[nafex] Re: Tip Bearers

jhecksel at voyager.net jhecksel at voyager.net
Mon May 7 20:21:35 EDT 2001

"Lon J. Rombough" wrote:
> On the quality of columnar apples.  First, remember that the original
> columnar type was a sport of McIntosh and all columnar types have been bred
> from that.  Second, the commercially available columnar apples were bred in
> England, so they are adapted to that climate.  Ironically, it is very easy
> to breed for the columnar growth habit - cross it with a regular apple and
> 50% of the seedlings will be columnar, and you can pick them out at a very
> young age.  Of course the odds of getting one with good fruit may not be
> large, but selecting the growth habit first means you KNOW you have that no
> matter what.  It's a project that amateurs everywhere could take on with
> less space needed than regular apple breeding.

My two cents is that the columnar form stinks for raising quality
fruit.  Roger beefed to Stark's (the nursery he bought them from) that
they did not look like the pictures in the catalog.  One vertical with
many 6" side branches and fruit on side branches.  Roger's kept pushing
vigorous side branches at 30 degrees from vertical which then competed
with the central leader.  Stark's response was that the grower had to
prune them to make them look like the picture in the catalog.  Roger was
put-out because he could prune *any* tree to look like the picture.

The other issue is that I saw three cultivars grafted on one tree. 
Roger is working the others over in the future.  I am sorry if I implied
that I had more data than that.  I don't think I would waste any time
trying to make apples/pears into columnar fruit.  My goal is to make the
trees more open and the crotches less narrow.  Columnar apples are an
bad idea that was some Madison Avenue types used as a gimmick to foist
trees onto the naive public.

> ----------
> >From: "Doreen Howard" <doreenh at ticon.net>
> >To: <nafex at yahoogroups.com>
> >Subject: Re: [nafex] Re: Tip Bearers
> >Date: Mon, May 7, 2001, 9:22 AM
> >
> >That's interesting about the columnar apple trees producing poplar type
> >growth of grafted varieties.  I, too, planted columnar apples, because there
> >was no space for even two dwarf apple trees.  We got two apples off the
> >trees before moving north.  And, I agree with Roger Miller that the flavor
> >was nothing great.  The apples were flat and mealy.  What varieties did he
> >graft on to the column trees?  If the flavor and quality holds true on the
> >grafted varieties, the poplar-like growth would be very useful for training
> >as an espalier, I'd think.  Hmmm.  Something to experiment with!
> >Doreen Howard


                                            -Joe Hecksel
                                             Eaton Rapids, Michigan

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