Fruit Tree Farming

Show Notes

In this episode, Jon Teater (Whitetail Landscapes) and Ryan Haines (Blue Hill Wildlife Nursery) discuss the importance and benefit of fruit trees on the landscape. Ryan explains the considerations when picking a specific tree to plant or propagate on the landscape. Ryan suggests the best practice is replicating quality fruit trees on hunting properties. Jon and Ryan discuss how to prune and shape fruit trees. Both Ryan and Jon converse about tree spacing, scaffolding and light considerations.

Ryan discusses management techniques for developing strong branching and optimal fruit. Ryan explains soil considerations when planting trees. Ryan explains soil amendments and soil deficiencies. Ryan and Jon suggest certain amendments required to support tree growth and key nutrients that tend to be deficient on the landscape.

Ryan discusses using compost and common mistakes with planting fruit trees near and around food plots. Jon and Ryan discuss fruit tree site selection, and sunlight needs. Ryan discusses spraying fruit trees and timing. Ryan and Jon explain the differences and benefits of dwarf, semi-dwarf and standard trees. Ryan explains fruit drop times and the importance of land setup and positioning of trees.  Ryan ends explaining his top Pear, Crabapple, Applecrab, Apple and Persimmon choices and how to develop the best fruit tree layout for your property.

Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to Maximize Your Hunt, the podcast dedicated to those who want the most out of their hunting property. This podcast explores land management habitat improvement and hunting strategies that will help you maximize your time in the field. Follow along as industry professionals that live and breathe Whitetailed deer.

Share their secrets to success. The founder of Whitetail Landscapes, your host, John Teeter.

Jon Teater: Hi, I'm John Teeter, Whitetail Landscapes. This is Maximizer Hunt. Welcome back everybody. I have been on the road. I am back in the office, and I'm excited for this podcast. Today I've been waiting to do a podcast on apple crab, apples, fruit trees in general. But to talk about the maintenance aspect of it, um, I've planted my first apple tree when I was a child.

Um, I've gone through a lot [00:01:00] of ups and downs and mistakes. I continue to make mistakes. I continue to learn. I continue to grow. Fruit trees are a fun hobby. Do I focus a lot of that, you know, on the landscape? Is that part of my plans? Absolutely. Because I think people get a lot of joy and entertainment out of watching a fruit tree develop and become somewhat productive.

And there's a lot of philosophies, you know, across the landscape on where you employ them. How you set them up, how you build an orchard, how you protect an orchard. We're gonna talk about some of those topics today, but we're gonna get into some details that I typically don't get into. You know, we're very dear focused on this podcast.

Obviously, we've talked about other species. We're gonna get into turkeys this year. There's a bunch of different things we're getting into, but I'm excited to talk about fruit today, and I, I got a great guess on, I've been trying to helm this guy for, I think last year. He, he might've wanted to come on, but he's extremely busy, so he's a hard guy to get ahold of.

Uh, Ryan Haynes from, uh, You know, blue Hill Wildlife, uh, nursery, and he's, uh, he sells out very quickly for his trees. And this isn't [00:02:00] focused on the sales aspect of it, we're focused on the education side of things. So I want everyone to recognize that. Hey, Ryan, you on the line? Yep, I'm here. All right, man.

It's good to have you on the podcast. Yep. Thanks for having me. Yeah. So why don't we just, just quickly, you know, get into you, where are you located, and, uh, talk a little bit about your orchard and, and salad trees and tho those type of things.

Ryan Haines: We're located in central Pennsylvania. And pretty much sun cre trees across this country to, you know, most every state that's got some.

Jon Teater: I was on a job a couple years ago and I called you because I had heard so much about your product and I had some trees that I wanted you to take some si wood off of. We never connected, but I know you come up in New York and across the country to find, you know, kind of good stock of trees or good quality trees, whether it's persimmons, you know, apples, crab apples, those type of trees.

But you sell all species. I mean, cherries, I mean there's, there's probably a lot of varieties that you do sell at your. [00:03:00] Yeah,

Ryan Haines: everything. I mean, mainly what I focus in on is, is, you know, persimmons is, is a, you know, exceptional tree. You know, you get into apples and, and something that's, uh, very productive.

You know, whether that's an apple, apple crab or a crab apple, you know, into pears, chest trees, everything. If I remember right, that tree back then was, you know, what I would call an apple crab. It was, uh, you know, bigger than a golf ball. Smaller than a tennis ball, but you know, if, if somebody could see the tree, you know, right now I remember the picture in my head, you know, was just, you know, just a massive amount of fruit hanging on the tree in January.

And, and a tree like that is, you know, one piece of that puzzle and one looking for a tree that's gonna be a winner. Obviously you'd want to take into effect that, you know, how about disease resistance? You know, is it productive annually? Is it, you know, a lot of things that, that would go into that tree, but I remember that picture and it was, it was no doubt an exceptional tree.

Jon Teater: Yeah, and it's hard to find those exceptional trees down the landscapes, and when you do, you want to take [00:04:00] advantage of them and, and take advantage of that Seine wood. All right. Well, so let's go, let's get into some of the aspects like, so right now we're in, uh, you know, we're, we're heading to March. Um, I'm in zone five.

You know, some people are in zone four. I don't know if you're in zone six or what zone you're in specifically, but this is kind of the opportune time to start maybe pruning your trees, uh, your fruit trees specifically. And I wanted to kind of get your take on the approach that you have going into this, and maybe think specifically about the type of tree that you have on the landscape, whether it's a standard depending the size of the tree, you know, semi door for whatever the example is, and then kind of go into your strategy and philosophy and how you kind of manage, you know, those trees, at least at this time of year.

What, what's your, what's your key keynote on, on those particular topics?

Ryan Haines: Well, I'm located, I'm on the edge of five B six. , I mean, a majority of the trees I sell are, are grafted onto a, a standard route. You know, and that's the key thing about you, that tree you said about there earlier, to [00:05:00] replicate that tree and, and what you see from that tree that's up there in your area.

The only way to do that is to, you know, graft it. You know, there's a ton of different ways to graft that tree, but to get the same rock location, , you know, you're looking at literally just cloning the tree over and over again and get the same thing. But as far as as pruning and stuff like that, this time of year is a great time of year.

You get those nice 45 degree days or 40 degree days. Great time of year to be out there and, and, and pruning and what I mainly look for, you know, when looking at apples, you know, just develop a central leader. If you want a good, strong, central leader, no double leaders in that, especially as the tree's.

you know that first four or five years of you planting that tree and growing that tree. Yeah. By that year four, you're gonna need to be on a step ladder to get up there and prune on that tree. But really establishing a good central leader. And I like to grow a tree that's, you know, I want a tree that's 20 foot tall.

I want a tree that's 25 foot tall, 30 foot tall, 35 foot tall. If I can get it out of a fruit tree, [00:06:00] you know, the more. , you know, it's kind of like, uh, you look in the city, you know, they grew upwards and, and you know, put up a skyscraper or whatever to make people live in. Same thing with that fruit tree. If you can grow it high, higher, the better.

Yeah. More fruit, more tonnage, more you're feeding the deer more. You're feeding the wildlife. Yeah. Not just deer, but you know, easily this time of year, you know, if the ground's snow covered, there's turkeys, there's grouses. If you got some crabs hanging, they're gonna be along with those deer. I like to establish a central liter in, in, at younger stages.

Really the only thing I'm looking for is not to have a double central liter, cuz it could split your tree down the middle cuz that tree starts fruiting and, and putting out a really good crop. It could split your tree eighth on the middle. You know, if you really wanna get technical and look back through things, you know, crisscrossing branches, any branches that are heading, you know, going back towards your central.

You know, aside from that, I really, a lot of times you're better off [00:07:00] not pruning the tree at off. You don't know, you know exactly what you're doing. You'd almost be better off letting it go and just don't get a sub. Don't get a double liter and, uh, you know, establish that central leader is in the first few years.

Of growing a

Jon Teater: tree. Oh, so let's, let's say somebody wants to be a little more sophisticated. There's, there's two points there that you brought up. One is a standard tree, and we're talking about maximum production. We want the maximum or the most amount of, of fruiting production or fruiting opportunities.

And so more branches, more opportunities. There's another piece, this we're managing light, right? And that whole managing light aspect of this is important. I think what I struggle with, and I, I followed a bunch of different people that do pruning and, you know, they have all different philosophies and they, they build their scaffolding and they have so many branches per scaffolding and you know, basically they're looking to manage the light optimally, and they have these.

Kind of, I guess I would say almost like a conifer shape. Tying into that central leader concept, what is your opinion of that and branching [00:08:00] scaffolding, first tier, second tier spacing? What's your philosophy there? I,

Ryan Haines: I would go every, uh, you know, as far as that scaffold, I would look at about two foot 18 inches, two foot set out another set of limbs.

You get into bear country, things change for you. You know, guys that are out there that got a lot of bears, you're looking to establish. When we're talking scaffolds, we're looking at the branches that are coming off of your central leader that are going outwards away from your tree. You're, you're looking at bear country.

You want to develop, uh, less of a scaffold. Bigger branches hold bears, weights. You get that Mom and Cubs up there, they're playing around. There's apples on there. They're gonna be going up the. Developed a really good scaffold, really young. You may go three foot apart, four foot apart on that scaffold and really get some size to those limbs coming off that central leader to be able to hold a bear's weight.

Obviously you get a, you know, a 400 pound bear climbing up the tree. Well, [00:09:00] you know that scaffold might go out the window, but that's the game you play. We all play it. We all got properties different, different places.

Jon Teater: Yeah. You bring up a really interesting topic of bears. In that case, what would be your recommendation?

So let's say is it protecting the tree, fencing the tree? What? What would be the opportunity to eliminate bear introduction?

Ryan Haines: Re remove that fruit for the first, as long as you can reach it, as long as you can get to it. Keep that fruit off for that first, you know, that first five years and it's all gonna be dependent on the tree.

You're, you know, you're planning to also, but you know, you're just, like I said earlier, you're trailing to really establish. Good size branches coming off that tree to be able to support a bear's weight that'll get you into the game. There's frilly, I don't think everybody's tried from barbed wire to, you know, fencing, to high fencing to, to the concrete fencing going around this thing and trying to put it in there.

But , keep, keep the keep, keep the fruit off as long as you can, and establish a good branch [00:10:00] angles. and, and really developed those lateral limbs. Coming off is the best thing. And I've grown trees for a long time in bear country and, and they're gonna take some limbs off. An important thing would be looking at soil.

You know, you can't y you know, yeah. Bear gets a new tree, he bust some limbs off, and if you're in really, really poor soil and, and didn't do a little homework in there, do a soil test and make some amendments that that tree can bounce back fast. You know, that's gonna, that's gonna be an, an an issue too.

If, if the tree's in very poor soil and it took it, you know, a long time to get to size, what's gonna take a long time to compound that growth back That would happen when you get some bear damage. So appropriate soil, you know, nph. Would be, uh, be very important there when, when looking at that.

Jon Teater: Right. I wanna back up for a second, and you talked a little bit about crotch angles and I don't know, this is the old school piece of me.

We used to, when I was kids, we used to tie down our branches because they, they would say hormonally, you know, that. Stimulates or gives [00:11:00] opportunities for the, the tree to be more fruiting like. Right. And this more, this vertical. Um, instead of this, uh, excuse me, horizontal versus vertical branching. And I've used spreaders, closed pins, you know, depending on the age of the tree, I've tied 'em down to center blocks, stakes, you know, what's your opinion on crotch angles and how to manage that in, in any, any size tree, do you have an opinion?

Do you let it, do you let the fruit do the work? What, what's your. Uh,

Ryan Haines: I, I, I've never say I never have, but yet I've played with it just to see. Yeah. And a hundred percent, there's no doubt, you know, tying a branch down is definitely gonna make it fruit faster. That's, that's what you just said there before that is, that's a fact.

Yeah. You know, limbs going vertical, not so much. Limbs going horizontal fruit faster. There's, there's no, there's really no doubt about it. You know, if, if you got the time to train, train your tree and you wanna put the crotch angles in there and give it a good crotch angles and, [00:12:00] and, uh, tie down limbs and stuff like that, if you got the time and energy to put into that, do so.

But I think a major thing of that is because a lot of times back then we were pulling from commercial type trees that you needed to do things like that too. Hmm. You know, there's, there's a ton of trees out there. Not a ton. A lot of the varieties that, that I have available to me, you know, generally are going pretty fast for me, I'm gonna plant an appropriate soil.

Soil is very important when you're looking at a tree producing at a young age. As you get fruit on the tree, it's naturally going to, you know, make those limbs go down and be horizontal. So when you make those NIMS limbs naturally horizontal, you're gonna get that effect coming over and over. I'm not gonna train limbs when I can just let the, you know, the sweet event pair hang off the tree and I'm gonna let three or four of 'em hang on this limb and it's gonna train it for me.

And yeah, you know, I've only had the tree for three years. I'm just gonna, you know, let the fruit do it for me. There's plenty of trees [00:13:00] out there that do that for you, but I think back then that was a, a thing because of the trees we were using back then.

Jon Teater: It's an interesting topic because I think a lot of people watch videos.

I mean, uh, you know, I, I followed this one guy years ago where he was really big on having, depending on the size of the tree, having the scaffolding very low to be edible source for deer. It keeps him off the central leader for. Rubbing or the trunk for rubbing. And you know, there's that philosophy that I've seen it Totally, you know?

Yep. On the other side of it where, you know, you just focused on, you know, STEM development and you know, you want your branching super high. And then again, I, I've seen where you've gotta worry about, obviously rubbing on the tree from antlers, et cetera. We talked about bears earlier. You, there's all these different philosophies, but you started bringing up soil and.

You know, I do a lot of work with soil because of the food plots, and I use a certain lab and there's just, I look at soils a lot for, you know, food. Uh, development and enhancing 'em. I, I don't even, I use basically [00:14:00] slow, non soluble, you know, fertilizers, rock phosphates, things that take a long time to decompose because I'm a, I'm a slow grower.

I'll use as mite. I mean, I'll use some natural, basically, you know, high mineral content. . Um, I know that our soils in these areas are very boron deficient, copper deficient. My soil is very zinc deficient. Um, and so I'm looking at all attributes of like soil as it relates to the particular plant. You know, getting soil tests is kind of an interesting topic cuz I think a lot of people aren't thinking about that.

but they're putting, they're putting these plants in, you know, these field settings where they have like, um, food plots for example, because you're getting more sunlight. These are on the edges or maybe they're grouped together, you know, what are you, you know, when you're taking soil samples, what are you looking at?

Because I, I know your soils are probably pretty poor. Um, you're probably a pretty good testing ground, I guess, for, you know, susceptible tree. What are you, what are you thinking? I,

Ryan Haines: I mean, you're, you're two most important. Nutrients in there. Your phosphorus and [00:15:00] potassium. Yeah. For a fruit tree on a young, at a young age, you know, after year 5, 6, 7, no, the, there are two nutrients have become, you know, not so much important for.

that fruit tree and you know, as well as I do, it's easy to feed anything from urea. So, you know, but it's very important nutrients are actually down there where a tree can utilize it. When looking at a food plot, you're looking at that, you know, maybe you're working that top six inches or maybe you're working that top eight inches, or you know, maybe you're down a foot.

So getting those nutrients down in there to that tree that you've just planted down there, maybe it's down 18. , you know, that's very important. You know, that aspect to making sure that that tree is there, that it can utilize it at that point.

Jon Teater: Do you have a tendency to bring in compost or

Ryan Haines: add? Oh, a hundred percent.

Okay. Com compost is, is a very good thing just because when you're digging down in there 24 inches or 18 inches down in the soil, it's soil that's never been worked. And a common mistake is, , A lot of people wanna add fruit trees to their, you know, [00:16:00] around the fruit plot, but they wanna put 'em outside the food plot, even though they spent the last six years, you know, working in that food plot and they brought their pH up and they brought, you know, they, you know, nutrients up in the optimal and, you know, everything's good and they're getting, you know, whatever, if they're going turnips or whatever brass are, you know, they got bulbs that are, you know, size of softballs and things are great, but outside that food plot things aren't so great.

And then you wanna plant the fruit trees over there against the big red. and you're not gonna get the, you're not gonna get the growth. If you'd put that out there and you planted the right variety, you know, a graphed variety in my mind. You know, you really got something special over there, gro give it that good dirt.

That's my opinion.

Jon Teater: Yeah, that's, uh, that's good advice cuz I, I see the same thing when, when I'm working with clients and they're, they're picking, they're picking on work ground that, that typically is, you know, grassland areas that, that are sometimes nutrient deficient. So let, let's, uh, let's kind of step into, you know, site selection, so to speak.

And I wanna talk a little bit more about. [00:17:00] I guess management of the tree as it kind of ages. So, you know, as you kind of get into this decision, whether you picked an apple crab, apple, whatever the case may be, you're trying to pick a site that gets, you know, a fair amount of sun, you know, and then you sometimes a lot of trees, there's, you know, the south facing and maybe southwest facing, and they tend to pull to those areas.

Any strategy, you know, alignment of trees and rows. Do you position 'em north, south, west, east, anything like that from your perspective, that'd be helpful. .

Ryan Haines: I mean, a lot of times I would look at prevailing winds. If, if I'm setting up trees, whether you're setting in a, a 10 acre food plot or a one acre food plot, or maybe it's a half acre, you know, I would really look at that.

Prevailing winds. As you get into smaller food plots, prevailing winds aren't gonna matter as much cuz if you're archer hunting, that that deer's gonna become within range. But if you're sitting in a, in a, you know, five acre plot or something like that, I would want fruit positions. The prevailing wind is gonna help me and you're always better off [00:18:00] getting trees, morning sun.

And I think a big factor of that is. They get that morning sun. You know, they've got every fruit tree that's out there for sale. There's nothing that's gonna grow in the in the solid shade. Everything's gonna need at least six hours of direct sunlight. Not scattered sunlight, but sunlight directly hitting the tree.

And that morning sun, I think is great for that first. Six or eight hours to give that tree plenty of light that, you know, everything's happening for that tree the way it should be. But yet as that sun gets hot around, you know, one o'clock, two o'clock, the hottest part of the day, you know, that soil's able to hold back more moisture at that July, you know, important times for a tree in, in July, August, where a lot of times around this country, around the northeast here, , you know, things go dry.

You know, it might not rain for three weeks, it might not rain for a month, depending on, uh, you know, how the thunderstorms tend to hit you that time of year. So it's important to retain that moisture. And I think that's a lot of why trees do better to get that sun, you know, that first [00:19:00] thing in the morning and, and get it all the way to the day.

Not saying you can't go trees on the other side of the plot. And if you're dealing with chestnut trees, trees that are gonna get 60, 80 feet, you know, tall. , you want them on the north side. You don't want them shading out, you know, 20, you know, 20 years from now, this tree's 50 foot tall. You don't want it shading out your, your, you know, your apple tree over there that's only 25 foot tall.

So yeah, you almost have to position things. And even perim trees, perim trees in time are gonna get to be 80 feet tall. You know, here in the northeast, if you're looking at 90 chromosomes and stuff like that, they're going to get big. So you wanna keep them. Now they're very shade tolerant. A perimetry will produce in the absolute complete shade.

If you planted, you know, 10 of them in space at five foot, they would, all that center tree will still produce five years from now, 20 years from now. Center Tree was still produced in the fruit, even though it's, uh, totally shaded. So it's. There's a lot that really goes into it, depending on what you're planting, you know, if you're planting apple trees or whatever.

But [00:20:00] that morning sun, very important.

Jon Teater: Yeah, that's a good take away from me. And I think a lot of people may not recognize that. So, and I can't think of the individual's name that I paid attention to a few, few years ago, but he talked about tree spacing. And I'm gonna throw out another concept. And I don't know, Ryan, we, we hadn't talked about this, but you know, I, I, when I plant.

Uh, apple and pear trees and I'll, I'll, I recommend this to clients is I typically have a, a nitrogen fixator, a nitrogen producer. Now all trees, generally all trees produce nitrogen. Uh, there's a nitrogen component in, in their production cycle, some more than others. I use honey locust thornless, honey locust, and I take the branches.

Push them all the way down, so it almost looks like a coniferous tree, but the branches are actually downward. And I'll position a nitrogen producer, an apple pear, then a Nitra producer if I'm doing 'em in rows. And I'm typically not doing them in rows, but I'll actually have two fixation trees around in an apple tree or pear tree.

And that's [00:21:00] kind one of my design philosophies that I've kind of come up with a few years ago. , it's kind of a permaculture thing. And then you can introduce other plants along the base. People use like Russian, comfy, and there's a whole, you know, you can build these fruit guilds. There's a, there's a concept surrounding this and it's, that's a little unique, but that's like specialized if you're only gonna get into maximizing space and optimizing, you know, kind of that productivity on the landscape and having these, you know, multifaceted kind of multi-dimension polycultures.

That's one philosophy. There's another philosophy where you're just gonna go. And you're gonna try to maximize maybe along the edges of fields, you know, these large standard size trees that are just breaching that maximum production. And the question is, what type of tree are you gonna select? And you have to think about early, mid, late droppers.

And so my question to you and, and I'm more of the latter of the two, I've done both styles, at least designing fruit guilds and then focusing on individual trees and et cetera. But my philosophy [00:22:00] has been more kind of. your area, big standard producing trees that the max amount of fruit. The problem I have is the waiting time.

So I'm, I'm wondering on your side of the house, how do you increase production timeframes? And, and it's a, it's, it's kind of based upon, you know, the, the tree type that you're using, the rootstock, et cetera. Um, and, and have this balance because some people just don't wanna wait. And I guess my question to you is, what do you, what do you recommend in those scenarios to, to most folks?

I mean, really

Ryan Haines: it's fruit trees. You've gotta have a a, a plan in mind. There's gotta mean an end game for you and where's your end game at? And I almost feel like we're too, talking about two different things. I mean, a grafted tree is going to produce much faster for you than, than say a. You know, a regular ceiling tree might be that year six, could be year eight, could be year 10, could be year 12, depending on your soil, you know, in a grafted tree.

I mean, you can plant a, a roadkill crab and it's gonna, you know, fruit for [00:23:00] you many times there. You plant it. Now are, you know, 12 crab apples or 25 crab apples hanging on a tree, going to. be a sustainable food source for wildlife. No, but they give you a, you know, a good realization, you know, a good opportunity to see what this tree's gonna do and, and, and really give you something to focus on is, is what this tree's gonna look like at your, you know, five, what it's gonna look like 10.

But really, you, you gotta have a, you know, you gotta be realistic and think of, this is what I want, this is what I want this to look like in, in five years. I wanna be able to feed X amount of deer off of these trees. So it. , you know, put in your mind that, okay, well maybe I shouldn't just be planting four trees.

Maybe I need to plant 24 trees. So, you know, you, you, you compound when you put numbers of trees in to make a sustainable food source. But when you fall in the graft of trees and stuff like that, . I mean, there, there's a lot of good varieties. If you're look at Blue Hill Wildlife nursery there that you [00:24:00] can see what's, what's available and what they'll do.

It's, you know, all in what you want to do and, and really looking at that. I would just have a five year old, you know, five year plan. I'm looking to, to put X amount of deer standing at this location five years from now. You gotta be realistic. Not saying you're not feeding some deer, you're, you're three or four.

but I mean, it's just gonna take time. It's trees. It's not that instant gratification that, you know, I just put this clover plot in this spring or last fall with a, you know, Alva deer come walking in and eating it. You know, you, you gotta have a plan in place and, and really think about what you're doing, what you're planning and why you're planning.

Jon Teater: So I was walking down this, this path with you right now to. I guess, you know, my take on things. And so there's a patience aspect of this. And then there's the planning. So we've got standard, and then we've got these grafted options that we've talked about When you talk grafted or maybe a combination thereof.

And, you know, the Geneva root stock, for example, you know, they're gonna produce really, [00:25:00] really quick. Uh, it's, you know, it's a semi DF tree. I've, I've got some here on my, on my property. Um, whether it's a G 30 rootstock or whatever the case may be. You've gotta worry about, you know, different facets with those.

I mean, sometimes they, they break at the Budd Union section, but regardless of your selection, if you have varieties like we're, we're kind of getting at of different types of trees, size standards of trees you may have, look in those.

Ryan Haines: Sorry, I'm sorry to interrupt you. No, go ahead. Looking at looking, looking, you know, when you get into something like that, the faster tree MA matures, the faster it dies.

When a tree stops growing, it doesn't live any longer. When I say grafted trees, I'm not saying the tree's not grafted under a standard root stock, but that's, that's a key when looking to produce for wildlife that it's on a standard root stock, you know? We can put it on one of those dwarf, you know, you're, you're really into dwarf trees there, but you're just looking this 12 foot tall tree, that maturity or, you know, maybe gets the 14 foot, but it's lifespan is, is, [00:26:00] you know, you're still gonna see that tree not be leaving anymore in your lifetime when you're putting on a standard route.

You're not on a clonal stock, so you're, you're looking at a more longevity in that tree. It could be 80 years, it could be a hundred years, it could be longer. Even though it is still this a grafted tree. So that's the difference between the root stocks that you're talking about. Yeah.

Jon Teater: And I think that's a great, that's a great takeaway.

All right. Let's talk about design and layout. So, you know, in a hunting scenario, you know, and we'll talk about variety of trees that you prefer here in a second, but in a hunting scenario, when you're doing your layout, for you personally, how do you like to set up your, your landscape setting where you can maximize, you have the fruit production, maybe you have some food plot, you know, design.

Maybe there's some, some wildlife shrubs integrated in there. What's, what's Ryan's setup look like?

Ryan Haines: I'm, I'm early. Well, sometime you have to come down to take a look. I got, I got model book properties, so we can go for lots of walks. Um, I, I really look, you know, in the fruit tree aspect of things, I really look [00:27:00] and focus on drop times.

Why? Because they're important, because I'm, you know, I mainly like the bo hunt. Well, Bo hunting is only so long and I'm more than fine with deer being closer before that, but I don't need them standing at, you know, 35 yards. So I really, really try to focus on. The drop time's a good tree. It's got some good dr to it, Dr is disease resistant and, and you know, things like that.

I'm really just looking at, you know, location of that tree. Now if from a small property, if you are really looking at mine, I'm gonna feed as many deer as I possibly can on the entire thing. And of course I'm gonna have some trees that are close enough for me to be able to shoot to. But yet, I'm just gonna put, and when I say small property, I mean even, you know, eight acres, 12 acres.

15 acres, you know, you don't got that much to work with. The more deer you can put on there, and the more deer you can have from mid-October until that third, fourth week of November on your property, even [00:28:00] if that's 15 or 20 di on a small property like that, the more bucks you got coming. Yeah. The more deer you're gonna feed, the better and and soft mass is just a, the icing on the cake.

I can have an acre or two a stand corn, I can put that down next to the houses. , you know, let those deer, you know, not bother that so much that I got, you know, I got an nice cornfield standing there. I can have my clover and my chicory and I, I do have all that stuff, but yet I have a massive amount of, of fruit trees that, that deer make and pass from chestnut tree to chestnut tree or, or you know, grow a pair of trees, you know, 10 located right by me that I know are gonna drop, you know, that mid-October to mid-November timeframe when I plan on being in there hunting.

It's just money. Yeah, it's money. It's gonna put a lot of deer coming to one location on my property.

Jon Teater: Yeah, that's, uh, that's interesting. Um, having the drop time piece of it nailed down and having that variety keeps 'em on the landscape a lot longer. [00:29:00] It keeps 'em attracted to those. You know, incoming locations, those focal points a lot more.

That's, that's really, I think, important. And I think people don't recognize that these drop times will vary, you know, even the same tree, that it'll vary to some degree, I'm sure. But generally speaking, having that, that variety, uh, on the landscape and that diversity gives you a lot of options. And I think that's important for people to recognize.

So it's thinking. , not just the location, it's thinking about drop time. And you brought up something else, disease resistance. I wanna talk a little bit about that and I wanna talk about your take on it and what does that really mean? What, what does it mean to you when you say disease resistance? Uh,

Ryan Haines: I mean, if, if you're heavily with, you know, I mean, when you look at pairs, there's really not much out there than fire blight and.

Two things are gonna be debilitating to your tree or to your fruit production. So there are two things that are very important, especially if you're gonna put it out and put it in no spray situation and, and, you know, grow this tree for wildlife. So that's, [00:30:00] that's very important. I mean, if you get into apples, you're looking at cedar, apple, rust, you're looking at firelight again, and you're looking at scab, you know, scab not so much, you know, I care.

If it's that debilitating to, to the, the fruits falling, that's no good. If there's a little scab, you know, touch a scab on, on some apples or feeding and deer. So that's not that big a deal to me, even though the majority of everything that I would sell is, is very, is only upper echelon of, of everything in, in the disease resistance realm of things, you know, back to the apples you're really looking at, uh, you know, firelight could be a big issue for you, especially as you.

You know, down, you know, really deep in the south more of an issue cuz it gets a, it's a disease that comes at that time in the spring where, you know, there's a lot of moisture and, and the heat starts coming up there and, you know, it's, it's really ready, you know, readily available to, uh, Co some havoc to your tree.

So it's important not to have something [00:31:00] that's acceptable to that, that has some resistance already built into the tree. You know, Cedar, Arus, same thing, can be debilitating, can defoliate a tree, and if tree has no leaves on it, well a tree can't grow with no leaves on it. So, , you need to have something that, that at least has some resistance to that.

And, and even, you know, that can even affect fruit too, that you're getting fruit falling prematurely. Well, nobody wants fruit falling prematurely, so you're looking at having something that's got some resistance to that cedar raffle rust. The f that covers about all three as far as persimmons. There really, there is really no disease out there that that's gonna harm your perim fruit from prematurely falling or anything about it, which makes persimmons very.

Jon Teater: Absolutely. Um, I wanna back up. So let's talk about maintenance and let's talk about sprays and dealing with, you know, trees. You seem to be a naturalist since, you know, since we've met. What is, what is your approach to dealing or using oils or using anything to [00:32:00] kind of manage the trees, uh, for disease, et cetera?

What, what's your take on a lot of this, this, uh,

Ryan Haines: Again, plant disease, you know, plant something that's got some good resistance to it. Yeah. Um, as, as far as if you got time and you wanna spray dormant oil, by all means above 40 degrees, go, go spray some dorm. This, this is the perfect time here. You get that 42 degree day or that 50 degree day, you, you're, you're gonna benefit yourself.

You're gonna make your trees more productive, you know, with spraying, you know, some dormant sprays and stuff like that. Nothing wrong with doing that. If you have a time and you want your orchard to be the best, it's gonna. do it. You know, if you see, you know, the gypsy moss start coming, you know, gypsy moss, the full eight trees, as I just said, trees without leaves on, don't put on as much growth.

It's gonna, it's gonna slow them down, you know, and they normally show up here for us in the northeast, uh, you know about what, third week of May? Yep. Beginning of June. You start seeing them, you know, you wanna go take care of 'em. [00:33:00] It's, it's a good idea. I would not knock anybody and I would encourage you guys to, go and spray.

But do you have to? No. Is it gonna benefit you? Yes. It's gonna benefit you?

Jon Teater: Yeah. Yeah. That's, um, that is interesting. And people have been dealing with obviously that issue for the, you know, past few years. And I think, you know, I've, I've known a few orchards having some issues. Um, and then obviously individuals are planting trees.

You're, you're dealing with that. So you can pick 'em off, you can burn 'em, birds can kill 'em. There's a lot of options. I've seen duct tape, I've seen all sorts of, tactics

Ryan Haines: and, and working with the state and stuff like that, and amongs trees and stuff like that. I can tell you the gypsy moss is gonna be bad, which they're calling something else now, but they're, they're gonna be bad for the next five or 10 years and they're only gonna let up a little bit if we get a really, really wet spring and then that's just gonna cause out a problem.

Jon Teater: So yeah. Fuller spraining, do you know any fuller sprain with your trees?

Ryan Haines: No. Okay. I mean, everything that I grow to sell and, and ship out and stuff like that, yes, it. [00:34:00] Very well, right, because I have to, everything that I have planted for deer, I've never to this day sprayed a tree. Not saying I wouldn't benefit with it.

Pull your sprays again. Never do nothing and blossom if, if you're going to do that, there's plenty of 'em out there. Plenty of different good products out there, you know, never do it while trees are in. I've

Jon Teater: seen that mistake before, but I've made that mistake before. So thank you. Ryan . Yeah, I think people, people don't recognize the timing's critical of, of that and, and very

Ryan Haines: timing.

The, the two most important times if you're gonna do it is before your blossoms open and right after they fall off. And obviously, you know, and when you look at blossom and stuff like that, I mean, You, you can get a pear tree and ACI is not, is gonna bloom. Six, it's, that's six weeks, six weeks after a peartree will bloom.

So you got plenty of time in there. But even between varieties within species, you know, there's, there's, there's time in there. So you wanna be careful with what you're doing. Even if it's three quarter pedo fall [00:35:00] or half pal fall, I wouldn't, I wouldn't get in there and kill beneficial insects to us.

They're gonna help us, but you almost gotta pick if you're gonna go one way or the other. , you know, almost in, in a spray situation, even though, uh, slightly would, would benefit, you just don't hit those bl don't hit blossom time on that particular species, is what I'm

Jon Teater: saying. Yeah, I think that's, uh, that makes a lot of sense to me.

Um, I'm wanna go back real quick and, and just something that I wanted, I was going back through, uh, some talking notes that I had and. A lot of times, uh, the philosophy is to create as much airflow through a tree and yes. And to not crowd or allow the tree to crowd itself interior. What would be kind of some rules that you would employ for creating that, I don't wanna say a chimney effect, but creating that kind of rising and falling of air, uh, to minimize, you know, fungal matter or whatever else dominates the trunk of the tree.

What would be your philosophy in, in, I. ,

Ryan Haines: well, interior kind of goes back to, to pruning those, you know, building that [00:36:00] scaffolds up, that you're getting that airflow through the tree. Yeah. You know, for me, uh, you know, on, on a tree that's that I've cleaned out for the deer, this trees for the deer, I normally just don't, I don't, I don't let any scaffold below about four or five feet.

Okay. And after that, it may be, you know, and as we talked about earlier with the bears in that scaffold, and, you know, look in airflow, sunlight, you want sunlight. Being able to hit those leaves in the middle of that, and yet still get that, you know, airflow through the tree that the moisture dries off and that doesn't cause any type of issues and stuff like that.

But, you know, I, I would just really, you know, get scaffolds going in there, you know, at that run, that two foot mark or so. And as tree matures, you'll see what, which laterals become dominant bear country. Keep those and, and really keep those going and, and, uh, not bear country. More the better. Just, just let enough, uh, in there so you can get some airflow.

Jon Teater: Yeah. Yeah. The more branching, the better, and I think that's, it's obviously variety contingent in how the tree naturally wants [00:37:00] to grow, but yeah, I, I agree with you a hundred percent. All right. Let me see. I don't know if I have any other questions for you today other than one last question. In your opinion, if you were to start, let's just say a fruit orchard, and it was for deer, let's talk varieties that you.

and, um, you know, be very specific of varieties that you like, that you would employ in the landscape on your hunting property. What would

Ryan Haines: Ryan Pick or Ryan would pick? Uh,

Jon Teater: go ahead. No, top three, four oh trees.

Ryan Haines: Three, four trees. Oh, you can't only just pick three or four trees. All right. Go more in paired trees.

I'm, I'm an archer hunter. I would focus mostly on that time when that, uh, natural occurrence happens that the fruit ripens naturally outside. , it becomes very sweet to us. And the deer. I would, Fridays that I have harvest pair, sweet event pair, Keifer pair hunter's, deer pair would be my top four [00:38:00] pairs that I would plant just because I'm dropping October 10th until.

You know, November 30th, that's money for our archery season here in Pennsylvania. And, and the trees are just, you know, lights out as far as production, as far as putting deer in at a Pacific spot. And, you know, during a time period where I wanna hunt, um, apple crabs, I mean, I love Turning point. Turning points.

An exceptional tree, you know, for us here in central Pennsylvania, this tree originally, that New York Central PA here, we're looking at about, uh, you know, second week of October. All the way through into December into our rifle season. Just a continual drop. It doesn't it ripens unevenly. Exceptional tree.

You know, turning point is in my five or six years of knowing that tree now, there's never been a year I've seen the fail a fruit. and not just that had some fruit on it, that it fruited heavily. Wow. Fruits out on that one year old wood. But a lot of the pear trees I just mentioned fruit out on that one year old wood.

And that's important [00:39:00] when you're looking at a tree that's gonna be productive. Fruiting down on that one year old wood is, is something special. Not every tree fruits out on one year old wood. Very, you know, very few do you know when you got that? It's something special. , I mean, Buckman, you know, it all depends on what you wanna do.

Buckman Crab would be a great one. You know, if you wanna pick up some sheds in central pa, you know, that's a good one. Winter crab arena would be a good one. Highly disease resistant, just as Buckman is, I mean, pretty much immune to everything. Immune or, or high resistance. But yet they're both late.

They're not really gonna drop a, an apple off or an apple crab, or a crab apple till January if you're a shed. . You know, if you put 20 or 30 of them on a hillside and you know, you give it five or 10 years full man, are you, you in the money, the money on your south side and if you've got some hemlocks closed five form to bed underneath you, you're, you're feeding some deer.

So, like I said, I'm an archer hunter. It's harder. There's a lot of good one out. I'm an enterprise apple. Very good [00:40:00] one. We all know that is we, we've all been planted for, you know, in wildlife side of things probably for 20, 30 years. And the tree's been. No about that long, but it's a good one. Mm-hmm. , you know, if you're looking to feed in that, that mid-October to, you know, mid late November.

For, for me here in central pa, you know, Ed's crazy crab, uh, sweet November, a big dog, uh, October crab, if you're looking for October crab apples, October crabs, the Dr. On, it's great and it's clean. The vigor is great and drops a lot of crabs from pretty much the entire month of October. Feeds a few off into beginning of November, but I could go on and on here cuz there really is nothing on that website or on Blue Hill Wildlife Nursery that, that, that I don't believe in or I, I don't have growing for myself or I don't have everything just has a, a specific way to use it.

If you're gonna look at [00:41:00] Persimmons, dear Luscious, is, is the best fruit you're ever going to. Whether it's for human consumption or not, it's a new variety of the world, and I named it Dear Luscious, but it's, it's something that's, uh, in the pursuant side of things is better than most, all that are out there for human consumption that are being sold to commercial market for human consumption.

It's better than those, and it's a large size fruit and is fully self fertile and don't get much better than that. There's a lot of other good ones there. I mean, nothing wrong with full draw, smaller. really productive little bit later, but deer Lus would go on from, you know, mid to late September here and still dropping into December, you know, to meter persimmon, a persimmon that we've all planted for a long time.

For here, it just hits me in the bow season. It's, it's a great food source, even though it's a, you know, it's not my tree, it's not my variety. I didn't come up with it, but it's a


Jon Teater: one. And that's an annual producer, the persimmons?

Ryan Haines: Uh, yeah. They don't, it's gonna blossom. . [00:42:00] So, you know, for you up in New York, you'd probably be first week of June for me.

And here I'd probably be, you know, the last couple days of May. Mm-hmm. , you might be a week later than me. There's a new one this year called Tin Cup. No, actually was new last year. And Tin Cup, that's from just west of Syracuse, New York.

Jon Teater: You know. I know. And you're looking at for Simmons. I know that tree.

So that's interesting. You've heard that name?

Ryan Haines: Yep. I mean that's, that's a, that's a coal find there. Either way, there's an exceptional tree, exceptional taste, and growing, you know, 150 miles out of the native range of a persimmon great tree that up there in, you know, east west, top of Seneca there, you know, it's literally fallen from October 1st till, you know, into mid-November.

But it, but a great tree annually. Productive, just as all persimmon are. But I mean, still a, a, you know, just a, a solid tree that if I was sitting up in Central New York and thought I wanted to plant a [00:43:00] Persimmons 10 Cup would be your first choice. If you're looking, you know, you're, you're still hit the Southern zone season up there and, and still got persimmons coming off in, you know, that first week of rifle season up in Southern New York, so, , great

Jon Teater: tree.

Well, I think you listed out more trees than I had asked, and uh, I appreciate your recommendations. I think that's, uh, , I think that's pretty good for the listeners. And,

Ryan Haines: and I, I apologize there. I rambled on, but it's hard once you get me started. Not,

Jon Teater: not to stop, so, no, no, you've got a lot of passion in this and, and you can hear it in your voice and, and I appreciate that and I, I like all these varieties and options and.

Kind of all the topics we thought about. It's, you know, there's a lot to this. There's a lot to selecting trees, there's a lot to putting on the landscapes. It's site selection, soil, right? How to manage that tree, how to protect that tree. There's a lot that goes into it. You know, we've hit on a lot of the key topics here.

As you start to dig into this, you know, philosophy or your strategy, you're gonna kind of come up with your own artistic piece of this and approach to it. But I think Ryan's approach is a little bit [00:44:00] different and, and why I like him is the fact that he's thinking long-term, he's got a long-term plan.

He's thinking about trees that are gonna stay in the landscape and they're gonna propagate. They're gonna be beneficial, you know, after his, you know, demise obviously. And it's gonna provide a wildlife benefit. And I think that's important to think through that and, and that's why I kind of appreciate it because we're managing the timber, we're managing our fields, we're managing our fruit trees.

I think that's really important. Alright, Ryan, anything else from you? Anything you wanna talk about Your business or you personally or anything you got going on? I appreciate you taking time outta your day today to be on here, cuz I know you're busy.

Ryan Haines: Yep, yep. You're welcome.

Jon Teater: So if you wanna get ahold of him, uh, you can, uh, I would say he's a busy person.

Go to his website. You can see the products that he has on there. We're kind of past due. He's, I'm, I'm assuming you're already pre-sold out this year, but, you know, stay in, in tune with his website because now the varieties we talked about today will be on there. And there's obviously other good distributors across the landscape.

You know, consider local, but consider, you know, some of the things we talked about today, cuz I think that will help [00:45:00] you make those decisions if you're employing food trees on your landscape. You know, we're not just thinking about, you know, soft mass. We also have to think about hard mass. He brought a chest in trees earlier.

They're important on the landscape. So think about where you gonna employ those and why, and have a strategy. All right, Ryan, thanks for your time today, man. I appreciate it. It was good talking to you, catching up. And, uh, hopefully the rest of your, uh, your, uh, winter season goes well and, uh, we'll talk to you again soon.

No doubt.

Ryan Haines: Take care. All right, man. Bye. Bye, Mike. Maximize Your hunt is a production of Whitetail. For more information on how John Teeter and his team of experts can help you maximize your hunt, check out whitetail