[NAFEX] Baltimore City Fruit Tree Plantings

Chris Garriss cgarriss at garriss.net
Sat Dec 5 12:05:31 EST 2009


 I grew up in Howard County Maryland, just west of Baltimore by around 10 miles, but have been in NC for over 40 years. Persimmon and mulberry were quite common growing wild, as well as a number other native / escaped introduced species. My mother, who loved figs, dug up a small one in NC in the 1960's, and transplanted it to MD. After she passed away in the 1980's my sister dug it up and moved it to near her home north of Frederick MD near the PA line. I do not believe there has been a year that there has not been a crop. The fig has not grown anywhere near the size of the NC "parent", but has remained bush sized. It has winter killed to the ground a few times over the years but has always come back.

When and where I grew up in MD was a different time in many ways - everyone "out in the country" had lots of fruit - apples (including crabapples), pears, cherries (sweet and tart), peaches, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry....none of them sprayed. Which is not possible these days.

It should be possible to grow a few species with minimal care - although they likely will not be species that are quite as familiar as the "grocery store" list.

Chris

-----Original Message-----
From: Mathew Waehner [mailto:waehner at gmail.com]
Sent: Friday, December 4, 2009 03:36 PM
To: 'North American Fruit Explorers'
Subject: Re: [NAFEX] Baltimore City Fruit Tree Plantings

Native persimmons will do just fine without spraying or pruning, but anyone who eats an unripe fruit is in for a surprise. Native persimmons do grow too tall to reach the fruit, but I like to harvest it from the ground. Asian persimmons are naturally smaller trees with larger fruit, but your climate may be just a shade too cold for them.

Mulberries grow wild all over the city here in Raleigh, and each tree produces hundreds of pounds of fruit without spraying or pruning. The tree grows amazingly fast, and usually has a bushy growth habit that puts lots of fruit within reach. Mulberries are unpopular because birds use the purple fruit to decorate cars. White mulberries are available, but the fruit tends to be insipid. Weeping mulberries make it very easy to reach fruit.

Pawpaws are native to your climate, and they produce fruit in partial shade. They have no insect problems, but they grow slowly, and have stinky flowers for a couple weeks each year.

Figs generally do well without spraying, and there are a few varieties hardy to your climate.

All of the fruits listed above would be common in stores if they survived shipping and storage.

Kiwis and muscadine grapes are easy to cultivate, beautiful vines if you can get someone to construct a permanent trellis. Some strains of native passionflower have tasty fruit, all have beautiful flowers and they grow amazingly fast.

Blueberries have been mentioned already, but I recommend them again- they need nothing but the right soil and water. Blackberries grow wild in every ditch, and thornless blackberries need only slightly more care. They do try to send out runners and build a thicket.

None of these fruits are perfect, but they all produce tasty fruit with little or no maintence. I would also consider pecans or walnuts. They take a long time to mature, but they are majestic and productive trees.



On Fri, Dec 4, 2009 at 12:18 PM, Shambeda <shambeda at epix.net> wrote:
Greg
I applaud you for your efforts, but I have one comment/concern: Who is going to spray and prune the trees?
You will not have edible fruit without spraying. Spraying in a public area raises some concerns. Correct pruning is almost as important.

you might want to consider smaller fruit such as raspberries, black berries or Blue berries. they take up less space and fruit faster. 
Steve

----- Original Message ----- 
From:Gregory Strella
To:North American Fruit Explorers


Sent: Friday, December 04, 2009 11:20 AM
Subject: [NAFEX] Baltimore City Fruit Tree Plantings


Hello friends,

I was recently contacted by several new and long serving leaders in Baltimore's parks and horticultural divisions who are interesting in the idea of incorporating fruit into their municipal tree planting and maintenance regiment. This would be an impressive expansion on the successful and ongoing effort to establish schoolyard and community orchards throughout the Baltimore and other cities. 

The central question is this: Are there two or three cultivars that we could direct these authorities to in order to insure their early success and further investment in this important opportunity? The main criteria for "success" would be these:

1. Species/cultivars that performed fairly (note that performing fairly does not mean peak performance) with minimal management (e.g. annual pruning, annual harvesting, no spraying). That is to say, the priority here is disease/pest resistance, hardiness and longevity rather than production and even flavor.
2. Trees that are able to be harvested without specialized equipment (dwarf or semi-dwarf)

Below are a few recommendations agreed upon by two local orchards:

Apples: Enterprise, Liberty, Pristine, Red Free, or Goldrush
 Apple Rootstock: Geneva, M7
Pears: Kefir, Sickle, Liberty, Magnus
 Pear Rootstock: Homewood or Quince
Apricots: Anything from the “Harrow series” of apricots such as Harcot, Harglow, Hargrand, Harlayne, Harogem, Harval
Any species will be considered

Thank you in advance for any advice you can lend to this important effort.

Greg
-- 
Greg Strella
Farm Manager
Baltimore City Public Schools
Great Kids Farm at the Bragg Nature Center
6601 Baltimore National Pike
Catonsville, MD 21228
717 350.3730 (cell)
Support us at www.bcf.org/farm

ps - I'm sure many of you will be considerate enough to express concern about fruit drop and corresponding rodent pressure that may be associated with urban fruit plantings. This has been well considered over many years of food production in our city and we are confident regarding how this is to be handled.




------------------------------------------------------------

_______________________________________________
nafex mailing list 
nafex at lists.ibiblio.org

Reproduction of list messages or archives is not allowed.
This includes distribution on other email lists or reproduction on web sites.
Permission to reproduce is NEVER granted, so don't claim you have permission!

**YOU MUST BE SUBSCRIBED TO POST!**
Posts from email addresses that are not subscribed are discarded.
No exceptions. 
----
To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to the bottom of this page (also can be used to change other email options):
http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/nafex

File attachments are NOT stripped by this list.
TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COMPUTER VIRUSES!
Please do not send binary files.
Use plain text ONLY in emails!

NAFEX web site: http://www.nafex.org/





_______________________________________________
nafex mailing list
nafex at lists.ibiblio.org

Reproduction of list messages or archives is not allowed.
This includes distribution on other email lists or reproduction on web sites.
Permission to reproduce is NEVER granted, so don't claim you have permission!

**YOU MUST BE SUBSCRIBED TO POST!**
Posts from email addresses that are not subscribed are discarded.
No exceptions.
----
To subscribe or unsubscribe, go to the bottom of this page (also can be used to change other email options):
http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/listinfo/nafex

File attachments are NOT stripped by this list.
TAKE STEPS TO PROTECT YOURSELF FROM COMPUTER VIRUSES!
Please do not send binary files.
Use plain text ONLY in emails!

NAFEX web site: http://www.nafex.org/



-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: http://lists.ibiblio.org/mailman/private/nafex/attachments/20091205/3ee7df1d/attachment.html 


More information about the nafex mailing list