Backyard fruit orchards

in the New York Times:
Even more than other kinds of gardens, orchards require significant investments of time and energy, as fruit trees need to be pruned regularly and are susceptible to fungus and insect attacks. Mr. Grunsfeld is often in his yard from dawn to dusk on spring and summer Sundays, planting, pruning, spraying, composting and inspecting his trees.* Even so, he has not managed to prevent his peach tree from getting leaf curl, or to fend off an even bigger problem: squirrels, who have stolen every single peach and nectarine.

"I've tried everything—traps, fox urine," Mr. Grunsfeld said. "If I could strike a deal with them I would. I’d tell them, ‘Look, I’ll give you 80 percent.'"
Dude, where's my bird netting?

*Wow--what a lot of work! Some people like to make life so hard! He can't be having any fun! Poor guy!

Seriously tho'... if he wants to enjoy his harvest he should stop "composting...his trees." Heh.

Maybe you have to spend more time monitoring your fruit trees in New York than you do in California. When I was a kid we had apple, two kinds of plum, and an unusual loquat. None of them got a gardener's attention. We wouldn't have known what to do!

And yet year after year, fruit.


Frances, said...

Chuck, don't you think some people do that stuff because they enjoy it? CA is different than the east in the insect problems, though. It depends on whether you want perfect fruit of can stand some blemishes. It makes me want to get rid of our small lawn and put in an orchard. We have a friend in PA who has an orchard and it does require lots of work, the pruning especially, on a ladder, that would be a problem here. Ladders and slopes don't play nicely together.

Unknown said...

I don't think it's a New York vs. California thing. I think you were right on the money the first time, with people liking to make life so hard on themselves!

Or maybe it's the "watched pot" syndrome, and his trees just can't take the mental pressure of a weekly inspection? ;)

No spraying here, a little pruning on the cherry trees and the espaliers once a year only (unless something breaks) and yet I have blueberries, apples... and hopefully this year, elderberries and more than one cherry. (Darned April freeze last year... *sigh*)

Tira said...

I have a 20 year plus orange tree in the yard, and for the past 5 years the only thing I've had to do was prune dead branches which were damaged in a hurricane, and put kitchen scraps around the trunk to feed it. My parents didn't have much work with their trees, either,just last week my brother removed a 35 year old Julie mango tree from my mother's front yard-it provided us with delicious mangoes year in and out till it recently died.

Brent said...

I'm with you, Chuck.
1. That doesn't really sound like work.
2. Isn't a couple weekends a year on fruit trees far easier to invest than, for example, a weekly lawn mowing?

Brent said...

"Even more than other kinds of gardens, orchards require significant investments of time and energy"

Actually, I've got big issues with the lede, above.

Aren't trees and perennial shrubs some of the easiest garden plants to care for?