I’m so tired let’s see if I can proofread this right. Happy tired.
Their goofs meant I totally won. Not enough other people could find them, I think.
We had this one spot behind the plum tree that was a perfect space, now that the weed trees were gone, for another, specifically a bigger tree than some of the others I’ve put in. Not being in a raised bed meant that much more allowable height, and it likely wouldn’t shade the solar there even if it got out of hand (which it won’t.) And the neighbor on the other side of the fence there had once so hoped out loud that we would plant a peach near enough to reach over her side a bit.
If we put one there it could go that far but it wouldn’t have to–perfect.
And I could plant a standard size without having to look for a semi-dwarf.
The only problem, and the thing that had stopped me previously, was the roots I would have to deal with that would surely be left over from those weed trees.
I only considered it because I’d fallen in love with a gorgeous specimen of an Indian Free peach two weeks ago, the last one at that nursery, and by the time we decided that yeah, we really did want it it was long gone and from every other retailer I called, too. Bare root and potted both, sold out.
That’s what happens when Dave Wilson, the grower, describes it as the all-time best-tasting peach they know of.
And: Indian Free (developed and named by Thomas Jefferson) does not get peach leaf curl disease. In our foggy area, this is huge. It produces in September and October, long after my others are done for the year. The peaches are tart and presumably, like my Yellow Transparent apples, uninviting to squirrels until full ripeness–at which point, suddenly, wow. The peaches, anyway.
Once we’d agreed on it I didn’t want to lose a year’s growth to having to wait. One last try. I clicked on Where To Buy for the variety one more time this morning, even though I hadn’t found anything at all within three hours and I’d spent an hour and a half on the phone yesterday asking.
But I’d wondered about this one retailer I hadn’t called–because clicking from Dave Wilson to ProBuild had been a complete bust, a page that said they sold building (only) materials. The end. Well then why…?
How about if we try clicking “handout”? For another retailer, that had been a dead link so I’d ignored them all but let’s try it.
Turns out ProBuild does have a nursery on the side with a list of what they stock but the page is not on their site but on Dave Wilson’s instead. Huh.
Indian Free. There you go.
I called them.
Sure, we have five! Bare root. Do you want us to reserve you one?
I told them nah, I’ll be right there–well, as in, coming from… Thinking, it would only be about an hour, right? I figured I was safe and I wanted to pick it out myself. (I had to pick up the dishwasher part on the way. It was an hour and a half.)
Those who have driven the steeply twisty Highway 17 over the mountains with slow trucks and heavy traffic and quickly-alternating vivid sunshine and dark under the redwoods will understand when I say I felt like I had to pry each deathgrip finger off the steering wheel when I got there, but I got there.
More or less. There was no sign with that street number. There was no sign that said ProBuild. I saw a nursery, but I wanted the one I’d talked to and I did not want to make that return drive in rush hour traffic. I figured I just hadn’t gotten there yet. (Wait! Is that Golden Fleece?! Gunilla! It was, or at least their old place, but I did not dare take the time to find out.) I kept on going, but no, the numbers were going the wrong way. Turning back, it really was San Lorenzo Nursery at 235 River over there. No sign of the word ProBuild anywhere, not even on the construction-supplies place next door.
I looked around a bit and asked for help, and when I explained the lupus/I need to stay out of the sun thing, the guy was wonderfully helpful.
I saw four. (Come to think of it now as I write, maybe they’d put one aside for me over in the area marked Holding after all–I’d better let them know I already got it.) I picked out the one with the thickest trunk. “There aren’t any on Citation rootstock, right?” (Semi-dwarfing.)
“No,” he apologized.
I hadn’t expected one; “They didn’t make any this year, though, I don’t think.” (He agreed, with a look on his face of oh, so this lady knows!)
They hadn’t been planted in paper pots as the season had gone on. The price hadn’t been quadrupled. There was a long sand and soil bed that he pulled the one out of for me and then he wrapped up the bare roots in plastic for the drive home. The tree was still dormant. This was good.
$19.95 and no tax on food-producing plants. Twenty bucks for a lifetime of perfect fall fruit, and from a really nice group of people.
I drove back over 17 with the tree going from the far back to partly into the passenger side next to me. I knew now where the mudslide had been, where the lanes were going to be narrowed. I was in no hurry. (Yank that wheel lady and you’ll have a faceful of twigs.)
UV levels went down to 1 and it was time to start.
I hit root. Root. Another root. Chipping away at the biggest there was a sudden smell of eucalyptus. There were earthworms doing their best at it all. I pulled one way back, then got sensible and got out the clippers and got rid of it.
I ran off to get Richard. And back home again. We were losing sun time fast and you don’t leave a bare root tree drying out.
In the end I did my best and simply straddled it over the chipped-away big root down there in the dirt, knowing it was dead and this was alive and the peach would win. Not perfect but I’d made a pretty darn good big hole and it would do. I mixed in soil amendment and raised the level around the trunk to just so high below the graft point like I’d seen the pros do.
I stepped back and looked and it was suddenly just overwhelmingly gorgeous. That’s a big, healthy tree. I can’t wait.
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