[NAFEX] Northern Spy Strategy

Douglas Woodard dwoodard at becon.org
Tue Nov 3 15:28:57 EST 2009

I concur with the fluffy one.

An own-rooted Northern Spy can easily become a monster.

Whlie I have no personal experience with scion-rooting, what others have 
reported over the years strongly suggests that at least with apples you 
can't be sure when the scion-rooting will occur. If you plant Northern 
Spy on a full dwarfing stock deep for scion rooting, you may have to 
support some of them anyway, for some time, and you will have a very 
uneven row.

Northern Spies on seedling reputedly take about 12 years to come into 
bearing and if you are careless with dormant pruning you can fairly 
easily run that up to 20 years. If your scion rooting were quick, you 
might be in deep trouble.

 From reading, the procedure with young Northern Spies on just about any 
stock is: avoid dormant pruning as much as you possibly can, control the 
tree with summer pruning, and do as much as you can with pinching tips 
and rubbing out buds.

Otherwise, it's a very fine apple.

The extra fuss of propagating interstem trees will be recovered several 
times over in cost and personal stress avoided

But do you expect stakes to be that much trouble?

Doug Woodard
St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada

fuwa fuwa usagi wrote:
> It was written:
> I would appreciate opinions on this strategy for Northern Spy trees.  
> Start with Northern Spy on fully dwarfing rootstock to encourage  
> earlier first fruiting. After fruiting has started, build up soil  
> above the bud union, in order to increase size of tree and improve  
> anchoring.
> My reply:
> Well it depends on what you are attempting to accomplish.  If you have  a 4 story home and want to pick apples out of the windows of each floor that may be the way to go.  
> I don't know how much room you have or what your requirements are nor your soil type.  If you are a home grower and only want one tree I would probably adopt a very different strategy.
> I suspect based on what you have written that ultimately an interstem may be the way to go.  Apples are not small trees on their own root in good soil.  And Northern Spy is a big tree. 
> the fluffy one    

More information about the nafex mailing list