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Discussion Starter #1
If you were going to start a small orchard where would you look to get the trees from? I don't plan on paying the big box stores $30 each for 50 trees.

USDA provides small twigs for 'reforestation' efforts, but they're only basic or decorative trees, not crop trees.
 

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not quins. but sextuplets
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never too old to learn
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I’m planning the same and I’m going to try the local nursery first. I’ve bought offline, but wasn’t very successful (but may try again). A reputable local seller will be able to recommend varieties and types based on local conditions. Your local cooperative extension should also have good input.

I look forward to your own observations!
 

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I bought my hundreds of Pines thru my county soil & water conservation group, they had a variety of trees I just wanted pines. back when I bought them it was about $25 for 100 trees, they were only about as big as a pencil. this was back in 1990-92 Here is this summers picture....
 

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Yup, I also bought seedings from the DNR?. They sell them every spring. Wide variety of trees, don't know about fruit trees though.
Here it's a 500 tree minimum order in batches of usually 100.

Check with your state for their program.

Dan
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Around here, USDA gives them away in packs of 10, but they're twigs and I haven't had good luck with them growing. They can take 10 years to amount to anything. But again, they're shade or ornamental, not crop trees. I'm looking for apple or peach to be able to pick and sell something within five years or so which means they need to be far more mature. I have a couple of nurseries around and I can check with the Co-op Extension office.
 

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I just let weeds grow around them to hide them. THen hope for the best.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
 

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never too old to learn
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What do you guys do to keep deer from eating the seedlings? They eat everything up here.
We have deer through here every day as well. Depending on the size of the trees we purchase, I plan on using galvanized netting/fencing cylinders to start the trees, but I’m not planting all that many.
 

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In the last 3 years I redid my orchard planting 700 trees. If you are interested PM me and I'll send you some links on the project over 4 years.

Adams County Nursery in Pennyslvania is a good vendor, but they really don't want the business if you are ordering under 100 trees. Keep in mind orders are 2 years out. You need to know what rootstock you and and of course variety too. Prices with shipping are $6.50 to $9.75 per tree depending on size and royalty.

https://www.acnursery.com/fruit-trees
 

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Discussion Starter #11
^^ My local Lowes is clearing out their stock already, so I picked up a dozen different trees, two-three of each variety for about $14 each. That will tell me enough about what's involved to get started for a year or so. No way I have room right now for 100 or more, but I'm looking at another 4 acres next to me. Not sure of the guy wants to sell or not though.
 

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Improper planning in an orchard is a huge mistake. One must first determine if you want to just "have some apples" and hope for the best or do you want to have good food grade apples.

The first decision is are they going to be cared for, i.e. sprayed on an very regular basis. Thus you have two decisions:
1. Regular varieties that require intensive management
2. Scab free varieties that require virtually no care

The next question is what size do you want the trees to be. If you bought these at Lowe's chances are you can't answer the question as to what rootstock these are grafted on nor can I.

Modern techniques are utilize high density planting systems that populate at 1,200 trees/acre. Thus a lot of trees can be planted in a small area. The new system is labor intensive to establish, but much easier and efficient in the long run.

Here, watch this, it explains a lot.

 

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Discussion Starter #13
#2, no/low maintenance would be great.

Keep in mind this is a hobby/passtime kind of thing with the intent to produce enough food crop to sell some to the neighbors and the local food bank. I don't intend to be a large producer.

I don't like using chemicals on food products, but I won't be anywhere near 'organic' either. Neighbor says I can have all the goat manure I can scoop for fertilizer.

I don't/won't have the bucks for a 10' tall Buck fence, but I may be able to run a wire of three tied to a solar charger.
 

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never too old to learn
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Great video and information, c5rulz. I’m thinking along the lines of Obscured-by-Clouds as far as quantities (if I do any of this).

The first decision is are they going to be cared for, i.e. sprayed on an very regular basis. Thus you have two decisions:
1. Regular varieties that require intensive management
2. Scab free varieties that require virtually no care


I can attest to making a poor decision when I planted a few trees years back. I did not spray: they all succumbed to one disease, infestation, or another. I thought it would be fun to grow apricots, apples, and peaches... none survived.

There is a local pick-your-own orchard nearby that uses the ‘new’ method of 3’ oc by 12’ rows: I thought it looked pretty odd when we went, but I see the logic now. I always imagine of the type of orchard Donald Duck grew in Apple Core (minus the chipmunks).
 

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Great video and information, c5rulz. I’m thinking along the lines of Obscured-by-Clouds as far as quantities (if I do any of this).

The first decision is are they going to be cared for, i.e. sprayed on an very regular basis. Thus you have two decisions:
1. Regular varieties that require intensive management
2. Scab free varieties that require virtually no care


I can attest to making a poor decision when I planted a few trees years back. I did not spray: they all succumbed to one disease, infestation, or another. I thought it would be fun to grow apricots, apples, and peaches... none survived.

There is a local pick-your-own orchard nearby that uses the ‘new’ method of 3’ oc by 12’ rows: I thought it looked pretty odd when we went, but I see the logic now. I always imagine of the type of orchard Donald Duck grew in Apple Core (minus the chipmunks).

Guys it is now like I was bestowed with wisdom on apple growing. I've made all the mistakes already. I started with apples in 1991 and I too started with an "end of the season deal" at a big box store. I talked to the Mgr. when they had 50% off. Told him I would take all the apple trees with a 75% discount. I got them and put them in. One of the varieties, I never used a single Yellow Delicious as they were a crap soft apple. The trees got HUGE and were very difficult to prune and it took 2 -2.5 hours per tree in the Spring. Fell off a 10' orchard ladder when the frost was going out of the ground. Eventually pulled them out with an excavator and did it right.

Growing high quality apples is a matter of scale, it is not harder to take care of a bunch compared to a few.

This morning by 11am I have orders for 6 bushels of Cortland and 2 of Honeycrisp. So I have to get to walking the dogs.

For most people and trust me on this, BUY SCAB FREE TREES THAT REQUIRE LITTLE MAINTENANCE AND PLAN BEFORE YOU JUST START BUYING TREES.

If you don't, 15 years from now you will wonder how you are going to deal with an apple tree that is 30' tall that you can't prune, pick or spray due to the size. The apples won't color due to shade and you will wonder "what went wrong". Been there done that guys.
 

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Discussion Starter #16 (Edited)
Adams County Nursery in Pennyslvania is a good vendor, but they really don't want the business if you are ordering under 100 trees. Keep in mind orders are 2 years out. You need to know what rootstock you and and of course variety too. Prices with shipping are $6.50 to $9.75 per tree depending on size and royalty.
So, I go there and they won't show you anything at all unless you tell them how special you are or aren't. Then once you get in, you can't see any prices. Everything I try is 'out of stock'. When I try to see 'available trees', they won't show you anything without logging in to an account. Elitism much?

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So just after I posted that, I found a 'pricing schedule' page with things like this:

Prices listed below are base prices and do not include royalties, tax or freight and packaging costs.

Add $1.70 for Gisela® Rootstock Royalty.
Premium Varieties

These varieties are protected by U.S. Patents and/or Trademarks. We are required under various license agreements to collect and remit royalty fees to Patent and Trademark owners.

Premium per tree


And that's on top of base prices of $15-20 per tree with a 25 tree minimum, but I still don't know which ones are available.
 

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So, I go there and they won't show you anything at all unless you tell them how special you are or aren't. Then once you get in, you can't see any prices. Everything I try is 'out of stock'. When I try to see 'available trees', they won't show you anything without logging in to an account. Elitism much?

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So just after I posted that, I found a 'pricing schedule' page with things like this:

Prices listed below are base prices and do not include royalties, tax or freight and packaging costs.

Add $1.70 for Gisela® Rootstock Royalty.
Premium Varieties

These varieties are protected by U.S. Patents and/or Trademarks. We are required under various license agreements to collect and remit royalty fees to Patent and Trademark owners.

Premium per tree


And that's on top of base prices of $15-20 per tree with a 25 tree minimum, but I still don't know which ones are available.

As I said. Orders for trees are generally at least a year and sometimes 2 years out. They do not stock the trees because inventory would be huge. There are roughly 45 varieties of apples and each one can be grown on about a dozen different rootstocks. The amount of inventory they would need to keep would be staggering. So you order trees and they grow them and you get them when they are ready. Adams county is excellent and have professional people who give excellent advice. They are not for someone wanting to throw a few trees in the ground. You wanted inexpensive trees and they can deliver on that but one needs to order at least 100 at a time.

Heck a royalty fee one time is no big deal. I was checking into "club variety" apples and they require joining a grower's association with yearly dues, and royalty on every bushel forever!

I spent some time today with a local orchard owner who is now creating new strains of apples. He has developed "Pazzazz and River bell". I am going out Friday with him as he evaluates new strains he has started.
Honeybear is hoping to shake up the apple scene with Pazazz - StarTribune.com

I toured this orchard a couple years ago:

 

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Thoughts on chopped leaves for mulch over the Winter? I'll have a lot of leaves I could chop and move or just let blow away.
Definitely would not use leaves. Leaf litter is a good place for voles and meadow mice to Winter. They will chomp on the trunks and girdle the trees. I have used wood chips for mulch and it harbored voles. I treat this time of year with zinc phoside to kill them and keep them at bay. A teaspoon goes down any hole I see and have about a dozen bait stations in the orchards. They are 18" sections of drain tile with the bait inside. Big animals can't get into it and it keeps it dry.

I have a 12" piece of drain tile around every tree to keep the rabbits away too. Still they do some damage.:tango_face_sad:
 

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Discussion Starter #20
Leaves are no big deal, they're cheap (free) and I have to do something with them, so I thought ....

Have already seen Bunny nibbles on the two unprotected Peach trees I moved from another part of the yard. Placed old plant pots around those today -- the ones plants come in. Cut them up one side, placed around the base, then taped them along the slit. The fruit trees I bought had printed signs around the bottom -- some kind of tyvek or other plastic. I left those for now and no bunny nibbles there. I'll add some 4" corrugated drain pipe slit down one side later when I get a chance.
 
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