[NAFEX] Fruity Opinions Wanted !!!

Rodney Eveland reveland at collinscom.net
Thu Jun 2 23:20:32 EDT 2005


There is probably a very good reason why your orchard is  preplanted
with apples. Unless you are a gambler you should look around carefully
and ask others just how well plums and tart cherries do in your area.
I have a single Stanley and only one mature Montmorency. The Stanley
often loses out to spring frosts, but the Montmorency has produced
heavily every year except last year when we had two frosts during
bloom, one of 16 degrees and the other 17 degrees. We still managed to
pick enough cherries to make 4-5 pies and the Robins also ate well.  A
search on ( fruit trees plums Maine ) doesn't come up with a lot of
promising results.  You would also need to inquire as to rootstocks.
It is my understanding that Mahaleb is a great rootstock for trees
planted on "great cherry soils" and Mazzard is better for clay.
Mazzard takes a long time to get to full production so there is a long
wait after planting. I think you have to go to dwarfing rootstocks
like Gisela if you don't want to wait so long, but once again you
should ask around your neighborhood before committing to any mass
planting.
A rootstock that could significantly delay bloom would be wonderful
for any fruit tree, but plums are more in need of this than
Montmorency. It is my understanding that Evans/Bali is similar in
characteristics to Montmorency , but more winter hardy if properly
hardened off ( don't water a lot from August to dormancy).

If you google the following keywords: ( fruit trees Maine plums ) you
get a lot of info about apples. Here are some urls about Maine fruits:

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/trees/FTavail.htm           2 plums from
FEDCO in Maine

http://www.fedcoseeds.com/trees/treesale.htm           notice the
dearth of plums

http://www.siloamorchards.com/apple_tr.html           forget Maine
check out the heritage apples in Ontario -  what a list.....

more Maine stuff (mostly apples - found using the above 4 keywords)

http://www.mofga.org/active/apprstart.php

http://www.hortsales.com/catalog/fruit_trees.htm        (no plums)

http://www.mainecottagegarden.com/

http://www.applesofmaine.com/nurs.htm

http://www.motherearthnews.com/library/2002_August_September/Plums
(plums in Maine)

http://shakerhillnursery.com/fruittrees.htm          ( a nursery in
Maine )

I vote for Montmorency/Evans over other tart cherries because they
produce heavier and over plums unless you can find a consistent
producer. On the other hand if you live in an area of Maine that
doesn't have spring frosts (ha, ha, ha, chuckle) then plant lots of
plums.

I forgot to mention that Stanley picks very cleanly from the tree and
tart cherries don't. The cherries often leave the pit still on the
stem with the now empty cherry bleeding it's precious body fluids on
your hands and clothing. The clear juice stains clothing so wear your
old clothes. Plus all cherries keep longer if they go directly from
the tree into a bucket of ice water and are kept in it until
processed. You may have noticed that the sweet cherry season has
gotten "longer" in the past few years. This is due to putting them in
cold water immediately from the tree and then using special packaging
(small plastic bag of about 4 lbs cherries with a certain size of
ventilation holes). All in all apples keep better than cherries while
waiting for a buyer to show up, and tart cherries withstand spring
frost better than plums.

But life is a gamble and you only have so many years to "place a bet".
If you don't need the money from your fruit give either one a go if
you think  they can be grown successfully  (consistently)  in your
area.  P.S. this might be a good time to "get religion".







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