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New Place-Fruit Tree Ideas

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Hello Everyone,
I just purchased a new home that has a ~0.5 acre field below it on a slight slope. I hope to make the field a clover plot with medium red clover, alsike clover and aberlasting clover by frost seeding earlier next spring (green textured rectangle). The former owner had planted pear trees (purple circles), but I don't know what kind (I found one pear 3 weeks ago that was still on the tree and about golf ball sized and dull green). I was thinking of adding some apple or crabapples (blue triangles), but want advice on easiest to grow/maintain. I am within driving distance of Blue Hill nursery in north Central PA and I believe in zone 5. Thanks in advance for your help. Any tips would certainly be appreciated, as I am very new to the fruit tree game.
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Tree Spud

5 year old buck +
I would contact Blue Hills and talk to them directly, very knowledgeable and will have the best advise as they will know your area.
 

Buckly

5 year old buck +
Number one, if you’re going to plant apples learn about caging and protecting them at planting. Otherwise the deer will eat your hard work and money. Enterprise, Liberty, Wolf River and Cortland along with Dolgo and Chestnut crab apoles. are all good for your area and fairly disease resistant and good for wildlife.
 

Chainsaw

5 year old buck +
My advice would be as mentioned, call Ryan at Blue Hill Wildlife Nursery. Go wide, have trees that drop early, mid and late even if you only hunt late. You are likely too late to get crab apples for this year but you may be able to find some of the named varieties mentioned in Buckley’s post. Be patient and go with the proven varieties and Ryan’s recommendations on crab apples. Apples take some time but the payback is well worth the wait.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
talked to Ryan late last week and was able to order a few liberty and a couple wild trees. I will wait to see if he has any crabapples left over in the spring. thanks for all the advice!
I'll try to keep you updated as the winter/spring rolls on.
 

blueKYstream

5 year old buck +
Can you talk with the owner and find out how attractive the trees he had was or when he saw deer most often? A short conversation could confirm what you think or save you several years for a mistake. For what it's worth, I'm building on 2-acres and plan to do something similar but haven't formulated a plan yet.
 

buckdeer1

5 year old buck +
Only plant CAR resistant apples and fire blight resistant pears
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Can you talk with the owner and find out how attractive the trees he had was or when he saw deer most often? A short conversation could confirm what you think or save you several years for a mistake. For what it's worth, I'm building on 2-acres and plan to do something similar but haven't formulated a plan yet.
The owner passed on about 4 years ago and his nephew, a good neighbor, has no idea what kind of pears they were...they often see deer near the property but not so often on it..I'm just trying to give them something different than the acres of ag (beans, alfalfa and corn) nearby and to feed them at different times (clover/rye for spring, fruit for early to mid fall)...
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
so far I have the following: 3 Liberty apples, 2 wild apples 3 chickasaw plums, 2 keiffer pears, 1, gallaway pear, 1 dolgo crabapple, 2 redfield crabapples.
Just wanting some opinions on placement. I tried to keep the same I believe each of the trees will be at least 15-20 feet apart aside from the plums, as I want them to form a screen.
Thanks!
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Just to clarify--this is my plan for spring 2021, these trees are not actually planted yet.
Thanks in advance for your input!
 
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Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
Yo Derek!!
My camp is in NC Pa. in the mountains. Zone 5/6 border - NW Lycoming Co. Where are you located??
Since 2013, I've planted 75 or so "newer" apple & crab trees (31 varieties) to go along with our older apple trees, and 3 pear trees. I've documented everything I've done. If I can be of any help - give me a shout. Always willing to help fellow habitat junkies.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Hello Bowsnbucks,
Thanks for reaching out! It’s great to connect with someone local. So my house is NW of Williamsport, out in the country but only about 5 miles from town, but where I hunt is our family’s farm just outside Hughesville. I am trying to get the fruit trees rolling at my house where I could maintain and keep an eye on everything with the goal of possibly adding some fruit trees at the farm sometime in the near future. I have made some orders so far but know very little even about what rootstocks or varieties would be best. I also got started late so a lot of places (Blue Hill and NWC) were sold out of a lot already.
Yo Derek!!
My camp is in NC Pa. in the mountains. Zone 5/6 border - NW Lycoming Co. Where are you located??
Since 2013, I've planted 75 or so "newer" apple & crab trees (31 varieties) to go along with our older apple trees, and 3 pear trees. I've documented everything I've done. If I can be of any help - give me a shout. Always willing to help fellow habitat junkies.
 

Chainsaw

5 year old buck +
Derek fruit trees planted near the road is not such a good thing. Use some non food item for road screening like Giganthus Miscanthus. Spruce works too but takes more space. Remember it takes five long years to grow a five year old buck. If the food is on the road edge a lot of people would see that buck during those five years and most likely he wouldn't live that long because of it.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Derek fruit trees planted near the road is not such a good thing. Use some non food item for road screening like Giganthus Miscanthus. Spruce works too but takes more space. Remember it takes five long years to grow a five year old buck. If the food is on the road edge a lot of people would see that buck during those five years and most likely he wouldn't live that long because of it.
Thanks for the advice! I was hoping to use the Chickasaw plums more as a screen than actual food. Here in PA we are allowed to spotlight as well and I wanted to prevent people from spotlighting 1-into my clover field and 2-towards my house. I also didn't want the plums to be too high, so as to block sunlight from hitting the field. I guess I am looking for a wide, short (ish) tree about 8-15 feet high and about that wide? Any ideas there? I like the idea of fruit trees up the driveway for the color and also to draw in deer from the nearby farm field (right side of the drive way across the fence row is a big ag field). Thanks again.
 

Chainsaw

5 year old buck +
Fruit trees along a hidden from the road driveway is a real pleasure. The colors of spring and fruiting season are a constant lift to say nothing of seeing deer mostly everyday. For your driveway you could consider moving the entrance to the left enough to enable a turn in the driveway that makes the long part of the driveway not visible from the road due to screening that you plant where the driveway entrance is located at this time. For screening again MG and spruce would be an option. The MG takes about three years here to fully screen an area for most months of the year while the spruce takes ten or twelve years here. As the spruce began to get higher than you want it then either start over or trim the leaders.

Another scenario might be to have the driveway meander thru the clover field/yard with clover, chicory and fruit trees growing on both sides of the driveway with maybe a small watering hole/pond in one of the low spots to the left if there is a low spot. Again the drive would need to come in at an angle so the driveway, plots and even the house could be adequately screened.

We don't have Chickasaw plum here and I guessed it would be a food source; is that an incorrect guess?
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
From what I have read, the Chickasaw plum does get fruit, but in June-August, when I don't think anyone would want to poach or even spotlight (I might be wrong on that but I've only been in the house a month). They also can form thickets (which would be ideal) but that has yet to be seen. I could see planting a spruce where maybe the right most of the plum would be and then moving the plum farther out in the field. I don't really want to move the driveway, but I think if I have a screen (could do spruce or even just some switchgrass?) from the bottom up maybe 30 yards that would have almost the whole field covered. From what I can tell this field has never really had any crops in it, so this is still kind of a shot in the dark to see if I can get it amended and growing (my soil test is getting mailed out today). Also the trees to the left of the purple dots on the map are evergreen (may be spruce?) and there is a bank there to protect from that portion of the road. thanks again for the input
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
Derek - I sent you a PM.
As for screens - if you want a permanent screen from a roadway, Norway spruce will do the job for decades. We've used then at our camp, planted in double, staggered rows. We now have a living green "wall." Norway spruce are the fastest growing spruce variety, and they make a SUPER wind-block. If you need a quick screen - some of the other guys above suggested MG ( Miscanthus Gigantus ) - which will grow quicker than spruce. I have no experience with MG, so I don't know how long it lasts/expands, etc. Having planted hundreds of Norway spruce trees - I know how they grow and perform. You get THICK evergreen needles that endure all year round. Limbs stay tight to the ground too - so no openings to see through - and great wind-break capabilities.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Derek - I sent you a PM.
As for screens - if you want a permanent screen from a roadway, Norway spruce will do the job for decades. We've used then at our camp, planted in double, staggered rows. We now have a living green "wall." Norway spruce are the fastest growing spruce variety, and they make a SUPER wind-block. If you need a quick screen - some of the other guys above suggested MG ( Miscanthus Gigantus ) - which will grow quicker than spruce. I have no experience with MG, so I don't know how long it lasts/expands, etc. Having planted hundreds of Norway spruce trees - I know how they grow and perform. You get THICK evergreen needles that endure all year round. Limbs stay tight to the ground too - so no openings to see through - and great wind-break capabilities.
Thanks for the PM--i am looking into spruce but also found austree hybrid willows? Don't know if anyone can speak to their use--but they said they grow very fast and as I will have clover in this field this year I may need something quicker with maybe the spruce planted in front towards the road? I am open to any and all suggestions but dont want the screen to get too tall as to shade out the field...is there a 10-15 ft tall dwarf spruce? i guess 20 ft would be ok too-I also have some Chickasaw plums on order but I dont know how fast they will make a screen?-thanks again
 

chickenlittle

5 year old buck +
Hi Derek, I hunt nearby. My Parent’s farm is between Clarkstown and Millville. If you ever get into grafting your own trees, I have lots of apples and pears that I can share.
 

Derek Reese 29

5 year old buck +
Hi Derek, I hunt nearby. My Parent’s farm is between Clarkstown and Millville. If you ever get into grafting your own trees, I have lots of apples and pears that I can share.
That would be great...I think I have to get some trees established first...then for sure sharing would be great!
 

Bowsnbucks

5 year old buck +
My parents had a Norway spruce in their yard. Dad & I kept it topped and after 25 years, it was only about 18 ft. tall - but very thick due to the topping of it. It forced more lower branches to grow at lower heights, so it was super thick. You couldn't see through it and it was about 15" dia. at the base when I cut it down after both parents were passed. FWIW.

I suppose it depends on how many trees you'd be planting as to how much topping you'd have to do.
 
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