Orchard Phase One… Complete!

So I was able to borrow my dads truck on Friday while my mother-in-law watched the kids so I could go pick up some apple and peach trees.  I decided to use only trees from Tractor Supply as they are cheaper and more convenient to pick up.  I still hope to buy some of the good trees from a nursery next spring, but with everything on my plate that wasn’t in the cards this year.  So after picking up a 150′ roll of remesh to use as fences for the trees I stopped at Tractor Supply and picked up two Fuji, a Gala, a Cortland, and a Yellow Delicious apple tree.  I also picked up one Reliance Peach and one Redskin Peach.  All of the trees are of the dwarf variety so they shouldn’t get more than 10-15′ tall.

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It was Sunday afternoon before I was able to find time to try and get the orchard planted.  I dug the holes and then set the fences as I was able to drag then fence sections down.  To cut the fence sections I rolled out 20′ and used bolt cutters to make clean cuts in the wire.  I specifically only bought 7 trees because I knew that I wanted to use 20′ of fence so I would be left over with 10′ of fencing(which I might use to as a trellis for some concord grapes).  The first couple fence sections I rolled out didn’t have too much “memory” since they weren’t rolled as tightly.  By “memory” I mean the desire of the wire to return to it’s rolled state.  Despite not having much “memory” it was still difficult to wrestle around the trees with one person.  After the first two fence sections I started rolling the sections back on themselves to make them straighter.  This helped immensely with regards to placing them around the trees.

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You can see the 1x board that I used under the roll to stop it from rolling back towards me. The patio umbrella weight was perfect to hold the loose end.

As you can see I was doing this myself so I needed to utilize some weights to hold the fencing in place.  Every fence section was harder to roll out since that part of the fence had been rolled tighter.  It took me three hours to plant the seven trees, cut the fence sections, drag the sections down to the orchard, set them in place, and stake them.  I was pretty happy with that speed.  If you were to do this with two people I think it would go more than twice as fast.

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Here I already have four trees planted, two fenced, and all of the locations staked out.

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Reverse angle of the last picture

Using all the math I could remember I believe a twenty foot section of fence creates a circle with a diameter of about 6’4″.  That is if they were perfectly circular, which they aren’t.  After starting to roll the fence sections back on themselves they were much easier to get into place and work with, the first couple sections wanted to keep rolling up into smaller circles so I was ending up with a heart shape.

The mosquitoes were out in force which made the work less enjoyable, but it was nice to get all the trees planted at one time and not have to find more time to get it done.  Now that I have done it once I think I could easily quicken the pace at which the trees get planted.  Hopefully, I can add several trees to the orchard next spring.  Our oldest son wanted me to plant a couple pear trees this fall but I couldn’t justify the expense of another roll of remesh for two more trees right now.  All said, I planted all seven trees and fenced them for around $265, which I didn’t think was too bad.  The fences should last several years or more, and could be used on future trees as well.

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By the light of the golf cart headlights. You can see each fence is staked at 180 degrees with two oak stakes.

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Barn-Hop

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14 Responses to Orchard Phase One… Complete!

  1. Cameron Von St. James says:

    Hi, I’m Cameron. I have a question about your blog. Could you email me when you get chance? Thanks!

  2. Megan says:

    Looks great! We started to build our orchard this year by adding peach trees to our already existing apple trees. Hope to add pears next year. Figure a different fruit each year and we’ll be set in a few years!

    • Sounds like a good plan to me. How many peach trees did you add? Pears and apples will definitely be on order in the spring. I would also like to add some sort of nut trees. Thanks for stopping by.

      • Megan says:

        We bought 2 peach trees back in May from Rural King. I’m really happy with them – and with all their selection of fruit trees. My husband bought a 3rd peach tree from a flea market for $5 on a whim… I don’t know if it’ll make it thru the winter though. It’s pretty rough looking.

      • Cool. I will be watching to see how your trees do next year, and hopefully mine as well. Thanks for stopping by.

  3. We just ordered 10 apple trees for next spring. We bought them from a local orchard so they are on M16 hardy root stock, great for these really cold MN winters. We would love to get peaches but its just too cold up here.

    • I thought it was too cold where we are too, but they are being sold here and I just found a couple people I know who have peach trees and had a great harvest this year. Good luck with your orchard, what type of apples did you get?

  4. Karen says:

    Looks great, the one trees leaves look dead. Hope the tree is OK. How are you going to water them? Do you have a big tank you can take down there? You’ll have a fruit stand out to the road next year. Good luck.

    • I don’t know about next year or a fruit stand, but hopefully we will get some fruit within the next few years. That one tree the leaves are dead on, but the branches look good. I am hoping it just is dormant for the year.

  5. We are focusing on getting our orchard planted as well. Since it take the longest to mature trees and grapevines are at the top of the list. We have only planted 5 out our current house and 5 at our future homestead. We had hoped to get more planted at the future location, but it isn’t looking like it as of rigtht now. We just caged ours this past weekend too. Yours look nicer than ours….lol.

    http://summersacres.blogspot.com/2013/11/caging-apple-trees-for-deer-protection.html

    • I didn’t see in your post, are your trees dwarf, semi-dwarf, or full sized variety? I would have loved to planted more trees this year, but it will have to wait until next year. Mine may look nice, but it isn’t cheap. Hopefully it is effective though, and with the size circle I put up, it should last the trees several years. Thanks again for stopping by.

  6. Pingback: Adding to the Orchard and a Vineyard is Born | homesteaddad

  7. Pingback: I Can’t Help Myself | homesteaddad

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