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Apple Orchard Project

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Ncdjd2
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Apple Orchard Project

#1

Post by Ncdjd2 »

Throwing this in here as it might be of interest to someone who's also considering getting into Apple production. Trial plot of around three quarters of an acre.

I sowed native grasses and herbs at the start as this was always ploughed. So far I've put in the posts. Posts are the standard treated posts that sellers say last 15 years but in reality they will probably only last 5 years which is OK due to the rootstock being used for the apple varieties being put down. The rootstock used will be self supporting after 4 years.

Posts are spaced 3.6mtrs in the rows and the rows are spaced 4.5mtrs apart. This will allow a 7 foot topper to go up the isles when needed.

Have two inch welded mesh wire ordered to protect from rabbits and tree ties purchased. Will post my progress here as it's handy for me too to have a record of what I'm doing. :mrgreen:
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The Continental Op
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#2

Post by The Continental Op »

tbh I'd never put weld mesh around trees. Once the trees and herbiage grow a bit it will be too easy for it to be forgotten and grow into the trees or come loose and mess up the mower.

I'd use tree shelters or spiral guards.

Some relevant info here on shelters https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... _guide.pdf
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Ncdjd2
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#3

Post by Ncdjd2 »

The Continental Op wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:29 pm tbh I'd never put weld mesh around trees. Once the trees and herbiage grow a bit it will be too easy for it to be forgotten and grow into the trees or come loose and mess up the mower.

I'd use tree shelters or spiral guards.

Some relevant info here on shelters https://assets.publishing.service.gov.u ... _guide.pdf
It's not the chicken wire mesh C, it's a very rigid mesh that will have to be taken off easily a couple of times a year and closed with a tie wrap. I'll post it when I get it so you can see it. Have it ordered from a place in Limerick.
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The Continental Op
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#4

Post by The Continental Op »

I know what what you meant but it just doesn't feel right. Maybe because I've planted hundreds of trees with tree shelters (don't like the spiral guards much).
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Ncdjd2
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#5

Post by Ncdjd2 »

The Continental Op wrote: Thu Nov 04, 2021 12:48 pm I know what what you meant but it just doesn't feel right. Maybe because I've planted hundreds of trees with tree shelters (don't like the spiral guards much).
I'll have to go with it anyway C as I've shelled out the money for the rolls so have to make it work. Will throw up a few photos when I get it, see what you think.
Mountain
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#6

Post by Mountain »

Need to plant a few hundred trees, native and deciduous ones, have a few acres of garden and want about an acre to be woodland. Will be all apple trees, smaller native trees etc. We get a lot of deer and rabbits, and have heard the plastic guards aren't great so will need lots of mesh too. Will be checking your progress. Mine is a south facing slope.
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Ncdjd2
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#7

Post by Ncdjd2 »

The buzzard is having great fun hopping from post to post. Probably looking for frogs.
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Supercell
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#8

Post by Supercell »

My retirement dream is to sell up from the burbs here and buy a house with a few acres in the countryside, plant an orchard and brew cider.

For now, my homebrew is made from Lidl apple juice which isnt all that bad actually.
Ncdjd2 , please do keep us posted with progress, I'm really interested in seeing how you get on!
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Ncdjd2
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#9

Post by Ncdjd2 »

Not much of an update at the moment. I've had a long delay in ordering the wire. I ordered it from an Irish company online but was stuck on a ship coming from China for the last 4 weeks. I have ordered the trees. Had a bit of hassle sourcing in Ireland.. either the nurseries didn't have the quantities / varieties, couldn't guarantee any sort of a delivery time or in once case, didn't want to know. I was going to look to Holland or Belgium but a very helpful man from a nursery called Heritage Fruit Trees in Galway pointed me in the right direction. Well worth a visit to his site as he has loads of good information. He does 300 varieties of apples every year but only a few of each. I have eight varieties chosen, some are self fertile, some need two pollinators, one needs three. I've got a mix of early, mid and late season varieties.

The rootstocks will be M26. It's a semi dwarfing rootstock that has good resistance to mildew and crown rot but has poor resistance to fireblight. Each rootstock has pros and cons. I have removed any cotoneasters around the place as these shrubs have a high risk of catching and spreading fireblight. It is recommended to keep the orchards at least 3 metres from any existing hedgerow, which I've done for pest and fungal disease prevention. Spacing is 3.6 metres between trees, 4.5 metres between rows. This spacing is determined by the growing vigour of the rootstock chosen.

The space I'm putting them in has been ploughed for over 40 years, so when planting they are also getting a spoon of Mycorrhizal Fungi sprinkled on the roots. This has been destroyed by ploughing / rotovating / artificial fertiliser applications over the years. Mycorrhizal Fungi takes sugars from the trees and in return provides moisture / nutrients back to the plant / tree. @ Mountain, If I was just planting native trees I wouldn't be doing this. This is just an extra step I'm taking to lesson the mortality rate of the trees I'm putting in.

Will hopefully be taking delivery of the trees in two weeks. Want to get them in soon as we have heavy clay soil here and while the soil is still friable / has a bit of crumble to it. Makes for easier planting / soil coverage on roots as I will not be planting them in the usual two sided cut, lift, insert tree and stamp on it like I would native tree varieties.

I'll shut up now and post a couple of photos that will explain things better when I'm planting them.
Mountain
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#10

Post by Mountain »

Ncdjd2 wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 12:25 am The space I'm putting them in has been ploughed for over 40 years, so when planting they are also getting a spoon of Mycorrhizal Fungi sprinkled on the roots. This has been destroyed by ploughing / rotovating / artificial fertiliser applications over the years. Mycorrhizal Fungi takes sugars from the trees and in return provides moisture / nutrients back to the plant / tree. @ Mountain, If I was just planting native trees I wouldn't be doing this. This is just an extra step I'm taking to lesson the mortality rate of the trees I'm putting in.

Will hopefully be taking delivery of the trees in two weeks. Want to get them in soon as we have heavy clay soil here and while the soil is still friable / has a bit of crumble to it. Makes for easier planting / soil coverage on roots as I will not be planting them in the usual two sided cut, lift, insert tree and stamp on it like I would native tree varieties.
Thanks for all the info. I'm learning there's a lot more to tree planting than "stick in ground, surround with mesh".
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Ncdjd2
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Re: Apple Orchard Project

#11

Post by Ncdjd2 »

Mountain wrote: Sun Nov 28, 2021 8:38 am Thanks for all the info. I'm learning there's a lot more to tree planting than "stick in ground, surround with mesh".
If your planting native bareroot trees its fairly straightforward. You don't have to worry really on my last post. Some of the larger bareroots such as Alder, Mountain Ash, etc its worth tapping a small length of wood next to them and securing with a couple of tie wraps to stop them rocking in the wind. But after two or three years they'll be fine. Once they are firmed in and secure from wind damage that's half the battle. Keep down the grass / weeds from around in the first few years of growth until they establish.
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