The Forbidden Apple Tree Knowledge Thread

Discussion in 'Fruit Trees' started by Native Hunter, May 14, 2017.

  1. buckvelvet

    buckvelvet Active Member

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  2. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    This link from the cooperative extension says of m7, "...Trees with cultivars such as ‘Gala’, ‘Stayman’, and ‘Granny Smith’ tend to lean excessively and require support...."

    But, they could be apple snobs too....:D
     
  3. buckvelvet

    buckvelvet Active Member

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    We all are once we start growing then and dont look at grocery store red delicious the same.

    Im always tongue & cheek, no worries man.


    Sent from my iPhone using Deer Hunter Forum
     
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  4. Bottomland

    Bottomland Active Member

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    I'm a Deep (deeeeeeeep) Southerner so I'm pretty much a noob when it comes to apples (I rely heavily on pears, persimmons, and plums); however, that being said, I have planted multiple "southern" varieties over the past couple of years (Arkansas Black, Yates, Carter's Blue, Brogden) although unfortunately they are all young trees so no producers yet. I also started dabbling into the crabapples more in depth this year, and thanks to some forum members who sent me scions (shoutout to Fish), I successfully grafted two varieties on B111.8 rootstock. They've leafed out already and I'm excited to see them take off.
     
  5. Bottomland

    Bottomland Active Member

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    Whoops. Add Shell of Alabama and Anna to my list of apple trees planted, too.
     
  6. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    You have some varieties that have good reputations. I have a Yates that is making its first big crop this year. I'm anxious to see how it performs here. It's had some small crops the last couple of years, and this year will be a good test. FB is present here this year but not to an extreme degree. The Yates is only showing a small amount on a couple of limbs and stopping at 2 year old wood so far.
     
  7. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Ok, Native, I'm back with some crazy thots for you. I've always learned a lot from the likes of you and Buckvelvet and others that post their fruit tree knowledge even if I am a poor orchardist.
    I reread your thread this evening while staring at two great apple trees outside my window, all the while wondering If it is possible to circumvent these demons of semi dwarf in management of disease and trauma in them without the use of chemicals. Your one point was the availability of leaf cover in standard stock helping to prevent disease and then also growth of tree/trunk/suckers before aggressive flowering begins before true sexual maturity of a tree.
    So my question….does no pruning of a tree allow more limb/leaf development to occur which gives the tree chance to promote a protective canopy of leaves thus helping to prevent said diseases? And secondly, does preventing fruiting until the tree is 6-10 yo, either by deflowering or removing young fruit, give the tree a chance to grow and thicken its protective layers before using energy in fruiting, again giving added protection from disease or trauma? Both of which I do for no apparent reason.
    Back to the two trees I mentioned. You know I seldom prune or seldom spray. The only pruning ever done on these trees and others, was only to control their size. No doubt in my mind, these 25 yo trees that now are 30 feet tall and that much round, would be 3 times that had a couple trimmings not been done the last 2+ decades. So can we have better luck with dwarf and semi dwarf if we don't prune and prevent preadolescent sex in them? You won't hurt my feelings if you tear my ideas apart, only way to learn. But I'm sure I'll always be a lazy planter but I like the knowledge.
    I'll head just upstate for a short trip this week and will be traveling thru some prime apple country in this state, part of which will be thru the birthplace of the Golden. Another stretch will be along a 30 mile ridge top road along which apple trees line the fields, some of which I'm quite sure were planted over a century ago. I'll keep you in mind and if have time will take a few pics. Thanks for your knowledge.
     
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  8. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I like it when I get you to thinking deeply.:D

    Question 1 = Not necessarily. Pruning for me is usually to remove limbs going the wrong places. But, if you actually pruned too much (which we usually don't do) there could be detriment. Thinning in the correct way can also increase air flow and allow sunlight in, which can help with disease prevention. Keep in mind too that the limbs you leave are also increasing in size and age, which is a help in stopping how far FB can penetrate the limb. With many cultivars, FB will only penetrate 1 year growth. With others it will go deeper. So, preventing FB in the early years gives us more tree area that will be resistant to the depth of penetration at the time we do want it to start fruiting.

    Question 2 = Yes, except that the age and size factor is probably more important than the protective layer factor.

    Question 3 = If we prune smartly, our pruning should help the dwarfs and semi dwarfs rather than hurt them. Preventing early flowering (by removing blooms) which is a major source of FB entry (shoot blight) would be wise IMHO for the reasons I have already stated.

    So in summation, smart pruning is good, and preventing shoot blight at an early age is a good thing too. Also keep in mind that allowing a tree to age without having to deal with disease and setbacks is having a positive effect on more than what we see above ground - we are also helping the root system mature and flourish, which is very important.

    I hope you have a good trip and I look forward to any pics you snap of the old magnificent apple trees!!!!
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2017
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  9. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    I'm trying to agree with you Native, but I just have to take exception to the pruning mentality at least in part. Since I had to work today, I got to stare at another tree that has had one heavy trimming in the last 20 years I've been beside it. As with those that I mentioned, it has produced every year except the trimming year. And these trees I speak of don't just produce yearly, but do so at breaking point of the limbs by shear weight of the number of apples. These particular 3 trees are out of control by orchard standards, but are producing heavy year after year. I think, in part based on your writing early in this thread, that the thickness of the canopy that is allowed to grow, increases leaf numbers hence photosynthesis ability, hence improved health of the tree, resulting in bumper crops yearly with no imput from its owners/me with pruning or spraying. I know the theory of pruning, as I was taught to prune so that a bird could fly thru, but over time I have learned to question that idea.

    Perhaps I am lazy, but if the constant tx of fruit trees that read about on different forums is so dang important, why do these examples outproduce what I observe elsewhere. I'm using just these three close trees as example, but I have repeated it many times over the years. Convince me I need the pruning on my trees that are tough mothers making it on their own. I'm not trying to be a SA, just need the knowledge. What if the dwarf and semi dwarf shouldn't be pruned. Maybe that is why there is so much issue with them and their limitations?
     
  10. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Dogghr, we agree much more than disagree on this. In fact, your results support many of the things I have brought up in this thread. When I get some time this weekend I will elaborate more.
     
  11. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    dogghr, the last thing I would try to convince you to do is to trim those trees. In fact, the best trees I have ever witnessed myself are trees just like you describe - producing loads of apples each year and not being pruned. If you go back and read what I said, it's that I prune pretty much early on and take out some limbs going in wrong directions and to help shape the tree just to get it started out right.

    If I was trying to revitalize a very old tree that was in bad shape, then more pruning might be warranted (removing dead wood, etc.). But that isn't the case with your trees. Really, I see them in their prime and doing what they are supposed to do.

    I really wonder if your trees are semi dwarfs, trees growing on their own roots or possibly trees grafted to full sized rootstocks. How does the size of these trees compare with really old apples in your area grown on their own roots? How tall and how wide?? What kind of place did you buy them from and how long ago? I think I remember you saying 20 or so years??

    PS: The best tree I know of anywhere is a full sized tree on its own roots that never gets pruned. It never has CAR, never has FB, never has anything wrong and just pumps out loads of apples every year.
     
  12. dogghr

    dogghr Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Native, I hope i'm not derailing this thread, but your leaf mass theory thinking got me thinking. My trees were def sold as semidwarf 27 years ago, but it you remember I asked one time if indeed places were selling trees that weren't really dwarf. And I confess, perhaps my trees get more thinning than I admit as I frequently have to trim excess fruit on the tree so they can survive, and so I can mow under them. I always admire you and others immaculate fruit tree maintenance and I look at mine and feel slight tinge of guilt. I guess like some kids, they just didn't get as good a parent to raise them. LOL.
    I do wonder of the increase in leaf canopy does help prevent some problems, and when it does occur, like a human, they have more ability to adapt and survive. I see same thing in oak trees and their dealing with their diseases. My fruit trees show slight issues over the years, but it doesn't seem to slow them. Maybe you could choose a couple trees and go against your will and just let them go on their own and see how they respond. If they die, I will buy you new and help you replant. Give me a good excuse to come your way. :rolleyes: Thanks for the responses and as always learned a lot. I'll let the thread return to its original premise. Headed to apple haven in a few minutes, have a great day.
     
  13. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    dogghr, I actually prune the ones at the farm very little, and they seem to be doing just fine like your trees are. But, you can bring free trees and help me plant them anytime you feel like coming over. :D

    Actually, your discussions are far from derailing this thread, because that's a big part of what this thread is about - success that defies conventional wisdom. So, keep the questions coming and the good observations flowing.

    This thread was a lot more fun the first time around, because I was researching and finding new stuff constantly. This time I just dropped it all at once like a MOAB...:D
     
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  14. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I got to thinking today that many in the younger generation have never seen anything but Fake Apple Trees (kind of like Fake News).

    So I walked out and took some pictures of a real apple tree so they would know what one actually looked like.

    How in the world can anyone grow an apple tree without a special rootstock????

    Poems are made by fools like me, but only God can make a REAL APPLE TREE.


    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Jun 1, 2017
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  15. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Incompatibility of some rootstock and scion combinations is a topic of discussion in many scholarly articles. However, for the most part it is just a bunch of academics quoting and referencing each other without giving an actual list of combinations to avoid. Such a list would be helpful to the average guy wanting to grow grafted apples and help him avoid troublesome combinations, but to date I have not been able to locate such a list. I suspect that many of us have witnessed incompatibility issues ourselves but don't have the means of making that determination. I figure most have paid good money for a tree only to be disappointed for some reason. In many cases, the apple would have likely been fine if grown on its own roots, but we bought a troublesome scion/rootstock combination, because the information we needed (and deserved to get) was not made available.

    Every so often a glaring mistake surfaces - so glaring that it cannot be hidden - such as the article I posted earlier in this thread about the guy who lost 3,000 apple trees because of an incompatibility issue. Common sense would dictate that there are many other such combinations, many have been identified, but the average guy has no access to the information. It wouldn't be kosher to call attention to this.

    Tonight I ran across what I felt was an interesting article that in a round about way supports this. The article is not really about this subject, but rather it is an article about how hard the Infamous Honeycrisp apple is to grow. Yet, the demand is so high from the yuppie supermarket apple crowd that growers feel they must grow it to survive.

    The part I found interesting is shown below and the entire article can be found at this link:
    http://www.growingproduce.com/fruits/apples-pears/the-dark-side-of-honeycrisp/

    " ...Rootstock choice impacts how productive the variety will be. Since it is a low-vigor cultivar, larger rootstocks can cause Honeycrisp to become biennial bearing. DeEll says some rootstocks also cause trees to break off or cause nutrient deficiencies...."

    If we believe that this is a problem only with Honeycrisp, we have our heads in the sand.

    So there you have another bit of forbidden knowledge - "Incompatibility." But why worry? Just spend more money, buy a bunch of different trees and some of them will work out. Just chalk up the ones that don't to helping the economy.

    I can probably stomach this with apple trees, but I hope it doesn't start happening with ammunition....;)
     
  16. TreeDaddy

    TreeDaddy Well-Known Member

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    Re: honeycrisp ( from foodstore produce)

    For the hell of it , I got a seed or 2 to germinate in a wet paper towel in march and threw it into RM18

    Just transplanted it to RB II 1 gallon yesterday

    Am i chasing windmills?

    bill
     
  17. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Bill...none of us can say for sure, but the one thing that you know is that your trees have at least one parent that originated from the Bowels of DR Hell.

    But, one of the finest men I have ever known had a daddy who was as sorry as whale manure, so maybe you will get lucky and get something worthwhile.

    Best Wishes - Steve
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2017
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  18. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Bumping this thread up for someone who asked me an apple question.....
     
  19. weekender21

    weekender21 Well-Known Member

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    Oh boy, just when you think you're all caught up on NH threads...Lots of good stuff here!
     
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  20. buckvelvet

    buckvelvet Active Member

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    *Update* Michigan blow sand + Gala on M7 (from Grandpas Nursery before i started grafting) + time (panted I think 2013) = hard leaner, I had to stake that tree quite heavily, I have another tree, Cortland on M7 that has had no upright issues, same ground 30 feet apart. Within the same orchard I have Ashmeads Kernel, Granny Smith (grafted 2015), Pink Pearl, & Cripps Pink grafted 2016 that haven't had issues on M7 with the 'lean' I do have all these trees staked to 10 foot metal conduit.

    The Cortland was planted the same time the Gala was, the Cortland is a bit shorter as I haven't found it to be as vigorous, the Gala I have to trim back this year probably a bit hard because the caliper at the bottom (about 4 inch circumference now) can't sustain the growth it's put on up top.

    Remember this is light Michigan blow sand that is pretty hard to avoid around here.
     

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