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Supposing most of you live in a warmer climate as I do (8b), I experiment here in Flanders - Belgium with exotic fruit. For me, exotic fruit is not necesarily (sub)tropical, but can also originate in Siberia. As far as it is rare or rather exclusively growing here.
For several years I stumbled with South-African seeds, but in the long term, nothing survived, because lack of hardiness.
More recently, I specialised on all stonefruit, if possible true to seed, and somewhere native and/or wild.
My proudness is to have already fruiting here:
-Prunus maritima and P. dunbarii.
Here, as well as in Germany, there is a trend to cultivate fruit on own roots. A few examples in my garden are:
-Seedless Ché, Diospyros lotus, Eleagnus multiflora, Mespilus germanica, Prunus mexicana, P. americana, P. besseyi, P. emarginata, , P. mume, P. padus, P. pumila, P. sibirica, P. subcordata, P. tenella, P. tomentosa, P.
In house kept seedlings to plant next year in the open:
P. fremonti, P. brigantina (which is a real native apricot in Europe)
Seeds in stratification:
Prunus P. brigantina (Alpine plum, which is the only real native apricot in Europe)
Grows around Briançon on an altitude of 1300 m, with 5 months snow/year. Very difficult to find.
Still looking for more native Prunus seeds, maybe trading?:
- Desert Peach or P. andersonii (missing and most wanted)
- Holly-leaved Cherry or Prunus ilicifolia (missing and most wanted)
- Desert Almond or Prunus fasciculata (missing and most wanted)
Long story long, I planted a couple fig trees earlier this year, one being a VdB, and it went in the ground at about 3 feet, now it's at about 8 feet, and it has yet to lose its beautiful leaves. The tree has been nothing but vigorous, but the other day I saw gopher holes appearing about 10 feet from the trunk. It was getting late and was dark, so I decided to take care of it the next day.
Big mistake, the tree was found lying on the ground the next day, despite the chicken wire around the tree, the gophers went right up to the wire, and a gust of wind felled the tree. I killed the gopher with a trap (I only caught 1) and I have the tree staked up again.
Lesson learned, you see them, get them first.