New residents

Got my fruit trees from Stark Bros yesterday.

Cast of characters upper left to upper right: Jonathan apple (because it pollinates the Honeycrisp), sugar maple, Honeycrisp apple (best eating apple ever), 2-in-1 sweet cherry (VanSweet and Golden Stark Gold), Canadice seedless grape, and Redhaven peach. Below in the long black box are three pink rugosa roses, two blueberries, and 6 Kiowa blackberries (whoops – I was looking specifically for a thornless blackberry variety, found one, then got excited about this one’s size and switched it, not noticing that this one’s very much not thornless! Ouch!)

Of course the directions say to plant immediately. So why are these guys populating our sunporch, crowded two and three into too-small containers? Well remember, because of the snow the forest clearing was delayed from Feb. 9th to the 23rd. Then because all the snow melted and turned the site to swamp, we had to delay again, to March 8th, next Monday. So I am not prepared at all! I’m just praying that the site will dry out some more before Monday – though there’s more rain scheduled for tonight.

It’s ok though; nighttime temps are down in the 20s this week, so if I had planted them outside, I’d spend all this week running back and forth with sheets and blankets to swaddle them up every night and undress them every morning. Besides, I’m sure these guys can survive a week as sheltered, potted princesses. It may even give them something of a head start, who knows?

Unlike previous years, the quality of this shipment was a little spotty. The rhubarb was completely dry-rotted, and the maple sapling has barely *any* roots – they look chopped off. I’m really dubious as to its potential survival. And one of the roses was straight-up crispy. Customer service promptly and courteously offered to send new ones, and placed a watch on the peach tree (I noticed dead leaf buds) so they’ll know to replace it if it dies later.

Other than that, though, things looked really healthy. The Jonathan apple had such a huge root system that I’m pretty sure it’s a 2- or 3-year-old tree, not just a 1-year whip.

I’ve got another two grapes and a fig sapling coming later this month from a nursery out in California. Depending on how advanced we are with the site preparation, I may call to delay that shipment as well. Durned snow!

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