[NAFEX] fruits that grow well in shade
alandhaigh at gmail.com
Tue Nov 6 18:17:26 EST 2007
In answer to the question "why do early fruiting varieties do better in
shady locations", it is because the sun is higher, and stronger so things in
the partial shade usually get more hours of direct light in June and July
than later. That sun is also stronger. My guess is that trees manufacture
the majority of sugar for the fruit in the 2 or 3 weeks preceding full
ripeness (sure tastes that way).
Greater accest to light in June and July is not without exceptions- I
manage a Baldwin that's got branches from a giant hickory hanging directly
over it. The hickory is on the north side so the Baldwin actually gets more
light as the sun gets lower in Sept. and Oct.. On some years this actually
seems to improve the quality of its fruit as Baldwin quality deteriates on
very warm seasons in my area.
I have Heritage raspberries growing under fruit trees in my nursery
that are in a lot of shade and they do better than the ones I have in the
full sun, probably because the soil stays moist there and it is extremely
rich. They would have a richer flavor if they got more light however, but
they're still very good. I have also harvested wild blackberries that were
larger and just as sweet in 50% shade as ones nearby in full sun.
On the issue of tree vigor in shade, I have observed very vigorous tree
growth in fairly shady locations if roots from established larger trees are
severed deeply in a circle around the establishing tree in early spring.
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