Beemaster's International Beekeeping Forum

ALMOST BEEKEEPING - RELATED TOPICS => FARMING & COUNTRY LIFE => Topic started by: Vance G on May 12, 2014, 11:13:50 pm

Title: Planting trees
Post by: Vance G on May 12, 2014, 11:13:50 pm
I have been stuck living in town for coming on forty years and it is sad having no room to grow things.  On my city lot I am overbuilt and now I decide I need fruit trees.  A few years ago I started toying with Espalier trees.  Basically you prune them flat, wide and mine will only reach 8 feet tall.  It is a lot of fun and I am jamming trees in places that are really pretty small. 

When I am in the grave, I wonder if I will be able to hear whoever has to deal with these trees when I am not around to keep them to their appropriate size and shape.  They will explode outward and block sidewalks and take down fences.  I can hear someone screaming "What was the Simple minded SOB Ever thinking of!!"

But I now have a Honeycrisp, a Sweet sixteen, a Harrelson and two pear trees inobtrusively tucked in here and there.  Got a few of the best pears I have ever eaten last year and the Harrelson has a substantial number of buds this year.  Its first bloom.  Now I need some plums and maybe an apricot.  My cherry tree is the only one being allowed to grow in a standard if small form. 

Now if I took out that blue spruce eating a 25 foot circumference----
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: BlueBee on May 12, 2014, 11:31:30 pm
How big is a city lot out your way?  I thought things tended to get a little bigger as you head west. 

I try to go on a couple of garden tours in the cities around here every summer.  It’s really pretty impressive what people can grow in a city lot.  I’ve seen the flatly pruned fruit trees like you describe.  Most of my fruit trees are for my moths  :)   
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: Vance G on May 13, 2014, 10:22:33 am
50X175 but  my house, deck and detached garage take a lot of that.  Two fish ponds and perennial beds most of the rest.  Grass is such a waste of growing space and it doesn't take long to mow but the weeding is a killer. 
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: BlueBee on May 13, 2014, 01:18:36 pm
In my area, the small towns tended to be platted with lots of about 50 feet x 120 feet.  However over the years as the economy has gone boom to bust, homes were abandoned and demolished leaving many people with double sized lots.  The wind breaks and the micro climate in the city tends to allow for more options around here.   I’ve got a LOT less animal problems in the city than I have in the country.

I just planted some black locust for my bees.  I wonder how long it will take the deer to completely destroy them?
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: Vance G on May 13, 2014, 03:25:11 pm
No we are a red state and our cities haven't decayed due to leftist governance causing industry to flee.  The unions had finished off the smelter before I got here.  Lots have doubled in prices here in the last thirty years. 
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: GSF on May 13, 2014, 10:45:00 pm
Yards/Lots are like sheds and closets. It don't matter how many or how big, you always fill them up. I told my wife the other day, "It's a dang shame." We got all this land and can't decide where's the best place to plant a tree.
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: BlueBee on May 14, 2014, 12:19:13 am
I bought a half acre city lot near a collage last year for $300.  Are lots more expensive than that in MT?  I’m still deciding what to do with the lot.  It’s about 110 x 200 which is a really nice size for in the city.  (A large city in my area is about 15,000 people :) ) The lot had a house on it which was demolished by the city in the past.  So I have a clean slate with a couple of mature walnut trees in the back.  Do I build a new house?  Do I move in some bees and chickens :-D  Do I just resell the lot?  Do I turn it into a moth sanctuary?  Luna moths LOVE walnut leaves. 

GSF, if you got a big lot up here, you simply farm most of it and leave just a couple of acres for the house.  Makes the landscape design a little simpler. :)  
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: sawdstmakr on May 14, 2014, 12:58:17 pm
Many years ago, My grandfather had a leased mobile home lot in Punta Gorda. He had planted every type of fruit/citrus tree on that lot that would grow. You could get some type of fresh fruit off a tree year around. When we had to move him in with us, my father was concerned with having to pay to have the termite infested mobile home removed from the lot. A guy liked the lot so much that he paid my grandfather $1500.00 and had the termite house removed.
If you ever think you will want fruit trees, plant them as soon as you can to give them time to mature and allow you to enjoy their fruits. Excuse the pun.  :-D
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: BlueBee on May 14, 2014, 01:37:38 pm
That’s a good thought.  A well landscaped lot would increase the value.  I propagate trees and plants as a hobby too.  I was thinking about putting in a long hedge of arborvitae around the lot but now I’m not so sure.  My neighbor also has a half acre lot and has talked about buying me out so he could have a full acre in the city.  I already let him park on the lot as long as he keeps it mowed and clear of snow.  Around here the dang cities will mow your grass if it gets higher than 8” and stick the bill on your taxes if you don’t keep it mowed.  That can get REAL expensive because they charge WAY above commercial rates.  I got a mowing bill of nearly $4000 from one city on a property I bought that the PREVIOUS owner did not mow for a year.

Kind of like Michigan’s Right to Farm Act, there are loop holes in a lot of laws that come back to bite us.  There is a State level noxious weed law from the 1940s that allow the cities (and townships) to back their lawn mowing ordinances and put liens on property. :(  I paid a lawyer to fight it, unsuccessfully I might add. :(

I had a relative try to convince me to “invest” $50,000 in a RV lot in Naples about 10 years ago.  That for about a 15' x 30' plot of sand!
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: GSF on May 14, 2014, 08:56:43 pm
Sawdstmkr; That kinda reminds me of a saying I heard. "When's the best time to plant an apple tree?" Answer; 10 years ago.

Bluebee, Have you successfully rooted a cutting from an apple tree? If so please explain your process. I have a Hackworth apple tree on my place. I bought it about 4 or 5 years ago. It's grafted on a root stock. I'd like to have the real deal from top to bottom.

When I was growing up all the old folks around here had them. The apples aren't bad at all but they're not the greatest either. The upside is it's pretty much maintenance free. Unheard of right? Around here we have to do a million treatments to keep a pest or disease from killing them. Not so with the Hackworth at least that's been our experience.
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: BlueBee on May 15, 2014, 12:57:33 am
Funny you should mention propagating apple trees.  No, I haven’t tried them yet.  I just assumed the various commercial cultivars needed to be grafted on robust root stocks to thrive; kind of like hybrid teas.  So I ordered up some mail order yellow delicious this spring for Cecropia food (a silk moth).  Wouldn’t you know it, the bare root sticks were not grafted.  If I knew that, I would have just tried to root cuttings myself and saved $10 a stick.  Seems like half the hurdle in many things is just convincing yourself it’s possible in the first place!  

I’ve propagated thousands of Arbs and many other plants with a homemade intermittent mister.  It’s basically a 4’x8’ box with misting nozzles that keeps the cuttings from drying out or overheating.  I’ve gone through many design iterations and have a design that works real well when we don’t get an extended heat wave up here (90+ temps).   Of coarse that is about impossible to predict.  

The biggest problem with cuttings is overheating, that is what the mist is for.  The mist helps keep the cuttings cool(er) via evaporative cooling.  However if it gets too hot outside, the mist just isn’t that effective and you get a soaked cutting bed (from too much misting).  Soaked bed = fungus and death.  

This year I’m going to move some of my propagation to the basement. :)  That’s about the only way I know to make sure the cuttings don’t overheat while they’re trying to form roots.  The cooler basement temps should require less mist which should keep fungus and mold growth down too.  Generally softwood cuttings work best for deciduous trees.  Some things root very fast, but trees generally take a while.
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: BlueBee on May 15, 2014, 01:22:40 am
Here’s a photo of my propagator with a couple thousand Arborvitae getting rooted.  These are Thuja Occidentalis “Wintergreen” cultivar.  A very nicely shaped (and highly deer resistant) cultivar, hardy to about -40F I believe.  Cuttings don’t need (nor want) full light so you need some way to filter down the light and the wind.

Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: GSF on May 19, 2014, 06:29:55 am
Nice looking set up Bluebee.
Title: Re: Planting trees
Post by: BlueBee on May 20, 2014, 03:39:40 am
Thanks.  I get about 80% yield on those Arbs which isn’t too bad for a hobbyist.  I think I could do better if I had more controls over the ambient temps (like a basement setting).  Our apples are blooming right now and the softwood spurt is just starting.  I suspect you want to take SW cuttings within a few weeks of bloom.  I need to do some research and see what color (temps Kelvin) of LED bulb might work best for indoor propagation.  Photosynthesis makes use of certain photon frequencies but not others.  Need to find LED bulbs emitting what photosynthesis absorbs.