Adding Trees to the Rickabaugh Orchard

We stopped by Lowe’s in order to look for the tomato cages that we saw that they had online, which stated they were in store. We never found them, but we did find their newly stocked plant/tree section. We looked at the Rose of Sharons and they we $50.00 a piece. They are still on our list to purchase, but not this trip. Then we found 6 and 7 foot fruit trees for $24.98 a piece. So yes of course we purchased two different plum trees as well as two more different breeds of peach trees.

So our fruit tree count is now up to eleven. We have three raspberry starts, three blackberry starts, two grape vines, four strawberry bushes and six blueberry starts. Also we added 20 stalks of Asparagus this year. So of course we need to look into more veggies that you plant once and they come back every year. Reducing the need to seed save. Which I don’t mind, but less fuss is so much nicer.

I am worried about one of the blueberry bushes, it lost all of its leaves very early in the summer. We do have a great deal of beetles, aphids and squash bugs. I do know that the one apple tree did much better this year due to me collecting beetles and drowning them in soapy water, but I relaxed in my gathering of them because of other pressing matters in life. And we did notice that the one apple tree on the end has been stripped of the leaves from about the middle of the tree the whole way to the ground. I am sure it is the bugs that had previously been named.

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We have noticed that we are getting some more recent help with the extermination of some of the bothersome bugs. Below you can seen our recent pear tree guard. He or she is doing amazing! He or she by the way is completely alarmingly large. Close to three inches long from the tips of its back legs to the tips of its front legs. Get them bugs! Specifically please get the mosquitoes that leave quarter sized itchy welts all over me.

So putting in four new fruit trees took about three hours. We planted and watered. Put up posts and strung the support wires, all four of the support wires for this year. And then of course there was the much needed task of trimming the unwanted branches and training the remaining branches that get tied to the wires.

The first plum tree was extra hard for us to really get into the harsh trimming that espalier style requires. There are so very many beautiful little branches we want them all to survive. So the first tree took the longest. I also think that it also needed the most trimming out of the four trees. Closest to the berry patch we started with the plum trees and then worked our way up along the other fruit trees planted earlier in the spring, this way all three peach trees are in close proximity of each other.

You can see in the back row the Bing cherry tree which will have white flowers in the spring. It may look like it is not doing well but when purchased in February it was shipped bare root. No leaves, and not many branches at all and was the smallest of the trees. In the front row you can see the brand new to Rickabaugh Orchard, Santa Rosa Plum tree. The Santa Rosa Plum tree will also have white blooms in the spring. It is very interesting to see such different views of this plum. There are a few web pages/ orchard websites that will tell you that the Santa Rosa Plum is a self-pollinator. But on the back of the tag it states that cross-pollination with another plum variety is needed to produce quality fruit. Well because I would like it to produce fruit I wasn’t going to chance it and we also purchased the only other available plum at Lowes, a nice Methley Plum.

The Methley Plum also blooms white flowers as well in the spring. The nice part is that both of these plums have each other as good cross pollinators.

Next in the new row of fruit trees is the Early Elberta Peach. This peach tree is a self-pollinator as it states on the tag as well as on all the orchard websites that I have used to research if this is a good pick for our home. I have read that a great deal of self-pollinators do okay as fruit producers. I have also read that when a compatible tree, not necessarily the exact same breed of fruit tree is planted close by the trees produce larger and more plentiful amounts of fruit. Like the curl free peach tree which was planted in the spring and has light pink blooms, the Early Elbert Peach tree has dark pink and sometimes purple blooms in the spring.

The last new tree planted is a Hale Haven peach tree. Also a self-pollinator peach tree which does better close to other peach trees, it is planted closest to the road. This tree has light pink blooms in the spring time. We put this tree last in the line, this type of peach tree requires full sun and it will be getting the best sun out of all of the trees.

Here are photos of after trimming and tying of branches to the wires. It went pretty quick after the first tree, we felt more tired, done with the project, and more confident the trees would be perfectly fine.

Our very adorable Santa Rosa Plum tree planted and trimmed and beginning its new training of branch growth.

Our new little Methley Plum tree planted in the same row and trimmed and trained to the wires.

Very excited to show off our new Early Elberta Peach planted, trimmed and starting her training as well.

Lastly but not least of all the Hale Haven Peach tree planted, trimmed and on board with the branch training game.

RickabaughReviews is very nervous about all these new trees making it through their first winter here, but also approves of trees for the bees and trees for mother earth. oh yeah and finished T-Rex photos!