Was planting an orchard worth it?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by HilltopDaisy, Jan 17, 2004.

  1. HilltopDaisy

    HilltopDaisy Well-Known Member Supporter

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    I moved to my place in late '02. Come spring, I put in 2 apple trees, a peach and a sour cherry. I need to replace one of the apples that never took, so I'm figuring out my order. Have you found it to be worth the work and expense to plant a dozen or more fruit trees? Seems like it would add value to the property, certainly add to the beauty, and IF they bear fruit, would save on the food bill, including treats for critters. Problem seems to be that oftentimes the darn trees just don't bear well, or are a mess from bugs and diseases. I would like your feedback, please. (I order from Schlabacks here in NY, trees are started here in my zone).
     
  2. deberosa

    deberosa SW Virginia Gourd Farmer!

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    I would be interested in finding out this also. My place came with a wonderful apple, pear and a very old and neglected plum tree, but I would like to consider putting in more this year.

    The concerns I have is protecting the little trees from rabbits and deer and then the fruit from deer. Out here didn't have a bug or disease problem with my existing tress - but if I get more would that change?
     

  3. All country

    All country Well-Known Member

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    Fruit trees are worth the effort. Nothing beats the flavor of fruit you've grown yourself. We have 4 Red Haven peach trees and have put up 120 quarts of frozen peaches a year for the last 3 years and share fresh peaches with family. We planted them 5 years ago. We have 5 apple trees planted at the same time, that finally produced a reasonable crop last year. They were lumpy and not the prettiest apples, but the flavor more than made up for it. We had a nice strawberry patch, but chickens running loose sort of ruined it. We also have a Concord grape arbor and put up wonderful juice and jelly year after year. My kids say it taste better than the stuff you can buy at the store. We know if chemicals have been used on them or not (not). We can just go out pick them and eat them fresh. There is nothing quite as good as a fresh peach still warm off the tree, juices running down your chin....Yummy. We plan to put out more fruit this year. More apples, 4 more peach trees, cherries, blueberries, raspberries, strawberries,and some hardy kiwi. Now we have to figure out where we're going to put it all.
     
  4. Mike in Ohio

    Mike in Ohio Well-Known Member

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    I think it's worth it. We have 40 fruit trees now. 20 of them are in my "nursery" area which is fenced against deer. These are ones I bought last year and I want to let get a bit larger before transplanting them to a less protected location.

    Close to the house we have dwarf and semi dwarf trees just beyond the reach of our dogs tether. The deer generally give these trees a wide berth.

    For down on the farm we have chosen standard size trees. We decided this after watching the deer in the abandoned apple orchard next to us. They don't bother the trees and there is enough that falls on the ground to keep em happy. We figure it will be some for us and some for them.

    The raccoons are much more destructive than the deer. They only go after the trees when the fruit is about ripe. Then they go climbing and break branches, etc.

    We have peach, pear, plum, apple, mulberry and cherry trees.

    You just have to accept the fact that there will be some losses and get over it.

    As usual, just my 2 cents.

    Mike
     
  5. RoyalOaksRanch

    RoyalOaksRanch Royal Oaks Taxidermy

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    Here in Calif a fruit orchard ( IM talking a few trees for a family property here not 50 acres of crop) is an asset. If you look at the real estate ads they will list Orchard, or 5 fruit trees as if THAT make the property more worthy of your attention. So Im gonna say I Think that fruit trees do add some value, I have a lonely Plum tree (self polinating) and have plans on getting a 3 in 1 citrus, 3 in 1 cherry, and a "fruit basket tree which has peaches, necterines and plums I believ, Something like that anyway...
    Everyone loves fresh tree ripened fruit, I dont see how any fruit tree could be considered anything but an asset...
     
  6. bergere

    bergere Just living Life

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    We only have twenty Fruit trees, and Yes, I found that it is well worth it. Nothing better than your own fruit to eat!!

    But make sure you get what will grow well in your area, and ones that you will like.
     
  7. Jane in southwest WI

    Jane in southwest WI Well-Known Member

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    I started my "orchard" with 2 cherry trees. Early this winter season I noticed that the deer did a number on them. They seem to love them (they also loved my new raspberries and the new growth on some pine trees I planted :(

    I hope the cherry trees will come back (there are still some branches with buds on them) but I don't know what we can do to protect them. I had mesh bags of dog hair and CDs hanging on the branches and that did nothing to keep them from being chomped. I tried coyote urine but that wears off. The deer haven't bothered my garden yet and it is surrounded by a 4 foot chicken wire fence. I figured they probably didn't feel comfortable jumping into a small fence area. May the answer is to divide up the orchard area into small fenced areas? Deer are such a pain.
     
  8. 5TR-Apiary

    5TR-Apiary Active Member

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    In 2000 I decided I wanted an orchard , so I would know what chemicals were being used on them, and for the fresh taste. So I sat down with pen and paper --writing down what we loved, liked and very seldom ever purchased. I planted antique southern apple var. (12 different ones), 4 peach, 2 fig, 12 blueberries, 6 blackberries, 2 plum, 2 cherry, 6 raspberry and 12 muscadine. Last year, I made jams, jellies, canned and frozen berries/fruit and they are wonderful! My family love the 'gift' packages that I make up for them of the fruits. My children (who are on their own) love knowing how, what and when they are processed and cared for. Yes, the extra work is well worth the effort!
     
  9. Last year I ordered about $150 dollars worth of fruit trees, strawberry plants, blueberry bushes, and grape vines. I lost one apple tree to rabbits, over half of my grape vines didn't take root, and I couldn't keep up with the weeds that took over my strawberry plants. So this year I will be reordering some of what I lost and buy some more varities to add on. Is it worth it? Yes, when you see your kids out there eating fresh fruit from a bush or tree and not in the house setting on the couch and eating potato chips. If the kids can't keep up with the harvest then we will pick what is left and figure out how to store them to eat on later.

    I'm mainly growing them so they can go out there and eat all they want. The last couple of years they have had a field day eating from our nanking cherry bushes. The birds don't even have a chance at them.