Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Homestead: Fruit and Nut Trees....Our selections

Here is a partial list of our selected fruit and nut tree varieties.  I am sure this will be adjusted a lot before they all arrive!


In Europe red walnuts (blood walnuts) have been around since the 18th century. The Robert Livermore walnut is truly a unique walnut with dark red meat that has appeal for both specialty markets and backyard orchardists. Robert Livermore walnuts taste great and the color provides festive look for the holidays. Robert Livermore walnut produces medium, well-sealed nuts and has a medium to high yield. Typically an early October harvest.

Growing Considerations for Robert Livermore Walnut tree

Bloom: Midseason USDA Zone: 6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: Self-Fertile, but more nuts with another Walnut variety planted within 1/4 mile radius
Fruit Storage: Excellent Mature Size: 30 to 50 ft. summer prune to reduce height. Tree
Recommended Spacing: 30 to 50 ft. summer prune to reduce height. Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating,dessert,drying Rootstock: Black Walnut
Water Requirement: 8-15 gallons per week May through Sept. Years to bear: 2-4 years
*As noted by University of California Scientists and other qualified professionals the most successful trees often have caliper from 1/2" to 5/8" and usually establish faster than smaller and larger planting stock. 

  100 grams of Walnuts will give you 167% of your daily copper needs.
100 grams of Walnuts will give you 27% of your daily protein

Independence Nectarine

Prunus persica 'Independence'

Independence nectarine has a freestone, large oral fruit that is gold, blushed with a brilliant cherry red. One of the best nectarines because of its rich, tangy-sweet flavor. Independence ripens very early in the season, well ahead of Redhaven peach. Height:  10 to 14 feet.  Spread: 10 to 14 feet. Hardiness zones: 5 through 8. 
Bloom Character
Thin early for size
Thin heavily for size
Fruit Characteristics
Growth Rate/Habit
Spreading habit
Average vigor
Early to bear
Very productive
Harvest Period
Early season
Early summer
Other Attributes
Sub-acid flavor
Very juicy
Site Requirements
Full Sun
Winter hardy
Skill Required
Easy to grow
High dessert quality

Nectarines are self-fertile and can be planted by themselves. Treat a nectarine just like peaches when growing. Thin early and agressively for good size. Prune every year to maintain vigor. You should seek to get between 1-3 feet of new growth a year. Over, 3 feet and you are probably fertilizing too much..


 Dixon Cling Peach

 Dixon peach is one of the earliest heirloom clingstone peaches, meaning the flesh adheres to the pit when ripe. Considered one of the best flavored yellow clingstone peaches.  Also excellent dessert peach.  Comes highly recommended to us from an old peach farmer and pomologist in the valley. In addition to being used in canning and preserves, cling peaches can also be used in peach pies. Because they are less juicy, the result will be a less runny peach pie, which can be a pleasant benefit for cooks who struggle with watery peach pies. They have orange flesh color with no red, and a distinctive taste somewhat reminiscent of apricots. Non-melting (clingstones) types have flesh that remain firm in the canning jar and in purees such as baby food.

USDA Zone: 6,7,8,9
Pollination: Self-Fertile
Mature Size: 12-15 ft. summer prune to maintain 8 ft. tree
Recommended Spacing: 12-15 ft. summer pruned 8 ft.spacing
Ripens: Late
Rootstock: lovell
Water Requirement: 8-15 gallons per week May through Sept.
Years to bear: 1-3 years

 Louise Bonne of Jersey pear
 Louise Bonne is an old French pear variety, with a surprisingly modern "bi-coloured" appearance - the yellow/green skin usually has an attractive red flush. As a bonus the blossom is also more attractive than most pear varieties.
Louise Bonne was rated by the Victorian fruit enthusiast Robert Hogg as "A most delicious pear" - a description which is just as valid today. The flesh is sweet and melting, with a pronounced pear flavour.
Judging the right time to pick can be tricky, but keep a close eye on it from late August onwards (in the south of the UK, a bit later further north) and pick the pears when they are flushed but still quite hard - then ripen in a fruit bowl.
USDA Zone:5,6,7,8,9
Fruit Storage:Good
Fireblight Resistance:moderate
Ripens: Midseason


FRENCH PRUNE (D'Agen) 1856

 Traditionally the French plum was dried and kept over a long period of time when refrigerators did not exist and winter meant months with few fruits or vegetables. Prunes were almost as precious as salt and were used to bargain wages during the 15th century. The French Prune was introduced to the states by Pierre and Louis Pellier, brothers who went to California for the Gold Rush, started a nursery business near San Jose in 1856 with plum cuttings they brought from France. Today they are sought by connoisseurs around the world. The French prune is very sweet, rich flavor with tender, fine-textured flesh. Medium-sized prune plum of red to violet purple skin over amber flesh. Delicious for eating fresh, baking, chutneys, and drying. Long-lived and self-fertile.

USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Self-Fertile
Mature Size: 12-16 ft. summer prune to maintain 8 ft. tree
Recommended Spacing: 12-16 ft. summer pruned 8 ft.spacing
Ripens: Late August
Rootstock: lovell
Water Requirement: 8-15 gallons per week May through Sept.
Years to bear: 1-3 years


BLACK REPUBLICAN Oregon 1860 [Cherry]

The Black Republican cherry is relatively small in size, with a rotund shape, deep purple color, firm flesh and intense black cherry flavor. Although it was highly regarded by many growers, it lost favor because of its smaller size and tendency to be slightly astringent when not fully ripe. It is a parent of the Bing cherry, which has long superseded it in commercial cultivation. In the past, the Black Republican was favored for use in black cherry ice cream and yogurt because its color and flavor carried through. Complex and earthy, the rotund, deep purple fruit has notes of herbs, rose and almond. In some cases it still may be found frozen for industrial food productions. Only rarely is it available fresh. This variety is an old variety that needs to be saved for the future.

USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9

Pollinate with one of the following: Bing, Black Tartarian, Napoleon, Rainier, Lapins, Stella, Van
Mature Size: 12-16 ft. summer prune to maintain 8 ft. tree
Recommended Spacing: 12-16 ft. summer pruned 8 ft.spacing
Ripens: July
Rootstock: Colt
Water Requirement: 8-15 gallons per week May through Sept.
Soil Requirement: Soil must drain quickly for sweet cherries
Years to bear: 1-3 years


There are such amazing varieties of fruit and nut trees out there. Every time I see a place with flowering shrubs and trees in their landscaping I always wonder why more people don't use fruit trees instead of ornamentals.These trees have  beautiful blossoms and then you get the added benefit of food...home grown and so fresh it hurts! With health concerns and the use of herbicides and pesticides in Industrial fruit production the addition of fruit and nut trees to your garden and farm is a huge benefit to your health and food sources, they are good for the bee population ad they are beautiful. We look forward to our orchards! The rest of our list will be in part two of the Fruit and Nut Blog....see you tomorrow.


  1. I have never even heard of blood walnuts - how amazing! I would love to plant nut trees in my next (and last) property. I have not had much luck with starting fruit trees, so I am going to try elderberries this year.

    1. Trees of Antiquity has good information about fruit and nut trees. Will you be making Elder berry wine?

      We look forward to our own trees!

  2. I hadn't heard of blood walnuts, either. But, looking at the nectarines and peaches makes me hungry. I hope you are able to plant trees that will bear much fruit over the years.


    1. These look interesting and unusual...suited to our strange taste.