Fruit Tree Progress - The HuntingPA.com Outdoor Community
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post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 01:54 PM Thread Starter
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Fruit Tree Progress

We planted roughly 40 fruit trees at our camp back in the spring of 2015. Some of these were saplings, some were 2-3 year old trees. This was my first time planting and I've learned a lot in two year. Only 2-3 of the saplings don't look so great, but are still alive. The rest seem to be thriving. Some that were only 2-3' are now pushing 7' in two years.

A couple takeaways are below.

A shot behind our camp.





- Pay the extra money to protect the trees! On 4 of our more mature pear trees we used smaller exclusion cages that we had laying close to the field instead of buying 4-5' cages to prevent deer from eating them. Below are pictures of two trees and another picture of a tree I planted at my house at the same time with a larger fence to protect it. The deer have eaten off everything they could of them. I should have known this would happen, but it's hard to get guys to spend money at our camp, so I went with the small cages. After what happened, we will be buying new cages!







  • Trees take a lot of time, effort, and money! Way more than I anticipated. Animals or the wind are always knocking down the tubes or fencing. This is a pain to keep after. Secondly are the weeds! I've used round up but have damaged some of the trees leaves by doing so. The weeds easily get inside the tube, the tube needs pulled up and the weeds need removed. It's an ongoing process. The next purchase will probably be weed mats or mulch. Pruniing and fertilizing is also key. I've learned a lot about pruning in the last year. It's an interesting topic that I've taken a liking to.
  • Wasps love building nests in tree tubes! Peak your head in slowly to see the tree's progress!
  • If you have bears in the area, prepare to have some damaged trees. We have some semi-dwarf trees that are 20+ years old and bears love ripping some of the branches down. I don't know how you prevent this. The more damage i see done by them, the more I wish I'd have planted chestnuts instead. Oh well, it's definitely been a learning experience.
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post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 02:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrewMc View Post
  • Trees take a lot of time, effort, and money! Way more than I anticipated. Animals or the wind are always knocking down the tubes or fencing. This is a pain to keep after. Secondly are the weeds! I've used round up but have damaged some of the trees leaves by doing so. The weeds easily get inside the tube, the tube needs pulled up and the weeds need removed. It's an ongoing process. The next purchase will probably be weed mats or mulch. Pruniing and fertilizing is also key. I've learned a lot about pruning in the last year. It's an interesting topic that I've taken a liking to.
  • Wasps love building nests in tree tubes! Peak your head in slowly to see the tree's progress!
  • If you have bears in the area, prepare to have some damaged trees. We have some semi-dwarf trees that are 20+ years old and bears love ripping some of the branches down. I don't know how you prevent this. The more damage i see done by them, the more I wish I'd have planted chestnuts instead. Oh well, it's definitely been a learning experience.
First - thanks very much for sharing the pics and insight! We (well at least me anyway) love to see pics of habitat improvements, and trees are one of my favorites. That many trees definitely requires some effort at planting and major effort with maintenance.

Cages are definitely worth every penny when it comes to trees in higher deer density areas. Even with cages, we have some browse species (mostly silky dogwoods and elderberries) that get mowed off right at cage height....but that's OK - they were planted more for browse than anything.

Yes, you definitely gotta be careful peeking into the tubes....wasps love them for nesting. We have moved away from tubes for this and other reasons.

A word of caution on the mulch to help with weed control....most tree guys recommend pea-sized gravel/stone for mulching around trees as opposed to a typical wood mulch. The stones prevent mice and voles from making the mulched area around your tree home for the winter. They will girdle your trees and potentially kill them. Some good weed mat and some of the stone should work great.

I'm not sure you would be "out of the woods" with the bears if you had gone with chestnuts versus the fruit trees. I've heard that bears are tough on chestnut trees as well.

Please keep us updated on the project...everything looks great!
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post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 03:22 PM
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I usually cage my trees but a few yrs back got a deal on some pear trees I couldn't pass up, so planted them and just keep brush piled up around them. They were cheap so I just gave it a shot, they are doing very well.
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post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 07:06 PM
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The trees look great. My grandfather used to tell me the best time to plant a fruit tree was 10 years ago. The next best time is today. Glad you didn't procrastinate. I spray inside the fence with glyphosate ( Round Up ). It'll kill everything ,but doesn't affect tree. Just don't spray the leaves and limbs. I drive a 4 foot piece of rerod near the tree and secure the fencing to it. It's like an obsticle course mowing around 32 trees.
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post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-14-2017, 09:52 PM
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You should be careful spraying Roundup around apple trees. Smaller exposures or repeated that don't show immediate damage can cause problems the following year. Stunted growth the following year, difficulty forming leaves, mis-identified winter injury damage, bark cankers and bark damage. There are a number of ag extension articles and publications on glyphosate effects.
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post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 07-16-2017, 12:11 AM
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Do Not spray your foot trees with Roundup. You will likely kill more than a few or severely set them back.




Also, I've lost way more Chestnut trees to bears than fruit trees.

If Tyranny and Oppression come to this land, it will be in the guise of fighting a foreign enemy JM
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