Secret Santa

Phase 3 of orchard project

Discussion in 'Hobbies and Interests' started by Firewood Bandit, Jun 10, 2017.

  1. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Hope this doesn't bore you guys, but the results have been pretty spectacular. This started with clearing out the 26 year old standard apple trees and removing stumps with an excavator. A 8' deer proof fence was erected and apple trees on Emla #7 & 111 were planted 5 years ago. The fence was redone from high tensile to knotted wire 8' deer fencing. Starting last year 251 were planted on the Tall Spindle system on trellises of high tensile wire, much like grape growers use.

    105 of 251 of last years trees are now over the 9' wire.

    This year 270 more were put in, and I have them tied to conduit and attached to the trellis. Today I got drip irrigation done for half. Tomorrow will finish and then hook up the fertilizer injector and feed them.

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    These small ones are 6 weeks old:

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  2. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    A few of the 5 year old trees:

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    This was where the mature 25 year old trees were torn out and the area prepped and reseeded.

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  3. bocefus78

    bocefus78

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    Always love seeing your pics bandit!
     
  4. Eric VW

    Eric VW Moderator

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    I agree wholeheartedly :thumbs:

    Whether it's orchard or firewood pics- always a delight!

    You sure do have a green thumb Firewood Bandit :yes: (that smiley thumb needs to be green for the gardening/growing season!):)
     
  5. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    I don't think it's a green thumb Eric, it's more of a product of having an applicator's license and commercial landscaping account where I can buy chemicals wholesale. My yard look OK, but then it's had 600# of fertilizer so far this year and is do for another shot hear in a couple weeks.

    I just realized I made a mistake,:emb: that picture of the grass is my neighbors and is the "After picture"


    Before: This was a world class stand of creeping Charlie, and clover. The 4th pic is about 6 weeks later.

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    After:

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    This is my yard that has had over 100 truck loads driven over it a year:

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  6. Minnesota Marty

    Minnesota Marty

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    Firewood Bandit,
    You will never bore me with your photos and explanation of your orchard. Maybe I will take a drive down to LaCrosse this late summer/ early fall to see your trees, provided your invitation from last year still stands. I would love to have a tour. I'll PM you closer to fall.

    Marty
     
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  7. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Be glad to have you Marty. Providing you can tolerate being bored to tears with all kinds of things you don't need to know about apples. (BTW, every time I go see the boys at CPS where I buy chemicals I become painfully aware of how much I don't know.)
     
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  8. moresnow

    moresnow

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    Firewood Bandit you have a very impressive program going there. Do you relocate these trees ? They look awful close to leave for long? Nice organized wood piles as well.
     
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  9. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    No this is the new way of growing apples on what is called the Tall Spindle system utilizing a trellis. The plan calls for trees on very dwarfing rootstock, Bud #9 in this case. Trees are 36" apart and rows are 12'. This is the wave of the future and what orchards are going to for several reasons.
    1. Much better production, in the neighborhood of 1,000 bushel/acre.
    2. Easier to pick
    3. Easier to prune
    4. Easier to train people to do #2 & #3.
     
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  10. Armbru84

    Armbru84

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    Looks good! I am surrounded by apple orchards so your pics look very familiar to me :cool: I have learned lots about the process since moving into my house. Unfortunately a lot of apples were lost due to a late frost this year.
     
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  11. moresnow

    moresnow

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    Gulp! How very little I knew of this orchard system:tears: Interesting. Please keep updating your progress. Might have to motorbike over from my trout trailer someday and have a peek. I think you are within a hour or so from my little getaway spot.......
     
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  12. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Here if you really want to learn more than you possibly have a desire for, this lecture in the orchard by Dr. Terence Robinson is excellent:

     
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  13. bogieb

    bogieb

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    That is what I was thinking - but then again I'm no agriculturist either.

    Now that you mention it, I have seen some of the dwarf apples trellised at my local Agway. I just thought it was something different to peak interest from small lot home owners. But see, you taught me something.

    Your pictures and explanations are great!
     
  14. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Here is more things You will never need to know:

    -All apple trees now days are grafted, the rootstock determines size and growing characteristics.
    -Since orchards are going to this high density system there is a shortage across the nation of rootstock.
    -In the past a large order for a nursery was 5,000 trees. Now with high density systems, it is not uncommon for an single orchard to order 100,000 trees at a time.
    -The nursery I deal with has aprox. 45 varieties of apples and each one has about 10 different rootstocks they graft onto. Because of this, trees are ordered two years ahead of time on a custom order basis rather than on speculation like they did in the old days and carried inventory.
     
  15. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Well they have grown a lot in 3 weeks since I made this update.

    On last count 233 out of 27 are now over the 9' wire. Some are pushing 11' tall and need to be tied down.

    These pics were taken on top of a ladder at the 9' wire.

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    These have been tied down:

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    Note growth to the 9' wire. These trees are now 15 months old.

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  16. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter

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    How long till they produce fruit?
     
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  17. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Depends on how much I let them. As a rule:

    1/2" 5/8ths inch feathered stock, those having defined branches will be cropped at 10 -15 apples per tree the year after planting.
    3/8" inch whips will be allowed to have a few

    The 3/8ths inch whips this year a few have apples on them but generally remove all. I let a couple go because I want to see what the new stain of Firestorm Honeycrisp look like.

    Chemical thinners are used to remove the apples.
     
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  18. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Here Dave, thinking of you and the hounds when I took this Pic. I was on the ladder and Kade was below.

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  19. DaveGunter

    DaveGunter

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    German Shorthaired Pointer? I'm thinking I might get a field dog next, I'm told they tend to stay a little closer. Had a Brittany when I was a kid, born on the 4th of July 1976, named her Liberty, great dog, gun shy as hell though.
     
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  20. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Well I often get caught up in the actual growth of the trees and everyone is interested in how quick they produce apples. The following pics are from trees that 15 months old.
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