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PNW Edible Plant Blog

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  • Pacific Northwest Edible Fruits
    January 11, 2023

    Pacific Northwest Edible Fruits

    The Pacific Northwest is famous for its multitude of native edible plants. Native plants can produce fruit for you and wildlife, and be beneficial in other ways. What grows native on your site may provide clues as to what will grow well there.
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  • Structural Pruning on a Walnut
    January 11, 2023

    Structural Pruning on a Walnut

    Structural pruning refers to a pruning approach that involves cutting back competing lateral branches to favor a strong leader. In this approach, a tree will have a strong leader and competing side (lateral) branches are kept narrower than half the diameter of the trunk. Co-dominant branches are not allowed to grow. This approach can be practiced on trees of all ages, but in this case one cut was made to improve the structure of an unpruned ,mature walnut tree.
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  • Grafting Pawpaws
    January 11, 2023

    Grafting Pawpaws

    I describe using whip-and-tongue grafting on pawpaws in this post. I attempt a description of the grafting process, as well as indulge in sharing my interest in the overlooked pawpaw, one of North America's most interesting native fruits.
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  • Organic Control of Some Orchard Insect Pests
    January 11, 2023

    Organic Control of Some Orchard Insect Pests

    Certain insects can be damaging pests to orchard fruit. The apple maggot and spotted wing drosophila are two fruit fly species that I monitor and control at Raintree. Biologically intelligent organic controls give the home orchardist hope for having clean in spite of these flies. Monitoring for apple maggot and Suzuki fruit fly using traps is a powerful tool for me. The traps also catch and kill some adult flies. When used widely, traps can help make a real dent in their populations. I discuss the life histories of these insects and how understanding their life cycles can be applied to their control. The codling moth is also mentioned.
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  • The Persimmon Tree: Centuries of Fall Colors and Sweet Rewards
    January 11, 2023

    The Persimmon Tree: Centuries of Fall Colors and Sweet Rewards

    The American and Asian persimmon trees in Raintree's orchard bear delicious late season fruit and add warm fall colors to the visual palette on a walk through the orchards. Persimmons are remarkable and useful trees, with attractive foliage, sweet fruit, and hard wood. Individuals trees can be quite long-lived and the Asian persimmon has a long cultivate history in East Asia, with many named varieties and much cultural significance. I relate me experience with the persimmons at Raintree to their desirability and interest in general.
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  • Espalier and Other Intensive Pruning and Training
    May 4, 2021

    Espalier and Other Intensive Pruning and Training

    Intensive training and pruning strategies can produces trees that grow smaller and more densely, resulting in more fruit on a per area basis. For the backyard (or front or side yard) urban orchardist espalier can be a great fit. Commercially, fruit trees are increasingly grown in an intensive, high-density fashion. More inputs and maintenance are required to grow trees this densely, but the reward can be an artful fruiting sculpture!
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  • An Introduction to Training Fruiting Vines
    May 4, 2021

    An Introduction to Training Fruiting Vines

    Raintree sells some great fruiting vines. While working here I have learned some about pruning and training the grapes and kiwis we grow in our orchards. In this blogpost, I introduce how to prune and train grapes and kiwis.
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