The Forbidden Apple Tree Knowledge Thread

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

  1. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    :):)
     
  2. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    I’m curious to hear your thoughts on a plan of mine, maybe you have suggestions that will help me not screw it up.
    I have a section of about an acre where I have plans to plant apple trees grown from seed. I do not plan on doing any grafting, as the idea of mystery Apple trees is why I’m drawn to the idea, even if every single tree produces tiny disgusting fruit.
    Right now I plan on spacing the trees at about 30x30. I may try to get a stand of short NWSG’s (namely little bluestem) and some forbs going, to give sort of a prairie look to it.
    My biggest concern here is if I have to worry about pests or disease coming and destroying the whole project (Will not be using pesticides/fungicide). I fully expect to lose some trees, but I’m wondering if you think there’s much I can do to minimize these risks.
    Not sure if it’s important information but the trees I’ve got started in pots now are from gala, Fuji, Red delicious and most are from golden delicious.
    Thanks



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  3. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    In a setting like you describe, protection for the emerging seedlings will be important due to rabbits and other critters. Protection needs to start before the seed sprout. Apples from seed are a crap shoot so you just take your chances with disease.

    I wouldn’t start with seed from apples like Fuji and Gala. They are from the Bowels of Disease Hell and could pass on their poor genetics to their offspring. Use seed from good DR apples to raise your odds of success.

    Your spacing sounds okay, but I would consider cutting the spacing in half since you know you will lose some trees. You can always thin later (years down the road) when and if necessary.. Plant them in rows because you will need to do at least some area maintenance as time goes on (whether you realize it now or not).

    Avoid frost pockets. Also, Keep future sunlight and shade from surrounding trees in mind. A south facing slope on higher ground is usually a good setting, but such can also be more prone to sunscald on young trees, However, you can provide protection for that as well.

    Finally, ground mats, cages and rodent protection must be installed and maintained in any apple planting these days.

    Good luck.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2019
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  4. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Great information, thank you. I’m sure I’ll be back with questions as I get further along, I’ll be sure to keep them relevant to the thread


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  5. Lone

    Lone New Member

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    Pruning not pruning? I have Semi dwarfs that I prune each March. If I didn't they would choke with young wood and suckers. Maybe if I had not in the beginning it would be different. I believe pruning make the tree grow more wood and suckers. So it becomes a habit that must continue. I wish I could stop. It is a lot of work.
     
  6. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Read the following and consider removing the suckers in mid to late summer. Try it on one or two trees to see how you feel about it before going whole hog....
    https://www.canr.msu.edu/news/summer_pruning_apples
     
  7. Lone

    Lone New Member

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    Yes. I have read about that. Supposedly makes for Less extra growth. Only problem with that is mid Summers where I’m at are very hot and humid. March is a much better time. Might try it on a tree tho.
     
  8. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Picking the right apples is important. This tree gets topworked next spring along with a few other losers.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. lakngolf

    lakngolf Well-Known Member

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    Native, how are your tranzcontinental alien crops doing?
     
  10. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Lak, let's just say that when the pole shift occurs and I have a view of Lake Erie, we won't go hungry.....;)
     
  11. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Great thread! Thank you Native!
     
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  12. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    I’ve now personally seen two apple trees on B118 rootstock set in solid ground just blow almost completely over. One belonged to a relative and the second one is my tree that I found today. Both trees had been in the ground about 4 years and were healthy looking.

    I plan on bracing my tree and adding a significant amount of dirt around the base in hopes that it will set roots above the rootstock and strengthen it.

    No more B118 for me. Most of my trees are on MM111, and I’m glad of it. I’ve never had a problem with MM111.
     
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  13. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    Good to know. I followed your advice this spring and decided not to order some trees on B118.
     
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  14. KSQ2

    KSQ2 Well-Known Member

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    I wasn’t sure where to put this, presenting our first apple behind the house.:) D1823C78-5333-4F92-9FFC-D8036F91497F.jpeg

    I’m a bad orchard guy, I lost the tag, I don’t even know what kind of tree it is!:oops:
    She’s a beaut Clark, if I do say so myself!:D
     
  15. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Demand the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth....

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  16. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Just had my third apple tree on B118 rootstock to fall over. Planted around 2014 and looked healthy. Will try piling up dirt around base and staking it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2020
  17. buckdeer1

    buckdeer1 Well-Known Member

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    Not sure of root stock but I had one do that.Last year got a lean and just kept getting worse until it fell all the way over this fall
     
  18. Native Hunter

    Native Hunter Well-Known Member

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    Shown below I what I'm doing to B118 rootstock apple trees that start leaning or falling over.

    1. Remove the old weed barrier.
    2. Add dirt around the tree to put about a foot of dirt above the graft. The weight of the dirt helps, and hopefully the tree will take root above the B118.
    3. Pack down the dirt and cover with a new Weed Barrier.
    4. Add guying or bracing as a temporary means of supporting the tree during the stabilizing period.
    5. Don't forget to put your cage back up to protect from rubbing.

    I did this on one tree a few months ago, and it worked. The tree is now firm, and I was able to remove the bracing.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Here I had to cut out a gap for one of my lower scaffolding limbs due to the cage being higher.

    [​IMG]

    In this pic you can see my guy rope. In this case the guy goes to another tree on MM111 rootstock, which is solid in the ground. Now the tree can reach for the moon - yes, you can see the moon in the picture.

    [​IMG]

    Lesson for today - quit buying trees on B118.........glad I have very few.......
     
  19. Chipdasqrrl

    Chipdasqrrl Active Member

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    Just a thought as a ride down some country roads, but fence row apples seem to be solid trees.

    Many are large, heavy producers that are never pruned or sprayed. They are also tasty- I pull over to pick some all the time in the Fall.

    It makes me wonder if heritage apple seeds grow great trees.

    (It’s also worth noting that we don’t get fireblight this far North)


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  20. Merle Hawggard

    Merle Hawggard Well-Known Member

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    Wished I'd read this a tad closer. I had mine tied down with a little added dirt, but not a foot.
    A storm last week wrecked havoc on my b118 trees.
    I believe I can save them using your method of more dirt.
    I've stood up and tied down all but this one. I'll need one of my helpers for it.[​IMG]

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