After the very heavy winter in the inland North West, spring appears to be finally making a comeback. Here are some close up pictures of the fruit trees we have. This includes both the old crabapple and plumb trees that existed on the property and the semi-dwarf Red Baron apple trees we planted last year. I think the way this works is the flowers come out of these buds, and then somehow the flowers make fruit?
I think crabapples are good pollinators for “commercial” apples including the one Red Baron (malus domestica) dwarf by the University of Minnesota apple trees we planted last year and covered in the post Planting a few trees, but I am pretty sure that when the crab apple is behind the house around 100 feet, to the beautiful Red Baron apples, then they may not pollinate. We will see. The two apple trees we planted should pollinate themselves.
My buddy who is very supportive of organic gardening, and was a homesteader for some time said even he did not try to grow fruit trees organically as it is “triple black diamond” in difficulty. He said he lived near a commercial orchard and it was unbelievable to see how much they spray those trees to get a commercial crop that worked. Essentially everything wants to eat your fruit trees. Thus they used what a knowledgeable person said was “chemical weapon level” sprays in that orchard. We are obviously not planning on that. I plan on putting in a few trees that we like, and we will try to keep them pest free as naturally as possible. To try and be as natural as possible, we are using dormant oil on the fruit trees on our property. Continue reading »