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Lost my Gala

 
Posts: 83
Location: West Central Georgia
homeschooling chicken writing
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We planted a semi-dwarf Liberty and a dwarf Gala maybe 3 1/2 years ago, and the’ve never really taken off, but the Gala had slow, steady growth.  However, a gusty storm snapped it off just above the graft.  The Liberty is still basically a stick, but it’s still intact, at least.

Any advice on what I did wrong and what to replace it with?  Is it worth springing for a more mature tree?  
 
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Emily Smith wrote:We planted a semi-dwarf Liberty and a dwarf Gala maybe 3 1/2 years ago, and the’ve never really taken off, but the Gala had slow, steady growth.  However, a gusty storm snapped it off just above the graft.  The Liberty is still basically a stick, but it’s still intact, at least.

Any advice on what I did wrong and what to replace it with?  Is it worth springing for a more mature tree?  



I think it is Gaia's Garden that talks about establishing wind breaks first when designing a forest garden. My advice would be to get wind break plants going around the perimeter areas of your food forest. If you want to get fruit trees going without waiting, then I would make temporary wind breaks from brush piles, or walls of scrap wood, rock piles,  something while you are waiting for your wind break trees to grow. A lot of nitrogen fixers make good wind break trees, so that is a win - win. I also plant standard trees rather than dwarf or semi dwarf whenever possible. Size can be maintained by pruning, but i think standard trees are much stronger. Sorry you lost your tree.
 
Emily Smith
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Well I wasn't really going for a forest garden.  I ought to sig this, but I live in a neighborhood, so I'm not sure how full throttle I can go with a food forest.  I'll get that book when I can; I've got Introduction to Permaculture, which I haven't read.  my life is full of distractions.    
 
One site I ran across said a windbreak will protect 10-15x the height of the windbreak; is that accurate?  Would bamboo make a good windbreak?  The most sensible place to plant a windbreak in my yard would be 170' south of the garden/fruit trees.  And I correct that something 20' tall would be sufficient?
 
Emily Smith
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I just looked up Liberty apple trees and it looks like they need two other pollinators, anyway.  I may have to uproot it, too, and rethink this whole thing.  Galas are self-pollinating, right?  That's what I'm reading.
 
Trace Oswald
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Emily Smith wrote:Well I wasn't really going for a forest garden.  



Sorry, I use that term to mean any time you plant a tree with support plants around it.  I would do that no matter how much area you are talking about.  If you google "apple tree guild" you will find some great examples and they don't take up much more room than the tree itself.  I'm not implying that you have to do things this way of course, just that I always do.

As far as I know, all apples need another variety for pollination for good pollination.  Some may set fruit without, but will never get as many apples as with another pollinator.  Starkey's nursery says that Gala apples need a pollinator though.
 
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If you're looking for a replacement, I recommend getting a variety not found in the shops or farmers markets.  There are some amazing apples out there!  I've got two growing against my fence:  a Laxton Fortune and a Sparta.  They're both great;  Sparta in particular is so red it's almost purple when ripe.  
DSCF0018.JPG
Sparta apples
Sparta apples
 
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