DOUGLASS, Texas, April 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — Last year, Texas fruit tree grower Legg Creek Farm had its best year ever with sales of Southern-adapted fruit trees increasing more than 50 percent.
This year could even be better as Texas gardeners scramble to replace damaged fruit trees lost during the state’s freak winter storm. The farm sells online Southern-adapted fruit trees across the U.S.
“In 2020, when we wrapped up our season, we sold more than 10,000 fruit trees. We ran out of everything we grew and everything we could get our hands on,” said Legg Creek Farm President Trey Watson. “It was also a challenge because we had to work with a lighter crew due to social distancing.”
“The increase in demand is probably due to people being at home wanting to garden more because of the pandemic. After talking with customers, there was almost like a preparing for the worst type of mentality as well,” said Watson.
The biggest demand he saw was for different varieties of Peach trees and the Low Chill Apple trees specifically adapted to the South. At the end of most years, he usually has some left but in 2020 everything sold.
Native fruit trees were also big sellers. Particularly, the Mayhaw which is a small native tree that’s used in Texas for wine and jelly. Paw Paw trees and Mulberry trees were also in demand and shipped to customers living as far north as the Canadian border.
Watson started selling Southern-adapted fruit trees online in 2009 with a simple homemade website and was shocked at the number of sales. His business is one of the only Texan farms selling native and other varieties of fruit trees specifically adapted to the hot dry temperatures of the deep South.
He sells mainly online with a more sophisticated website now that’s full of information about Southern native fruit trees that are adapted to humid climates. Watson is also an accomplished author of several horticultural books.
He has written The Lazy Gardener’s Guide to Easy Fruits and Berries, The Southern Gardener’s Guide to Growing Fruit Trees and How to Grow Apples in the Southern U.S. He also received an endorsement from the North American Native Plant Society for Southern Bounty: How to Grow and Enjoy Southeastern Native Fruits and Nuts.
He’s noticing a trend of more people trying to grow fruit trees. Customers living in cities and the suburbs are asking how many trees they can grow in their yards.
“For standard fruit trees there should be spaced 15-20 feet apart. But with dwarf trees you can get by with 12-15 feet. We’ve even sold self-fertile trees to customers, who live in apartments. These trees can be put into pots on their balcony,” said Watson.
Dwarf trees can be grown easily in containers and they sell different types, including dwarf apple trees and cherry trees. If the trees are grown in containers, they should be upgraded every few years. Cherry trees can be kept small by just cutting the top off. With apples you can prune them smaller to keep them in a pot for three years.
“The Japanese have been known to keep dwarf apple trees for 30 or 40-years but it takes a lot of work. It requires taking the tree out of the pot and cutting the roots a bit while the tree is dormant,” said Watson.
Watson sells a variety of cherry called Stella that can survive hot dry temperatures. Cherries aren’t native to the South because it doesn’t get cold enough. These southern cherry trees are sold to customers who live just north of Houston and all the way east to the Atlantic Ocean.
“Last year, we also had a lot of interest in citrus trees such as oranges, lemons and limes. In the spring of 2020, we were growing some and working with a supplier that got hit by a hurricane. This latest freeze in Texas wiped them all out,” said Watson.
Fruit tree orders can be placed online at the Legg Creek Farm website.
“We ship by FedEx and wrap wet newspaper around the roots. Then it’s wrapped in plastic so customers can receive it fresh between one and three days,” said Watson.
For further information or to schedule an interview contact Trey Watson at (936) 652-7063 or
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION:
Legg Creek Farm
Phone: (936) 652-7063
SOURCE Legg Creek Farm