Thursday, April 10, 2008

Three More Fruit Trees Makes it a Dozen

Work and life may be pretty crazy lately, but this week has been a very hopeful one for me. Last weekend I convinced my husband to buy me three more fruit trees. I have been so delighted by my multi-graft espalier trees, that last year I decided to put in another post, and prepare for a third one. Here is my espalier apple (three varieties) (Click any photo for a larger image - but please don't look too carefully at my weeds ;-) ):
Multigraft espalier apple tree
...and my espalier asian pear (three varieties):
Multigraft espalier asian pear tree
..and my latest, a multigraft (3 varieties) European pear tree (Rescue pear, Red Bartlett, and Anjou):
Multigraft espalier pear tree
I searched all around town this year, and couldn't find any garden centres which carried the pear in horizontal espalier form. Most of them carried a multigraft pear, but in the basic tree form. I ended up finding it at Triple Tree Nurseryland in Maple Ridge, BC, where my other espaliers came from also. Before we went, I prepared my husband that I was entertaining the thought of up to 3 more other fruit trees, and showed him the spots where we could plant them.

I already knew that I wanted a Morello sour cherry, and a Frost peach. For the peach, I don't have any expectation about getting any fruit, but I have heard that the blossoms rival those of a flowering cherry, so it would be worth it even for the blossoms. The fun part was loading the three trees into the minivan, along with 4 bags of 30L soil, and 2 bags of manure.

Happily, the weather, which has been schizophrenically alternating between sunny & pouring rain & hail, co-operated a couple of nights this week, for my husband to dig in the espalier pear, and prepare the hole for the Morello cherry (at the center of the photo. See the Frost peach waiting patiently to the right):
Morello cherry waiting for soil, and Frost peach nearby
He did such a thorough job of preparing for the espalier pear, removing 2 full wheelbarrows of clay, that we used up 4 of the 6 bags already, and it was still a bit low. So we will need to make an outing to get more soil. He removed 4 wheelbarrows of soil for the Morello cherry. Under the couple of inches of topsoil which the landscapers laid down for the lawn, it is hard clay and rocks. He used a combination of pick axe and shovel to dig it out.

In these first few years, I can really see the fruit trees taking form, and getting stronger. My husband remarked about our italian plum (which has yet to set any fruit), "Where did that tree come from?". When we got it, it was so skinny, it was hardly noticeable. I used to laugh when I pointed to the back yard, telling people "We have 9 fruit trees up there, you just can't see them yet". Wait and see. Patience and pre-planning is the key to growing fruit trees.

I am so happy now. I have 12 fruit trees, with 18 varieties of fruit. Not counting the blueberries, raspberries, strawberries, and various other edibles. I can hardly wait. Maybe the birds will even leave a bit for us this year.

1 comment:

Owin & Irena said...

your trees look most amazing. congratulations on a job well done. good luck with the birds.

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