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One third into January....
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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
282 Posts
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1
January 10, 2022 - 9:18 pm

Hi HOS Forum members,

Because I live a rather isolated life in a rural area [read:  "the boondocks"], I'm curious about what some of my other Forum friends are doing in their varying yards/parcels/fields.  At this time of year are you pruning?  Collecting fruit wood for grafting?  Weeding?  Planning the grafts that you'll be making within the next few months?....  ...Just curious.  I just want to learn from folks who have been going through this regenerative cycle over the years in Cascadia.  

For me, in regard to fruit trees, I guess that the cycle starts when I receive my rootstocks, and then my scion wood from various sources, and I can sit down within our dinky, little pump house [assuming that that's not too redundant], with the door open to the elements regardless of the weather, and graft my "new" trees.  ....It's something of a tradition.  

ANY new graft is kinda like a Christmas present:  the prospect of a new fruit to savour.  

....Life is short.  Enjoy the gifts of the natural world that we inherited.  Contribute to future generations by passing on some of the best of what we inherited, if you can.  Pass on our horticultural heritage!  Here, I only speak of the fruit tree side of things.  Appropriate timing of vegetables, too, is a vital part of this annual cycle.  ... I shan't say more on the subject because this is a fruit tree forum.  ...If you want to eat good food, GROW IT!....

...Yeah.  Just me, The idealist forever in the wrong century.... Smile

Reinettes (Tim.)

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John S
1065 Posts
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2
January 16, 2022 - 1:37 pm

I am definitely cutting and collecting scion wood now.  I posted about that a bit back. I'm also pruning and gathering leafy green vegetables. 

John S
PDX OR

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davem
182 Posts
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3
January 17, 2022 - 7:58 pm

I just sent a batch of "Miss Jessamine" apple scions to a person in Texas on Saturday.  They were excited to be the first person in Texas to grow that variety.

If I would have been thinking I would have waited to ship them though, since they won't leave the shipping store until Tuesday (USPS doesn't pick up on Sundays or on the MLK holiday).  Hopefully the store isn't too warm.

I'm also opening tubes and cleaning mason bee cocoons.

I plan to do tons of pruning next weekend, if I don't have to work.

I'm also putting the wild birds to work for me, doing pest control and fertilizing.  I do that by throwing black oil sunflower seed on and under my fruit trees.  Thus I have flocks of wild birds spending the whole day scouring the branches and leaf litter for sunflower seed.  I'm pretty sure they are also eating any caterpillars that they find.  And of course pooping all over 🙂

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Rooney
490 Posts
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4
January 18, 2022 - 10:37 am

davem said
opening tubes and cleaning mason bee cocoons.

  

It's not too late to do that? What percentage of bees will be suffocated by waiting this late? I'll split mine open today and start a new topic showing the progress for my teasel tube cleaning session and explain more there of what I mean by these questions. Thanks for the help in the past informing us so much about teasel.

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davem
182 Posts
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5
January 18, 2022 - 1:33 pm

Rooney said

davem said

opening tubes and cleaning mason bee cocoons.

  

It's not too late to do that? What percentage of bees will be suffocated by waiting this late? I'll split mine open today and start a new topic showing the progress for my teasel tube cleaning session and explain more there of what I mean by these questions. Thanks for the help in the past informing us so much about teasel.

  

You can do it up until the day they wake up in the spring.  But, earlier is better.

The reason for opening/cleaning is to separate the bees from parasites (mostly pollen mites and mono wasps) and chalkbrood fungus.  Not absolutely necessary, but if you just put out the same tubes/holes over and over without cleaning, you will be spreading parasites and diseases and your bee population will plummet.

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Rooney
490 Posts
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6
January 18, 2022 - 1:58 pm

@ davem: Then how do you re-use the same teasels after breaking them?

@ Reinettes: Today I add some fresh hybrid pear cuttings from the base of this tree and add it to the remaining prunus cuttings that are located in this bathroom window for possible rooting.

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davem
182 Posts
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7
January 18, 2022 - 4:40 pm

Rooney said
@ davem: Then how do you re-use the same teasels after breaking them?

You don't - they are one time use.  But you can just put out filled tubes - the bees will hatch out, then use the same tubes, unless they can find other tubes/holes that they like better. 

As I said you don't want them re-using the same tubes.  It is possible to make a "bee diode" to prevent them from reusing the tubes.  You can kind of clean out the empty tubes with a strong spray from a hose.  But fresh tubes are better.

I used to hate teasel and chopped it down as soon as it popped up.  But I have learned to tolerate it, for the following reasons:

  1. A forever supply of mason bee tubes.  Given a choice, my mason bees always choose the teasel stems over other tube/hole materials.
  2. Late summer pollen/nectar source for bees, especially bumble bees.
  3. Fairly deep taproot
    1. Nutrient accumulation
    2. Helps to break up my clay soil
  4. I strongly suspect that it is carnivorous.  The leaves collect and hold water, which seems to attract insects who drown in the water.  Or maybe insects are attracted to the dry leaves, then rain drowns them.  Anyway, they kill a lot of insects.  Seems to be mostly flies, mosquitoes, and beetles.  And the occasional bee :-(.

To manage its spread, I use a machete to cut the flower heads off the moment they finish flowering, thus preventing them from producing seeds.  It doesn't work perfectly, but it definitely does slow it down.  It is amazing how many bumble bees choose to end their life on the flowers, at the end of their season.

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Rooney
490 Posts
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8
January 18, 2022 - 6:20 pm

@ davem: It all makes sense now, so Thanks!

As well with your acute and interesting artifacts, ideas, observations etc. of teasel possibly being carnivorous (ie. insect eating plant). It may be well with us to email this "teasel carnivorous comment" from Dave to the same investigation group that discovered and confirmed this one recently:

botany.one/2021/08/newly-recognised-carnivorous-plant-triantha-occidentalis/

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
484 Posts
(Offline)
9
January 20, 2022 - 11:01 am

January tasks in the orchard -

Mostly pruning, mostly apples.  I think one more tree is tall enough to remove deer cage.  Those cages help but are also a hassle.  Espaliers and miniature apple trees are already pruned.

I have peach seeds that stratified in the fridge since August,  I cracked open the pits and extracted the seeds.  Planted them in seed starting medium on a seedling warming mat.  I don't know if they will grow.  Source tree is a child of Oregon Curl Free, produces good tasting peaches, yellow clingstone good for fresh eating, pies, canning and in past six years has been completely free of leaf curl.  I want to propagate it.  Tree started bearing at about three years old.

Last year's bearing canes need pruning from thornless raspberries and thornless blackberries.  I'm removing all of the blackberries except Triple Crown and Ponca.  Triple Crown always bears very well for me, Ponca is new, apparently brachytic dwarf which would be nice if they are good.  One Triple Crown tip-rooted itself so I will plant that too.

I have on my calendar, start dormant oil spray in February.  That's for apple maggot and San Jose Scale.

I have a nice producing red currant that needs moving because it was munched on by deer last year.  Makes a nice jam.  Have to figure out where, might espalier it.

I might start some back up fig cuttings too.  Hardy Chicago, I accidentally left the previous ones to dry out.  I have a possible start from it but want a backup.

Mostly just puttering.Laugh

After building newer, taller raised beds, renovating an old one and putting down weed barrier and tree chips in pathways, Im more disabled at the moment so need to rest as well Confused.  

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