experiences with fruit trees in past ten years

Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by willy, Aug 14, 2019.

  1. willy

    willy Active Member

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    Nebraska, south end of zone 5
    I planted my first fruit trees, pear and apple in 2009 from Century Farm Orchards. It included two varieties of pear and 7 variety of apple that covered early, mid, and late drop times. Since that time I have planted about 90 more fruit trees, of those 3 were peach, 2 apricot, 8 persimmon, 10 paw paw, 30 pear, and the balance apple. These added fruit trees came from Stark Bros., Burnt Ridge, The Wildlife Group, and Turkey Creek(who is a member of this site). All nurseries were great to work with except Burnt Ridge. I don't recommend them simply because the product they sent was in horrible condition when it arrived, missing labels on trees and when called about these issues they just said sorry and didn't replace the damaged trees or offer any way to make it right.

    Dave at Century Farms and Chris at Turkey Creek will answer all questions you have and help you anyway they can. I try and use Chris's nursery every time(the only time I don't go with Chris is if he doesn't have the variety I'm looking for. He has taken many scions from trees I have and I have gotten trees from him that were the result of these scion exchanges.

    The trees from Century farms have done great and are full of fruit and have had the most time in the ground to show me what they can do. Of the pear trees I received from Century farms, 2 were asian pear and other a keiffer. One of the asians died after year three from coons breaking it off. It didn't regenerate from the trunk unfortunately. The asian has been a big producer since year three and the keiffer started good production in year 5. The apples from Century farms produced in year 3 with the Hewes crab being a huge producer that year and each since. Liberty has produced well since year 3 and the others started to produce in year 5 and 6 with good amounts. This year all Century trees are loaded.

    The trees I planted after 2009 have done very well also. The vast majority of those are loaded. The only ones that aren't, are the ones planted within the past 3 summers.

    The pear trees have without question produced more fruit than apple trees in a shorter time and have continued to outshine apples (the hewes crab is the exception). My pear trees were not attacked by the jap beetles like my apples and apricots. They are almost see through trees with the leaves becoming see through. They all have started to put new leaves on and the ones that had fruit still hold as much fruit as they did prior to being hit by beetles.

    One area apple trees have performed better than pears is the apples don't break branches loaded with apples like pears do in high wind events and asian pears are more susceptible to breakage than european pears. A storm rolled through this past week and 5 of my pears, of which 3 were asian, broke major branches off and one of those snapped its trunk. It was loaded with fruit, I have never seen so much fruit on a tree so I know that was part of it.

    Pears have grown faster, produced fruit sooner, are great for browse and licking branches(I leave a branch or two about 50" high sticking out from my fruit trees for browse and licking and they have become great deer attractants. If I plant anymore fruit trees for deer they will be persimmon, pear, and hewes crabs.

    The persimmons I planted 5 years ago have started producing a limited amount of fruit and have grown relatively fast. I look forward to what they will do in another 5 years.

    If anybody is looking for an asian pear that is huge, firm and crisp like an apple and sweet I highly recommend Megietsu. Great, early producer that one can start harvest of in late to mid Sept. and fruit keeps in fridge for many weeks. The Megietsu is hard to find and I don't think Century farms still has it. Even though it seems to be a bit brittle the fruit is worth the risk.

    If I had to do it all again I would go with crab apples, liberty apples, asian and european pears, and persimmons for deer. Asian pear for humans.

    zone 5
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2019
    Native Hunter and Mennoniteman like this.
  2. Mennoniteman

    Mennoniteman Well-Known Member

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    Huntingdon Co. PA
    Hardiness Zone:
    Thanks for the detailed information about your fruit trees. Your recommendations are very much appreciated, especially the Hewes crab, I'd like to try a few, where did you buy them? Transcendent, Dolgo, and Eliza's Choice Crabapples have all done well for me.
  3. Sam16

    Sam16 Active Member

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    Western IL
    Hardiness Zone:
    Mennonite, when do your Dolgo crabs drop? I have seen everywhere from August to December in my research. I have planted 3 this spring, and if drop times are right, I'd like to plant more.

    Thanks for the information.

    I would just like to add my two cents in... I have now ordered from Wildlife Group, Chestnut Nursery, and Northern Whitetail Crabs. The trees from Northern Whitetail Crab have incredible roots and are double the size of all others. I've also never lost a Northern Whitetail Crab tree, where I have lost a lot of the others.
    weekender21 likes this.
  4. willy

    willy Active Member

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    Nebraska, south end of zone 5
    Mennonite, I originally got my Hewes from Century Farms but then I gave a bunch of scions to Chris at Turkey Creek Nursery and the rest I have gotten from him via my original.
  5. willy

    willy Active Member

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    Nebraska, south end of zone 5
    The varieties I've planted 10 years ago
    Century Farms for apple are:

    Virginia Gold, died after 3 years, never really grew much, not sure what problem was
    Roxbury Russet, still alive, produces but light in production.
    Hewes Crab, steady, heavy producer every year the past 8 years except one, not sure on what happened that year.
    Kinnaird's Choice, steady moderate yearly producer for last 4
    Liberty, steady, moderate to heavy yearly producer for last 6
    Stayman, steady, moderate to heavy yearly producer for last 4
    Newtown Pipin, died after 3 years, same as roxberry russet
    Keener seedling, produced after 5 years, last couple years it has been heavy producer

    Century Farm pear variety 10 years ago.

    Megeitsu Asian pear, fast grower, producer in 2 years later, heavy producer yearly after that.(large part of tree broke off in wind storm recently.)
    Our favorite pear and deer like it as well.

    2012 pear varieties from Wildlife group(severe drought that year) All survived the drought with no babing from me.

    Kieffer, fast grower, started to produce 3rd year, steady moderate production on most, a couple are heavy
    T.S. hardy, moderate grower, produced some in 4th year, heavy since then
    Dixie Delight, moderate grower, produced some 5th year, heavy this year
    John ledbetter, moderate grower, produced some 4th year, 5th year moderate production, this year, busted off in heavy wind in June with a great amount of small fruit coming on
    Orient pear, moderate grower, produced some 4th year, a bit more the next and heavy this year
    Gallaway, moderate grower, produced a few this year
    Dixie Delight, moderate grower, produced a few last year, moderate production this year
    Senator Clark, slow grower, was damaged by trespasser in year two when he ran over it when he drove in to land to steal my disk, survived and this year has a few pears on it

    2013 pear varieties, nursery now defunct and three given to me

    Trophy pear, fast grower, produced in year 2, moderate to heavy producer since
    Doc's Special, moderate grower, produced in year 3, moderate since then
    Giovani, moderate grower, produced in year 3 hit and miss moderate producer
    Low Country, moderate grower, produced in year 4, moderate producer since
    Kieffer, fast grower, producer in year 3, moderate and heavy producers, depending on the tree since
    Moon Glo, 3 given to me in late July from farm store just wanting to get rid of them, slow growers, I babied them as it wasn't the time to plant trees but 2 survived, produced some fruit last year, this year moderate production.

    2014 pears from Burnt Ridge

    NSASSHINSE SHINSEIKI ASIAN PEAR, fast grower, produced in year 2, and heavy since then, coons broke it off a couple years ago
    NSEPSEC SECKEL EUROPEAN PEAR, slow grower, has on on it this year
    Twentieth Century (NSASNIJ NIJESEIKI) ASIAN PEAR, fast grower, produced in year 2, heavy since then

    2015 apple varieties from Turkey Creek Nursery

    Hewes, fast grower, produced year 2 and moderate to heavy since then
    Dolgo Seedling, slow grower, never got taller than 4 foot in 3 years so I removed. Chris gave it to me to try, no promises made.
    Liberty, fast grower, some apples in year 3, more last year, moderate this year
    Chestnut Crabapple, moderate grower, produces some year 3, none last year, some this year

    2015 apples from Stark Nursery

    Fuji, slow grower, year 4, 3 apples, this year 6
    Grand Gala, slow grower, dwarf root stock(my mistake), produced a few apples the past 2 years
    Golden Delicious, moderate grower, a couple apples last year and about the same this year

    2015 pear varieties from Stark Bros Nursery

    SHINSEIKI ASIAN PEAR, fast grower, produced in year 2 and heavy since then
    Twentieth Century, fast grower, produced in year 2 and heavy since then, broke off a bit this year in wind storm
    Conference pear, slow grower, produced a few this year

    2017 pear varieties from Turkey Creek

    T.S Hardy, moderate growth, no production yet

    2018 apple varieties from Turkey Creek

    Honey Crisp, moderate grower, no production
    Enterprise, moderate grower, no production
    Hewes, fast growing, produced a dozen apples this year, picked them off.

    2018 pear varieties from Turkey Creek

    Keiffer, fast growth, one pear year 2 I failed to notice until a few weeks ago
    T.S. Hardy, I bought his largest trees and apparently didn't get them planted well as the 2 I bought did not come back this year

    The vast majority of these were planted in heavy clay soil. The other soil is great bottom land for ag production.

    I have plenty red cedars around to test them for CAR. So far so good.
    Chainsaw likes this.
  6. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    You have alot of pears can you tell me what the rounder almost brown colored are?I planted before I started writing down what I planted.I have several that are supposed to be CAR resistant but the leaves show different but the still have fruit
  7. willy

    willy Active Member

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    Nebraska, south end of zone 5
    The brown colored ones are referred to as russet colored, if you see that in the description. I have several varieties that are round and russet colored. docs special, giovani, and dixie delight. Hopefully that helps you out. As far as CAR I have not seen that pears have a reaction to cedars.
  8. willy

    willy Active Member

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    Nebraska, south end of zone 5
    I was able to work on the fruit trees yesterday and made it around to all the pear trees I have. It seems that the kieffers are consistently the heaviest bearers and didn't really get busted up like the asian or other varieties of pear by the heavy winds and storm last week. If one is planting pears just for deer, kieffer produce best and don't get busted up easily like the others.

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