Stone fruits

Last year I have got 7 stone fruit trees:

  • ‘Katy’ apricot [Dave Wilson Nursery] on ‘Citation’ hybrid rootstock
  • peach (multi-graft – 4 in 1) on ‘Nemaguard Peach’ rootstock
  • Spice Zee Nectaplum Interspecific [Dave Wilson Nursery] on ‘Citation’ hybrid rootstock
  • pluot (multi-graft – 4 in 1) on ‘Citation’ hybrid rootstock
  • sugar prune [Dave Wilson Nursery] on ‘Citation’ hybrid rootstock
  • 2 trees of cherries

I have planted them (mid-February 2016) pretty close to each other (4 ft) as I plan to form kind of a hedgerow. However, later I have decided to me the hedgerow bit closer to the house – transplanting (immediately followed by pruning) happened on February 12, 2017. Sugar prune was simple to move – it’s root system didn’t grow very much. But other four trees were really hard and although we tried our best, some major roots had to be significantly cut and got a bit damaged.

Surprisingly, cherries were less complicated (maybe because the soil in the place where they were planted was quite shallow).

Apricot started to flower just a few days later, as well as one of the peach grafts. I have sprayed all trees with copper on February 18th (to prevent leaf curl).

Cate Macadamia

Macadamia in East Bay? Well, maybe! Macadamia nuts that we all adore are from Macadamia intregrifolia  and Macadamia tetraphylla – tropical tree originated from Australia. The plant I am trying is  a hybrid between the two species, called Cate Macadamia (Macadamia Cate). It is supposedly self-fertile (does not require another macadamia tree to pollinate and produce fruit). I have planted the tree at the end of March, when it was just after flush of new leaves. Second flush started around the beggining of July.

So far, there are no problems with pests, except some caterpillars on the new leaves.

Loquat alias nispero

Subtropical decorative tree (Eriobotrya japonica) can be found in many gardens around the East Bay, but from what I have observed – most trees are possibly seedlings as their fruits are rather small. Many people do not harvest them – I know of several large trees that are only harvested by squirrels.  Loquat tree can grow up to 14 to 16 ft tall if not trained. In East Bay area it can be planted in a spot with full sun whole day. The wind can damage leaves which are otherwise very decorative. Loquat, especially young trees, may be damaged by temperatures bellow 32F. To produce big juicy fruit and abundant growth in the area, the irrigation in summer is necessary.

Loquat is one of the first fruits to be harvested in the spring, some varieties actually even in the autumn. Tastes maybe between apricot and apple, but of course depends on the specific variety.

For some strange reason, loquat is not commonly found in the nurseries around the Bay area. Somebody told me that maybe they are not so easy to graft, but I am not sure whether that is the right reason.

I finally got a tip that God’s Little Acre nursery in San Jose might have several varieties I decided to make a trip there. Tip was right – they had three varieties:

  • Champaign (white-fleshed)
  • Gold Nugget (orange-fleshed)
  • Big Jim (orange-fleshed)

[More information about loquat and varieties is available here: https://www.crfg.org/pubs/ff/loquat.html]

I have opted for Gold Nugget variety.

Only a few weeks later I have discovered that Berkeley horticultural nursery also offers several varieties of loquat.

Persimmon tree (Diospyros kaki)

I have to admit I was never big fan of persimmon. It was because I have only tried Hachiya type varieties which are highly astringent till soft-ripe. At that time, they are of almost liquid consistence which is not attractive to me.

But then I tried Fuyu type – squat shape and flat bottom. It is mildly sweet, crunchy and can be eaten almost like an apple (I like it with lemon juice).

Tree that I bought if Fuyu type – variety ‘Jiro’. It came from Dave Wilson Nursery and I bought it Home Depot.

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Courtesy of Food Librarian, Flickr.

Here is description from the label: ‘Jiro’ (“Apple Persimmon”). Medium size, flat shape, still crunchy when ripe, non-astringent. Cool or hot climate. Hardy, attractive tree, practically pest free. Fall harvest. Needs 200 chilling hours. Self-fruitful. Drought-tolerant.

My tree was small, I guess it is 2 years old at max. Its started sprouting ion mid-march and has some flower buds, so let’s see how the flowers will look like and if I manage to get at least one fruit to taste it.