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What role will HOS play in the future?
John S
2736 Posts
November 25, 2020 - 4:45 pm

I just talked with one of the board members yesterday.  A new organization is being developed out of the HOS Arboretum. I believe it's called the Home Orchard Education Center, or something like that.  Perhaps they will teach bud grafting.

It seems that we will be able to maintain this web site for awhile.  Other things will have to change.  Other people teach grafting.  I know Portland fruit tree project and One Green World have taught it.  There are other places for more limited fruit tasting. I know Portland Nursery has had one for years, among others. 

The main event IMHO that will need to be replaced is the Scion exchange/Fruit Propagation Fair in the Spring.  I'm quite sure that we could find other people to participate in it.  The trickiest thing is, who is going to rent a hall and with what money?   I don't think it's going to happen in the spring of 2021, because covid 19 will still be a huge thing.  I'm quite certain that the event will be smaller than it was under HOS.  At the very least, it would need to be under cover.  It could be outside in a park.  I fear that if it were to be very rainy that day, hardly anyone would show up.  We may need to look for people on this list to see if they would be able to volunteer or attend.  Would you be interested in continuing a scion exchange in the spring in the future?


John S

NW Lady
Vancouver, WA
20 Posts
November 25, 2020 - 8:11 pm

Sounds promising.  I could volunteer and attend.  Perhaps we could reserve a group picnic site at a large park that is covered. Rain or shine we could still have a scion exchange. 

John S
2736 Posts
November 26, 2020 - 9:52 am

We may work with and/or unite with other local organizations, such as Portland Permaculture Guild and Portland Fruit Tree Project for such an occasion.  Unfortunately, a scion exchange is not something that could occur exclusively on zoom, so we may not be able to do it for 2021. I think if we know in the future, we can connect with others beforehand and set up a smaller, but still valuable scion exchange. We probably won't be able to do the whole Fruit Propagation Fair. There are other organizations that sell mason bees and rootstock for growing fruit.

John S

84 Posts
December 14, 2020 - 3:28 am

Well, my non-attendance at events, often had to do with the remoteness of the locations.

I would assume many of the founding members, lived in more rural areas.  And, they chose places convenient to them.

Locating future events more centrally, might be helpful.

Seems to me, some of the Portland Parks have covered areas.

Quite possibly, the facilities might be available without charge.

1 Posts
January 22, 2021 - 3:51 pm

Hello, sad to finally find this site only to discover it is going away.  However, I am willing to provide scion to any event from a gravenstein that is well over 80 years old, planted by my great-grandfather.

719 Posts
January 22, 2021 - 5:09 pm

Welcome RVohs, 

The organization has ended it's glorious run, but this forum persists.  I'm glad to see new members still joining, so we can make the most of what we still have here.

169 Posts
January 23, 2021 - 1:29 pm

What strikes me as an additional concern - and one that might be at least partially addressable, even during current conditions - is the dispersion and loss of knowledge. Perhaps there could be some sort of compilation of information that could be either placed on a website or even better, printed to raise funds? Something analogous to the information put out by an agricultural extension center, but broader in coverage, with more cultivar information, with more details addressing the types of questions raised on this board? 

Vancouver SW Washington
741 Posts
January 24, 2021 - 6:22 pm

The last PNW data that's specific to west of the Cascades information when it comes to specific cultivar recommendations were put out as part of what came out of Mt. Vernon Washington. Most of which was gathered by Gary Moulton then passed into nursery catalogs such as Raintree with icons listing "some degree of PNW disease resistance". The problem is that Mt. Vernon is east and leeward to the Olympic Mountains and the cool wet rains amount to less than most our populous cities such as Seattle or Portland.

There is still value in these mail order listings, but since people like Gary and others having retired their professions and the expiration of support from our extension projects like Mt. Vernon, things are likely to go downhill. We are already seeing mail listings from nurseries that publish 'frost' peach as frost tolerant. Fact check: Mr. Frost found a local leaf curl resistant peach 30 years ago which is named after him.

Even charts such as the dates of flowering are hard to trust. I checked on the Zaiger company's patent on 'sugar-twist' pluerry (peach x plum x cherry) and the wording of the patent was not clear on flower timing. For example I wanted it for what I thought was a late flowering pluerry because a place in California listed it as late flowering. My luck I used internet information over a local mail listing -It is indeed late and the local listing wrong. 

I think more focus belongs here on this or other local sites with us because we are a thin slice of the cherry pie where it really counts on the rainfall winter map:

(or download a bigger copy here)

Those of us here and still young enough to make a continued legacy of the old home-orchard-society, we already know how all important the critical aspects are made out to be because winter precipitation means everything. It moves all funding here almost to a halt. But "we" are still here for tree fruits, and the master gardeners are still funding results for berry fruits of which berries themselves tolerate here.

The main challenge for us on this help forum is to find exactly which color band new members are wishing to have questions answered about in reference to which direction and distancing from the coast, Portland, Corvallis, or Portland. Those closer to Viron are not so critical as to being precise because there are such wide swaths of the rainbow. If we could see it just like this person that has a hard time with apples;

15 miles from the coast in SW Oregon  (ie.  scroll to top,  higher risk to pome fruit there than Portland)

sw hills, portland, oregon
10 Posts
June 5, 2021 - 10:06 pm

hi folks,

well, i'm badly behind the times. missed my renewal, so stopped getting the pome news and never heard about the impending ending of the HOS  until... well, until tonight. (it was a busy year. full of kids, landwork, and a BLM uprising.)

my daughter is distraught. she can't imagine never again sampling the bounty of the fruit show. she's now 16, and bemoans that just as she's becoming able to volunteer, the opportunity is no longer.

well, we'll see. myself, i'll certainly miss both all about fruit and also the scion exchange. i'm under orders not to plant more trees, but still topworking ... and still want that (brushy) limbertwig. 🙂

we have a good sampling of apples, pears, a few plums etc. would be happy to contribute to an exchange. i like the idea of doing something DIY, in a park, etc. honestly, it's portland -- the scions wouldn't be too hurt by some rain, and neither would we. that's what raingear is for! the biggest challenge would be labeling -- maybe we can stock a supply of those aluminum labels?

anyway, just putting it out there. still darn busy, but would love for the knowledge and relations the HOS has cultivated (and grafted) to find new soil to transplant into.

any status updates on such new organizational expressions?

thanks to everyone that's kept the forum going, and the carrying the seeds of the HOS' last fruiting...

John S
2736 Posts
June 7, 2021 - 5:47 pm

Joanie Cooper is hoping that some younger, hipper people will start something that fits the times better.  I would probably help them.

John S

339 Posts
June 8, 2021 - 4:28 pm

Does anyone here use iNaturalist?  It would be interesting to see if we could start a project there which documented our shared species and varieties.  e.g. with location turned on, take a photo on your phone of each of your trees, and when you submit the photo, enter the species (e.g. Malus domestica) and enumerate the varieties grafted onto it (e.g. Zestar, Tsugaru, ...).  Thus you could search for a variety and get a map showing how far you live from someone that has that variety.  If you're worried about people knowing where you live, you can mark the location private and it will only show your town, not your yard.

Someone who wanted to organize a local fruit-tasting or scion exchange could reach out to everyone in the project within a certain area to see if they want to participate.

Here's a search for "granny smith"

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