Fruit trees I Have, Current Status, and Incoming
Until I get my greenhouse up and running, the citrus trees have to come indoors for winter, as this is Zone 5 B, and they aren’t winter hardy. Once the main greenhouse is established, they’ll overwinter in it. Alas, I lost my Thai/kefir lime over the winter, as someone forgot to water it often enough, but it was a fruitful bearing tree. (No, I have no idea who that could be…) Another is on order, and will arrive the last week of April. Note to self – when tucking trees indoors for the winter, place them where one will stumble over them!
Bearss Lime (Citrus x latifolia): Purchased 2017. I got one good lime last fall from it. Right now it has just provided a bumper crop of flowers, and some baby lime buds are forming. I’m pruning off anything dead, and will wait until the lime buds hit about an inch to decide what to prune from what it is potentially bearing. No way this 3 foot tree could support the body of potential fruit, so I will let the tree do some self-selecting, and continue the job for it at that point as needed. (PS, this is your regular supermarket lime.)
Pink/Red Grapefruit (Citrus x paradisi): Purchased 2018. This four foot tree is scraggly, and is now pruned of dead areas. What remains however has just gone into prolific flower. I will treat it as per the Bearss Lime, although since grapefruits grow bigger than limes when ripe, I’m only planning on allowing two fruits to come to, ahem, fruition this year.
Blood Orange (Citrus x sinensis): Purchased 2017. I’ve yet to see a flower on this thing since the day I got it. However, there’s a proliferation of shiny fresh green leaves on it. It stands about two feet tall, and fills out nicely. I’ll baby it along, since maybe it really wants to put in the green before considering flowering or fruiting.
Australian Finger Lime (Citrus australasica): Purchased 2017. I got a couple finger limes its first year here. It is getting a good pruning since parts of it seem hardy and other parts seem, well, dried out in not so good a way. I am DETERMINED to get some good finger limes this year!
Some day I hope to be raising up regular and Meyer lemons, and clementines. But let’s get these under the belt, first!
Apples (Malus pumila):
There are several ancient gnarly apple trees that bear sour yellow/green apples around the perimeter of this property. Before I built here, bears were spotted climbing them for the fruit. I’m not really up for personally pruning them back to health – it sounds rather thankless, expensive, and a cause for landscapers to push pesticides I’d prefer not to use or breathe in. Maybe later I’ll pinpoint a tree or two I can salvage for fruit. (I’m certainly not adverse to sour.)
My first apple mini-orchard was planted in 2017. Four trees, only one of which survived. My goal with the apples is to plant easily-picked mini-dwarfs. Most apples need neighboring apples of different varieties that bloom at the same time, in order to fruit. So although my survivor flowered in 2018, his/her efforts at fruiting were in vain.
A new mini orchard (this time five trees) arrives at the end of this month.
Trees scheduled to arrive for the mini-dwarf apple orchard of 2019:
- Red Belle de Boskoop
- William’s Pride
Just to note, my surviving apple sapling is also a William’s Pride. I do really like the flavor of the Honeycrisp, but am less familiar with the other varieties. (When you save money by getting several trees at once, as a mini-orchard, you don’t get to pick varieties. I’ll love them.)
Plums (Prunus sp.):
I absolutely LOVE plums. So, a plum mini-orchard of four trees also is due to arrive month’s end.
- Jam’s Session E Plum / Mariana
- Coe’s Golden Drop E Plum/ Mariana
- Imperial Epineuse E Plum / Juliana
- Early Laxon E Plum / Mariana
NO idea what these above will really be like!
Other Fruit Trees
The Fig (Ficus carica):
My original Chicago Hardy fig (2017) is spindly, but is starting to leaf out – one leaf right now. I had received three teensy sprigs of fig last year, but they failed to survive even before summer was over. Again, this is a plant I overwinter inside.
The Elderberry (Sambucus sp.):
I couldn’t plant it last year – it is doing well and leafing inside my house. It goes outside for good this spring. Part of the problem was location – until the raised beds are blocked in, deciding where to plant it would be complicated by the fact I want it near but not atop the bed area. Those purple berries, while nutritious, can be a pita if they fall, splat, and stain things you don’t want them staining.
The Persimmon (Diospyros sp.):
This weeping variety is in the front yard, and seems to be putting out leaf buds. I can’t wait! I can’t get a great photo alas. This variety doesn’t need another to fruit, and is supposedly winter-hardy.
The highbush blueberries are in the next post today – this particular post is getting long in the tooth.
This post is shared at the Homestead Blog Hop, as someday I really hope to be raising up a good portion of home grown fruit. Slow going, however!