Khloe

First, you are making a huge time and energy investment, this is not something to just spur of the moment buy and cram in your yard thinking you wont have to do much work with it and it will soon, on its own, start dropping fruit.

First, think about what the tree is going to look like in 3 to 6 to 12 years. Is it going to add value to your yard and house or detract? Trees do not always add! A peach tree with canker thats half dead and branched over your roof isnt going to help you sale your house. Fruit trees are more prone to pests, infections, rot, basically everything than most other trees, at least that I can think of.

They require alot more maintenance and care.

I bought some from Costco 1-2 months ago for $15ish each. They are the same size as the same variety I bought last year from a nursery for $25-$30. The $15 trees started flowering at the same time as the $30 ones. The only complaint I had about them was there wasn't enough variety. I didn't want apple or multiple variety trees, so there wasn't a lot left.

The general rule of thumb for fruit tree's is 3-5 years before a proper harvest and they don't self pollinate so make sure you get 2 trees or one that has 2 species grafted onto it, or you'll be counting on someone else in the neighbourhood having one for pollination.

Make sure they'll actually grow in your area and make sure you allow enough room in your yard for the full grown tree (so don't plant it too close to your eaves, for example), but other than that go for it! The plants themselves should be fine.

You may want/need to protect it for its first winter (check with local gardeners and/or your local agricultural extension), if it has a small truck I highly recommend using the foam tube stuff they use on air conditioners.

  1. Make sure you know what size tree its going to be. Almost every fruit tree is grafted onto a rootstock. The rootstock determines the SIZE of the tree. ALOT of trees sold at boxmarts do not say if this tree is going to be a standard size tree (~25 ft in diameter, 30 ft tall etc), semidwarf (~12-15 ft) or dwarf (~8ft). Those are HUGE differences. You do not want to buy a tree that is too big for your yard. You do not want to buy a dwarf tree imagining yourself pushing your kids in a few years on a tire swing under its huge canopy...not going to happen. You dont want to be buy a standard size tree imagining a small maintenance free affair that will comfortably sit in the corner of your yard where you can walk up and at shoulder height pick its fruit. Tree size is a HUGE ENORMOUS factor to consider. DO NOT BUY A TREE IF YOU DONT KNOW WHAT SIZE ITS GOING TO BE. Research what size you want and then buy a tree with the right rootstock that will make that size tree (also buy for your soil conditions more on that below)
  2. Most trees require a pollinator. Some are self fruitful (I think they still do better with a pollinator). A self fruitful tree can pollinate itself and make a pretty good crop. A non-self fruitful tree, one that requires a pollinator will make almost no fruit without a pollinator. Im talking like one fruit, if that. The pollinator tree needs to be within like 100 ft. Dont buy one kind of tree and expect to start a fruit stand. Also not all trees will be marked that they clearly need a pollinator. If you only have space in your yard for ONE true you want to make absolutely certain you get a self fruitful variety.
  3. Not all trees can grow in all soil conditions. Cherry trees, of any rootstock, cant stand to have their roots in standing water. If you dig a hole and fill it with water (because you have too much clay for example) and it doesnt drain out in any measurable time youre just pissing money away. If you have soil that is acidic or alkiline and you already know this, then whatever fruit tree you want may actually have a rootstock thats been developed just for your soil type. If youre going to plant a fruit tree then thats the rootstock you want it grafted on. If you have absolutely no idea a good nursery SHOULD know and can tell you, thats what they do. If they dont know then you dont have a good nursery; you just have a good middleman thats good at buying plants other people grew, marking the price up and selling them to suckers like you.
  4. Fruit trees require a certain number of chilling hours. Chill hours are the number of hours in the winter that it gets below freezing (some experts say 45 is close enough, I dont think it is). This means if you live in S Florida and plant a cherry tree it will never get enough chill hours to make squat. Peach trees can vary between 1200 and 200 chill hours. You can fudge these numbers a little bit but if youre too much off then every year that you didnt get enough chill hours will be a year you dont get peaches or whatever fruit. If youre too far off your tree wont go into dormancy and can actually be damaged. So this is a pretty big deal to pay attention to. Your local nursery or your state university will know to a fine science which varieties of whatever fruit will receive enough chill hours in your location to make fruit and go into and out of dormancy without problems.
  5. Pests. Fruit trees are more prone to them. You may live in an area that is particularly prone to certain pests, maybe a trunk borer. What will happen is you will plant your tree, it will do great for several years and right as you are about to have your first real crop, it will get sick and start to die. Some rootstocks inhibit pests. Some things you can do from the get go to prevent pests..such as not pruning your peach trees when its wet to inhibit fungal cankers (can wipe out your whole orchard). The point is youll want to know a little about what your trees are likely to encounter and how to prevent it BEFORE you have it in your yard. A sick tree lessens your yard's value, a healthy tree adds. With a fruit tree there is a very real risk of you putting all this time, money, and energy into a tree that without proper care could very well actually lower your property value.
  6. Pruning. You have to prune most kinds of fruit trees. Some of them you have to thin the fruits or they'll be so fruitful they will break their own branches. 90 degree branches are stronger than 45 but some fruit varieties dont exhibit that kind of growth pattern. Peaches need three or four major branches that you set typically in their second year. Plum trees have a more erect growth form that are pruned differently. I put this here because many fruit varieties need to be actively pruned fairly early on in order to minimize problems later.
  7. Even fertilizing can be tricky. If you fertilize too late in the season you can inhibit dormancy and again actually cause damage to your tree.

I really recommend against going out and buying a random fruit tree and planting it in your yard. Unlike other plants (this may seem obvious but its not always) trees get big and sooner or later they arent so easy to get rid of if they dont work out.

I feel this way about every nursery that offers trees, not just plants from stores like Costco. Generally speaking the quality is about the same, but you need to know what you are planting and why. This is th emost important aspect.

Khloe

We're having a small wedding but I had a situation, where I actually met some distant family only a few months before my wedding. I decided to extend an invite to them, and they were actually really happy for the chance to come reconnect with that side of their family. There had been some stupid drama that kept them away for a while, and they were so happy to be brought back into the fold, as it were, and spend time with my aunts/uncles.

So, I'd invite them, because it will likely create a bunch of warm fuzzies, and who knows, maybe you guys will have fun connecting with them.

Total cost of paper, gift bags, envelopes, and printing was $41.10 for 43 invitations, with 18 extra gift bags since they came in packs of 20, and almost as many extra envelopes with a couple lost due to printing error. I didn't have to buy the linen paper, glue, cutting materials, or sealing stamp.

Permanent double-sided tape only came in packs of two, so that was $7.47.

I bought more sealing wax than we needed, since we're the type of people who might use it again later. So I got 8 oz for $22.25, though getting 2 oz for $5.75 was also an option, and would have been plenty. For the postcards I only pre-stamped 11 of them that were going to older relatives, since RSVPing online is also an option. So the total cost for me including postage, wax, and mistakes was $115.51. This is really a great end price. Sure I had to do the work myself but that doesn't turn me off. And had I bought comparable invitations, these purple ones are similar, then I would have spent about the double.

Like this I had extras.

We ended up having a second round of invitations. Since the first set of RSVPs was pretty low. I am not one that complains about more guests. In fact I am happy that people could come granted it's not very last minute and your guests will have enough time.

I get a lot of first round invites 2 months out from the wedding and I sent my first round invites 3 months out.

The only thing I would be concerned is the future mother in law, she gave me some stress. It seems like when you haven't invited any of [her extended family](http://forums.theknot.com/discussion/859812/inviting-extended-family), they tend to get upset. Would it upset her more to invite your dad's siblings and not hers? I know it's always a different situation, but she might not see it that way. I would personally go with the friends/coworkers since they might actually be there and fill up the venue and also not bring up the sibling issue which have heard from so many women. It is just one of those red flags that comes up for these women. I swear that I will never do this to my kids significant other.

Khloe

Season 7 is going to be epic! Dany is on the throne by the end of S.7 and the Wall will come down. Jaime will have killed Cersei and prevented her from setting off wildfire.

In S.8 the White Walkers destroy nearly everything. They make their way all the way down to Kings Landing where Jon and Dany have set a trap. When the White Walkers attack the city, they light the rest of the wildfire. This then leads to Danys vision from s.2 in the ruined and snowy throne room (since winter follows the White Walkers).

Jon and Sansa

Jon and Sansa have Davos, Ghost, Tormund and the Wildlings, the North That Remembers Again, Littlefinger's Knights of the Vale, Arya acting out like a ninja in the shadows and the dauntless Lady Mormont. Bonus: Brienne and Pod are on their way.

Dany has Tyrion and Varys

Dany has Tyrion and Varys, Missandrei, the Unsullied, 3 dragons, a fleet of ships with experienced Pirate leadership, and a thriving horde of horse-riding Dothraki. Bonus: Military backing of Dorne and the wealth and provisions of House Tyrell under the indomitable Queen of Thorns.

Cersei has Jamie

Cersei has Jamie, the Mountain, the Blackwater led by Edmure (who is a total tool), The Twins (sans the Frey leadership and ripe for the taking thanks to Arya), her necromancer Grand Maester and his murdering band of feral children. Bonus: hidden caches of Wildfyre throughout King's Landing

Unknown Entities And Shifting Loyalties:

The Hound

The Hound highly motivated to kill his brother, grew to respect Arya and kinda had a crush on Sansa, loyally served the Lannisters but deserted, traveling with the Brotherhood. Likes chicken.

Melissande

Melissande banished by Jon but believes he is the Lord of Light's Emissary, reviving him restored her Faith.

Jaime's Conscience

Innate sense of honor restored by Brienne, following a redemptive arc, only one to stand up to Mad Kimg, loves his sister more than anything in the world and she is all the family he has left.

Littlefinger's Ambition

Tempered by lust for Sansa, fueled by envy of Jon, Cersei and anyone else who stands in his way. Littlefinger will see that the chances of him sitting on the Iron Throne are sayo-fucking-nara, and shift his focus towards becoming the new NK instead.

I hope we get to see that scar before Littlefinger bites it.

Littlefinger thinks that he can control Sansa, and his desire to have both her and the Iron Throne could make it pretty easy for her to deal with him.

In the past, he's survived by making sure that he's always on the winning side of a conflict and that he's essential to the people who would want to kill him. Sansa just has to reveal what Littlefinger has done and gain Robin's trust and he can be taken out pretty easily.

I picture him futilely swinging his sword against the NK, only to be pushed back into the snow with a ripped jerkin, exposing his childhood scar, and therefore the physical manifestation of his life's ruthless drive for ambition, laid bare before the absolute indifference of the White Walkers, in the moment of the wintery apocalypse, right before he dies.

Bran, Crow

I can see everywhere when linked in to the Weirwood Network, paralyzed with no more Hodor to Uber him around and no dire wolf to warg into, prone to breaking the rules and causing major screw ups as a result, visible and vulnerable to the Night's King and headed to the Wall.

White Walkers and the Night's King

Winter is here, Bran may inadvertently provide them with an access point through the Wall, can resurrect the dead to join them.

Battles don't make GoT good, drama does.

GoT will stay GoT until the end, and that means that there will be factions, infighting, and betrayals in the seven kingdoms all throughout the next two seasons and throughout the war with the white walkers.

Khloe

My issue with Sansa in the show is she thinks she should get all this credit. The problem is she doesn't have other people speak up on her behalf.

Lyanna nominated Jon, but nobody stepped forward for Sansa. In that situation, neither her nor Jon can really speak up. Ideally Royce should have stepped forward, or Little Finger, but without a hype man or her work being on display, she won't be in people's hearts to be nominated.

I read that scene as her having the chance to speak up, but refusing to do so.

Littlefinger planted the seed in the Godswood, just like he had in Mole's Town, except this time she didn't bite. Sansa sat there in silence for several seconds when she could have spoken up, but instead Lady Mormont finally spoke. Littlefinger's disgust was that Sansa had refused to use that moment to seize power. I think the whole Sansa v. Jon thing is complete misdirection.

Everyone said Jon was dead and that was the end of it last year.

If she wants Winterfell she should have spoke up and made her case. I'm really tired of Sansa's whimpering and crying that she isn't "getting the credit she deserves" when she never opens her mouth or asserts herself. Jon would have supported her, had she stood up and spoken for herself. He said himself that she should be the Lady of Winterfell.

I feel like the writers are just determined to make Jon and Sansa rivals for drama, when it could all be cleared up if Sansa would just fucking talk.

Which she never does.

She wants to prove she's a player of the game, but she's making intrigue and drama where it need not be. Again, if she would open her mouth and assert herself. While I get that, as Ned's trueborn daughter, her claim 'should' be stronger than a bastards, this is a patriarchal society. She is going to have to speak up and fight to be heard, and earn the approval of her Lords.

Not just have it handed it to her.

Khloe

The way that it seems to me is that the seven are just paragons and not gods. They're irrelevant. The old gods are more of a natural mysticism and that's alive and well with Bran.

The interesting forces at work are Rh'llor and the Great Other, fire and ice. I think that both are destructive magics and that the White Walkers are the result of the Great Other's power. The children of the forest delved into magic that they normally didn't use. I think that both are evil and that only in balance can life survive.

In that, the Braavosi belief that there is only one God, death, makes sense. They are both different faces of the same coin so to speak. Unchecked, Ice kills everyone, and the same with fire. The people worshipping either are only drawn to power, and mistake that as having human traits.

An imbalance in either direction causes massive destruction, which is why the Many Faced God is so ambivalent in the eyes of his followers.

  • Dany will suffer some major loses at sea, due to Euron or a storm
  • Sam will find some key information at the citadel that will help in the fight against the White Walkers
  • Arya will continue her quest for vengeance that will ultimately consume her. She'll never reunite with her family again
  • King's Landing will devolve into civil war and will have destroyed itself from the inside before Dany even gets there
  • Jamie will kill Cersei and then off himself
  • Sansa and Jon will continue butting heads but she will ultimately manipulate Littlefinger out of the game
  • Tyrion will bring Jon and Dany together and they'll form an alliance through marriage before they even learn the truth of Jon’s birth
  • We'll get a flashback with Rhaegar to prove once and for all that it was love all along
  • Euron will be Dany's First Boss this season, only lasting a couple episodes -- will take out some of her fleet though, and also kill Yara
  • Dany will take King's Landing with relative ease, Cersei will die at the hands of Jaime when he stops her from burning the rest of the city, a la Aerys. Jaime then kills himself
  • The final episode of the season will contain the Wedding of Ice and Fire -- no crazy Red/Purple Wedding shenanigans, but we will see the Wall falling after the marriage is consummated to assure the audience that happiness is fleeting
  • Bran will reunite with his Starks siblings at Winterfell and inform Jon of his parentage
  • LF will put seeds of doubt into Sansa's head, she will make it appear as though she is on his side but turn against him when his guard is down, killing him
  • Arya will kill Melisandre
  • The Wall comes down in the finale

I think that the interesting thing with Jon Snow is that he is a mixture of the embodiment of fire and ice, a restoration of balance between the two forces.

Arya is identified by Melisandre as being linked with the Great Other, which implies that House Stark is linked to that force at least somewhat. This idea fits with the idea that the First Men bred with the Children of the Forest. The Targaryens are obviously linked with Rh'llor.

I think that both are evil unchecked and that only in balance, can life survive.

The old gods are a manifestation of that balance and the seven are just ideas that humans have of justice. The seven have no power outside what the humans give them in the series. The old gods are a natural force that done humans can tap into, and Rh'llor and the Great Other are primal forces.

Khloe

I Have fruit trees of all different price classes. And I can say that they make a good investment however you cut it.

Most of us love fruit. What most people don't understand is fruit trees are some of the best frugal investments you can make. Allow me to crunch the numbers for you:

Let's say you live in a subtropical to tropical area and love avocados. At my local store, they're $2.00 each (Whole Foods organic avos are $3.00 each!). If you have a house with a tiny bit of land, why not plant an avocado tree? The numbers:

  • The tree should cost you $30.00 or less. We'll say $30.00.
  • Let's say you have terrible soil with nutrient deficiencies so you spend $20.00 on amendments to plant the tree. So you're at $50.00.
  • Each year you spend $10.00 on fertilizer/water.

Year one, you may get avocados but if you're smart, you pull them all off the tree early so it focuses on establishing itself.

You're in the hole $50.00.

Year two, you get 5 avocados (you should get more but let's be conservative). You spend $10.00 on fertilizer/water. You're still in the hole $50.00 but you had 5 delicious avocados you were very proud of.

Year three you get 15 avocados (you should get more). You spend $10.00 on fertilizer/water so you're still $30.00 in the hole.

Year four you get 20 avocados (you should get WAY more).

You spend $10.00 on fertilizer/water so you're now even. You've fully realized your investment.

  1. Tell me an investment that has a 100% ROI after 4 years.
  2. A 5 year old avocado should have well over 100 avocados. Mature avocado trees can have 2,3,400 avocados.
  3. The avocado tree doesn't care if the price of avocados goes up to $3.00, $4.00, etc, it is inflation proof (except the cost of fertilizer/water).

This is true for most fruit trees. Find fruit trees that grow well in your area and are fruit you enjoy eating and enjoy your fantastic investment. Frugal minded folk should have a yard full of them.

I think one could take this a step further and commit themselves to homesteading and self-sufficiency in general.

For me, that's the eventual goal I'd like to reach. Not just fruit trees, but a full vegetable garden and hopefully some livestock to produce milk and eggs. Remember, you don't have to consume all of it either, you now have a product you could use to sell or barter if you wanted to.