Combination Cherry Tree

In March, we planted a 4-n-1 cherry tree in our backyard orchard. Since I removed the tags, I don’t know which branch is what variety. But I do have the names of the 4 varieties:

cherry

Montmorancy – Healthy, sour, red cherries. The tree was named for Montmorency, a valley in France.

Rainier – Sweet, premium tasting cherries. Named after Mount Rainier.

Stella – Large heart-shaped black sweet cherry.

Lapins – Large cherries, crossed between Van and Stella. Cross breed from Summerland, British Columbia.

The neat thing is that the four varieties ripen at different times. Some early and some late. Since we are in zone 9 we do have the right chill hours needed for growing cherries. Let’s hope it grows big and bountiful!

Note:  It was a bare root tree, meaning it was a dormant tree with no leaves, just roots wrapped in bark.  Lowe’s nursery $22.98.

Espalier Fruit Tree Ideas

Since we are running out of orchard space, we were thinking of growing more fruit trees via espalier.

Here is an example of what I liked to try. It looks quite simple enough to make with some wood and wires.

espalier

I’ve seen a good variety of fruit trees on espalier. Apples, pears, peaches, and apricots grow well on espalier. The branches are trained to branch out like a fan along trellis and cables.

Years ago, I came across some really nice looking apple tree espalier grown in a historical garden in Palo Alto, Ca. The apples were very sweet and crunchy. Even though there wasn’t much fruit on it, what it did was add a new dimension to the garden. Definitely worth a try if space is an issue.

I love how cute this looks. Imagine enjoying a nice summer day under this tree.

All photos from Fruit Espaliers.

Clumping Bamboo

The thing I don’t like about newer subdivisions in California is the mix of 2 story homes looking into neighbor’s yard. The neighbor on our west side grows tall Cypress all around their yard for privacy.

I looked up the cost and found it to be pricey. So another idea was to grow clumping bamboo along the back fence.

clumping_bamboo

The one pictured is a clumping variety I would like to grow. These bamboos have been at the Buddhist temple grounds for at least 5 years and it hasn’t spread much.

Bamboos sold at nursery are so expensive. Prices range from $20 for the smallest container and up to $100. Hopefully I can make an acceptable donation to the temple and collect some transplant for our backyard.

I especially love walking into a shady grove of bamboo and listening to the sound of winds rustling amongst the leaves. Plus the shoots are tasty too!

Pomegranates: Parfianka and Wonderful

In addition to the pear tree, we are also planting pomegranates. The idea was to plant from either seeds or cuttings. Since that method would take too long to fruit, I decided it wasn’t worth it. So I went with a young tree.

wonderful pomegranate

No, not 1 tree – but 2 trees. The Parifanka and Wonderful variety.

In a taste test of over 1000 pomegranates, the Parifanka is a true winner. And the Wonderful pomegranate has a much larger fruit and usually made into juice.

Since they are in containers, I have yet to plant them. And since they are going to become big shrubs, we have to plan accordingly to fit our mini orchard. Hopefully by the end of April it will find a suitable location.

“Facts of note: Pomegranates are not grafted onto any rootstock, so in areas where it gets cold enough to freeze the tops of the plants back sometimes, they still come back and produce the same fruit.” – Peaceful Valley Nursery, CA

Note: Pomegranate trees were purchased from Lowe’s Nursery. Parfianka $15 and Wonderful $23.  All fruit trees sold in California are not taxed. I am noting the prices of these trees for future references.

Mini Orchard

Grafted 5 in 1 Asian PearsThis year we are trying to grow a mini orchard.  We don’t have a large backyard, so we may have to do lots of pruning to keep them in check and also plant more dwarf varieties.

One of the first tree to go into our backyard orchard is this 5-n-1 Asian Pear tree.   It was a bare root tree planted back in February 2014.  We found it at Lowe’s for $23, which I think is a great price.  Considering that grafted trees once sold in gallon containers can fetch twice as much.

Grafted 5 in 1 Asian Pears

It’s called “pear apple” but it is not a cross between the two. It’s actually a descendant of two Asian species of pear.  According to the tags provided by Pacific Grove Nursery the 5 varieties include:

2oth Century, Chojuro, Shinskeiki, Hosui and Comice

“In the San Joaquin and Sacramento Valleys of California, these early blooming cultivars are in full bloom by early to mid-March. They are the first pears to bloom and are most subject to frost damage.

The earliest flowering Japanese cultivar is ‘Chojuro’ which flowers at the same time as ‘Anjou’ or ‘Winter Nelis’. Late-flowering Japanese cultivars are ’20th Century’ and ‘Okusankichi’ which reach full bloom with ‘Bartlett’. Most years the last third or half of ‘Chojuro’ bloom overlaps the first third or half of ’20th Century bloom.

In many pear areas outside California, Asian pear trees are grown as central leaders similar to apple tree training. This is done with little or no heading of the tree and selecting wide angle limbs for framework limbs off the central leader. The final tree looks like a Christmas tree in shape.” – Purdue University

Ripening of Asian Pears:
Shinseiki — mid July to mid August
Hosui — August

Note:  As much as I like to support our local nursery, their prices were just beyond my budget. For example, persimmon and avocado trees were being sold at starting prices of $50 and up.  I found that Lowe’s has a great selection of affordable fruit trees.  Especially if you are buying bare root trees. Lowe’s even has exotic trees for sale.  Including mango, guavas, dragonfruit, Goji berries, and much more!  But I am just going to grow the ones that I think will grow best in our area, which is zone 9.  Other great deals on fruit trees can be found at Costco.

Kite Flying Day

Welcome to my corner of the world! I write and garden from Northern California. We have a Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild winters. Take a seat, have a cup of tea and enjoy the Delta breeze.

A little bit about me: I have a great love for plants. I also love craft projects, from sewing to knitting. I hope to include a little bit about me in this blog. Thanks for visiting!

cropped-kite_flyingday.jpg

One of these spring days I will go fly a kite.

Note:  Unless noted, most photos from this blog are taken on the fly with my Nokia Lumia 521 Windows Phone or Samsung Galaxy Tab 3.