Doña Ana County Extension Agent John White and Master Gardener Benny Knudsen look at stone fruit trees on their tour of the "Garden of Weeden". The Mariposa Plum, the dwarf Stella Sweet Cherry, Elberta Peach, Tilton Apricot and the almond tree (which also belongs to the stone fruit family) are featured in this segment of Southwest Yard and Garden series. The suitability of these trees for a small garden is mentioned. Besides this, also discussed is the problem of late frost and its effect on fruit production among stone fruits. Benny Knudsen demonstrates by touching the blossoms of the Mariposa Plum to see whether or not they fall off. If they drop, then they have been affected by frost or are non-pollinated flowers that would not bear fruit. A dwarf cherry tree would make it easier to protect the harvest against birds with a net. A narrow branch angle is a problem with trees that bear a heavy crop. John White suggests a more open branch angle on trees like peach trees to provide more support. Having branches that come off at one point on the trunk of the tree should also be avoided as it provides a weak point on the tree. A fully laden apricot tree with young fruit should be thinned out to improve fruit quality. Two varieties of almond trees are needed for cross-pollination.
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