is it possible to grow fruit trees organically

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Arborsmith wrote:

Here is a case where a little knowledge can be misleading. Perhaps Mr. McCausland is confused by the fact that the first dwarfing rootstock to emerge was the 'MM' series which refers to hybrid trees of the Malling series crossed with "Northern Spy" in Merton, England in the 1920's. These early rootstocks had problems with viral infections, so a new strain evolved called the EMLA series which eliminated viral pathogens, in the 1960's, and these are classified as virus-free. In either case, both the MM and EMLA series produce dwarf trees. In fact, that they are virus free may explain why they are slightly more vigerous than the standard rootstocks. I refer you to a web article by a horticultural specialist (perhaps a little more knowlegable than the editor of a gardening magazine):
http://www.ces.ncsu.edu/depts/hort/hil/hil-300-a.html
Sherwin D.
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Jim McCausland NW bureau chief of Sunset Magazine obviously isnt a geneticist .. so it is more like a flippant remark. Human dwarfing isnt due to a VIRUS. It is due to a mutation. And there are two stages in cell growth, amplification (AKA growth) and production (AKA reproduction). Because dwarf trees arent growing they can start their reproduction. Ingrid

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I don't know the real reason why they're dwarved, but I *do* know that viruses cause some very interesting plant variations. A perfect example is the streaks in some tulip petals.
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making sure every fruit is picked and/or removed is essential to keeping the "breeding ground" cleaned up. but I am sure you let friends, family and the neighbors have what you cant use, right? Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

Modern fruit varieties are bred to produce high quality commercial fruit but are highly dependent on pesticides. Many years ago before Monsanto and DuPont, people raised nice fruit by selecting varieties that were disease and pest resistant. Today, these varieties (which are inferior to todays varieties in most other ways) are called heirloom varieties and are sought after by the organic gardening crowd. You have to cut out the worms and ignore the sting marks and never expect to be able to sell them, but they are quite edible. Here are some links:
Asian pears:
http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPathA_2_34 http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/plant_pear.pdf
Apricots:
http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPathA_10 http://www.ediblegarden.co.nz/cat-koanga-gardens.html http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/plant_apricot.pdf
Grapes:
http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPathA_14 http://www.ediblegarden.co.nz/cat-koanga-gardens.html http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/growing-grapes.html
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Stephen Henning wrote:

Not true. People looked for the best tasting and sometimes the best keepers. The newer trend is to develop fruit that it is genetically resistant, like the William's Pride Apple. If you find a heirloom apple that is disease resistant, that is unusual and just an added bonus.

Organic people would be better off going for the genetically resistant fruit. The real fruit enthusists have always grown heirlooms for their taste and special characteristics like good for pies, cider, etc.

You can keep the worms out with organic sprays of dormant oil, sticky traps, and the latest technique of bagging the fruit. I grow lots of heirlooms this way and they are nice and clean. I will resort to chemical sprays between the dormant oil and the bagging, but that is just a precautinary move, plus I want all my fruit to be clean.
Sherwin D.

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<!doctype html public "-//w3c//dtd html 4.0 transitional//en"> <html> &nbsp; <p>Stephen Henning wrote: <blockquote TYPE=CITE> snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote: <p>> hi we live in norhtern california about 1 hour south of san francisco <br>> (zone 9b i think). <br>> we would like to plant asian pears, apricots, parismons and avacado <br>> trees, all dwarf types. <br>> <br>> is it possible to care for asian pears, apricots, and grapes without <br>> using chemicals? <br>> if so, are there any websites you can point me to for more information? <p>Modern fruit varieties are bred to produce high quality commercial fruit <br>but are highly dependent on pesticides.&nbsp; Many years ago before Monsanto <br>and DuPont, people raised nice fruit by selecting varieties that were <br>disease and pest resistant.</blockquote> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Not true.&nbsp; People looked for the best tasting and sometimes the best keepers. <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The newer trend is to develop fruit that it is genetically resistant, like the <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; William's Pride Apple.&nbsp; If you find a heirloom apple that is disease resistant, that <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; is unusual and just an added bonus. <blockquote TYPE=CITE>&nbsp;Today, these varieties (which are inferior <br>to todays varieties in most other ways) are called heirloom varieties <br>and are sought after by the organic gardening crowd.</blockquote> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Organic people would be better off going for the genetically resistant fruit. <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; The real fruit enthusists have always grown heirlooms for their taste and <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; special characteristics like good for pies, cider, etc. <blockquote TYPE=CITE>&nbsp;You have to cut <br>out the worms and ignore the sting marks and never expect to be able to <br>sell them, but they are quite edible.</blockquote> &nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; You can keep the worms out with organic sprays of dormant oil, sticky&nbsp; traps, <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; and the latest technique of bagging the fruit.&nbsp; I grow lots of heirlooms this way <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; and they are nice and clean.&nbsp; I will resort to chemical sprays between the dormant <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; oil and the bagging, but that is just a precautinary move, plus I want all my fruit <br>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; to be clean. <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp; Sherwin D. <blockquote TYPE=CITE>&nbsp;Here are some links: <p>Asian pears: <p><a href="http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPathA_2_34 ">http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&amp ;cPathA_2_34</a> <br><a href="http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/plant_pear.pdf ">http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/plant_pear.pdf </a> <p>Apricots: <p><a href="http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPathA_10 ">http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&amp ;cPathA_10</a> <br><a href="http://www.ediblegarden.co.nz/cat-koanga-gardens.html ">http://www.ediblegarden.co.nz/cat-koanga-gardens.html </a> <br><a href="http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/plant_apricot.pdf ">http://homeorchard.ucdavis.edu/plant_apricot.pdf </a> <p>Grapes: <p><a href="http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&cPathA_14 ">http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.php?main_page=index&amp ;cPathA_14</a> <br><a href="http://www.ediblegarden.co.nz/cat-koanga-gardens.html ">http://www.ediblegarden.co.nz/cat-koanga-gardens.html </a> <br><a href="http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/growing-grapes.html ">http://www.planetnatural.com/site/xdpy/kb/growing-grapes.html </a> <p>--
<br>Cheers, Steve Henning in Reading, PA USA <br><a href="http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman ">http://home.earthlink.net/~rhodyman </a></blockquote> </html>
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In case you haven't checked, genetically resistant fruit has the pesticides built in genetically like permethrin, the neurotoxin that occurs naturally in chrysanthemum flowers. In fact the genetic varieties splice genes from plants such as chrysanthemum to the desired plants.
So you can have you pesticides externally applied or internally generated. Take your pick.
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wrote:

Not all disease resistant plants are this way. The technology you mentioned is relatively new. There *are* plants which were simply selected because of resistance, less or a proactive process than the one you're describing.
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I wrote:

But these disease resistant plants have something that the others don't, a chemical. Call it what you want, but it is either a preventative or curative chemical. It is part of evolution. Plants which have genes to produce a chemical that aids survival survive and the chemical with it.
snipped-for-privacy@bellatlantic.net wrote:

That is only true in the USA and other countries that are paranoid by Genetically Engineered fruit. Examples:
papaya: http://www.nysaes.cornell.edu/pubs/press/papaya.html
tomato: http://newcrop.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/NewCropsNews/93-3-1/tomato.html
banana: http://www.netlink.de/gen/Zeitung/970227b.htm
More in the works: http://www.biotech.iastate.edu/biotech_info_series/bio8.html#anchor257153
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wrote:

Maybe we need to clarify and agree on definitions here. Example: Ever since I began gardening in the early 1970s, there've been tomatoes designated as resistant to verticillium wilt. Catalogs designate these as "VF". These varieties of tomato were created by selecting those that seemed to have natural resistance, and producing the seed on a large-scale basis. This is absolutely NOT the same process as the one you're describing, which involves creating plants which contain botanical compounds to fight certain problems. I've read some horror stories about that method, as I'm sure you have.
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This is not the case for commercially available tree fruits. All varieties that exhibit resistance to insects, fungi or bacteria have been produced by standard breeding techniques. If you know of an example that was not produced by standard breeding please enlighten us.
--beeky
Stephen Henning wrote:

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Stephen Henning wrote:

I have not heard of such splicing of genes as you describe, at least not in the pome fruits. There is no way I know of to splice chrysanthemum into a pome fruit. Most of the disease resistant fruits currently available have evolved due to DNA restructuring, and not gene splicing. The chrysanthemum splicing has been done on potatoes and wheat, but not fruits.

If they ever do come up with a 'built-in' pesticide fruit, there is no guarantee that it will be a good tasting option. I don't think it will be a simple choice to pick the fruit of your choice.
Sherwin D.

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there are GMO, genetically modified organisms done with recombinant DNA methods, and naturally resistant varieties. they are different. Ingrid

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ List Manager: Puregold Goldfish List at http://weloveteaching.com/puregold / sign up: http://groups.google.com/groups/dir?hl=en&q=puregold&qt_s=Group+lookup www.drsolo.com Solve the problem, dont waste energy finding who's to blame ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I receive no compensation for running the Puregold list or Puregold website. I do not run nor receive any money from the ads at the old Puregold site. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Zone 5 next to Lake Michigan
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I have been trying to do this for about 5 years in central NJ with minimal success. I won't say it can't be done but it seems impossible from my experience. For example.
Without some sort of fungicide most peaches and plums are lost to fungal disease. Without pesticides most apples are extensivly scarred and mishapen. This year I tried 'Surround at Home' a sprayable form of kaolin, a type of clay. This stuff just coats leaves and fruit with a white, powdery substance and does reduce many insects. However, it does not appear to have any effect on birds and squirrels who are busy eating ripening plums and peaches.
I am gradually moving to fruits that seem to have low pest/disease problems. I have had excellent crops of blackberries and paw paws with no treatment of any kind. Birds and squirrels are still a problem but they do not seem to be as attracted to these fruits as they are to 'conventional' fruits.
--beeky
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snipped-for-privacy@bellatlantic.net wrote:

Surround is a messy and somewhat ineffective. Try my technique of bagging fruits with sandwich zip locks, being sure to cut a slit at the bottom for rain water to drain out.

Paw Paws are quite unique in the plant world in that they have almost no pest problems. In fact, they only insects that go near them are flies to do the pollination.
Sherwin D.

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snipped-for-privacy@bellatlantic.net wrote:

However, on the West Coast plums often make it without any pesticides. Really, dry air cuts disease down dramatically.
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simy1 wrote:

I can see dry air reducing the fungus problems, but what about the insects? If you have none, you are truely blessed.
Sherwin D.
Sherwin D.
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wrote:

Maybe a nearby neighbor has something which interests the bugs more than his own fruit trees.
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wrote:

People who are reliant on chemically produced fruit set up conditions in the soil to be unable to support healthy fungi and other organisms in the soil which contribute to fruit production.
The way you grow organic fruit, commercial production included is to support healthy soils, use of certified organic fertilizer, addition of compost each year, good soil aeration, proper hygiene after the production season is over, not leaving diseased fruits laying around, etc. There is nothing anyone can do about rot on peaches, organic OR synthetic. There's a lot more to it than you are willing to learn.
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Jangchub wrote:

and chickens of course. Virtually all organic apple orchards have chickens to clean up the orchard. Not really new technology - chickens have been used as garden pesticides/weedkillers for thousands of years. In the case of apples, both apple maggots and curculio overwinter as grubs in the first two inches of soil, just within chicken range. If you have seen them in action, eating everything from the most invisible seed to 2-ft snakes, you know that they are very efficient. If you let them into the garden when the veggies are up they will destroy it in a day.
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