February 10, 2017
Good morning, everyone. My name is Doug and I am the fifth generation in a century farm a few miles west of Pendleton, Oregon. I am looking to set up small cattle and orchard operation for my wife and kids, as well as other immediate family members. Our goal is to lessen dependency on super markets and raise organic beef, orchard fruit, and nuts for personal use.
Right now I am working with a contractor to set up a one-acre enclosed orchard space and have the mind to really do things right from the start; putting in the right soil type, drip-irrigation system, and other protections to help the trees thrive. The site is sort of windy, so I am putting up 10' walls (which also keeps out critters) and would like to go with dwarf or semi-dwarf trees (to sit below the top of the wall) representing a variety of fruits and nuts that maximize the growing season. My wife LOVES quince and we would like to have a few of those trees, as we know they thrive in this climate, as evidenced by a neighbor who has one that does very well year after year (we get excellent fruit from it each November/December).
I would like your help, please, in finding an expert on what varieties of fruit and nut trees work best for my specific location, what types of support/irrigation systems should be invested in, and how the trees might be arranged so as to maximize output and ensure longevity. I am more than happy to pay for these consulting services and would like to work with someone fairly local to the area/state who can join me out there when things get going in a year or so. Things like expert-level knowledge of proper spacing, cross-pollination, durability against frost and disease, and a mix that ensures that fruits come as early and late in the year as possible is what's desired. Basically, I want a dream orchard. 🙂
Thanks so much for your time and attention! Have a great day.
March 16, 2015
Welcome to the forum and the HOS.
You are going to have a fantastic farm/orchard.
I am not an expert on conditions by Pendleton. Many of us are happy to pitch in on ideas, even if we are too busy or not specifically knowledgeable about that area.
I live on the west side of Portland, but I also love quince.
You will have an easier time growing peaches, nectarines, quince, and apricots than we will here on the west side.
I look forward to hearing about the progress on your Farm/orchard. Orcharm?
January 14, 2017
Your vision for your farm and orchard sounds exciting.
A year ago I planted 18 fruit trees around my place. I thought I'd done my homework and had a "master plan" that I'd execute perfectly. Nonetheless, I've already made my share of mistakes. I'm starting to accept that my home orchard will be a long-term learning process and an exercise in patience. My ideas of what I want have also changed over time.
If you're willing to consider it, may I suggest planting your orchard in phases? This will help you apply the things you learn as you go, and reduce the risk that any single thing will go wrong with your whole orchard.
May I also suggest diversifying your choice of rootstocks? In your arid, windy climate, it might be wise to experiment with a few trees on standard (full-size) rootstocks. Dwarfing rootstocks help keep trees a convenient size, but you might find you'd appreciate all the vigor and drought-tolerance you can get. Personally, I would rather have a vigorous tree that--once established--could survive with minimal watering than a tamer tree that might die in a single season if irrigation water became unavailable. I've also read dwarfing rootstocks lack the longevity of standards--if the idea of planting a tree for your great-great-grandkids is up your alley.
Make sure you look up your soil type on USDA's Web Soil Survey. I would want to know depth to bedrock or duripan (hardpan). If your soils are shallow--all the more reason to try vigorous rootstocks. If you're in a low-lying area, I would avoid establishing an orchard on soils having drainage classes wetter than "Well Drained".
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