Friday, May 10, 2019

Phrenology report

The European pears are nearing peak bloom.

We are sitting at about 160 Growing Degree-Days. The average for this area is 220 GDD.

The first few blossoms on the Liberty apple trees are open.

The cold damage from the -18F and then -16F a week later are evident.

The peach trees survived but no blossoms opened.

One apricot had no blossoms, one had a few and a third had nearly a full load.

The grape vines that were planted last year were a mixed bag. The wild riparia were by far the hardiest. The Swenson Red was a distant second. Then Geneva Red and Steuben in a close three-four. Lucie Kuhlman, Chelios and the others bringing up the rear.

One surprise was a Trebbiano X riparia cross. One selection died to the ground while the other was as hardy as Swenson Red. It is premature to make solid calls based on how they performed the winter after they were stuck as un-rooted cuttings. They invest a lot of resources into sinking roots...resources that are not available to harden buds.


  1. I'm looking at all the ornamental crabs blooming around here, mostly Japan crabs, and got to wondering: If you bought a property and it had an ornamental crab on it, could you use it as a root stock and graft apple onto it? Or edible crab apple? Would this give you any head start over just digging it up and replacing it with an apple?

    1. Yes. You absolutely could use it as a rootstock and graft edible apples into it.

      Yes, it would give you a head start.

      Yes, it would save you much aggravation trying to get the growing point above the reach of deer and weeds.

  2. Maybe that could go into Skinny Cows. When they prune fruit trees, they could use the prunings to graft onto otherwise useless ornamentals.