Friday, June 02, 2006

Great Northeast Fruit Trees

Recently on Vox Pop on Northeast Public Radio/WAMC, a caller from New Hampshire was getting ready to plant his first fruit tree orchard and wanted some advice. Here is some information that was good for him and will be good for any of you who are thinking of doing the same thing.

Choose the cultivars that are proven to be disease resistant, cold hardy and produce an abundance of good fruit. Cornell Cooperative Extension's list of best apple trees includes Williams Pride, Sansa, Gala, Jonamac, Freedom, Priscilla, Liberty, Empire, Golden Delicious, Keepsake and Gold Rush. Most of these are resistant to the dreaded apple scab disease which produces black spots on the leaves and the fruit.

You can also grow apricots, sweet and tart cherries, nectarine, peaches, pears, and plums here in the Northeast. Remember that only peaches and sour cherries do not need a pollinator, meaning you can have one tree of each of these and still get fruit. All the others need two trees of different cultivars to get the best fruit production.

Plant the trees in spring in an area not prone to late spring frost, mulch around the trees to keep weeds at bay and keep your orchard clear of brush and leaves that can be a breeding ground for pests and diseases.

For a more complete package of information on growing all kinds of fruit, here is a link to Cornells' guide to growing fruit; http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/fruit/homefruit.html

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