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Motor City Homestead » Blog Archive » Beginnings of an orchard

Beginnings of an orchard

Yesterday I got a call from Amy while I was at work.  I’m not exaggerating when I say she was breathless with excitement.  Apparently Sam’s Club had just gotten their shipment of fruit trees in for spring.  There were tons of different types, and they were only $17 a piece.  That’s cheap - like end of the season 50% off cheap.  But there they were - fresh off the truck, many with blooms and buds. 

Our track record with fruit trees isn’t the greatest.  Two years ago we bought a tiny Fuji apple tree that not only bloomed, but started growing apples.  Real, live, organic apples.   That little stick of a tree had 18 apples growing on it by the end of summer.  I could almost taste the apple pie.  Then, one morning, I came out to find only 17 apples on the tree.  I figured one probably fell off, or the kids grabbed one, etc.  On the morning of day two, only 16 apples remained.  That continued for two weeks until not a single apple was left.  I even stayed out late at night trying to spot the thief, with no luck.  The next year, we had lots of foliage, but no blooms, and no apples.  Apparently, the second year after transplanting, a tree will work very hard at extending it’s root system, and not so hard at making fruit.  So we’ve gone through two years with no fruit.  I have high hopes for this year, though.

Our original yard plan has 4 fruit trees.  We have the apple tree from two years ago, and a peach tree from last year - so I figured Amy would buy two more to fill out the yard.  I should have known better.  When I came home there were six young trees lined up neatly in our side yard.  Adding the two we already own, that makes a total of eight.  That’s a lot of trees. 

The story doesn’t end there, though.  It’s late March in Michigan.  March is supposed to come in like a lion and go out like a lamb.  But this March came in like a lion, and is going out like a slightly smaller, far wetter lion.  We had 3 inches of snow and low in the 20s last night.  Not good for delicate buds and flowers.  Here’s our solution.

Trees in mudroom 

Our orchard of two pear trees, two cherry trees, and two plum trees is now growing in the mudroom until the weather gets a little bit warmer.  Ironically, I had to stroll through a forest to let the dogs outside this morning.

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