Daily Archives: August 28, 2010

SUMMER GARDEN TOURS- Saturday – August 29, 2010

A big thanks to all our members who participated in the July garden tours. The gardens were beautiful and it was a great opportunity to discuss our fruit interests: varieties, insects, soils, diseases. pollination and climate!  Thank you for all your gardening work and sharing with us!

For addresses and location information email seattletreefruitsociety@hotmail.com

Garden #1 – George Krasle
I have finally gotten to a new Place of my Own, in Woodinville. And I have found a real paradise-in-the-making: six acres in unincorporated King County just outside Woodinville, about half in disused pasture, with a stream, an orchard in need of restoration/identification, and all the space I could ever hope for.  I intend to seriously indulge in horticulture there. Right now my priorities are getting the Orchid and Cactus and Tropicals greenhouses moved/constructed, plants from the old yard moved, beds prepared for the trilliums and other woodland flowers, a vegetable garden for the 25 tomato varieties I have from seed, etc (all after actually getting moved-in, of course). The orchard needs inspection, advice and work, I need to plan the landscape, and get my many trees, etc, in pots or from the old house planted. I would love to have some experts come and advise me, and to show-off all my plants/plantings.


Garden #2 – Don Ricks – Horizonview Fruit Tree Steward 

Location: Horizon View Park 19800 47th Ave NE (198th St at 47th Ave NE)

Time: Please meet at the Park at 3:00 pm for a tour of the park’s fruit trees and Don’s caretaking.

Directions:  Exit the freeway at 205th Street NE; Turn right at NW 205th St/Lake Ballinger Way; Continue onto Ballinger Way NE for 0.7 miles; Take a slight left at NE 195th Street; Turn left at 35th Ave NE; Take the 1st right onto 40th Pl NE; Take a slight left at NE 197th Street; Continue onto NE 201st Place; Turn left at 47th Ave NE. Your destination will be on the right

“ What I would like to show is the 10 trees that I am reclaiming by pruning and in some cases cutting back from the brambles and blackberry bushes there at this Lake Forest Park location….it is near my home and very near Lori’s…….I am also putting foot sox on some of the apples and trying to discover the varieties…..the thing that may interest some of the STFS people is that I put different colored foot sox on at different times….all the way up to mid-July to see what will work at what times to protect against the flies…..this park is at a high elevation and the apple maggot flies seem to be late there…..so I am interested in the results….the question of how late we can apply the foot sox (or spray) should be a question of interest.” ~Don Ricks

Garden #3 – Lori Brakken

Time: 12:00 noon to 5:00 pm (note that the Potluck Fall Fruit Show Planning starts here at 5:00 pm) 

 Lori has an espalier fence with more than 40 apple trees growing in an elevated bed., supported by bamboo trellising. She has grafted additional varieties to the espaliered trees, so she now has about twice that many varieties of pomme fruit wood. She also grows grapes, blueberries, persimmon, apricots, and plums. These are all new plantings.


QUESTION: I have noticed insect infestations in the plum trees this summer. We have an Imperial Epineuse plum tree that is covered with sticky sap and thousands of little white insects. I began to wonder what these insects are, and asked our local insect experts.


ANSWER: We canvassed the local prunus, from our two “Italian prunes” to the neighbor’s wild Italian type to some ornamental prunus on the Seattle U campus last night. One tree was infested with white apple leafhopper which took off in clouds when a branch was disturbed. These critters go thru 5 instars and leave their little white shells on the leaves. Both as larvae and as adults, their body shape is torpedo. Leaves can get that stippled look from their early season feeding. In spite of their name they will infest plums too.

A similar insect is the potato leafhopper which the experts ID by the nymphs being able to move sideways as well as forward and backward! The fruit pickers hate them because their faces are right by the leaves so they get them in their eyes, ears, etc., while picking.

The neighbor’s wild Italian type plum is terribly infested with what we are assuming is the mealy plum aphid because it has a powdery coating. But some leaves higher up and out of reach are getting quite curled so maybe it really is the leaf curl plum aphid. The undersides of the leaves are cheek by jowl aphids and the lower leaves on the tree are very sticky and shiny from honeydew. But when the tree is disturbed there is no cloud of insects. Some of the aphids have developed wings so they’ll be leaving soon. Interesting insects: after feeding on prunus from spring to summer and reproducing rapidly, they grow wings and take off for reeds and cattails up to 30 miles away in late summer and migrate back to fruit trees to lay eggs in the fall.

Guess we’d support the trees by giving them an inch of water a week, maybe running a soaker hose circling the dripline for an hour, until harvest. Spraying is marginally effective and re-infestation occurs quickly.