Plan for 2013?

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Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 12:29 pm
Location: Mid Michigan

Plan for 2013?

Post by Greyt.Chase »

Ok everyone! It's about time to get working on our orchards! What is everyone doing this year? Planting new trees? Topworking? Maintaining? Planting different fruit?

I just planted last year so I don't need much work to be done. I acquired a dwarf braeburn tree that I had a hard time keeping alive (it was dropped off in the morning and not planted till that evening, left bare root all day in the sun...oops). I did manage to keep it alive, but it's all bent over from it's previous home. I am going to top work the tree and get some different apples going.

So, what is YOUR plan for this spring?
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Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:18 pm

Re: Plan for 2013?

Post by badcyclist »

I am planting new trees this year here in coastal San Diego. Just a small backyard orchard we are expanding, after cutting down a couple of Brazilian pepper trees to put in something more useful. We are using graywater and trying to avoid chemical pesticides/herbicides and we'll see what happens. I am not a fanatic about the organic approach, so if we need to declare war on pests and fungi, then it's war.

New trees this year: Sundowner, Beverly Hills, Wolf River, Hauer Pippin, Liberty, Kidd's Orange Red, plus an Angel Red Pomegranate, Satsuma mandarin, and a Santa Rosa Weeping Plum.

They join a dozen two-year old apple trees (Annas, Dorsett Golden, Fujis, Cinnamon Spice, Gala, Chenango Strawberry, Pink Lady), plus two ten-year-old Gordon apples that have been pleasingly productive the last couple of years.

We have pretty lousy clay soil and very few chill hours, but I am determined to grow apples. The Gordons are happy, who knows about the rest. We'll see what works. I am prepared for casualties, but hopefully I will have some successes, too. Pure trial and error-- real farmers would die laughing.
Chuck Rhode
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Joined: Tue Dec 20, 2011 11:25 pm

Re: Plan for 2013?

Post by Chuck Rhode »

Greyt.Chase wrote:Ok everyone! It's about time to get working on our orchards! So, what is YOUR plan for this spring?
... shoveling snow off the driveway this morning. I did my winter pruning on Wednesday, and, boy, are my hands sore! ... but it was a beautiful, sunny, warm day before it clouded over and began to snow.

I can see dwatted wabbit twacks, too. I have rabbit fence in place thankfully. I thought about temporarily removing it to look for suckers, but it gets so fragile after a couple of years that I can't handle it. ... and, anyway, last year's straw growing inside protects the tree trunks from Roundup overspray. Yes, I'm going to nuke the grass around the trees this year. The soil is sandy, and the trees deserve all the water and nutrients that fall on it. Also, because commercial growers in the area suffered major crop losses last year and curtailed their use of insecticide, I'm planning to use pesticides early and often this year to fend off the burgeoning populations.

Codling moth, apple maggot, and plum curculio are the main problems. According to:

McManus, Patricia S., Daniel L. Mahr, and Teryl R. Roper. Apple Pest Management for Home Gardeners. Madison, WI: UW Extension, 17 Mar. 2011. A2179. 8 Feb. 2013 <>.
  • Plum curculio is controlled by spraying individual trees at petal fall and the "first cover" spray of the whole orchard within 10 days of petal fall with a conventional insecticide such as malathion.
  • Codling moth (the worm in the apple) is controlled by spraying at petal fall and by cover sprays at 10-day intervals. There are two peak infestations.
  • Apple maggot (railroad worm) is controlled by cover sprays at 10-day intervals until August.
Maggots and codling moths are effectively controlled by maggot barriers, too, but you have to get them deployed early. As a practical matter, you still need to spray at petal fall and first cover to do in the curculios. This gives you time to deploy the maggot barriers at the rate of one or two trees per day so you don't overdo it and your hands don't get too stiff. After that you don't have to use any more insecticide.

In the past I've used Captan at 1/4" green and after wet weather. This year it's going in the tank mix with the insecticide, too. I'll switch to a different fungicide in midsummer.

21° — Wind NNW 15 mph — Sky overcast.
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Joined: Mon May 23, 2011 7:24 pm
Location: Western Illinois, U.S.

Re: Plan for 2013?

Post by womblesd »

1) Graft 150 more antique apples, increasing my # of varieties from ~ 30 to ~ 50.
2)dig up, plant and cage ~ 75 apple trees grafted last year
3) Prune, train, etc.
4)Hopefully, with enough production from by trees planted in 2008, try my hand at fermenting cider for the first time.
Dan Wombles
Western Illinois, U.S.
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Joined: Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:59 pm

Re: Plan for 2013?

Post by macmanmatty »

I just got in 200 apple rootstocks 150 m111 and 50 bud118. I will be grafting these with 30 new to me varieties to plant in my orchard and 20 old standbys making some trees to sell. Next week I will be getting 200 pear rootstocks grafting about 32 new pears both asian and european for my orchard and will also be grafting some old standbys to sell.
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