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Old 08-04-2017, 05:17 PM
Location: Middle Tennessee
169,614 posts, read 73,664,919 times
Reputation: 126132


Originally Posted by Coldjensens View Post
I grew up on a property that was part of an ancient apple orchard. We had 22 apple trees. It was a lot of work and I do not particularly like to eat apples (except Pie and cider), but I loved growing them and selling or giving them away, making cider (or applejack), etc. I have always wanted fruit trees or nut trees. It seems that if you are going to have trees in your ard, may as well eat them. .

When we lived in California we had a great back yard orchard:

Loquat (got quite big and really produced a lot of yummy fruit).

Apricot. (Way better than store apricots. Neighbors begged for some).

Fruit Cocktail (Lemon, Tangello, Grapefruit and one more thing I do not recall). After a few years, the lemon took over all the rest and it was just a lemon tree. I think we only ever got one or two grapefruits and maybe a dozen each of the other two over several years before the lemon took over. Grafted mixed trees do not do that well, but they are cute.

Plumb This had red and yellow plumbs grafted together. The yellow plumbs were only one branch and remained so. Every new branch that grew was red (Purple) plumbs. The yellow plumbs were better, but both were quite good.

Ice Cream Bananas. Spread like mad. Bananas are more like a giant grass than a true tree. Similar to Cannas, except the banana trees can get 10 - 20 feet tall. The bananas would pull the tree over before they fully ripened, but they could still grow that way if we could keep the dogs from eating them. Once you harvest the bananas, you just cut the tree off and more grow from the root ball. We got hundreds of bananas starting with one tree. They spread from the roots and get pretty hard to control. We actually started with two trees, but when they were about six feet tall, the dog ate one of them. (Yes, he ate the whole tree - 220 pound dog.)

Now in Michigan, which is known for its non-citrus trees (cherries, Apples, peaches and pears) we have not been able to get anything to grow. At my dad's house 50 miles away, you put a twig in the ground in in a few years it is a big tree with loads of fruit. Everything grows like mad there. Not for us. If the deer don't eat it or rub their antlers on the tree and kill it, it just sits there for years, barely grows at all, and then dies. We just keep trying using different planting methods. Right now we have a pear tree that has added a few stems since its spring planting. It has a fence around it. Maybe it will survive a few years. I do not even like pears, buy at this point I will take anything that will grow (we got a pear because we bought a plum tree at tractor supply and it died right away, when we went back for a refund/'exchange, all they had was pear trees left.).

I will try another plum this fall and hopefully some Paw paws.
Investigate Finger Lakes, Contender, Intrepid, & Reliance peaches. My Finger Lakes & Reliance are growing like crazy from bare root planted this last spring. Zone 6B. Both of those varieties were developed for the far north. Michigan and upstate New York. As long as good drainage they should grow anywhere in Michigan.
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Old 08-06-2017, 12:44 PM
Location: Middle Tennessee
169,614 posts, read 73,664,919 times
Reputation: 126132
A might be solution to the deer problem. A motion activated sound system with howling coyotes or wolves??? So far the mass spraying of the entire orchard's trees with the garden between the rows of trees has kept them at bay. No more damage yet. They will be back. As more houses are completed on this street and behind me I hope that helps some.
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