[NAFEX] heirloom apple trees

list at ginda.us list at ginda.us
Mon May 3 19:29:44 EDT 2004


If you want a full-size tree, you will want to shop for a suitable 
rootstock.  The stock has more influence than the scion in the ultimate 
size of the tree, and in how fast it grows.  I've seen trees on 
Antonovka seedling rootstock that were a comfortable size for climbing 
or sitting under, although that's usually grown further north, so it 
might not be the best choice.  If you can't find someone selling the 
tree you want on a seedling, you might try M111, which is a relatively 
large clonal stock.  Or, you can plant the tree deep enough that the 
scion is partly below the ground and can root itself.

As for the scion:  Most apples are reasonably ornamental in bloom.  If 
you want a "great" flowering tree, you might want to consider the crabs 
apples (more blossoms).  I've never eaten them, but a lot of people 
around here like eating some of the larger crabs.  Centennial comes to 
mind, but I'll let people who've actually tried them comment.

"Taste great" is in the mouth of the taster.   Personally, I like a 
strong, tart apple.  I am trying to coax an Ashmead's Kernal (ugly 
little fruit, but wonderful flavor) into producing in my 
less-than-fully-sunny backyard.  My brother, on the other hand, says, 
"if I'm going to eat an apple, I want it to taste good", by which he 
means apples that I wouldn't bother to eat - very sweet with a mild 
flavor.  Also, how much do you care about texture?  No one likes a 
mealy apple, but some people only like apples that crunch, others like 
a soft apple, or a firm one.

For ease of organic production, I've heard good things about Liberty.  
The fruits are fairly small (so maybe it has lots of blossoms??  I've 
never checked) and I find them very tasty in a Macintosh sort of way.  
The tree is more adaptable than a Mac, growing good fruit in central NJ 
where the Macs all turn to mush.  I gather the chief problem is that 
the window for picking perfectly ripe fruit is relatively narrow, which 
is to say, the tree doesn't have any more serious problems to complain 
about.   My uncle grows a sibling of Liberty which produces very nice 
quality fruit with no attention at all.  (The fruit isn't as tasty as 
Liberty, though.)  In a more "Jonathan" style, I have enjoyed Akane, 
which is also scab resistant.  It is also small, and that depletes my 
knowledge of it.

Try asking your client what apples (s)he especially likes, and that 
will be a good starting point for finding something tasty in the same 
sort of way.

Ginda

On May 3, 2004, at 11:36 AM, Louisa Rogoff Thompson wrote:

> I'm a landscape designer who emphasizes producing high-quality fruits 
> in the landscape.  I have clients who recall apple trees suitable for 
> climbing, though around here (southcentral PA orchard country) all the 
> apple trees are now dwarfs.  (Annual pruning makes them look truly 
> deformed.)
>
> Can anyone suggest cultivars of full-size apple trees that would make 
> great flowering trees in the landscape, grow big enough to provide 
> shade and to climb and sit in, and produce tasty apples?  They would 
> have to be managed organically.  The fruit would not have to look 
> perfect, but would have to taste great.  Our biggest disease problem 
> here is scab.
>
> Thank you.
> Louisa Thompson
> Adams County PA (between Gettysburg and the Blue Ridge)
>
>>
>
>
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