Tuesday, May 06, 2014

I'm ready for my close-up

I took these pictures April 23, 2014, with the intention of posting, but then forgot to follow through. Warning - it's a LOT of close up pictures of tree buds, but I had just remembered my phone had a macro mode for the camera, and I wanted to capture/track what's going on with the fruit trees, especially after the brutally cold winter with lows in the negative teens and even days where the highs didn't get above zero if I remember right.

Anyhow, I'm going to post these pictures today, and then tomorrow I'll post follow ups from a week and a half later...

I believe this is one of the apple trees I'm trying to espalier...I don't recall which variety this was - Golden Delicious maybe?  I believe this'll be the first time it flowers!

One of the Asian pears - sooo many flower buds!

Check out the cherry tree - LOADED with flower buds...

...and with a different focus, lots of leaves unfurling as well!

This weeping cherry isn't going to produce any edible fruit.  Then again, compared to previous years, I would say it's not going to produce a ton of flowers either.

Another apple tree.  This is one of the FORMER espalier attempts that I'd gotten bareroot, and they just never took off in the location.  So I dug them up, put them in the former/failed blueberry bed, and replaced them with potted apple trees.  Now both locations of apple trees look like they're starting to do well - yay!

This is 4-in-1 cherry tree...no idea which variety these particular buds are supposed to be.

Asian pears again - this tree isn't as far along.

Close-up on the Japanese 2-in-1 plum tree buds.  In previous years, these trees were absolutely loaded with flowers, would even start to form fruit some years, but then frost always took them out.  I've never gotten a single fruit from my Japanese plums.

More Asian pear...

And again with the Asian pear - these trees have been my only really reliably producing fruit trees so far.  Look at all those flower buds in there!  It's gotten to where I have to do serious thinning of the fruits - usually getting rid of half or more just so the remaining fruit develop to a decent size.

One of the two European plums I put in last year.  European plums are more cold hardy - and I'm trying to remember if that's really because they bud later, and therefore are less likely to have their flowers/fruit damaged by coldsnaps in the spring.  So, yeah, these guys aren't nearly as far along as the Japanese plums, and that's a good thing!

Now the peach tree has bloomed too early each of the years since I planted it, and 2013 was the only year I got peaches (and damn were they good!).  This year I've been really worried that the tree died off over winter - it's really behind compared to the Japanese plums.  But look - there's signs of life now - yay!!!  Who knows how much of the tree was killed off and need to be pruned away - it'll be awhile before I make any decisions like that.

One of the first fruiting plants I put in after we moved in were two of the Stark Bros Beach Plum, hoping it would produce the same wild shrub-borne plums like I remember my grandmother harvesting to make jelly when we'd visit during hot Kansas summers.  Well, it turns out the deer really liked the shrubs, one more than the other, and they never really got any height to them. And because I'd mow around them, I was taking off lower branches.  One of the two shrubs finally bit the dust in 2013 - so I moved the remaining one (planting it in a better upright position), and planted a European plum tree to either side.  I don't know if it'll cross-pollinate with the tree plums...I hope so because it's looking like it's another heavy bloom year for this guy!  I've never bothered harvesting from either of the two shrubs before, but if I get anything off've it AND the tree plums, all can be combined into jelly!

Not a fruiting tree, but I still looove my redbuds!

And here's one of the Japanese plums again.  They really just don't have a ton of bloom buds on them this year...but maybe I'll get some fruit for a change.  If a tree produces too much fruit, you have to thin it out anyhow.

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