Fruit Trees on the Coast

Discussion in 'Outdoor Gardening in the Pacific Northwest' started by planthunters, Mar 15, 2006.

  1. planthunters

    planthunters Member

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    Hi,
    Does anyone know of recommended cultivars of Fruit trees to grow in the Pacific NW. I know there has been some research at the University of Washington and they have a peach called Puget Gold that flowers later than other cultivars. I'm wondering about apricots, peaches and almonds. Thanks, Sheila.
     
  2. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    That's Washington State University and the experiment station with the relevant fruit research history, web site you want is the Northwest Washington Fruit Research and Experiment Station (or some similar title) in Skagit County, near Mount Vernon.
     
  3. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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  4. Anne Taylor

    Anne Taylor Active Member 10 Years

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    Hi planthunters,
    Having worked some in retail, I can tell you that the best way to go about finding the right fruit trees is to speak to the growers around you. There are a number of considerations including our wet mild winters. Nice for some things - lousy for strains who need 'chilling hours' in order to produce fruit. also nasty conditions that lead to various dissapointments such as peach leaf curl. For peaches, 'frost' is a good bet. Folks down in Washington state came up with that, and I'd take one of those in a minute. There is a good reason we don't grow like the Okanagan!
    Also you should be aware of pollination requirements. It varies with every kind of fruit tree.
    If you can determine what grows well for the area around you, and then seek out a good source, say a nursery with a really knowledgable staff who are willing to look up the exacting specs from their supplier information, you'll do better than taking a chance with a fruit tree that you picked up at a box store, - just cause they sell them doesn't mean they grow well here.
     
  5. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    My experience with "Frost" peach: It sets fruit well but I have never been particularly happy with the taste or quality of the ripe fruit. They are somewhat pithy and not particularly sweet. Also, I find they go from "not ripe" to "overripe" really fast.

    Others may have different experiences. I have not had any disease problems which is definately a plus. My tree is about six years old.
     
  6. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    All hot climate stone fruits are marginal here. If you have a good spot, chant and burn incense an adapted cultivar may be adequate, even fun, otherwise...
     
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2006
  7. silver_creek

    silver_creek Active Member

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    Frost is a peach that requires heavy pruning and thinning of fruit to get quality. I have found good quality fruit on a well managed tree, but soft, low quality fruit is more common if the tree is neglected. Having said that, they will never match the quality of peaches grown in a more favorable climate. But, sometimes you work with what you have...
     
  8. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    I obviously am doing something wrong because I baby my Frost peach and prune it a significant amount every year. As well, this last summer it started to send up a lot of shoots from below the graft. Oh well - I am trying.

    WCG
     
  9. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Look at pruning diagrams for peaches.
     
  10. planthunters

    planthunters Member

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    Thanks for all the info, bottom line though seems to be back to what I suspected, stone fruits don't grow that well here. Still trying though. Planthunters



     
  11. westcoastgarden

    westcoastgarden Active Member

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    There is a yellow apricot or yellow plum tree behind a friends house. It looks like it is 40 or 50 years old and might have been part of a farm that was developed a quarter century ago. It has great fruit and is very prolific. Nobody is looking after it, so no spray etc. The fruit is quite small and it seemed to be a plum in my estimation.

    They are developing the rest of that land now and I expect it is gone at this point.

    I also had an Italian Prune Plum that was very prolific. Actually, I couldn't give the fruit away there was so much. I ended up taking it out though because I couldn't get ahead of a black knot type disease. Every year I would cut half the tree out in the winter to try and control it. The nursery said that I would eventually lose it but I was quite happy with it for the ten years it survived. The only real issue other than the knot were the wasps the fruit attracted.
     
  12. planthunters

    planthunters Member

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    Well I do have a couple of Japanese type xs for plums plus an Italian plum so once established they may do well. The Redheart X produced three small plums two years ago, and they were the sweetest thing I'd ever tasted! Delicious! The one behind your friend's house may be an old heritage species that does just fine here. Sad to lose all these things.
     
  13. tallclover

    tallclover Member

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    I've been growing apricots, peaches and other fruits on Vashon Island in Puget Sound. After six years of trying, I have given up on growing apricots. Every tree but one has died. I don't spray and they get borers and bloom too early for any pollinators to visit (even mason bees). I've tried a lot of leaf curl resistant peaches, and Frost is reliable as mentioned and Avalon Pride and Kriebich Nectarine are showing promise. Oh and also Charlotte and Indian Free. All are resistant to leaf curl. They still get it, but not as badly as other varieties.

    I did eat some great locally grown apricots on Salt Spring Island and no one knew the variety. They ripened about July 10. Let me know if you find out what they are, I may give apricots a second chance. ;-)

    Here are some pics from my blog:
    Peach growing results for 2009
    Peach growing results for 2008
     

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