I feel a little remiss in my duties. I was looking through past email tips in our archives and realized that in years past I sent out the information on the upcoming Fruit Tree Sale Schedule early in December. Well, without further ado, here is this year's schedule. I should also note that this will be the last email tip of the year from GardenLine. You will hear back from us again the first week of January 2006. So, until then Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from The GardenLine.
Much like last year, for the 2006 EXTENSION/TREESEARCH FRUIT TREE SALES, we've highlighted some interesting fruit to be on the lookout for. However, the best tip I can give anyone, is not just to show up for one of these sales, but it's to be the first in line. And the best way to insure that, is by attending the seminars. If you attend the seminars, you are guaranteed a spot at the front of the line. While most of the sales listed below show hours of 9-1 or 9-2, I can almost guarantee that they are ostensibly sold out before noon at each show and sale. So, either show up for the seminar or show up early, period!
Why do I ballyhoo these Fruit Tree Sales so much? You see, throughout the year, I will get countless calls and emails from folks wanting to know where they can buy specific fruit trees. And while most nurseries do carry a certain quantity of basic peaches, plums, apples and pears… nothing compares to the fruit tree sales that most of our county extension offices put on through the months of January and February. The thing that separates these fruit tree sales from what you can find at the local nurseries is that there's always something newly tested and approved for our area. And most of the stock comes from the true experts in town -- Treesearch Farms.
That stock contains varieties of peaches like May Pride and Tropic Snow that are grown on Nemaguard root stock and will completely produce their crop and bear fruit before the insects and diseases even know they are there. Also there are some unique Asiatic Pears such as Shinko and 20th Century that are self-fruitful and don't need other trees to cross-pollinate with.
Much like last, Heidi Sheesley from Treesearch Farms says the thing they are most excited about is the ample amount of Citrus trees available. The thing that is most exciting about the citrus available this year is how "cold hardy" they are. Sheesley says that not only are they cold hardy for our area (down in to the 20s) but that they are such heavy producers for such a long period of time. Satsuma Mandarin oranges top the list and the Republic of Texas orange will also be widely available this year as will a new introduction of Kumquats.
Other notable fruits to be on the lookout for this year:
Blackberries - Kiowa (Thorny yes, but an extraordinarily heavy producer according to Sheesley)
Grapes - Mortenson Hardy ( A white bunch grape, with few seeds but more importantly very resistant to Pierce's Disease.)
Peaches - Besides the Tropic Snow and Mid Pride mentioned earlier, look for Red Barron and a bunch of new ones developed by the University of Florida, that have very low chill hour requirements.
Plums - This year, Sheesley says look for Robusto and Burgandy. But standards like Mariposa, Beauty and any of the Gulf Series (Gulf Blaze, Gulf Beauty, Gulf Rose, Gulf Ruby) should also be available.
Asian Pears - 20th Century, Shinko as mentioned earlier as well as Shinseiki and Hosui
Pears - Tennessee, Atlas Superior, Spalding and Hood.
Last year we mentioned some other interesting fruits to look for this year in the Pawpaws, Jujubes, Pakistan Mulberry and Asian Persimmons. This year, along with those, Sheesley says to look for Blood Oranges, Pummelo, Pomegranates and Edible Barbados Cherries.
Okay, enough of all the ideas, here's the Treesearch/County Extension Fruit Tree Sale itinerary for 2006... Please note where there are talks or demos to start the sales. I would suggest sitting in on the discussion/talk to assure yourself "first-in-line" status.
UPCOMING FRUIT TREE SALES
JAN. 21, 2006
6TH ANNUAL URBAN HARVEST FRUIT TREE SALE
1900 KANE STREET (just west of downtown)
Seminar: 8:15 a.m. to 9:20 a.m. (HEIDI SHEESLEY and RAY SHER)
Sale 9:30 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
JAN. 28, 2006
MONTGOMERY MASTER GARDENER ANNUAL FRUIT and NUT TREE SALE
9020 FM 1484
CONROE, TX 77303
Seminar: 8:00-9:00 a.m. (TOM LEROY)
Sale 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
JAN. 29, 2006
ARBOR GATE ANNUAL FRUIT TREE SALE and SEMINAR
15635 FM 2920
TOMBALL, TX 77377
Seminar: 11:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m.
Sale 9:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
FEB. 4, 2006
GALVESTON MASTER GARDENER 2006 FRUIT TREE SALE
5102 CARBIDE PARK
281-534-3413 ext. 6
Seminar: 8:00 a.m-9:00 a.m.
Sale 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.
FEB. 11, 2006
FT. BEND MASTER GARDENER FRUIT and CITRUS SALE
FT. BEND COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS
4310 HWY 36 SOUTH
ROSENBERG, TX (at Southwest Freeway and Hwy 36)
281-341-7068 or 281-342-3040
Seminar: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. in Bldg D (HEIDI SHEESLEY)
Sale 9:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m. in George Barn
FEB. 25, 2006
PRECINCT 2 MASTER GARDENER "SPRING TREASURES SALE" (FRUIT TREES, CITRUS, TOMATOES and PEPPERS)
CLEAR LAKE PARK ON NASA ROAD 1
Seminar: 8:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m. (HEIDI SHEESLEY)
Sale 9:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.
And here's a special deal for the Holiday Gift Giving Season courtesy of me and the new book "Gulf Coast Gardening".
Until the weekend before Christmas, the online price for my new book is greatly reduced.
If you are a garden retailer interested in stocking this book, please call the Nitro Phos Warehouse for wholesale ordering information. 713-228-1868.
Until next issue, here's to
Great Gardening from the GardenLine, heard
exclusively weekend mornings from 8 to noon
on Talkradio 950 KPRC.