[NAFEX] Northern Spy Strategy

John Henderson jhenderson at ithaca.edu
Fri Nov 6 12:12:58 EST 2009

Thanks for the advice and encouragement. I think I will give covering  
over the bud union a try.

Although we have a few dozen fruit trees, we have but one Northern  
Spy, on B9, planted in 2004. The choice of rootstock was made in part  
for earlier fruiting, but also because of what was available. Although  
last year we got two apples from that tree, this was the first real  
year for any production, and it made me desirous of a larger yield.  
Since we have trees of many degrees of vigorous and dwarfing  
rootstock, uneven rows are not a concern of mine. Almost all of our  
other apple trees are on semi-dwarfing rootstock, plus several  
standards from St. Lawrence and Fedco.

I've only taste-tested NovaSpy once, so there could have been lots of  
contributing factors, but I was disappointed with its quality and  
supposed semblance to Northern Spy.

It was as I was preparing the trees for winter that I thought of  
covering over the bud union. Our location can get very windy, so the  
less dependent on staking trees the better. Summer pruning is  
something I have experience with; grafting is not. What I wasn't sure  
about was whether the N. Spy rooting would completely dominate, or if  
the combination of standard and dwarfing roots would simulate semi- 
dwarfing rootstock.

John Henderson
Sage Hen Farm

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