Backbreaking Toil In The Orchard

We have, over the last couple of years, planted twelve fruit trees in our front yard “orchard”. This year we decided to add two more peach trees, after last summer yielded a hefty crop of fruits from Peachy, the lone peach tree. (Of course, we decided, like idiots, to let the peaches ripen on the branch, so every last one of them was eaten by squirrels. But we’ve learned. Oh yes, we’ve learned.)

We’ve gotten our trees from Trees of Antiquity, with the exception of a Granny Smith and an Enterprise apple and Peachy himself, which we impulse-bought at a nearby nursery co-op. Our two newest additions, a Peregrine (or “Perry”) and a Rio Oso Gem (or “Rio”), are both from Trees of Antiquity and were delivered to us about three weeks ago. They came in a bundle with the six blueberry bushes we’re putting along the base of the deck out back (we got Blue Crop and O’Neal varieties) and the Alexander apple we needed to fill the spot of death with at the front of the orchard (the deer keep getting to the tree at the center of the yard along the street and eating it down to nothing. We’ve put a new tree in that hole every Spring), with the roots of all the plants smushed together and tied up into a plastic bag. It was gold and gray and gloomy and miserable this past Monday after work, but the trees couldn’t really stand being in that bag much longer. With no hockey on during the interminable break between regular season and playoffs, we figured we didn’t have anything better to do, so we got out the sod cutter and shovels, and got digging.

Even though it was dreadful outside, there was a spot of joy — in his little cage of deer netting, Peachy is starting to bud!


Before long, he is going to be a riot of glorious, fluffy pink blossoms!

After cutting a big circle of sod to make room for the eventual mulching we’ve promised the trees (but have yet to deliver), we pulled Perry out of the bag and were delighted to discover we wouldn’t need to dig much of a hole for him.

That\'s it?

That’s not the world’s most inspiring rootball, but someday, as the peach juices are running down our chins as we loll in the shade of his mighty canopy (in as much as a semidwarf tree can have a mighty canopy), we’ll look back at this picture and laugh and laugh. Or something.

After cutting through roots and chipping out rocks and laboring to create a sufficient pit in the clay that passes for soil in our yard, we nestled Perry in and filled around him with some nice garden soil. Look at what a towering giant he is!

So cute!

Sufficiently exhausted, it was time to repeat the process with Rio, who had a much bigger rootball. Of course. With tempers starting to run short, we finally got him settled into his own spot, ready to start producing a hefty bumper crop.

So many branches!

Okay, yeah, neither one of these trees is even waist high. So, no, we don’t expect any fruits for at least three years. But in our experience with the apples, these buggers grow like weeds. By this time next year, both these trees will be taller than we are.

The last step of the planting on Monday was to cage Perry and Rio in their own deer netting safety enclaves, and by the time we finished we were all too drained to even bother taking a picture. The lesson we’ve all learned from this venture is that tree-planting is way more work than we want to do on a worknight.



Filed under Orchard

2 responses to “Backbreaking Toil In The Orchard

  1. Pingback: Bulging The Old Onion Bag « IPB Living

  2. Great photo’s and good looking bare root fruit trees. In 3 – 4 years you will have lots of apple and peach juice running down your chin.

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