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Experimental Fruit 101

Mar 24, 2011

Fruit lovers, join me in celebrating strange fruits... what do you grow?  Did you get scion wood from an exchange to graft heirloom apples?  Are you pushing the envelope like me to see just how many different kinds of fruiting plants you can grow in your climate?

See my post Experimental Fruit 101 on Oregon Coast Gardener.


I have three rare fruit dreams that are torturous because I don't have the planting ground in place this year. That could change any time ... or there's the satisfying sublimation of a local "London Orchard Project," thanks to Glenn. 1. Locally I want to get cuttings from a rare old apple. Of course, root stock type will depend upon where the roots will be set ... although most soils in this valley are within a certain normal range. This rare old apple grows as a half dozen trees down by the river. It is large & as beautiful as ever painted by a Dutch master - red on one side, streaked on the other. The flesh is crisp, juicy! snow-white & perfectly balanced between tart & sweet. We have a horti-cultural history in this valley, because the Chinese that came to work in the gold & silver mines & also on the railroad line into the valley, included gardeners & growers. "China Gardens" was a district by the river of vegetable growers who delivered their produce in horse-drawn carts. Many beautiful flowers & shrubs in the valley, if you trace their horticultural origins, come from China. 2. I must grow Green Gage plums again! They are beautiful, fairly-big, fast-growing trees. The green Plums are sweet, richly delicious & so heavy bearing that at first i felt guilty that we couldn't even deal with all the harvest that was left in the tops of the trees. Then I found that during our zone 4 winter, Woodpeckers carried off every single fruit - after they had frozen, thawed & were probably little skin pouches of fermented Plum Calvados! Thereafter, I found an old woodcut of a Woodpecker flying along with just such a fruit in its beak! I love those connections with growing history ... 3. I am longing to find an old-fashioned-tasty Apricot variety! I would go on "pilgrimages" to pick one up! I remember Apricots so tasty they made your taste-buds ache. Now all the beautiful Apricot trees I know, some of them wonderfully heavy-bearing, are very bland. My son planted some Manchurian Apricots but they grew radically tall & non-bearing, due to excess shade in their arbitrary landscape spot. Any tips or leads appreciated ...
Check out It is a non-profit organization dedicated to preserving our trees. They have historic trees, such as Johnny Appleseed and others. Their products are beautifully packaged and all proceeds go to replenishing our forest. I have a Treaty Oak, about 10 years old, the scion of the tree where the first treaty, with Mexico, was signed to bring American settlers to Texas. About 14+ years ago, some imbecile poisoned the tree, but thankfully, with dedicated effort it was saved. The Treaty Oak is over 500 years old, and as much a part of Texas history as the Alamo. When I'm ready to plant fruit trees I'll check out their historic tree list. My Treaty Oak is a live oak, about 30' tall. It even means more to me since it wae a gift from my son and his wife. Stay natural, David PS. I checked out the site, and the only fruit tree they have now is the Johnny Appleseed apple. It's still a Wonderful site for historic trees.
Hi Jessica, If you missed it in my earlier post, visit which is in Portland but there are many gardeners who contribute from your area too. You can ask your question on the forum (don't need to be a member, just quick registration) and you will be amazed at the great responses from some top-notch orchardists. I can't say enough about these folks, they know so much about growing fruit. Cheers, OCG
Hi OCG You might like to peruse this site. RV Roger is just up the road from where i live in North Yorkshire. I think it has probably the best collection of fruit trees in England, though others may disagree. I am soon to join the Northern Fruit Group. To actually learn the proper way to do things after years of trial and error. Regards Glenn
Hi Glenn, That's an interesting site, similar to the nurseries I use for fruit in our area. However I noticed your nursery has a large variety of filbert trees (and noticed some are called cobnuts, never heard that one before). I wonder if we are limited on those varieties in Oregon due to our large commercial filbert/hazelnut industry. They are reluctant to let in anything related to our state, after living with the specter of eastern filbert blight. Also wondered what "Nashi" pears were... then realized that's what we call "Asian" pears in the States. It's fun to learn through KGI about gardening in other countries!

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