Once You Go Lumberjack

Phase 4, final of orchard project, (Maybe?)

Discussion in 'Hobbies and Interests' started by Firewood Bandit, May 17, 2018.

  1. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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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.

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  2. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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

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  3. Midwinter

    Midwinter

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    Beautiful pics! It's apple growing country here in S NH too, though not as much as in the past. Mostly I love the cider in the fall, some of the farmstands have great stuff. And I've scavenged about a cord of apple wood.
     
  4. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    I just got done spraying a growth regulator on the trees to slow down overly vigorous growth. Yesterday the interior trellis posts were installed, they are like mini telephone poles.
     
  5. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Well thought I would update this thread to the present. It is now in the middle of apple picking time. Zestar, Premier Honeycrisp and Buck eye Gala are done. Started picking Linda Macs and conventional Honeycrisp on the M7 trees, haven't done much on the 3rd leaf trellissed trees. Here is what things look like now:

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  6. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    These are Royal Cortland:

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    Shot of what the rows look like, there are 7

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    These guys show up when I am doing work looking for handouts, If you look close you can see she is munching on an apple.

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  7. Midwinter

    Midwinter

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    Lovely pictures! My favorite is Honey crisp. Looks like a great crop this year, those apples are big!
     
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  8. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    When the trees are properly thinned, you get much fewer apples, but nicer large ones. I have 3 varieties of Honeycrisp, the conventional, Premier which is 2-3 weeks earlier and a new one called Firestorm which will finish with a redder color.
     
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  9. Midwinter

    Midwinter

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    I wish I could try all three! I'll have to look for apple tasting events at the orchards around here.
     
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  10. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Of the thee I mentioned, they are extremely similar tasting to one another other than maturity times and color.
     
  11. Woodwidow

    Woodwidow

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    Beautiful harvest. I assume they are mechanically picked?
     
  12. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Well I guess the only way you could call "mechanically picked" is if you think I am a Cyborg.:D

    Seriously, I pick with a picking bag the old fashioned way. A bushel is less than 10 min. it goes fast.

    Got to go, just got a call and a gal want a bushel in 30 min.
     
  13. bogieb

    bogieb

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    Those apples pics are mouth-watering!
     
  14. metalcuttr

    metalcuttr

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    Beautiful pictures and impressive management. I gather that you have your varieties set up with different ripening times so you are not slammed with the whole orchard being ready at the same time. I am familiar with Honey Crisps, Gala and Courtland and Macintosh. All are on my favorites list but I am not familiar with the first name like Premier, Buckeye, Royal and Linda. How do the differences manifest them selves other than ripening dates?
     
  15. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Mostly they are just improved varieties of the common strains that have been around a long time.

    Royal Cortland colors a darker red, same thing with the Buckeye Gala.

    The Premier are an early Honeycrisp. Firestorm Honeycrisp will be a deeper red. Linda Macs hang on the treee better, the olds Macs would drop like crazy when ripe.
     
  16. BigPapi

    BigPapi

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    Bandit, can you recommend a book or website a guy could read to get more productivity out of a few trees? We've got some mature apple trees in the back hill that we love harvesting from every other year, but if there's some simple work I could do to make them more productive, I'd like to give it a go.
     
  17. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    I am going to speculate when you say, "some mature trees on the backhill".

    Chances are these are either wild or abandoned trees and most likely very large. This causes a problem because when you prune to get to a manageable height, the tree's response will be go into overdrive producing water sprouts, i.e. shoots that go straight up and produce nothing. The severe heading the trees need is possible but you must keep on top of the vegetative growth. If you just pull the green suckers off when they appear in May when they appear it will be best before they turn woody.

    If the trees bears every other year it most likely has a bumper crop one year and nothing the next. The answer it to hand thin or chemically thin 80% of the apples off the tree. Then you will get nice big apples, not break branches due to excessive fruit, fruit spurs for next year will be set and make the tree just healthier.

    The web page I had bookmarked for info is no longer working. This video is excellent but is for tall spindle apples which is the wave of the future.

     
  18. Chaz

    Chaz

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    Great pics and advice Firewood Bandit

    I've thought of planting some apple trees myself, but know nothing on good pruning practices.

    Your orchard looks great.
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  19. moresnow

    moresnow

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    Looks like things are working out nicely! Very inspiring to say the least.
     
  20. Firewood Bandit

    Firewood Bandit

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    Just going to update this thread, I haven't added any new trees this year. The trees on the trellis were planted in 2016, 2017 & 2018 and are doing very well. The trees going into the 3rd and 4th leaf should produce quite well this year.

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