Rites of Spring
Posted on: Monday, April 21, 2014 by Darryl McCullough
One of my rites of spring is watching the deciduous fruit trees emerge from their winter dormancy. Will all the branches leaf out with healthy new growth, or was there a setback? A few weeks ago, the little Surh-Anor pomegranate I wrote about in March popped a few red buds near the base of one of its two little trunks, and I suspected that it had lost a fair amount of its wood. But each passing week brought buds on more of the tiny shrub, and now it looks to have come through winter unscathed.
I love persimmons and can hardly wait for mine to begin fruiting. Each spring they have emerged later than most. They also seem to go branch-by-branch, keeping me wondering.
Mulberries are one of my favorite trees, for their grow-by-themselves vigor and their tasty fruit. I love the way they burst forth in mid-spring. This year my dwarf everbearing is covered with fruit, ripening a handful each day. The Pakistan has much less fruit and seems more interested in becoming the large tree it's destined to be. But what it's produced has lived up to the reputation of this variety.
Many of the stone fruits were confused this year, blooming and setting fruit in the late fall. I planted a Sunraycer nectarine last fall, managing to find one that had achieved some dormancy. It leafed out soon after I planted it anyway, but came through the winter as an evergreen. The one nectarine I am letting it keep this year is now an inch long.
Of course a great many of the fruit trees we grow here are semi-deciduous--- they keep their foliage during winter and drop it just as the new spring growth begins. We'll talk about them some other day.