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trouble getting trees established

Posted by miscindy 5 SW MI (My Page) on
Sun, Dec 30, 12 at 13:21

I am in sw Michigan. Three years ago I planted a couple apple trees and a peach tree that I bought at local stores. They got chomped down on during the winter by the deer, but new branches grew up from the bottom so I decided to leave them to see if they would keep growing. Each summer the leaves turn brown and fall off. I haven't had any blossoms yet. One of the apple trees died and when I dug it out the ground was filled with ants there. Not sure what that was about.

I know you are supposed to spray the trees a few times a year but I don't know when or what to spray with. I sprayed a few times with Neem oil when the leaves started to turn brown but it didn't seem to help.

I welcome your suggestions to improve these trees for next year! I did plant a new apple tree last summer that did seem to stay alive so that should be in good shape come spring.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: trouble getting trees established

Cindy, if you're telling us that the trees are growing up from the soil, then the deer have completely destroyed the grafted cultivar, and all you have growing is rootstock. Look to see how far down the trees were damaged. If the deer damaged the trunk all the way past the graft union, you no longer have the cultivar, but just the rootstock, and it's time to replace the trees (or re-graft if you know how). You'll need to protect your young trees from deer damage, as they can, indeed, damage your young trees so badly, that you've lost the grafted cultivar.

Patty S.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

  • Posted by ericwi Dane County WI (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 31, 12 at 14:41

I grow blueberries in our yard, here in Madison, WI, and the rabbits do damage to our shrubs over the winter, when there is not much else for them to eat. I protect the shrubs with Plantskydd spray, a foul smelling liquid made from pig blood. Also, I get a bag of human hair from the local barber, and this material is put into small cloth bags and hung from the branches. He says that human hair keeps the rabbits off his shrubs over the winter, so I am giving this method a try. Also, I scatter dog poop near the shrubs, in the fall. I don't know if that helps, or not. When the snow is deep, and I see rabbit tracks in the yard, I will put out a small amount of cracked corn, as far from the shrubs as I can get, to encourage the rabbits to eat something else. I'm not sure if this is a good idea-I could end up attracting more rabbits to the yard, so I only do this for a very limited time.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

  • Posted by campv Arizona (My Page) on
    Mon, Dec 31, 12 at 17:26

In Idaho I used 5' wide chicken wire/stakes around the new fruit trees. Plus every night just before bed my husband would go out and relieve himself in circle around the trees and the deer never bothered them again and it seemed to solve the problem.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

5' or 6' wide concrete reinforcing grid makes a good, cheap fence material. Not the best looking perhaps, but it is rigid enough to be self supporting without stakes/posts. And has worked well for me, as long as you keep the wire grid 6"-1' outside the tree branches.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

MsCindy,
Before buying potted trees you should check out Grandpa's orchard.com They're in your neck of the woods (coloma)and allow pick ups if you don't want to pay delivery. I've seen some of their stuff and it's nice. Also get some spirally tree trunk protectors to keep the rabbits/sun away. Get your trees bare root and plant them right away with the existing soil and water weekly/biweekly when hot. Don't fertilize 1st year except with kelp and mulch with woodchips. Make sure to buy disease resistant varieties like the ones from PRI, etc.
http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/historyPRI.pdf
Keep searching the web and info at other nurseries like Cummins,Acn, as they have good advice and instructions too.
Good luck,
noogy


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RE: trouble getting trees established

Thanks for the advice so far. So assuming my current trees survive the winter, what steps do I take in the spring? When to fertilize and with what? When to spray and with what? I try to be all natural, but maybe that is not the easiest route with fruit trees.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

miscindy - go back and check what hoosierquilt said. Even if the trees survive the winter, chances are that what you have is no longer the variety you bought and you'll need to start again. You need to look at them carefully and assess where the new growth came from. Above or below the graft union? If you don't really understand what that means Google some images to help you decide.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

  • Posted by campv Arizona (My Page) on
    Wed, Jan 2, 13 at 18:18

Cindy: You may need to pull back some snow to see where that new growth was from last year. You also need to do this pretty soon. Flora and Hooser are right if that growth is not coming from the right spot you will have wasted your time and will have to plant some new trees. We all hate to loose trees but in your case, least you did not have them for many years. If it turns out that they got growth above the graft then you are in luck. First thing is to protect them and your apple from any more deer damage and you must do something about that ASAP. Get back to all of us with the growth info and we can help you proceed from there. Con


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RE: trouble getting trees established

The apple trees have growth above the graft for sure. One has not been damaged. The peach tree I will need to check on when I get back into town next week.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

It appears the trees all have growth above the graft. We still have snow here but I am anticipating spring! My husband also wants me to get more fruit trees this spring and I want to make sure I do things correctly.

My book says to use dormant spray when the tips of the buds are swelling but before they turn green. What is dormant spray? I have neem oil. Is that correct?

Then the book goes on to mention bud spray, pink spray, petal fall spray and summer sprays.

What spray do I buy? Are those all different products or the same product ? What product brands or ingredients do you recommend? It seems complicated!


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RE: trouble getting trees established

It appears the trees all have growth above the graft. We still have snow here but I am anticipating spring! My husband also wants me to get more fruit trees this spring and I want to make sure I do things correctly.

My book says to use dormant spray when the tips of the buds are swelling but before they turn green. What is dormant spray? I have neem oil. Is that correct?

Then the book goes on to mention bud spray, pink spray, petal fall spray and summer sprays.

What spray do I buy? Are those all different products or the same product ? What product brands or ingredients do you recommend? It seems complicated!


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RE: trouble getting trees established

Miscindy,

In addition to many suggestions above, I suggest you read as many previous posts relevant to what you wan to know. Many questions were already asked and answered on this forum. Simply google topics you want to know such as "gardenweb forums, disease resistant apple trees, "gardenweb forums, peach tree problems", etc.

I've found growing apple is a lot easier than peach. There are a number of disease resistant apple varieties that people on this forum like such William's Pride, Pristine, Liberty, Enterprise. Can't say the same thing with peach. To me, Asian pears are also easy. It bears fruit in 3-4 yrs, a lot faster than European pears.

As a beginner, you may want to start with easier-to- manage fruit tree like apple (or pear) so you won't be discouraged. There is a lot to learn. As long as you are willing to learn and be patient, you'll be successful.

People here usally recommend buying bare root trees from reputable on-line nurseries. (google old posts, you'll find lots of them). When you start with planting disease resistant fruit tree varieties suitable for your zone and climate, you win half the battle already.

Good luck.


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RE: trouble getting trees established

Cindy go to the Stark Brothers Nursery webside (google it). Go to say Flamin' Fury peach tree. Look for the "manual" for the plant, there you will see what products you can use, and for what the problem is. Look under "spraying" If leaves are curling and falling off, but growing back, you have leaf curl. Use Sulfur spray. See manual for when to spray. If you want more trees I agree try Grandpa's. Stark Brothers sends stuff out way early unless you tell them when you want delivery, very frustrating to say the least. Try the Flamin Fury peach trees. Developed right here in MI! (Drew in Sterling Heights)


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