[NAFEX] re Cherries

Dianne Stephany iluvdanc at rochester.rr.com
Sat Nov 5 20:12:52 EST 2005


HI- sure you can use it.

Info: Dianne and Gary Stephany
135 Crandon Way, Rochester NY 14618, zone 5b (at least that is what a nursery told us). 

It is .5 acres (including the house) in a suburb of Rochester (Brighton).  We planted in April of 2000 when we moved here. We added the apricots last year, spring 2004, and replaced a Jonathan that died with the Golden Delicious that has not had fruit yet.  This is definitely a hobby orchard. What we don't eat or freeze, we give to family and neighbors.  I have a PhD in physiology and teach Human  Anatomy and Physiology to massage therapy students part time. Gary is in sales for a software company.

This is our first orchard, but Gary grew up climbing in cherry trees to eat the fruit. So we planted his love -sweet cherries and my love apples.  I learned to prune apple trees from Fred Janson when I lived in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Fred was one of the founding fathers of NAFEX. I learned to love apples and  taking care of apples from him. So this is our first attempt at growing fruit. I convinced Gary to go organic. We are going to try Neem oil for the curculio beetle problem with the plums. We have several bird feeders in the back yard that draw lots of birds so we dont have too much in the way of other bug problems.

I was lucky in some aspects of what trees we chose, but didn't know what to watch out for in this area. Especially  FIRE BLIGHT sensitive strains and heavy clay soil. 

Found out that the clay is rough on red raspberries but our red currants are doing well and we put up lots of jam : 16 qts of fruit made 16 jars of jam. 

Let me know if you need or want any other information.
Dianne
  ----- Original Message ----- 
  From: Doreen Howard 
  To: North American Fruit Explorers 
  Sent: Tuesday, November 01, 2005 8:58 PM
  Subject: Re: [NAFEX] re Cherries


  Hi Dianne,
  Could I use your comments below as quotes in the article I'm writing on cherries for Mother Earth News?  If so, I'll need your mailing address, too, so we can mail you three copies of the magazine issue in which this article will appear.  Also, how big is your orchard, how old is it and how long have you been growing fruit?  Just stuff for background so I can write something biographical on you.  Are you a hobby fruit grower, a market grower or what?  If a hobby grower, what do you do professionally?  Again--just bio stuff to give you dimension in the article.  Thanks for your help.
  Doreen Howard
  Contrib. Editor
  Mother Earth News
  (815) 623-6533
  gardendiva at charter.net

    ----- Original Message ----- 
    From: Dianne Stephany 
    To: North American Fruit Explorers 
    Sent: Thursday, October 27, 2005 2:22 PM
    Subject: [NAFEX] re Cherries


    Reading the information on cherries posted so far -
    I did not realize when I bought my cherry trees how different rootstocks could have such diverse reactions to soil conditions (or to anything else!) All I knew about rootstocks were that they were used to create dwarf or semidwarf trees.  We have such heavy clay soil that this year with the drought it was like concrete. We are in zone 5b, Rochester, NY.

    We have Ranier (gold & sweet) on Gisela doing great. 
    We also have Van (gold & sweet) on Mazzard doing great. Both trees produced a lot of cherries this year (we missed some due to birds) with only one spraying of Serenade (b. subtilis).  I planted them in April 2000 ; they were 4 ft, 1/2" caliper ; 10 + ft trees now. The Van has a 16 in circumference, the Raniers about 12 in average.

    Last year when we had more rain we had a bumper crop. We put up 6 gallons! of cherries in addition to the 2+ gal or so that my husband eats while he picks and the 2 gal or more we gave to family and friends.

    Our Emperor Francis (red, sweet) on Mazzard is dying- it never did take in our yard (4 yrs old and only produced a handfull of cherries this year) and now I suspect it was the clay soil it did not like.

    We also have a wild cherry (red, tart) nearby that the birds clean all the fruit off. We didn't plant it as a decoy but it works that way. 

    We have the cherry trees listed above, plus apples (Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, Melrose, Fortune and 20 oz), pears (Bosc and Anjou), peaches (coralstar and starfire), plums (Simka and Van) and apricots (Moongold and Sungold). Of all of these the cherries and peaches are the easiest by far for us to grow. Just plant, pick and eat. They got sprayed once this year only because the apples and pears were getting sprayed at the time for fire blight and I didn't want to throw out the leftover serenade.

    The pears and the Granny Smith apple have been the most trouble- fire blight sensitive. I didn't know about fire blight either when I bought the trees. Our neighbor has a decorative plum with plum curculio beetles and now our plums need to be sprayed. We are also committed to staying organic and will be trying the Neem mentioned before on the list for the beetles.

    Thanks,
    Dianne Stephany
    Rochester NY (53 and finally the sun is shining after 5 days of rain, rain and rain).


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