Sunday, April 29, 2012

Food forest gardens, fruit tree updates...

Well it is still early Spring here in Michigan and most of our perennials are either still asleep underground, or are just peeking through. The annual vegetables are barely  poking through or if they are tender are waiting inside to be planted out either in the form of seedlings or seeds still in the packets. We can't plant tenders until June here in Northern Michigan.

However I thought I'd update on a few of our trees:

First we LOST 3 pear trees and an apricot tree over the winter. Thankfully the tree companies are replacing the 3 pear trees and the apricot..we also lost an apple but that will not be replaced.

We had 6 pear trees, 3 in the back and 3 by the east deck. The ones by the east deck are still doing well so we will continue around the front of the house with the 3 replacements so they'll be in one continual pollination row so to speak. The 3 by the house are 2 Ayers (the two largest and closest to the greenhouse) and one 5 on 1 Pear tree, which would be the smallest one by the south corner of the deck. The 3 that are being replaced are Buerre Bosc, Red Anjou and Bartlett...they will go around the corner and out front of the house in the beds here, where they'll do better than where they were way out by the forest.

Here are two photos of the pear trees by the deck, the buds all froze in our wierd spring weather.
As you  can see I am redigging and replanting
the area below the pear trees here, the sod had grown OVER the edgeing that was there, so I'm digging out the sod and using it elsewhere..The  slope under the deck was planted with comfrey, checker mallow, daylillies, siberian iris and bearded iris, etc..before the deck was built last year..and I am also dividing the comfrey and putting more around the base of the pear trees. This is another project I'm working on besides the chainsaw, and everything else...sheesh..too busy. One nice thing when the pear trees do bear, we'll be able to stand on the porch and pick them as all the pear trees are dwarfs.

The apricot tree that was damaged arrived earlier and I planted it 20 feet away from the new apricot tree that I bought to pollinate it on the North bank of the pond..woods edge. The replacement was a Sugar Pearls Apricot (standard) and the pollinator is a Harlayne apricot (also standard)..they will frame one of the trail entries into the woods north of the pond.

In front of our house we have a Halls Hardy Almond and a Peach tree planted in the front border, this is where the 3 new dwarf Pears will also go, between the Peach and the Pears on the East side (the new ones will go around the corner to the south side) is a "not so good" photo of the Almond tree, the Peach is hiding behind it and the Pears will be farther behind.

There is also thornless blackberry, woodbine vine, clematis, climbing rose and honeysuckle vines that go over that arbor beyond the almond and peach in the summer but they aren't visible yet. the area round the almond has lychnis, oat grass, roses, tall phlox, carnations, siberian iris and other plants that grow at it's base in the summer. The Peach has siberian iris, roses, lychnis, coreopsis, and others that grow around it..also i put baby comfrey in by each this spring, but they aren't up yet. The Pear trees will have similar plantings around them as well as spireas, forsythias, burning bush, daffodills, more comfrey, etc. These are in my front border gardens.

On the other side of my front door is a Fruit coctail tree..or 5 varieties on one tree (nectarine, plum, peach, apricot, etc.)..The birds love to perch on this tree as it is by my front window so I keep bird feeders nearby. It bloomed for the first time this year but the blossoms froze (still 24 overnight here)..We had some peach trees planted here a few years ago and the grafts died..we removed the roots but obviously didn't get them all as we have gobs of baby peach trees coming up all along the length of this bed on the other side of the lilac bushes..going to let a few grow and see what comes of them before we decide which ones to cut down.
Leaves and buds mostly all froze off but it will sprout some new ones.Under these trees are a lot of roses, including climbing roses and clematis that go up a trellis by our front door. Also there are hibiscus, alberta spruce, lilac, siberia and bearded iris, daylillies, hostas, etc.

Here is a Crabapple that we successfully moved after our housefire, the only fruit tree to survive the is planted near some seedless grapes, privet, daylillies, hostas, siberian iris, roses, and other perennials.

The last photo here is a Mount royal Plum tree that we planted under the ash tree that died and we had will be hard to see in the photo but I'll point it out to is the tree with the white tree guard around the trunk ..

This is one of my food forest beds in the front yard where we cut down the HUGE ash tree. The stump is still in this area and it will be plugged with Shiitake mushroom spawn plugs, there is an arbor with 100 year old grapevines on it (they tend to wrap their way through everything). There is the Mount royal plum with the tree guard around it, it is a baby and hasn't bloomed yet. The other shrubs in this bed include 2 or 3 amur (ginella) Maples, Autumn Olive, honeysuckle bush, Elderberry bush (planted by the birds), a spruce tree, lilacs and roses. There are also lots of perennials in this bed including rudbeckia, siberian iris (you can see them starting to come up), honesty, forget me nots, daffodills, baptisia, daylillies, and many others.

We also have in the front yard 3 other beds, one of them has 2 baby Hickory nut trees among shrubs and perennials and the two others are a mix of evergreens and deciduous trees and perennials. There is a small bed along our fenceline too, and that includes grapes and black currants as well as evergreens, roses and lots of perennials.

Out back in our beds around the house and the drainfield, we have 2 sweet cherry trees (bing) and another one coming (windsor ) as a pollinator, and there is a Richland cherry coming back from a died above the graft root, as well as some small apple trees, lots of shrubs of all kinds and tons of perennials and vines including some seedless grapes over an arbor..and there is another huge apple tree at the far north end of these beds.

Farther north we have a 40 x 45 lattice enclosed bed with 2 sour cherry trees, an ornamental cherry tree, 2 Hansen bush cherries, 3 apple trees (one sweet 16, one Braeburn and one Snow (fameuse).)..This bed also includes rhubarb, asparagus, a Gala apple, kiwi and seedless grape vines over 2 arbors, climbing roses, jerusalem artichokes, onions, chives, walking onions, raspberries 7 kinds, blackberries, 2 sweet chestnut trees, juneberries, service berries, currants, gooseberries, honeyberries, wild american plums, 3 mulberry trees and 6 hazelnut trees..the stumps of the 3 pears that died (letting them grow back from the roots), and lots of other plants including my root crops growing from seeds...

Along the woods edge are the 3 walnuts 2 persimmons and 2 apricot trees and will also include the 2 heartnuts coming this spring yet as well as many others..

On the island are Crimson cherries, aronia, goji berries, and lots of perennials and others..

Still have a lot of plants coming and yet to be planted..a never ending job..but this is enough info for tonight.

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