is it possible to grow fruit trees organically

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hi we live in norhtern california about 1 hour south of san francisco (zone 9b i think). we would like to plant asian pears, apricots, parismons and avacado trees, all dwarf types.
is it possible to care for asian pears, apricots, and grapes without using chemicals? if so, are there any websites you can point me to for more information?
our nursery seems to think that we may have proble with asian pears and apricots if we don't treat them with pesticides.
we are also thinking of growing dwarf fig and tagerines in 15 gallon pots. will the pots be big enough?
thank you in advance.
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Can't be done, until the advent of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides, it was not possible to produce harvestable yields of fruits and vegetables....
The sarcasm should be noted. Obviously with out synthetic pesticides, you'll have to accept a higher level of insect damage as being a fair trade. Plenty of natural insect repellents and pesticides exist, such as caffeine, nicotine, beneficial insects, etc. Google is your best friend.
http://www.google.com/search?q=organic+gardening
There is a plethora of sound information online.
-S
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

I live in an entirely different part of the country, but my experience has been that even with chemicals, it is hard to raise things like apples on individual trees. Orchards will blast several acres with pesticides but if you are only spraying an individual tree, pests are lurking in surrounding vegetation. OTOH, I had no problem with peaches and chestnuts even without spraying. I would listen to local nurseries advice.
Years ago, I used to bicycle past an apple orchard and watched them spraying. If you lived within a mile of them, you would not have to spray, if you get my drift. I think a lot of organic produce is protected by being within a pest free zone created by farmers using pesticides.
Frank
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Frank wrote:

It is very much dependent on climate. In the West there are plenty of abandoned orchards that continue to produce quality apple. In the midwest, it is as you say. The semiarid climate virtually eliminates all major apple pests. Even in Michigan, there are a number of fruits that one can grow without pesticides, amongst them hardy kiwis, chestnuts, persimmons, grapes and all berries.
To the OP: persimmon is very pest resistant, and probably grapes will present no problems. Apricots are probable, though I think they may need some chill, but I don't know about avocado or asian pear. If you go for it, try to buy fruit trees that will crop through the season, starting with mulberries and cherries in June and ending with citrus in winter.
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Frank wrote:

Well, that is not my experience here in the Midwest. If you spray on a regular schedule (and I don't mean overspraying), you can control pests and fungicides in a backyard orchard.

Yes, but the ones that are interested in your fruit are lurking around your trees. If you spray with a sticker material, that spray will eventually knock out or greatly reduce any potential attacks.

Peaches are less prone to insect attack, but not immune. The tree is also subject to fungus attacks.

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On 23 Jul 2006 22:13:52 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Of course it's possible.The problem is, or the challenge is you have to select varieties which are proven performers in your area. Depending on what you grow, chill hours becomes very important. I have a peach tree called 'Dixieland' which has a very low chill hour of 400. That means it must be below 45 degrees for at least 400 hours in order for the tree to set fruit.
This is not the case for all fruits, but I gave an example of why variety selection is the most important thing. There are many ways to raise organic fruits. Do a search for a catalog called Garden's Alive. They give excellent photos of diseases of fruits and the organic remedy.
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Jangchub wrote:

There is no such animal as an organic fruit! There are some varieties that are inherently disease resistant. Unfortunately, they are not always the best tasting choice.

Some of their products are ok, but some is just a lot of hype. Many of their
'cures' are quite expensive. You pay a high price to go organic.
Sherwin D.
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wrote:

Patently incorrect. I grow peaches organically and they are the most mouth watering, perfect fruits around. The trouble with annual production is that in Texas we may not get enough chill hours for fruit. So, it's not a great idea to make a statement that no such animal as an organic fruit. It's inaccurate.

I didn't say to buy any of them, but that there are great photos in their catalog of diseased and pests associated with fruits. I also don't know where you get the idea going organic is more expensive. It's useless to debate, your mind is made up.
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Jangchub wrote:

What I should have said that there are organically grown fruits, but no organic fruits.

Have you checked the prices in Garden Alive's catalog for pheremone lures. It would cost a fortune to cover anyone with more than just a handfull of trees. If you take all those photos as the gospel, well I can't help that. Commercially, it is also more expensive when you consider the attrition rate of damaged fruit vs. the cost to grow it. Maybe that is why the consumer pays inflated prices for organically grown fruit and vegetables at the store.
Sherwin D.
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wrote:

Not sure what you're trying to say here.

I don't buy anything other than Gnatrol from Gardens Alive and I do that with a 20.00 off coupon. However, the photo's are accurate to show the diseases of most backyard fruits.
Gallo Wine has been growing organic grapes for decades. The produce at the store is tricky. Like, they sell organic bananas. I've never known a reason to spray a banana plant, so they are all basically organic.
I see organic produce and its priced about ten percent more than conventionally grown produce.
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Que?
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On Wed, 26 Jul 2006 13:28:26 GMT, "JoeSpareBedroom"

They don't have insect problems
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What about diseases not related to insects, or chemicals applied to minimize rotting during shipment?
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I have had good success without using pesticides at all. 5 kinds of apples I always get more good ones than my family can eat. Asian pears do fine. The peaches that are resistant to leaf curl are the only ones that have done well. Plums, cherries, grapes galore I wish something would start eating them, always have way to many to pick. I suggest just trying to grow everything that you want and see what does the best in the long run remember some years one kind of fruit with do the best and another year something else is the champ. Verity is the key to good production.
Richard Reames http://www.arborsmith.com
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Wouls you share your secrets with us, please?
Thanks in advance. vince norris
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There is no magic bullet here. There are apple varieties like 'Williams Pride' which are disease resistant, but nobody has come out with an apple that has built in resistance to insects.
Sherwin D.
"vincent p. norris" wrote:

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Curious what part of the country you are in.
Rather than growing too much fruit for your needs and having to put up with spoiled fruit, because you don't want to spray with chemicals, I offer another possibility. Plant fruit trees on M27 rootstock, which will produce a small tree about 6 to 8 feet high with a small production capacity. You can even throw a net over such a small tree and reduce
the attacks from insects. If you have no fungus problems, consider yourself lucky. Check out Gene Yale's posting on www.midfex.org where he has filled his small city yard with these miniature trees.
Sherwin D.
Arborsmith wrote:

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I'm in Southern Oregon. I try to give away everything that will go bad, but it's a tough job when all my friends and neighbors also have extra. There is no secret about the apples, sure some years I don't get any of certain verities but some other tree or branch of different tree will do great. I like multi verities on one tree. I just prune, thin um out when they're thick. I avoid using dwarf rootstock as it has been determined that the longevity and hardiness are limited due the virus they contain.
Richard Reames http://www.arborsmith.com

I offer another possibility. Plant fruit trees on M27

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Arborsmith wrote:

I agree that dwarf rootstocks do not live as long as standard ones, but I'm experiencing dwarf and semi-dwarf life times of over 15 years. At my age, planting a dwarf tree will probably be going strong when I check into the home for retired gardeners.
Where did you get that cockamamy idea that dwarf trees contain viruses that result in their short life times? There are dwarfing rootstocks that are sold as virus free selections. The reduced lifetime is probably due to the smaller root system of these dwarf trees.
Sherwin D.

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It makes sense that there is a virus - it's why they don't grow tall and why they fruit early. Glad you asked about the source of the info... Jim McCausland NW bureau chief of Sunset Magazine, he told me about the virus while standing next to my semi-dwarf apple trees.
Richard Reames http://www.arborsmith.com
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