Thursday, June 22, 2017

Praying for rain, trees dying, hoses kinking...just another day

Hope springs eternal.  Maybe this time we will get some rain.
Another apple tree that does not look healthy.  The stem on the right is dead.
This variety is a fairly new, disease resistant apple named WineCrisp.  It seems like all new releases have "...Crisp" in their name to capitalize on the popularity of HoneyCrisp.

One of the oddities of this apple is that it is being touted as being very cold hardy which seems highly unlikely.

I think the claims originated with the breeders who were concerned that folks would look at the pedigree with Cox Orange Pippin and Starking (Red Delicious) as recent parents.  WineCrisp is a late apple and late apples tend to be less hardy than early apples.  When combined with the fact that the pedigree looks similar to Gala's (an apple with marginal hardiness across much of the mid-West) but in a much later apple, I think the breeders felt compelled to add a note about this apple "the tree appears to be cold-hardy for winter temperatures in Illinois and Indiana."
Record low for Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin is -45 F.

Thus you end up with nurseries in places like Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin selling WineCrisp based on on the original claim that morphing into "WineCrisp is a hardy" apple.  Caveat emptor.

Incidentally, HoneyCrisp IS a hardy apple, capable of handling -35 F when well grown and the fruit load is managed.


Hmmm.  This corner needs a little bit of work.

The hose will kink when it gets warm (soft).  Application of water pressure does not always straighten it out.  This needs some hardware to fix. The compression sleeves are a one-time deal.
For what it is worth department
I was mowing in the serious orchard today.  I saw two young robins.  One was running along the ground like a chipmunk.  The other one was in the stock tank and paddling like heck to stay afloat.  I put him on top of a live trap in the sun to warm up and dry out.


  1. When using polly pipe you can't just grab the end of the roll and pull, you have to unroll it by spinning the entire roll or you'll get kinks galore - forever.
    Saw a video by Wanglestar trying to thread a 500' roll of 2" through a pvc pipe. He grabbed and pulled. What a disaster. Difficult to watch but kind of funny if you like to watch failure through inexperience.
    BTY I was an irrigation contractor for 40 years or so.
    My favorite apple here in WI is Sweet Sixteen. Tastes great and handles whatever weather it gets.

    1. You would have died laughing when I put the loose roll of 1/2" on a shovel handle and tried to walk backwards.

      So far the best I have been able to manage is to spear the roll with my right fore-arm, let three or four loops off. The switch arms so it is speared with my left fore-arm and let an equal number spool off the other direction. It is not perfect but it worked well enough.

      Sweet Sixteen is a *fantastic* apple. The only problem I ever had with it is when I let it over bear and the fruit was not very good. I lost the variety and am reluctant to add it back in unless I can get virus free scion.

      Keepsake is a sister of Sweet Sixteen and DNA testing identified it as one of HoneyCrisp's parents. Keepsake demands calcium sprays or it develops bitterpit/corky spots.

      Irrigation contractor....if only I had known that before I started.

      "You need experience so you make good decisions. They way you get experience is by making bad decisions." Or by working with somebody who learned the hard way.

  2. I think we've all tried the shovel handle - once.
    Easiest way is to secure the free end then walk backwards with the top of the pipe roll in both hands and as you walk, flick the roll up and spin it then catch it and repeat. The bigger stuff can be laid in the trench and you walk the roll along side and it lays in real nice.
    We were doing a park at the old Denver airport one winter and needed to lay some 2" 100NSF poly. Very thick walled ans stiff stuff even in summer. We secured the end under some heavy equipment and 3 guys proceeded to unroll it with difficulty in the trench. Got a hundred some feet along when the end came undone. It went straight up, arched over and whistled down near us. That job wasn't fun.