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Well the wife says I probably have enough trees. Planted 140 DAS #10, Premier Honeycrisp last week and that brings the total up to around 700. I have room for 300 more if I make a few changes and put in more rows inside the deer fencing.

The trees are blooming right now and I have bees in the orchard. My IPM, (Integrated Pest Management) system has been drastically stepped to be more preventive rather than reactionary. The net result is this time of year depending on temp and rain conditions sprays may be every 4 days. The issues that develop later in the Summer are caused by events happening now.









Crabs are used for pollinators as they have a lot more and longer bloom stage.













 

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You've done a lot of work there. A lot of impressive work. It's been fun and informative to watch the process. My compliments!
 

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You've done a lot of work there. A lot of impressive work. It's been fun and informative to watch the process. My compliments!
Thanks for the kind words.

It is peaceful past time once I get up and start working. Once the trees are trellised, attached to the stake, branches bent, drip irrigation installed, periodic nutrients added to drip irrigation, rows grass and weeds killed and then mulched with bark and spraying every 4- 14 days there isn't much to do.:tango_face_wink:

Keeps me busy and if I didn't have to play 18 holes of golf everyday, I'd have more time.
 

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:ditto: I think the picture (3rd from bottom) is my favorite primarily it wraps up all of the years that you've put into this in one shot. The new trees, the great fencing and of course all the work in erection the wires and poles that keep them all as straight as soldiers on parade. As Ellis said "great work." Thanks for bringing us along on the journey. At times, after reading one of your posts, I was ready to go out and start my own mini-orchard. Well, almost. There were just a couple of things stopping me. Our entire five acres sits atop ledge rock (we had to dynamite for the basement) so any hole is one part dirt to eight parts of rock, (with a lot of sledge and jack hammer work) and the one thing that the county ag agent told me some 50 yrs ago. "You're better of growing what other in the area don't grow, because for some stuff, like apples, it's easier to buy them (we're surrounded buy many orchards withing a ten mile radius) that do all the spraying, pruning and general care that it takes to raise them." My hat 's off to you for the super job you have done to bring this orchard to fruition.
MikeC
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Mike,:tango_face_smile:

Growing high quality apples is really a matter of scale and trying do it in small #'s would make it quite impractical. Even with the # I have, many of the chemicals are still multi year supplies when bought in the smallest container available. This may be hard to believe, but I am using only slightly more chemicals in this set of 700 trees that are 9' tall than I did spraying 28 standard trees that 30' tall. The ease of picking, pruning, and general care is so much easier than the old large trees. Plus as I get older, tall ladders don't interest me much anymore.
 

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Like Ellis & Mike have said....Good work. Make sure you post some pics when the fruit starts to come in. I drive by Soon's Orchard almost every day. Love seeing the trees in bloom & later loaded with fruit.
I also have thought about some fruit trees. Right now I just planted some blackberries & blue berries for the Mrs. She wants to get some raspberries too. Even though I don't like them, I might get some. I have better ground than Mike for being only about 10 miles apart. More dirt than rock, but still clay soil and would need supplements. Thankfully I got a horse farm right across the street.
 

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Like Ellis & Mike have said....Good work. Make sure you post some pics when the fruit starts to come in. I drive by Soon's Orchard almost every day. Love seeing the trees in bloom & later loaded with fruit.
I also have thought about some fruit trees. Right now I just planted some blackberries & blue berries for the Mrs. She wants to get some raspberries too. Even though I don't like them, I might get some. I have better ground than Mike for being only about 10 miles apart. More dirt than rock, but still clay soil and would need supplements. Thankfully I got a horse farm right across the street.
Here are a few pics from last summer on two year trees. These had hail damage though.:tango_face_sad:







 

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Here are a few pics from last summer on two year trees. These had hail damage though.:tango_face_sad:
They still look good and probably tasted good too!:congrats:
 

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Hmmmmmmmmm............ I don't know what happened to the pics.:tango_face_sad:

Here are few from the other day. The deer wait outside the fence when I work on the trees looking for a handout.:tango_face_wink:
 

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Hmmmmmmmmm............ I don't know what happened to the pics...

And I thought it was my browser!

Lovely orchard; great looking apples! I like that fence, too. We have bountiful deer here, and I want to put in a (very) few trees here and am looking for economic solutions to keep the critters at bay.
 

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Hmmmmmmmmm............ I don't know what happened to the pics...

And I thought it was my browser!

Lovely orchard; great looking apples! I like that fence, too. We have bountiful deer here, and I want to put in a (very) few trees here and am looking for economic solutions to keep the critters at bay.

If one is truly serious about keeping deer OUT, the only real practical solution that will work is 8' knotted wire high tensile fencing. I tried smooth 12.5 gauge high tensile wire at 9" spacing and it didn't slow the deer down.:tango_face_sad:
 

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If one is truly serious about keeping deer OUT, the only real practical solution that will work is 8' knotted wire high tensile fencing. I tried smooth 12.5 gauge high tensile wire at 9" spacing and it didn't slow the deer down.:tango_face_sad:
Maybe not this brand, but this style? I like the 20’ pole spacing suggestion vs standard 8’.
 

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Man, they look luscious! Great work and I can see why the deer are hanging around!
 

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Maybe not this brand, but this style? I like the 20’ pole spacing suggestion vs standard 8’.

That is exactly the same type of wire I have, good stuff. I have spent the last 5 years being a "rancher", building fences. The trellis construction uses the same techniques as putting in good strong corner posts.
 

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Man, they look luscious! Great work and I can see why the deer are hanging around!
In the morning, the one doe and her two fawns stand about 50' from the house and stare in the window until my wife rewards them. There are generally two doe and 5 fawns that are real regulars.
 

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I won't be doing 700, or probably not even 1/7th of that. Maybe 20 or 30 at the most. Will I get more fruit than the wild things? Time will tell.

How long from initial planting of store bought trees (6' or so) until first fruit? Tags say 4-5 years.
 

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I won't be doing 700, or probably not even 1/7th of that. Maybe 20 or 30 at the most. Will I get more fruit than the wild things? Time will tell.
Dad used to tell Mom that's why he needed to plant such a big garden. Half the crop for us and half the crop for the woodchucks, rabbits and other assorted varmints that he couldn't keep out or kill.:fing20:
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I won't be doing 700, or probably not even 1/7th of that. Maybe 20 or 30 at the most. Will I get more fruit than the wild things? Time will tell.

How long from initial planting of store bought trees (6' or so) until first fruit? Tags say 4-5 years.
Very dependent on the type of rootstock chosen. Very dwarfing rootstock will have commercial production in 3 years and apples the first year but it is advised to remove them. The 2nd leaf apples should be removed too to promote tree growth. Larger trees take 5 years and care taken to control vigor and branch angle. (Nothing good comes of branches going straight up)
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Dad used to tell Mom that's why he needed to plant such a big garden. Half the crop for us and half the crop for the woodchucks, rabbits and other assorted varmints that he couldn't keep out or kill.:fing20:

It's a matter of scale. Once established, the amount of time per year spent isn't that much more on a few than a whole lot if they are going to properly cared for with an IPM, (Integrated Pest Management system).
 

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Took a few pics of the orchard last night. Things are looking good, should have Zestar in 3 weeks. Put 6th cover spray on and did some pruning and tying.
 

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