The Fruit House
The Fruit House is a clearing house for information related to fruit growing with a special emphasis on the propagation and care of fruit trees for the home orchard.
Time Is Running Out To Order Rootstock
Rootstocks usually sell out in January and February, so it is best to order early. Even though we are into March now there will be a few places that still have rootstock for grafting You can google "rootstock" to get a list of some of the rootstock sources. My "go to" nurseries for rootstock are Raintree, Burnt Ridge, One Green World, Cummins, and Fedco (you can Google these names to find their web site). If you are planning to get fire blight resistant rootstock, look for the places that offer the Geneva 41 (high density planting - M9 size) and Geneva 890 (semi-dwarfing). G. 30 is also a good Geneva series rootstock unless you are wanting to graft Gala. Do not consider the G. 16, G. 814, G.935 unless you have a sources for virus free scions (this precludes using these for heritage varieties). You can learn more about the characteristics of the Geneva apple rootstock series at the Cornell University and Washington State University websites.
As a refresher, this is what you get with the Geneva series apple rootstocks: disease resistance (especial to fire blight), precocity (bears young), high productivity, and cold hardiness.
For a refresher on fire blight check out the WSU summary here.
If you are grafting pears select one of the Pyrus Old Home X Farmingdale rootstocks (e.g., OHxF 97, OHxF87, OHxF333) and specifically do not use a Quince dwarfing rootstock for pears since they are so prone to fire blight.
The most versatile rootstock for stone fruit is the St. Julian A since you can use it with plums (both European and Japanese), peaches/nectarines, and apricots. It is regarded as a semi-dwarf and usually displays precocity in comparison to Myro and Mariana rootstocks. Another precocious, productive, and cold hardy plum rootstock is the Krymsk 1 (VVA-1). Manchurian apricot rootstock can be used for apricot grafting. Prunus americana works well for Japanese plums and hybrid plums, while Prunus domestica works well for European plums. Citation is widely used as a rootstock for the interspecific crosses (but not very available from retail sources for rootstocks).
For cherries you can get some size control (and you usually need it) with Krymsk 5 and the Gisela series. You also get precocity with either of those. Mazzard is the full-sized rootstock for sweet cherries and Mahaleb is the full-sized rootstock for tart cherries.
Time Is Running Out To Order Scion Wood
If you find that our local scion sale does not have certain varieties that you are interested in you can check out other regional and national sources who mail scions (note that many of these sources have a last day to order sometime in February). These include:
Skipley Farm (Snohomish, WA)
Burnt Ridge Nursery (Onalaska, WA)
Queener Farm (Stayton, OR)
Temperate Orchard Conservancy (Molalla, OR)
Purvis Nursery and Orchard (Homedale, ID)
Fruitwood Nursery (Orleans, CA)
Adams Apple Orchard (Ault, CO)
Maple Valley Orchards (Suamico, WI)
Eve's Cidery (Van Etten, NY)
Fedco Trees (Clinton, ME)
Washington State University's Scion Source List
Read a discussion about grafting knives here.
The Quest For Recovering Lost Apples
Lost (and recently rediscovered) apple varieties will be available through bud stick sale in early August. Here are some interesting stories about the quest to recover old varieties thought gone forever.
Strategy for Buying Fruit Trees for Home Orchard
Check out the home orchard page on this site with recommendations for purchasing fruit trees for spring planting.
Here is a link to an article that has suggestions for selecting fruit trees, with an excellent discussion about where to plant a new fruit tree in your yard: https://happydiyhome.com/how-to-choose-a-fruit-tree/
Strategy for Rejuvenating Old Neglected Trees
Even though a tree is old, neglected, and not very productive does not mean that it can not be rejuvenated. Click here for a link on this site that gives excellent guidelines for pruning older trees and bringing them back into production.
Inland Empire Propagation Fair Scion Sale Ended February 2o, 2021
We had a wonderful response to the scion sale this year and look forward to offering the great selection of varieties in 2022 that we had available this year. If all goes well, expect to be able to have an in-person sale about the third week of March of 2022. We anticipate announcing details of the sale the selections available on January 1, 2022. We expect to have most of the varieties in 2022 that we had this year. To get an idea of what you can expect in 2022 in terms of varieties you can check out expected 2022 varieties.
Site maintained by Mike Chase of Spangle Washington. You can contact him at email@example.com or (509)723-4990 (no text)