Category Archives: Trees

roof, break, and life…

Since we constructed the run for the chickens that could potentially withstand an earthquake, which we do not have many of here, we re-roofed our house ourselves, planted the raised beds, crushed one foot, learned to walk with crutches, are in the beginning of a 2-week long trip to Australia (on crutches), and are getting caught up on some much needed rest!

We planted 4 blackberry bushes a few months ago that were about 6-8″ tall.  The largest of the four had one bloom on it, which, with a huge smile on my face is a nice little green blackberry!!!  Most of the fruit trees we planted 3 years ago have fruit on them.

The only challenge we continually face are aphids and these little tiny white mites…  anyone have any organic suggestions?

Our orchard

I can’t believe it’s been 18 months since I last posted!  We have been very busy planting, building soil, building shade structures, fences, and rodent (and Jack Russell) proof covers.

Our trees are doing quite well, although they have not yet produced any fruit.  I can say, in hindsight, I wish I had not cut the trunks of the trees down to 18″ when we first planted them.  The trunks of the trees have not grown in height much.

what growth!Here’s how the trees look now…

A very happy Anna! Yard tree-Dorsett Golden AppleThe Anna is on the left.  Our first Dorsett Golden Apple did not survive through the winter.  Our new Dorsett Golden Apple is shown on the right.

The Katy Apricot is on the Orchard tree-ApricotOrchard tree-Gold Kist Apricot
left and the Golden Kist
Apricot is on the far left.


OurYard tree-Aprium new Aprium (replacement) is now planted next to the Dorsett.



The Santa Rosa is doing fantastic.  I pruned all Orchard tree-Santa Rose Plumof trees in the orchard about a month ago.  All of the light green leaves at the end of the branches are new.


Orchard tree-Desert Gold Peach #1Orchard tree-Desert Gold Peach #2Last, but not least, the two Desert Gold Peach trees.
All of the trees will need to be pruned again soon.

 Kumquat treeMeyer lemon Orchard tree-Royal Cherry Pomegranite behind
Royal Cherry                     Meyer Lemon                   Kumquat

Urban Fruit Trees

Well, our tress have been in the ground for a little over a month.

You may notice they are quite a bit smaller than when we first planted them…  WHY?! you ask.

Our local Urban Farm guru, who we purchased the tress from, recommended that we cut them down to 18-24″ high.  By doing this, branches are forced to grow very low on the trunk, thus creating fruit bushes as opposed to trees.  He further suggests that the trees, as they mature, be pruned to keep the trees no taller than 6′ high and no wider than 6′ in diameter.  A few of the benefits of doing this is the ability to have many different types of trees in a small space and the fruit is much easier to pick when it is only an arm’s reach away.

I am the one who usually cringes when the trees in our yard have to be pruned.  In this case, if we were to prune the trees to bush height, I was the one who had to do it.  All of the trees are doing great except the two peach trees.

The apples already had low branches on the trunk so they look the best.  I just noticed this morning that there are a couple of new sprouts on the trunk that were not there just a few days ago.

The Anna is to the left and the Dorsett Golden is on the right.

All of the other trees had no growth on their trunks when I pruned them to 24″.  Here’s the two apricots…

The Katy variety on the left and the Golden Kist on the right.



These two trees are the Flavor Delight Aprium on the left and the Santa Rosa Plum on the right.


And here’s the two peaches; Desert Gold on the left and Mid-Pride on the right.

I will talk to our guru and let you know if the peaches are just slow or if they were traumatized and may not make it.

Fruit trees in the ground

The trees are in the ground!  This was an immense amount of work, mostly because of our soil mix – CLAY, CLAY, CLAY…  We ended up renting an electric “digger” to help with this process.  Even with this help, it was good hard work.  Work that lets you know you accomplished something!

Fruit trees

With the raised beds moved, we were ready to prepare the old area for planting our new orchard.

Again, Dharma at the ready to keep us lizard free!

We received 8 of our 10 trees, as you can see in the black buckets.

We let the trees sit in this space for a couple of weeks to get acclimated to their new home.  And, we needed a good long weekend where both of us could work together to get the trees in the ground.