't.
again, take photos of hte apricot leaves!
i always just google the extension page- try here to start?
http://www.tfrec.wsu.edu/links.php

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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:37 am 
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Huffs Nooch

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:23 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
Torque, thanks so much for that website. It looks like an excellent starting point. I'll try to take some pics soon. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 9:58 am 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
I work on an organic apple orchard, but the main thing I can tell you about fruit trees is that the fruit tends to grow in bunches, and within those bunches there is always a leader. In order to maintain the health of the branches and ensure that unripe fruit doesn't just fall off, you need to prune all the fruit around the leader. We spend HOURS at the orchard doing so, but it makes for very healthy and large apples, and branches that can withstand the fruit's ripening. To my knowledge, this advice extends to all fruit trees.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 03, 2012 10:44 am 
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Huffs Nooch

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:23 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
Vijita, that sounds like it may be the solution for the plum tree. It's dropped a ton of unripe fruit. This might be a stupid question, but how do I find the "leader"? It is the branch with the most fruit? The largest? Most central?

Thanks for your help!

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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 1:59 am 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
It's just the centre of the cluster. It is sometimes not that easy to tell...but it is usually at the centre but definitely not always the biggest fruit. In fact, I've found with our apple trees that it is often the smallest apple, so it can feel counter-intuitive to pare down the bigger fruits, but it pays off in terms of the general yield of the tree later on. Again, I'm no expert, so you might want to consult a local gardening centre or a fruit tree-focussed forum. Good luck!

ps...I now see you are in Seattle (and living in a similar climate to where I live/work). Fruit trees really need to be pruned often and coaxed into producing minimal fruit with the cooler climates.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Huffs Nooch

Joined: Sun Jun 24, 2012 7:23 pm
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Location: Seattle, WA
Mkay, I think I figured out the mystery tree! It looks like it's a Mirabelle Plum tree!!!! Woot.

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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Sat Aug 04, 2012 11:31 pm 
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Smuggling Raisins
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That's so exciting! I was going to suggest it might be a loquat.

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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 6:40 am 
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Wears Durian Helmet
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
vijita wrote:
Fruit trees really need to be pruned often and coaxed into producing minimal fruit with the cooler climates.


Hey Vijita, how often is often? A couple times a year? Every fall/spring? I'm asking because I pruned our apple tree in November but it's sooo full of branches now again that I wonder if I have to prune now as well? or should have during the blooming season?


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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Wed Aug 08, 2012 10:51 am 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
jerusha wrote:
vijita wrote:
Fruit trees really need to be pruned often and coaxed into producing minimal fruit with the cooler climates.


Hey Vijita, how often is often? A couple times a year? Every fall/spring? I'm asking because I pruned our apple tree in November but it's sooo full of branches now again that I wonder if I have to prune now as well? or should have during the blooming season?

Blooming season is a good time to start pruning, then later when the fruit develops (I'm not sure when that is in Germany, but here it is mid-July). We prune the orchard in mid-July, early August, and sometimes late August. It feels so counterintuitive, but it really helps the remaining fruits.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 6:10 am 
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Wears Durian Helmet
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
thanks! Will get to it on Saturday... we have a lots of apples on the tree but yes, I'm afraid half of them will fall off anyway.


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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Thu Aug 09, 2012 8:57 am 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
jerusha wrote:
thanks! Will get to it on Saturday... we have a lots of apples on the tree but yes, I'm afraid half of them will fall off anyway.

They might not fall off, but they'll probably not ripen properly because so many nutrients from the tree are being sucked away by the excess apples. Good luck! :)

Just curious, do you know what variety of apples it is? Apple trees are so gorgeous. This is my workplace. The trees are on raised beds for health and ease of harvesting. They're called dwarves (people always think it is a vineyard!), and they are certified organic. This is after the orchard was last pruned. I'd say we snipped off 60% of the apples. We grow more than fifty varieties! Love me some cider apples. :)

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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 6:21 am 
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Wears Durian Helmet
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Location: Hamburg, Germany
that looks awesome! Close to where my sister lives, there is a place that grows apple trees like that (only the branches get twined around wire that goes down the line of trees). I have no idea what kind of apple we have as the tree was given to us by friends who wanted to get rid of it. but they are tasty! a bit sour, though...


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 Post subject: Re: Help me learn about fruit trees! Cause I know nothing.
PostPosted: Fri Aug 10, 2012 7:45 am 
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Vegan Since Before There Were Vegetables
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Location: Wolfville, Nova Scotia
Cool! The lines you see are actually the irrigation system.

All of the apples we grow taste awful (so incredibly sour! Which is all you can really grow in this climate), but they make beautiful cider and vinegar. :)


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