Author Article Archive - Bob

Growing Apples in the Tropics

Growing Apples in the Tropics? Really?

With climate change, temperatures are getting hotter and hotter. Might be worthwhile to start considering a wider variety of fruits that can be grown here in the Pacific Northwest.

Or it may be time to think about adjustments to how we grow our fruit trees. You may be interested in this article about growing apples in the tropics. Apples in the Tropics

Learn about “Step-Over” Apple Trees!

Check it out! Home Orchard Society’s Arboretum Manager, Tonia, talks about “step-over” apple trees. Learn about this great way to minimize use of space while still growing apples at home!

Thanks to Orchard People for this video!


Photo credit: Claire Higgins/Getty (

Photo credit: Claire Higgins/Getty (

April is Community Orchards Month!

In celebration of community orchards and publicly accessible fruit trees everywhere, come out to your local community orchard event in April. Over the course of the month we will be cleaning up the orchard, prepping new beds, planting beneficial-attracting under-story and new berry bushes, and getting started on fruit thinning.

Community Orchards Month was created by Portland Fruit Tree Project in 2015. This year, both Home Orchard Society and Green Lents are also organizing events as part of this month-long celebration!

The full list of Community Orchard month events is below:

Home Orchard Society Orchard Clean-Up & Bed Prep
Saturday April 2nd
10:00am – 2:00pm
Oregon City, OR
click here for more information

Green Thumb Community Orchard Planting Party
Saturday April 9th
11am – 1pm
SE Portland, Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood
click here to register

Fruits of Diversity Work Party: Native Plants Planting and Orchard Celebration
Saturday April 16th
10:00 am – 1:00 pm
N Portland, Portsmouth neighborhood
click here to register

Malden Court Community Orchard Work Party
Saturday April 16th
9:00am – 12:00pm
SE Portland, Lents neighborhood
Email: orchard[at] for more information and to sign up

Sabin Community Orchard Work & Learn Party: Pollinators and Earth Day Celebration
Sunday April 17th
2:00pm – 4:00pm
NE Mason Street & NE 18th Avenue
click here to register

Parkrose Community Orchard Work Party: Spring Pest & Disease Management
Saturday April 23rd
12505 NE Halsey Street
click here to register

Home Orchard Society Spring Planting Day
Saturday April 23rd
10:00am – 2:00pm
Oregon City, OR
click here for more information

Gabriel Community Orchard: Spring Pest & Disease Management
Saturday April 30th
SW 41st Ave & SW Canby St.
click here to register

Home Orchard Society Fruit Thinning Work Party
Community Orchard Month partner event
Saturday April 30th
10:00am – 2:00pm
Oregon City, OR
click here for more information


Help HOS thrive, join a committee!

Choice Committee Assignments Now Available!
Help HOS and learn at the same time.   We’ve created new Committees to ensure our continued success and to better serve the home orchardist. Volunteer on one or more of these exciting Committees and enjoy making new friends and learning about growing fruit in our region!
Please let us know on which of the following Committees you’d be interested in serving. Send your reply and any questions to the person listed after each Committee description.

Communication with our members and the general public is essential to the success of HOS.  The Outreach Committee is responsible for creating the Pome News and other printed material.  It is also responsible for email communications, managing our email list and producing the website content and the HOS web forum.  This a great place to put your technical and writing skills to work.

Contact: Bob Hatton <bob[at]>

HOS needs to raise adequate funds to support the Arboretum and our many activities. The Fundraising Committee is tasked with setting fundraising goals and developing new strategies for increasing revenue. Grantwriting is one avenue this Committee will explore. Additional fundraising ideas include requesting direct donations, finding sponsors for events and organizing a silent auction at our major events.

Contact: Jim Gilbert <jgilbert[at]>


The Arboretum at Clackamas Community College is our permanent demonstration orchard.  A wonderful resource for members and the general public, it is a great place to see many fruit varieties, and it also offers the opportunity to learn about planting, pruning and other fruit growing techniques.  Arboretum Committee members will help the Arboretum Manager care for the plants and interact with visitors, and help determine future plans for the site.

Contact: Tonia Lordy <arboretum[at]>


Our most direct outreach efforts are the many events we sponsor.  The Fruit Propagation Fair and All About Fruit Show are unique and very popular, offering members and the public the opportunity to see and taste hundreds of varieties of fruit and get plants and scions for grafting.  The Events Committee is responsible for organizing these and other activities and helping attendees enjoy all that HOS has to offer.

Contact: Jafar Jefferson <jafarj[at]>

Join us for the 41st Annual Fruit Propagation Fair

Join us for the 41st Annual Fruit Propagation Fair!      

Karen Tillou, grafting (photo by Paul Carter/The Register-Guard)

Karen Tillou, grafting (photo by Paul Carter/The Register-Guard)

Sunday March 20th, 10am – 4pm
Clackamas County Fairgrounds – 694 NE 4th Ave, Canby, OR

This event will be held at the main pavilion at the Clackamas County Fairgrounds. In a few short hours, we’ll sell hundreds of rootstocks, give away thousands of scions, graft untold numbers of trees, complete our Make-A-Tree orders, and help lots of folks launch into the pleasure of growing good fruit at home! If you want to grow your own fruit trees, this is the place to be!

  • Free with entry – hundreds of varieties of scions!
  • Arrive early for the best selection of apple, pear, cherry, plum, persimmon, and peach scions!
  • Free cuttings: grapes, kiwis, and several varieties of berry bushes!
  • Rootstocks & plants for sale!
  • Mason bee supplies (we’ll have empty tubes and a limited number of clean cocoons – boxes of 20 for $25, we will not have tubes of dormant bees as in years past)
  • HOS experts will answer your fruit growing questions!
  • Plus … custom grafting, fruit tree growing publications, door prizes, & more!


– $5 for members (family $10)

– $7 for non-members (family $12)

– Free if you join HOS at this show!

If you would like to volunteer for the show, please contact the Volunteer Coordinator for this event, Jacqueline Freeman, at If you volunteer, your admission fee will be waived. 

Join us for the 2015 Annual Meeting & Potluck!

Saturday November 7th, 11:30am – 2:00pm.

Home Orchard Society Members & Volunteers are invited to join us at the Environmental Learning Center at Clackamas Community College for this year’s annual meeting!

This event is also a potluck so please bring a dish to share!

Please arrive at the Environmental Learning Center, Lakeside Room, between 11:30 am and noon.  We’ll have a Potluck Lunch at noon. Remember to bring your own table service (bowl/plate, knife, fork, spoon, mug/cup). Coffee will be provided.

11:30am – Arrive, mingle
12:00pm – Potluck lunch
12:30pm – Annual report, election of officers
1:00pm – HOS at 40 Years – a discussion about where we go from here
2:00pm – Goodbye!

This event is a great opportunity to visit with fellow HOS-ers! This potluck social is fun, and a chance to share the successes and failures of your 2015 orcharding year!

We’ll also be handing out a questionnaire to all attendees at the event. This is optional but we hope that everyone will participate. If you cannot attend the event, but would like to fill out a questionnaire, send your answers to the below questions to info[at]

Home Orchard Society Strategic Planning Questionnaire:

  1. What do you like best about HOS? What can we do better?


      2. What do you see as the mission of HOS?


     3. How are we doing at fulfilling the mission?


     4. Would you be willing to serve on a committee? (you can check more than one)

__ Strategic Planning – developing a detailed plan for HOS to fulfill its’ mission in the coming years

__ Events – planning and carrying out HOS events

__ Arboretum – maintaining the plant collection

__ Outreach – producing publications, email communication and website content.

__ Fundraising



Name: ________________________________

Are you an HOS member, volunteer, or both? _______________

Email Address: _________________________

Phone number: _________________________

Join us at the 2015 All About Fruit Show!!!

It’s that time of year again! Join us for Home Orchard Society’s annual All About Fruit Show!

Saturday October 17th & Sunday October 18th
10am – 4pm
Clackamas County Fairgrounds, Main Pavilion

694 NE 4th Ave, Canby, OR 97013
Parking is free

* See and taste over 500 varieties of heirloom fruit!

* Large Fruit Contest!

*Speakers will present on a variety of fruit-growing topics! (see schedule below)

*Apple Pie Contest – get your pies in by 11am on Saturday, the contest will happen at 2pm

*HOS expert table to answer your fruit growing questions!

*Cider pressing!

*Plus … One Green World, Lowell Tools, mason bee supplies, fruit tree growing publications,
custom-grafted trees, door prizes, & more!

– $4 for members (family $8)

– $6 for non-members (family $10)

– Free if you join HOS at this show!
For more information about HOS, go to

Speaker schedule:
11:00am – Nik Wiman, Entomologist, OSU. He is a specialist in fruit tree pests, particularly working on Brown Marmorated Sting Bug (BMSB) and Spotted-Wing Drosophila (SWD.)

12:30pm –
Jim Gilbert of Northwoods Nursery “Growing Figs, Kiwis, Persimmons and other unique and delicious fruit.” Learn about choosing and growing the best varieties for our climate.  Plus, Jim will talk about searching for new Fig varieties on his recent trip to Italy.

2:00pm –  Jacqueline Freeman will talk about Pollinators (her recently published book on this subject “Spirit Bee” has just gone international!)

11:00am – Marisha Auerbach, Local Permaculture teacher. Will discuss understory permaculture in the orchard.

12:30pm – Ann Ralph, author of “Grow a Little Fruit Tree”. Will discuss year-round pruning and cultural techniques to keep your backyard fruit trees a manageable size.

2:00pm –
Todd Morrill & Shaun Shepherd will present a “how to” of making cider at home for beginners. Both of these gentlemen have many years of experience making cider and Shaun Shepherd is currently involved with a commercial operation, Bull Run Cider.

UPDATE: Pictures from the Fruit Show!

Apples (A)
Apples (B)
Apples (C)
Apples (D)
Apples (E-F)
Apples (G)
Apples (H)
Apples (I-J)
Apples (K-L)
Apples (M-N)
Apples (O-P)
Apples (Q-R)
Apples (S)
Apples (T-V)
Apples (TOC)
Apples (W-Z)
Hardy Kiwis

Order your fruit sox today!

Hey folks! Spring is here and little fruitlets are growing on the trees! That means it’s time to order your fruit sox. Haven’t heard of fruit sox before?

Read more here and order yours today!