The Panamint Nectarine I planted last February still looks like a stick most of the year, but it recently produced some gorgeous light pink flowers. I have my doubts that it will make any fruit this season, but I'm hopeful it'll branch out a bit and perhaps produce some nectarines in 2011. Fruit trees are all about patience, I've learned.
My old-timer navel orange produced quite a few little green babies last month. But now is the critical time when the fruit will either set and grow or harden and fall off. I am trying my best to tend to this tree so the fruit can mature, but citrus can be fickle. I also feel like the naval orange got confused by some warm winter days and fruited at a weird time of year. So, I'm not sure if I'll really get any oranges from this guy or not. Time will tell.
On the bright side, the year-old Desert Gold Peach is covered in baby fruit! I am so excited by the prospect of harvesting tree-ripened peaches that I can hardly wait for summer. So far, the fruit have continued to grow bigger and I really really hope they hang in there and make it to maturity. Unlike the nectarine, which was bare root, this guy was a potted tree. Maybe that's why it's fruiting after only a year in the ground.
My Pink Lady Apple is currently in bloom, but still shows no sign of fruit. I gave it a good pruning in early January, hoping that would help, but it hasn't made much of a difference. There are still buds forming, though, so perhaps it'll make some baby apples in a couple of weeks. I'm not sure what schedule apple trees should be on. The weather has been so variable lately that none of my trees seem to be following a normal schedule.
I picked up another apple in late January at a Tree People giveaway in my neighborhood. The variety, Anna Apple, is supposed to do well in warmer climates with fewer chill hours. I planted this bare root tree just before we got all the big rains, and it's thriving already.
In fact, I was stunned to discover a baby apple on it this weekend. This tree has only been in the ground for two months and it's already fruiting! We'll see if this guy makes it to maturity, but either way I think the fact that it's fruiting at all bodes well for future crops. (Perhaps my Anna tree should have a little chat with the Pink Lady and show her how it's done.)
In other orchard news, I planted a bare-root peach tree, courtesy of Tree People, at the same time as the Anna Apple. It's still a stick. The fig tree is looking good, though, as is the lemon tree down by the chicken coop.
I'm hopeful that, after a summer of careful watering, plus a good stretch of winter rains, this will be the year when my backyard orchard dreams start to come true. If nothing else, I really hope I get to pick a couple of sweet, juicy peaches in a couple of months. Wish me luck!