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Discussion in 'HortForum' started by Lactose Free, Jul 1, 2007.

  1. Lactose Free

    Lactose Free Member

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    Hello,
    I stumbled across this forum while I was looking for gardening info.
    My husband and I are in the process of landscaping our yard. Already we have quite a few plants. At the moment we're focusing on food plants and fruit trees - both native and non-native.
    1. Is Quince a nutritionally significant fruit?
    2. How can I purchase a Two needle Pinyon Pine (Pinus edulis) within Canada?
    3. Will my Issai kiwis pollinate my regular female kiwi?
    4. When I see web sites about rare and endangered food plants ie certain corn, bean, or squash varieties, how do I know that the seeds I'm buying will produce safely consumable food without natural toxins? An example that comes to mind is the potential harmful effect of broad beans to some people.
    5. Do Beaked Hazelnuts (Corylus cornuta) need two plants to pollinate and produce nuts? Will it pollinate with European varieties or with Corylus americana?
    6. How old do pear trees get? Ours must be at least 100 years old. It's one of the original orchard pears prior to when this house was built in 1912. Is it at the end of its' life or can we count on it being around for another 100 years? I really like it for its' huge productivity and delicious pears. Can't quite tell if it's Bartlett or Anjou.

    Thanks.
     
  2. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Welcome to the forum!

    1. Quince: not hugely significant, in that it isn't grown a lot, not like apples or pears. You can't eat them fresh, they have to be cooked. They'll also only ripen in hot summers in your area (in Europe they are really only very successful in the Mediterranean region).

    2. Pinus edulis: Also not well adapted to your climate; it will grow, but will be very slow and not produce much seed. A much better choice for a nut pine would be Stone Pine Pinus pinea, which will do well (it even does well where I am up at 55°N), and should be easily available.

    3. Sorry, don't know.

    4. Natural toxins: that varies so much from person to person, that it is impossible to predict.

    5. Corylus cornuta: Yes, you'll need at least two (preferably several) for cross-pollination. Its closest European relative is Filbert Corylus maxima (which also has 'beaked' nuts), while American Hazel C. americana and Common Hazel C. avellana are less related. As far as I know, all Corylus species can be inter-fertile, but you'd likely get better seed set with a closely related species than a more distant one (and best of all with the same species).

    6 Pear ages: they can get well over 100; whether 200 I'd be less confident. Probably something like 150 would be a reasonable expectation. As long as it stays healthy and productive, keep it.
     
  3. Lactose Free

    Lactose Free Member

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    Thank-you Micheal.
    May I ask also if all rose hips are edible? I have 6 varieties of roses - two tea, one very old variety that came with the house (it blooms only once a year), one bonica which thrives in our zone, one climber, and one bush rose.
    We have a common Hawthorn that's taller than our house. It was quite buggy this spring. We want to cut the height down by half to let more light through our window and to control the bugs. I've heard that Hawthorns can safely take a heavy pruning. I've also heard that Hawthorn berries are edible. It seems very productive. I've considered letting a bag of Ladybugs loose on that tree.
    Does Stone Pine need two to pollinate and can it be dwarfed?
    Thanks.
     
  4. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    As far as I know yes, though they aren't all very tasty - some are rather dry and bitter. Also watch out for the fine fibres inside the hip, they need to be removed carefully before eating (they are sharp and can cause irritation in the mouth).
    Yes, though it will may fruit production for a few years.
    Barely! They aren't exactly nice to eat, rather dry, floury and tasteless, and not much flesh on a large stone in the middle. They won't poison you, though.
    It will certainly be better with two or more. It can only be dwarfed as a bonsai, but that will also stop cone production.
     
  5. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    Common quince is grown in Seattle. Nurseries often have them for sale. "When ripe it is usually eaten only cooked, or preserved in confections such as marmalade." (Trees of Seattle - Second Edition).

    With kiwi the main thing regarding pollination seems to be that they flower at the same time. Discussions of kiwi varieties mention which ones pair up nicely.

    With named cultivars of filbert trees derived from same species you must have particular ones paired up to get cross pollination, often the numbers of known suitable kinds in each instance is quite small. So, it seems likelihood of good pollination across species lines could be quite low. They can sometimes be crossed of course, as there are hybrids grown. But getting enough hybrid seedlings out of an intentional cross to develop an new variety is a different thing from having one plant keep another covered in filled nuts, year after year. Without already knowing in advance that two particular kinds (or individual specimens) are cross-compatible you will not be able to count on that happening at all.

    Cutting a mature hawthorn in half will spoil it, same as with other trees. If it is a nuisance there, remove it entirely. Common hawthorn is a pest species in this region anyway.

    Stone pine can be contained with shearing. Probably root pruning can be used to slow top growth without shearing. But as stated sheared plants will not be much good for nuts.
     
  6. Lactose Free

    Lactose Free Member

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    Thank-you both.
    Have either of you heard of a peach variety called Pacific Gold? I can't find it anywhere on the internet. It supposedly does well in this zone. It appears to have leaf curl, and now there are globs of sap where the branches attach to the trunk. I don't think it's dying, but it's not thriving either. I planted it early this spring and a shrubbler is staked beside it so it should be getting enough water. We're putting a little more fruit tree food in the soil today. Our Stanley European plum and Puget Gold Apricot were planted at the same time and are doing very well. The peach is small enough that I could put it in a planter and bring it inside over the winter if necessary. What should I do?
     
  7. Ron B

    Ron B Paragon of Plants 10 Years

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    "Peach leaf curl, bacterial canker, brown rot and coryneum blight all attack peach and nectarine trees, so they are not good candidates for a no-spray orchard regime."

    http://mountvernon.wsu.edu/FruitHorticulture/StoneFruit.html#peach

    Like other hardy deciduous trees peach trees require a winter dormancy. Do not take it indoors for the winter. If you wish to shelter it, install an awning to be used to keep the top of it dry. This would be done where it was fan-trained or otherwise close to a building.

    Fall is the best time to fertilize hardy plants such as peach trees. Fertilizing should be based on sampling your soil and having it tested.
     
  8. malcolm197

    malcolm197 Active Member

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    You can make "wine" from both quinces and Rose Hips !

    Also when I was a small boy here in the UK ( aeons ago !!!) I was fed "Rose Hip Syrup" at frequent intervals. This was a commercially produced concoction - its purpose I never did find out, but I understand that during the second ( and possibly the first) world war patriotic souls were encouraged to collect wild rose hips as part of the war effort.

    Malcolm
     
  9. Liz

    Liz Well-Known Member 10 Years

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    "I've also heard that Hawthorn berries are edible

    Barely! They aren't exactly nice to eat, rather dry, floury and tasteless, and not much flesh on a large stone in the middle. They won't poison you, though."

    Tell that to the parrots. :) They love hawthorn. Spend hours chewing and spitting. Even have one of the rare varieties [Gang gang] turn up every few years to spend days on our old 100 year hedge. Part of the old farm.

    Re rosehips. We used to use the tiny ones from the wild type rose that was pale pink to make jelly

    http://homecooking.about.com/library/archive/blfruit14.htm
    http://www.overthegardengate.net/garden/herbs/reci_hedge.asp

    Liz
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  10. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Very rich in vitamin C - as far as I know, the richest of any temperate plant species.

    They have the bill strength to crack open the stones to get the kernel inside.
     
  11. Lactose Free

    Lactose Free Member

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    So the kernel is edible too? I've read that one shouldn't think something is edible just because birds eat it. Is this because some things are toxic to humans and not to birds?
    Can rose hip syrup be used as a sweetener in drinks and cooking?
    This is all interesting stuff.

    Our berry bushes are not doing as well as I had hoped. The Duke blueberry variety is going very well. The other blueberries are doing fine. The Gooseberries and Currants are a little bit too yellow and the lower leaves are wilted.
    The soil was originally on the clay side with poor drainage. We tilled in some sand, mushroom and peat compost, and some general compost with bark mulch and peat. I bought some fish fertilizer but haven't applied it yet. Summers here are generally arid so we installed a microdrip irrigation system that waters the plants daily. Winters are very wet. What else can we do to help our berry bushes?
    Is there a way for me to post pictures on this thread?
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2007
  12. Michael F

    Michael F Paragon of Plants Forums Moderator 10 Years

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    Not for humans. It wouldn't poison you, but it would have a very unpleasant bitter taste. Hawthorn kernels are also very small - large enough to interest a small bird, but not worthwhile for people even if it had been edible.
    Yes, correct. Birds can eat e.g. Deadly Nightshade Atropa belladonna berries, which are (as the name suggests!) deadly for people.
    Yes, and also to add a slight acid sharpness.
    Yes; follow the details here: Attaching Images
     

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