Saturday, April 19, 2014

Fruit trees from Stark Brothers

There WILL be peaches this year, good Lord willing.  The blossoms made it through the latest frost and freeze.  I have two peach trees out by the road:  This one is standard size, and the one nearer the road is a semi-dwarf.  

There's also a dwarf peach tree back by the mobile home.  When I'm ordering fruit trees, I make sure to order trees that don't bloom too early in the year, because I don't want the late freezes to steal my fruit.  I also try for varieties that produce at different times, so we have fresh fruit for a longer period.  

This is a two-in-one plum tree.  When I received it, along with four other dwarf trees, I didn't realize there were directions on that tag at the bottom.  So I noticed it wasn't trimmed right down to a single stick like the others and lopped off some little branches.  THEN I found the directions and saw that I was not to prune above the white line painted on it.  Thank goodness I did leave little stumps there where the two varieties of plums had been grafted on.  

This is the sweet cherry tree that died... mostly.  I thought it was a total loss and emailed Stark brothers for a replacement.  When I went out to cut it off at ground level, I saw there was life at the bottom.  Of course, it wouldn't be any good unless the new growth was coming from above the graft:  Imagine my surprise when I cautiously felt below the shoot and found that it was, indeed, above the graft.  It's about six inches tall now, and obviously very much alive.  I also have the replacement Stark sent me, up here near the old house.  

I can't begin to tell you how happy I am with Stark Brothers.  In all my years of dealing with them, this was the first replacement I've had to request.  Their trees are reasonably-priced, around $21 for most of them, I think.  Oh, and here's a nice perk:  If you sign up for an account on their site, they keep a record of all the trees you've bought from them:
I can log on to my account and see what varieties I have.  I can click on "view plant manual" and find out exactly the sort of care each tree needs.  My two older peach trees aren't listed because I had not set up an account at that time.  In fact, I don't think I had a computer back then.  

Peach and apricot trees can bear fruit in two years.  Apple and pear trees take longer, as do plums.  

The trees arrive bare-root, either spring or fall.  I really like the fall planting best.

Pictures before dawn

The weather has finally taken a turn toward spring.  That means I'm watching for daylight every morning and heading out the door as soon as it's light enough for me to see buds and blossoms and new leaves growing.  This morning I just couldn't wait that long, so I took my best camera outside to see what it would do in the semi-darkness.  

Titan is still with us (until Monday sometime), and the first thing he did was chase the boy cat, Jake, up a tree.  

As I walked away from the old house a bit, I happened to look back and see the moon, directly over it.  Seemed like that would be a good picture.
I love this shot.

My three apple trees in the back yard of the mobile home.  

Gracie at dawn, standing behind the house.

By the time I was heading back to the old house, it was almost daylight.