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Frequently asked questions

  • Do you accept pre-orders?
    We will have the upcoming season catalog sometime in October/November of each year after we complete inventory in the fall. Based on the current stock shown on site, we accept pre-orders. After inventory and the updated catalog, we may contact you if we don't have your request in stock and give you the option of a different choice or a refund.
  • When will we start to see fruit?
    Fruit production is somewhat dependent on the environment, the variety, the level of sun exposure, how well the tree adapts to transplanting. Each tree is unique. However, generally, you can expect the following timing: Fruit trees typically do not produce in the first year after transplanting because they are working on establishing their root system. Some trees start to produce in the second year. By the third year, probably around 50% of the trees bear fruit. By the 4th and 5th year, most fruit trees should start to produce fruit. European pears tend to take longer to produce fruit. Asian pears tend to be pretty prompt about it.
  • What are rootstocks?
    A rootstock is part of a plant, often an underground part, from which new above-ground growth can be produced. It could also be described as a stem with a well developed root system, to which a bud from another plant is grafted. With fruit trees, the type of rootstock determines the heighth of the tree. Typically, sizes are standard, semi-dwarf, and dwarf.
  • What are the options for apple rootstocks?
    The following is the list of rootstocks used for our apples: Standard: Antanovka rootstock. Extremely hardy and disease resistant. Under very favorable conditions this could produce a tree over 20 feet tall. But most of us don't live in prime orchard land with abundant water. Dwarfing rootstocks handicap trees in their struggle with adverse environment, where harsh conditions provide a dwarfing effect all by themselves. Standard trees are also popular for windbreaks and wildlife trees. Semi-dwarf: EMLA 7. This rootstock produces a tree that is about 60% of the height of a standard-sized tree of that variety. Usually that's between 12 and 16 feet. Common orchard size. Trees are moderately precocious and may lean with some cultivars and may require trunk support. ( Dwarf: Pajam 2 rootstock. This rootstock produces a tree about 30-40% the height of a standard size tree, somewhere between 6 and 10 feet. It will probably need additional support. Good lawn and garden sized trees.
  • What are the options for cherry rootstocks?
    We use Maxma 14 rootstock for all cherry varieties. Trees are about 65% of standard size. Good anchorage and vigor. Heavier soils okay. Clay loam. Very vigorous, smaller than Mazzard. Not cold hardy.
  • What are the options for plum rootstocks?
    We use MARIANA 2624as the rootstock for all our plum varieties. This results in tress between 10 and 15 feet. Very adaptable especially with very heavy soils; very tolerant to wet soil.
  • What are the options for pear rootstocks?
    We use the following rootstocks for our pears: Old home x Farmington 333: Produces a tree about 60% of a standard tree. This is the smallest available natural pear rootstock. The trees are usually about 10-13 feet for Asian pear varieties and 12-16 feel for European pear varieties. Its resistance to fireblight, collar rot, woolly pear aphids, and pear decline make this a very healthy stock. Old home X Farmington 97: A mildly dwarfing rootstock that produces a tree about 80% of standard. Used only on Asian pear trees. A clonal rootstock of ‘Old Home’ x ‘Farmingdale’, this rootstock is resistant to pear decline and fireblight. It is a superior rootstock for vigorous pear trees. Hardy and resilient to cold. It provides good anchoring and yield efficiency.
  • Do I need to worry about pollination?
    In a home orchard, there is usually not an issue with pollination. If you have half a dozen varieties of fruit trees within a few hundred feet of each other you generally don't need to plan specific pollinators. If you are still worried, consider adding mason bees to your garden. The best way to ensure pollination is to add mason bees to your garden if you are having trouble rather than searching for special pollinating varieties. Most of these issues comes from a commercial orchard that is trying to grow acres, thousands of trees that are all the same variety. As grafted trees of the same variety, they identify as the same tree. In this scenario, then you need to intersperse an appropriate pollinator variety tree that blooms simultaneously within 100 feet in your grid.
  • What if my early blooming Japanese plums and cherries are not fruiting?
    Most bees do not fly in the rain. Japanese plums and cherries both bloom early in this region when there is still a lot of rain. The best way to ensure pollination is to add mason bees (they fly in the rain) to your garden if you are having trouble rather than searching for special pollinating varieties.
  • Where can I find more resources about fruit tree varieties?
    In putting together this site, we looked for images that were available for use commerically. In doing so, we found some fantastic resources that describe various trees, their origins, characteristics. Here are our favorites: UK National Fruit Collection: The National Fruit Collection is one of the largest fruit collections in the world and includes over 3,500 named Apple, Pear, Plum, Cherry, Bush fruit, Vine and Cob Nut cultivars. Located at Brogdale Farm, near Faversham (Kent), the collection is owned by the Department for Environment, WSU Tree Fruit Site: This website was created to provide a comprehensive, unbiased, research-based information source for the Washington tree fruit industry. Information on this site is primarily focused on the commercial production of apple, pear and sweet cherry. USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection: The USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection is one of the most unique collections in the Rare and Special Collections of the National Agricultural Library (NAL). As a historic botanical resource, it documents new fruit and nut varieties, and specimens introduced by USDA plant explorers from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Pomiferous: Pomiferous is brought to you by two great friends each bringing their own unique skills, background, energy and imagination to a site that we hope will be of use to apple enthusiasts. The idea for the site, like so many, was born in a wine soaked after dinner conversation. When George revealed to Paul that he had been working on an extensive encyclopedia of apples for many years. Paul being a true techy soon started trying to make the apple encyclopedia project a website.
  • What is pseudomonas?
    Pear (Pyrus spp.)-Pseudomonas Blossom Blast and Dieback Rain and low temperatures, especially frost-inducing temperatures during bloom, increase incidence of this blossom infection. Infection may cause blossom blast, leaf spots, dieback of twigs and spurs, dormant-bud death, and bark cankers. At first, bark cankers are light brown, irregular patches on limbs. Later, outer bark and some underlying tissues may wholly or partly slough away. For more information and controls, see the PNW Pest management handbook
  • What is scab?
    Apple scab is caused by a fungus, Venturia inaequalis, and is a serious disease of apple and crabapple (genus Malus) trees that spreads quickly and easily. Generally, you’ll first notice it in early spring, when rains, wind, and cool temperatures spread the fungal spores. You can identify apple scab by its characteristics: Circular spots are light brown and start to appear on fruit and leaves in early spring Scabs are sunken, up to ¾” around, dark brown, and make spores in their center Leaves and fruit are affected, often leaves around developing fruit, and at the blossom end of young fruit Deformed, twisted leaves Cracked skin on fruit Young fruit that is infected often drops to the ground early Mature fruit that was infected at harvest may develop apple scab in storage For more information, see the PNW Pest Management Handbook.
Road through the forest to the farm

Common questions about orchard fruit trees. Learn about our root stocks, harvest, pollination, and common problems with organic fruit trees.

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