While this beautiful weather was pleasant for being outside, three months with no rain means irrigation becomes a necessity. Thankfully my saskatoons had already a few years of root growth in the ground; I only needed to water them a few times. This is currently all done by hand, since the first two summers were quite wet and until now I haven't needed much. If I had planted this year I would have had to water once per week, and with 240 trees, I'd be rigging something up.
The key to irrigation is providing the right amount of water at the right time; otherwise you end up with rotting roots, crispy leaves, or a weak root system. The best way of irrigating most trees and shrubs is to give them a good soak, saturating the entire rooting area. Preferably there should be a soil dike built around the root ball, especially if the trees have recently been planted. Then, in hot weather, let it dry out for maybe 4-5 days. Then check the soil a few inches below the surface to make sure it's crumbly dry, then repeat the soak or wait a few more days if it's still damp. This is important, because otherwise even if you are not overwatering, the roots will not spread out as quickly. In my case, I monitored the saskatoons' leaves, and thankfully, due to my soil type, the higher water table (that went down significantly over the summer) and a wet spring, I didn't really need to supplement much until August. I probably should have watered all my fruit a bit more often, but they ended up looking alright by the end of the year.
The other problem I had this year (and a bit last fall) was an annoying, destructive rodent. A few years ago I had a mole that killed many of our perennial flowers, but a neighbourhood cat ate him. Unfortunately, that cat died, and so this spring we once more had moles digging around, this time they expanded into my orchard. I have a scissor-type trap as well as a "spikes of death' trap, neither of which worked too well (probably my inexperience in finding the right tunnels). Thankfully, my boss from the Nursery had some free kittens that were mousers and litter-box-trained, and they have become my first non-family employees. My boys named them Flash and Cinders (a white male and grey female). They are now very proficient killers - and the added benefit is that they should also help reduce the number of pesky birds next harvest season!
All in all, a good developmental summer and fall. I purchased a few new apple varieties, some more cherries (that taste delicious!), and have nursed some pears that died back last winter back to life (and protected them better this year).