Fruit trees for new home orchard

Asked November 19, 2020, 3:02 PM EST

I live in Polk Cnty. West of hiway 223 and east of, but near, Falls City. I want to find a supplier of fruit trees developed for this area, especially trees cultivated for the dryer and hotter conditions we're experiencing now and likely to continue to experience. (Watering young trees will be labor intensive, though I understand necessary for a few years.) Also, what online resources would you recommend I read that take climate change into account relative to home orchards? Thank you.

Polk County Oregon

1 Response

Hello you may wish to speak with this group that is doing a lot with dryland farming:

I've not seen any resources re: climate change and home orchards.

It seems water is your main concern. I would first consider the cultural practices that help dry farming fruit trees. First select rootstocks that can get to the water. Highly dwarfing rootstocks have a lot of the roots concentrated in the upper, drier part of the soil profile for example and are more dependent on irrigation. Mulch trees with wood chips to conserve soil moisture. Control weeds and grasses around trees as these will compete with soil moisture.

Other important climate effects on fruit trees include less predictable frost, loss of chill hours and timing of pollen release. Pest and disease issues can also be affected.