tracked the dates that my low chill deciduous fruit trees started blooming for the last
few years. I found the information interesting on several levels. It is
something to do on those rainy days. But more seriously, on a given year the trees
bloom in a comparative succession. The actual dates vary by the season but not
always in the same direction. The blooming order is at least somewhat in accordance
with the fruiting order. Trying to figure out those vagaries make the
fruit orchard very intriguing. The differences are relative to
exactly when the cold weather arrives and how long it lasts. A warm
December and plants can be blooming very early. But if it is
followed by a cold January some of the later blooming deciduous fruit
trees may still wait until their normal March blooming times. I have
a few flowering plants that I use for markers to see where other gardens
might match up as bloom timings vary significantly, earlier at the coast
and to the South, and later in colder locations.
My goal is to have my home orchard to provide its bounty over as long a period as
possible. Any given tree will produce fruit for 2-4 weeks, and who can possibly eat
the 500 to 1000 pounds or more of fruit produced in such a short span?
This is especially true if
several trees ripen at the same time. If I plan well I can eat fresh fruit picked from my own trees
almost all year long.
I have oranges and tangerines in the winter to carry me to the first
peaches of the season in May. The next stretch of my early season is a little weak
until the Royal apricots kick in with the Babcock peaches in late June. Then I am
nearly buried in fruit until December when I am still eating Fuji apples, Persimmons and
Asian Pears 'till the end. Dried and canned and frozen fruit fills in most of the blanks.
My plot of paradise is in Ojai, inland from Ventura and Santa
Barbara. I have found room to stuff 40 different kinds of fruit trees
onto my property. Somehow I will still find room for a few
more. With my new trees I espalier them, form them into arches or
sculpt them into Trees will bloom and fruit as much as 2-3 weeks earlier on our local
coastline and earlier still down South towards San Diego. The season will be
both compressed and shifted later in more northern and inland climes.