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[nafex] Each year you learn something new . . .
We are coming into
tight cluster here in northern New Hampshire just now . . . spring has become
intense with finishing the pruning, planting new trees, and spreading
compost. Most incredibly, we finally got up an 8-wire deer fence around
the hillside orchard and will soon complete a fence for the new block as well.
Nothing like a state fencing grant deadline from Fish'N'Game (to keep out
their cloven devils!) to get that job done.
Anyhow, before the
memories of this past winter's deep snows fade, I have some questions to pose to
all you southerners (which is something I can say about almost all of you except
Victoria Caron and our Canadian members). I lost most of the lower branches on
my three-year-old M.9 trees, simply ripped off the trunk anywhere from three
feet down by the icy pull of crusting snow. I had thought I'd do more damage
going out and trying to free the buried branches. I was wrong. Does anyone else
in snow country have suggestions for future deep winters? My youngest standards
also lost some branches but there's room on those to grow ever higher. I'm
assuming the gaping tears will heal over and the trunk can recover
structurally. The M.9 trees have a 6' rail stake for support. Any suggestions
for a bark healing salve?
The bigger shocker
occurred in the nursery. I had whip-grafted 50 MM.111 and 50 M.26
rootstock last spring. My daughter's baby goats nipped them in midsummer,
but each recovered enough to have a 2 to 3 foot whip going into winter. The
crushing snow took every one. And most broke just above the healed splice
of the graft . . . but generally close enough for me to think any scion
buds are gone. Here's a case where the latent buds of the rootstock were
stripped off regularly last summer. I don't know if I'll be having a chance to
bud on to new growth or not this summer. I didn't think the snow would wipe away
single vertical shoots. Ironically, this was the first year we had no vole
The best lesson
I can figure (seemingly as always) is to move to a more hospitable
Lost Nation Orchard
RFD 1 Box 275
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