Fruit and Nuts
Fruit and nut trees are special and unlike vegetables they will produce for a lot of years with a better return on effort than anything else in the garden.
In addition to fruit and nut production these trees can be value for shade, timber and as a support for climbing plants. Their crops are good sources of minerals, vitamins, protein and fats and make the perfect snacks for kids.
While the planting location of a tree is highly important for a successful production of fruit and nuts, when selecting a fruit tree or a nut tree from your local nursery, some additional factors you should consider are:
tree shape and size
taste, texture and use of fruit
time of harvest season
disease and pest resistance.
Multi-Grafted trees are an alternative for small gardens where space is limited and several types of fruit are desired.
Trees provide great ecological, economic and cultural values.
A Garden with Fruit Trees and Nut Trees is a Fulfilling, Meaningful and Worthy Undertaking.
Fruit and Nut Tree Enthusiasts
Backyard orchardists are generally small-scale agriculturists of rare and exotic fruit and nut trees and/or plants. However, some of their growing methods and innovative practices are uniquely suited to both the small-scale enthusiast and the commercial grower.
Kansas Hawthorn – Crataegus coccinoides
Kansas Hawthorn, Crataegus coccinoides, is a decidious, spiny shrub or small fruit bearing tree, growing to 8 meters tall and 6 meters wide. It is frost hardy plant and it can tolerate atmospheric pollution, drought and forceful winds but not maritime exposure. Crataegus coccinoides is a member of the Rosaceae family the genus Crataegus.
Crataegus coccinoides leaves are alternate, simple, broadly ovate, 6-7.5 cm long and 5-6 cm wide, hairless, lusterless dark green above, lighter below, downy when young, hairless with age. The plant flowers in May. Flowers are white, pink, or red, hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) born in bundles and are pollinated by Midges. The flowers have a foul smell somewhat like decomposing fish which attracts Midges.
Kansas Hawthorn Fruit
The Kansas Hawthorn fruit is edible, small, crisp, sub-acid with up to five somewhat large seeds in the center, stuck together giving the appearance of single seed. Fruit is borne in small bunches and is up to 2 cm in diameter with numerous pale dots and thick juicy pulp. The plant requires winter chill in order for fruit to set. Kansas Hawthorn fruit is consumed raw or used cooked in the making of pies, jelly and other preserves. It can also be dried out for later use.
Kansas Hawthorn Propagation Methods
Plant propagation is by seed best planted as soon as it is ripe in the autumn. The plant is a very easily grown plant, it favors a well-drained moisture holding loamy but thrives in almost any soil. A position in full sun is best when plants are being grown for their fruit, they will also do well in semi-shade though fruit returns and quality will be lower. Kansas Hawthorn seedlings take from 5 – 8 years before they commence bearing fruit, though grafted trees will frequently do so in their third year.
Kansas Hawthorn, Crataegus coccinoides
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