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East Coast fruit trees..?
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Viron
1407 Posts
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August 1, 2015 - 12:53 pm

Hey folks… any members from the East Coast of the US..?  I’m in Virginia, the Roanoke area (up into the Appalachians) and looking things over, close.  In my 2 weeks here I’ve seen a total of 8 apple trees, one cherry tree, and no other distinguishable fruit trees…  And, I’m havin a hard time getting any answers beyond the response of one woman, “I get my fruit from the grocery store.”  Yikes!

I’ve searched for U-Pick ..anything and have found nothing…  I’ve searched for local fruit groups, like ‘ours,’ more nothing…  And, as mentioned, asking folks has led to nothing as well.

Yes, it’s been humid (though nowhere near the heat and drought you’re likely experiencing), and yes, it’s 3 hours ahead Cool... but is there any reason any ‘of you’ can give as to why there appear to be so few fruit trees in SW VA..?  Mildew, scab, and various water-spread fungus and viruses would no doubt thrive, and it’s rained several times - hard!  But their grass is green and the cicadas or locus are doing their thing!

Any thoughts..?

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jafar
787 Posts
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August 1, 2015 - 7:44 pm

Viron,

Marie Townsend says she knows of some apple orchards, I believe, in Virginia.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
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August 4, 2015 - 11:09 am

Viron,

Maybe it's one of those situations where you just need to get out of the urban areas into the countryside.  I recently got a copy of Tom Burford's "Apples of North America" (2013) and apparently when he's not out consulting on other folks' apple orchard restorations he goes back home to his family's apple orchard and (former?) nursery of 4 generations somewhere there in the Blue Mountains.  Several "apple hunters" in the SE have been able to rediscover old varieties that were thought to have gone extinct.  If you manage to get out into the countryside, keep you eye open for limbertwig apples (often with somewhat pliant, drooping branches).  I get the impression that a number of those mountain valleys have their own endemic varieties that go way back.

Enjoy the humidity!

Tim.

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John S
PDX OR
2849 Posts
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August 4, 2015 - 10:51 pm

Hi Viron,

I am on another forum and several members live on the East Coast and they talk about how insanely difficult it is to grow fruit on the East Coast. I guess they have legion bugs, humidity, summer rain and other problems. When I talk about growing organically permaculture style, some of them get angry at me and insult me.  I guess it's quite difficult back there.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
787 Posts
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August 5, 2015 - 3:48 pm

John S said
Hi Viron,

I am on another forum and several members live on the East Coast....

John S
PDX OR

John, I think it would be okay, even good, to name the other forum.  Others on this forum may find it of interest and we are all about sharing information.

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Viron
1407 Posts
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August 6, 2015 - 8:28 am

Thanks guys.  I’ve been roaming, as in driving hundreds of miles checking out suggested towns and locations.  I spotted one more apple tree - 9 total now! ...and that includes some North Carolina turf, too!  

Found a (Virginia) produce stand and swung back around to talk with (and purchase some tasty fruit and vegetables) the woman running it.  Her family has owned the farm it grew on for over 200 years..  She said they’re a ‘minimum spray operation’ and their biggest battle is with “Bugs.”  She rattled off several, including the Japanese Beetle.  She also named a multitude of both regional and ‘familiar’ (to me) varieties of peaches and apples they grow.  So it can be doneSmile  

I’m now thinking it’s just enough of a challenge to grow tree fruit ‘back here’ that most homeowners don’t bother.  Towns are actually ‘rated’ by the quality, quantity and frequency of their local ‘Farmer’s Markets.’  Maybe it takes a hard-core home orchardist to make an attempt, which I suspect I would/ will if deciding to relocate.

I had a great conversation with the woman at the roadside market and she was excited to be talking with someone familiar with growing.  I grabbed a great ‘Gardening Directory of the Franklin County Area’ from her with links to surrounding orchards and sponsors.  Interesting, I asked where their figs were ..and told her ‘back home’ I’d be buried in them.  She lit up - “I could sell them out instantly here!”  ...got me thinking Virginia Fig Farm!  ...too bad life’s not about 3 times as long…

I’d also found this link http://ediblelandscaping.com/  ...I’m gonna figure this outCool

And yes, John, do tell who these ..jealous Easterners are ...so I might look some up ... and cry on their shoulders at what I’ve left back home.. then join their clubWink

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John S
PDX OR
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August 6, 2015 - 12:38 pm

Viron:

Check out

http://www.growingfruit.org

John S
PDX OR

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quokka
Corvallis
174 Posts
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August 9, 2015 - 8:50 am

Hey Viron:

If in VA, maybe check out the Edible Landscaping nursery. They'd probably have useful info. 

Also where you are you should be able to grow more persimmons, which I know you like, than you could back here.

Dave

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John S
PDX OR
2849 Posts
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August 11, 2015 - 8:11 pm

Dave,

Here's my opinion on that idea.  Some Asian persimmons may freeze out back there because it is so cold. The ones that survived could certainly ripen more reliably there than here.  It would cease to be an issue.  

It is very likely that late-ripening American persimmon cultivars would ripen there, even if they wouldn't ripen here. They would all survive there, as they're very hardy.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
787 Posts
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August 11, 2015 - 8:34 pm

Here's a map of 50 apple orchards in Virginia:

http://www.orangepippin.com/or.....s/virginia

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Viron
1407 Posts
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August 14, 2015 - 6:59 pm

Thanks Dave…  Yes, PersnickitiesKiss  I’d actually saw them listed as a successful ‘Virginia fruit.’  But John’s point about the cold hardiness of Asians would concern me ... and as I didn’t have much luck with my extremely brittle American, doubt I'd try another... 

I have been looking at some 'record cold temps' into the minuses, especially around the Blacksburg (2000’ ele.) or V-Tech area, NW of Roanoke.  Nearer Roanoke (in Salem, 1000’ ele.), Asian’s may be doable…  

...So, the same concern with Figs..?  I’d witnessed it down to 5, then 6 degrees where I was near Gaston, OR.  My fig ‘clumps’ were young, but survived...  And, figs were also listed as another ‘successful fruit for Virginia’...  

Tomorrow I’m headed toward Staunton (Stan-ton) VA…  Shenandoah Valley, I believe..  Not sure about it’s altitude … then on to DC, if down and out of the Appalachian Range.  I’ve got a friend in DC, otherwise, that humid ‘delta region’ (as I’ve heard it described) is not my first choice for relocation..  

I’ll try to pop into a ‘local nursery,’ soon … though I’d learned a hard lesson decades ago ..be weary of Nursery advice.. they sell trees, whether they survive or not is your problemConfused  

And Jafar, thanks for the orchard links  ~ perfect

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Viron
1407 Posts
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September 21, 2015 - 8:38 pm

I visited Mt. Vernon this week, and ate several of the fruit once eaten by George Washington (don’t tell)!  They’ve some of the best espaliered fruit trees I’ve seen; cherry, apricot, plum, peach and of course apple and pear.  I couldn’t find anyone in charge of their care, or that of ‘the greenhouse,’ with hanging citrus…

But the lower, or main orchard needs some serious pruning and training.  I’d love to dive into that!  The apples and pears I found on the ground could not have been sold (nearly unrecognizable as fruit), but were tasty.  Nothing was labeled?  No sign of disease, such as aerial crown gall or anthracnose.  But on the edge of the Potomac, they’ve got deer…  Only caught one other person roaming the main orchard, with her camera.  From Mississippi, we were both lost as to what we were looking at...  

Hit another ‘farmer’s market’ here in DC yesterday.  More like an outdoor Safeway, to me.  Peaches, $4 a pound!  Couldn’t help but mention to one ‘farmer’ how I’d have been pitching 5 gallon buckets of (organic) apples and pears to the horse and donkeys at the end of the road a year ago … or grinding & pressing 20 gallons of juice from more of the same.  For now, my press is stashed at an uncle’s place, with thoughts of gifting it to our Society when I return..  

I miss the Big Valley ~

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Delvi83
24 Posts
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September 26, 2015 - 12:50 am

If I undestood well one of the main problem is the humidity during summer? Does it rain often?

I'd advice you to grow: Apple, Pea but also Paw Paw or Kiwi (they really like water)...and also Ribes, Rasperry, Blackberry etc.. 

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Viron
1407 Posts
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14
September 30, 2015 - 11:16 pm

...and Persimmons!  They appear to be native, and I've been plucking what I assume are American persimmons off neighborhood DC trees!  I saved the 8 seeds from one today, and would like to get some scions off another, with slightly smaller fruit but few if any seeds...  Don't know if they're 'seedlings' or grafted, but both appear to be unused or appreciated ... as I've a small stash of the astringent nuggets ripening inside.  

Himalayan Blackberries appear to be nonexistent(!).  I miss their fruit ..if not their bite.  They've an anemic 'wild blackberry' sprouting from various unattended areas, but not near as gnarly or successfully aggressive as the Himalayan's devouring Oregon.

Was told I'd missed their 'wild raspberries,' though the sprigs pointed out to me didn't resemble either the spring or fall bearing varieties I'm familiar with...

It is humid, but the metro area I'm currently in doesn't appear to have time for fruit trees...  I'll keep my eyes open Smile

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jafar
787 Posts
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October 6, 2015 - 9:19 pm

http://growingfruit.org/t/virg.....-tour/2572

 

Viron, check out this post on growingfruit.org about Virginia apple orchard tours.

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Viron
1407 Posts
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October 7, 2015 - 8:40 pm

Excellent info - it's now a 'Favorite,' and I'll be heading that direction, soon...  

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Robin S
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October 7, 2015 - 11:12 pm

There used to be an amazing orchard in Buckhannon, WV - Little Hungary Farm Winery, run by Ferenc Androczi.  He passed away a few years ago, and I'm not sure what happened to the property.  

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jafar
787 Posts
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October 9, 2015 - 9:57 am

Welcome to the forum Robin.

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quokka
Corvallis
174 Posts
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October 28, 2015 - 7:44 pm

quokka said
Hey Viron:

If in VA, maybe check out the Edible Landscaping nursery. They'd probably have useful info. 

Also where you are you should be able to grow more persimmons, which I know you like, than you could back here.

Dave

Hey Viron:

This coming Saturday (Oct 31) they are having their annual Persimmon festival and have a bunch of stuff on sale. If you are in the area, it could be some fun.

Dave

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Jim LaMunyon
7 Posts
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20
November 7, 2015 - 6:07 pm

Here's a commercial concern that has tours and other events.  They even carry nursery stock, and I once purchased a 'White Champion Peach' from them:

https://www.albemarleciderworks.com/

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Viron
1407 Posts
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November 10, 2015 - 7:12 am

Thanks, everyone!  Dave, I missed the Oct. 31st event… and Jim, thanks for the Albemarle Ciderworks link, sounds like a great resource … once they get their online sales site up and running.  I also noticed how much they’re charging for the following workshops.. https://www.albemarleciderwork...../workshops  The HOS remains quite a bargen in compairson!  

And Robin, the Little Hungary Winery sounds amazing, but I’m looking to locate in SW Virginia, and it’s pretty far up into WV…  But there's a burgeoning Appalachian wine industry, up & out of the mildew zone of ‘the delta,’ or tobacco country.  It’s so rich out here..

At the moment, I’m preparing an offer on a home with one acre near Floyd, Virginia.  The seat of Floyd County, it’s at 2,700 feet.  I’ve toured several area farms and am paying very close attention to what kind of fruit is growing well with little care.  

The one acre place I'm focusing on is level, with excellent sun exposure ...and is prettymuch a blank canvas!  The home is finished, so I won’t have to deal with anything indoorsLaugh - so I’m trying to stay focused on the purchase process and not it’s fruit production potential ... not easy.  But I'd be starting over ...so to speak, with all the thrills & spills that entailsWink

There are deer, who bed down under a mature eatable chestnut, so more steel posts and chicken wire…  And the woods are close, a hardwood forest, with black walnut and hickory.  Floyd is amazing, small, but very alive.  ‘Hippies’ discovered it in the 60’s, then Artisans moved in during the 70’s, 'New Agers' now find special powers in it's agate rich soil ... so it’s become a blend of those factions, their children, and the local folks going back generations.  

I’m currently staying in Christiansburg, VA, and the woman I’m renting from (a cute ‘studio garden apartment’) grows banana trees, and figs, at 2,000 feet.  In fact, I’ve one of each potted inside ‘my kitchen!’  No banana fruit though … just their amazing tropical foliage.  Helped her transplant some blueberries and build a raised garden bed ..cuz that’s what I do...   Anyway, I’m still checking the Forum, and appreciate your links and suggestions.  There’s apparently a lot more fruit production around here than I’d originally thought, a good thingSmile

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John S
PDX OR
2849 Posts
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November 11, 2015 - 10:13 pm

There is also a persimmon festival in a small town in North Carolina, as well as one in Indiana.

The leader of the growing fruit site lives in Maryland. His name is Scott. They are very anti-organic.

There is a guy named McKenzie who has a hardy citrus nursery in SC.

John S
PDX OR

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Viron
1407 Posts
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23
December 22, 2015 - 8:44 pm

Just checked out the “Colfax Persimmon Festival” John, thanks.  ...and not that far away..  I’m very interested in planting an American Persimmon tree, similar to those I found in Washington DC..  Not sure if I should trek up to DC to collect scion wood while trying to locate some persimmon rootstock; or, ordering a grafted American from some nursery…  It would be nice to get something in the ground this coming spring.  

At the moment, I’m back in Oregon Wink … and also considering collecting some scions from a couple of mulberry trees in McMinnville.  I’d then need some mulberry rootstock, too…  I’ve enjoyed these mulberry trees for years, and they’re not ‘Americans,’ if likely Persian.  And I’ve never saw an apparent owner outside the house, but they’re luscious Cool  

Otherwise, it’ll be back to Virginia ~

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John S
PDX OR
2849 Posts
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December 22, 2015 - 9:23 pm

Hey Viron,

You may try to grow the American mulberry-red. They are used to those hot humid wet summers you get over there.  I know the nurseries said that you can't grow our favorite varieites like Noir de Spain black mulberry back east and the native reds might be happy out there.  I think Illinois Everlasting is at least part red.

John S
PDX OR

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Viron
1407 Posts
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25
June 10, 2024 - 6:09 pm

Wow.. nearly a decade ago…  Just found this thread while searching “successful fruit trees in the Blue Ridge”  So, I’m still looking!  Found a home on the Blue Ridge; here's what I’ve learned after planting fruit trees immediately upon arrival in Spring of 2016:

A Russian-American highbread Persimmon took 4 years to die; graft incompatibility may have been the cause, likely grafted to a non-compatible 'American seedling.'  I moved it and allowed the ‘rootstock’ to grow; another 4 year demise.  Something.. likely triggered by humidity caused a blackening of the leaves, then leaf fall.  Never any sign of blossoms or fruit, it’s been replaced by Rhubarb..     

I have not seen any fruiting ‘Native Persimmons’ in the State of Virginia ..nor any Asian, or hybrid mixes in backyards..  And I’ve done a lot of hiking.  Our local ‘State Extension Agent’ concentrates on commercial products, cattle & c-mass trees, dabbling slightly in apples..  He's not been much help Frown

Peaches: I’ve long pruned for a local Organic Author of many books & articles in Mother Earth News.  She recently talked me out of peaches; “They’ll do fine for 3 or 4 years, then come down with a condition/ disease (I don’t recall) that persists ‘forever’ in the soil, causing brown-rot.  And though I’d diligently researched and found two compatible varieties ..and staked out 2 locations in my yard.. I backed off.  Her suggestion (in a sweet Southern drawl) was to drive down to South Carolina and buy a few boxes every season..  

Plums & Cherries: Pruning in a 25 year old orchard, I discovered “Black Rot,” “a common fungal disease of Prunus trees including ornamental, edible, and native plum and cherry trees.”  ..I pruned 3 trees to the ground with a chainsaw..  Apparently, there’s a native cherry that can survive in the woods, birds appreciate it, but both sweet cherries and European plums are doomed.  

Pears: One (hyphenated) word - ‘Fire-blight’Confused Asian and European pears suffer ..if not die from it..  No variety is ‘immune,’ only, “more resistant.”  Right now, it’s back..  It had killed two scaffold limbs on an Asian pear when young (it's recommended) not to fertilize, which I’ve not), and though I’d planted the most resistant European pear variety I could find, a “Kieffer” (rock hard & extremely late), it’s been hit by Fire-blight, so more twig/ limb removal..  

Apples: All my fruit tree trunks are painted white, to ‘inhibit early sap rise.’  Deep late freezes (as opposed to ‘frosts’) take out an entire apple crop about every 3rd year.  This year, with an unusually mild Spring, Fire-blight has hit them hard, too..  Just spent half a day removing dead stems from 3 trees, hopefully limiting the bacterial damage..    

Blackberries: I’d tended acres of commercial organically grown B. Berries of 4 ‘cutting edge’ varieties … and had wondered why Himalayan B. Berries weren’t as rampant here as in the Willamette Valley..?  Now I know - extreme cold and consistent winter dieback.  Most years local black berries would loose their top ⅓ to ½ of cane due to cold.  The acres I had worked with have all been removed, Raspberries included. 

Figs:  The ‘plants’ thrive in the summer heat & humidity!  ..then along comes Winter.. freezing and killing all upper growth to the ground.  Thus, they never set fruit.  A few ‘micro climate’ locations do somewhat better, but most I’ve seen are eventually neglected.  However, in Richmond, the state Capitol, I met a woman with 7 or 8 viable fig trees; their hardness at 300 feet mirrored that of mine in Oregon.  

Asian plums: I’ve one, a favorite (Ozark Premiere).  I’ve eaten 3 or 4 plums ..in 8 years..  3 years ago I successfully grafted on 3 additional (different & researched) pollinators.  So far, nothing.  Last year it bloomed in late February ..with 4 or 5 killing frosts to come..  The best I get is it’s fragrance, perfuming the neighborhood ..and a lot of serious pruning.  Also - it’s a Japanese Beetle Magnet!  ..never had those out West, over here, they’ll defoliate a tree if ignored..  

Grapes: Planted a Concord & a Himrod, two I assumed were hardy enough to survive.  The Concord is doing well (spur pruned); the Himrod did well for a few years, before the harsh cold caused more dieback than new growth.  I’ve replaced it with a Catawba Grape, one of the oldest varieties in the US ..now in it’s 3rd year and doing well.  -- Though -- Grapes are also a Japanese Beetle Magnet Confused

..seems I’ve covered about everything ... granted ..this doesn't stop nurseries from selling ‘everything,’ but from what I’ve witnessed up close, most are a wasted effort.  And, I’m at 2,500 feet elevation, on the eastern side of the continent..  And, I’d been warned by HOS Friends, “You’ll be committing fruit tree suicide moving East”...  Yup, apparently so Cry  

But, vegetable gardens thrive in the summer warmth, with periodic downpours and serious heat - I can grow Watermelons Smile  And where the persimmon was, are now 3 massive (recently transplanted) Rhubarb plants!  Deer are thick, but Black bear are the worst on fruiting trees.  And, I am rural; there’s only one traffic light in the entire county!  ..but, I’m smiling..  

Visited Portland, my Home Town ..for the first time in eight years last fall..  ..It was like waking up in OZ.. with Fruit!  A daughter & I walked her neighborhood, where I recognized all the good stuff Cool   Miss it, and my Oregon kin & friends, but here I am ..in fruit purgatory Wink

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John S
PDX OR
2849 Posts
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June 11, 2024 - 7:54 pm

Viron- you're a papa,

Grow some pawpaws! They are native there and should do well. Also beach plums, native to the East.  Native red mulberries.  And I've heard vegetables are easier to grow there.  Some fruit like tomatoes are easier to grow back there.

John S
PDX OR

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