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Help selecting types of Apple tree.  RSS feed

 
Jay Mullaky
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Hi everyone I have just signed up.

Some background info, live on a sheep farm in the west of Ireland. Have grown and planted 1000s of oak trees on the land and large numbers of native crab apples, plums, cherry. last year I bought 20 apple trees and 10 pear trees and I would like to buy another 60 or so trees.

The trees will be going into areas of land that can be closed off to sheep, but eventually sheep will be allowed to graze around the trees as I really like the idea of sheep eating the surplus apples and perhaps in the future I might get a few pigs. The sheep love the crab apples even tho they are very bitter so I am assuming they would go wild for some more 'commercial' styled apple.

I have a supplier who can provide me with an extensive variety of trees and I have a few picked out so I would really love to hear any opinions. All trees will arrive bare root.


Morrens Jonagored on M9 rootstock, 6-9foor tall
This seems to be a very highly recommended dwarf apple tree. I am hoping to get about 20 of these and plant them in 10L planting pots and place them in my tunnel hopefully giving them a slightly longer growing season. Some of these will go into my existing mini orchard.

Collins on M9 rootstock
Another dwarf, these have been recommended as being very early to produce fruit. Also going in tunnel.

James grieves on large root stock
I have selected this variety on the quote "good choice for a bad site". I have a section of land which seems to grow nothing but moss and rushes and I am hoping to plant some hardy apple trees. I will be doing a fair bit of prep work on the ground for drainage and adding manure, so I am just looking for a big hardy apple tree, these apple trees would be very close to the oak forest so this fruit would be left for which ever critter wants it.

Dabinett on large root stock
Cigar apple

Beauty of bath on large root stock
All ready have a few of these.

I haven't ordered any trees yet so any suggestions would be appreciated.


 
Ken W Wilson
Posts: 553
Location: Nevada, Mo 64772
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Won't your sheep pretty much eat the whole tree if you plant dwarfs?  I've never raised sheep, but I've heard they are pretty hard on small trees. Maybe you dont plan to have the dwaf trees exposed to sheep.

Dwarfs don't live nearly as long anyway. But as long as you're plant a lot of full sized trees too, it should work out.

Your weather is a lot different than ours here in Missouri, but dwarfs aren't hardy enough here. A few in a yard could be babied and do alright, but that many could be a problem. We have very dry weather and then too wet weather in the same year. We have a lot of wind at times.

I'm using M111 and Antovoka after losing most is my dwarfs. Dwarfs might do fine there.

I'm sorry this post is kind of rambling. Got a bad headache. Really just mean that selecting the rootstock is at least as important as the variety of apple.
 
Henry Jabel
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I don't see the benefit of putting the apples in a tunnel myself. I think it might make your mild west of Ireland climate too mild and your trees will blossom too early for most pollinators to be around. I could be wrong and if they are in pots you could take them out I suppose. However I always think trees in pots should be avoided if possible. If wind is an issue build a big ol' windbreak hedge and earth berm then you can save your tunnel for something more exotic.

James Grieve, Dabinett and Beauty of Bath are all good choices I think. Dabinett makes a good single variety cider too. Collins I have not heard of and Jonared might be Jonagold which is also a good apple.

Where the moss and rushes are might be too wet for an apple tree unless you build up some soil and plant the tree on top of that mound of earth. Even then it sounds like a better spot to put a pear tree as they prefer wetter conditions than apples.

Other early apples to consider could be 'discovery' and 'irish peach' though you already have the early 'beauty of bath' and like all early one they don't keep so well. I think you would be better off with a later season longer keeping variety like 'ashmeads kernel' or 'Lord Hindlip'.

This website is useful for choosing varieties by various criteria if you don't like my suggestions. More of an emphasis on U.K varieties that should do better in Ireland than something you might read off an American or Aussie site.
 
Skandi Rogers
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Location: Denmark 57N
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I don't think M9 is big enough for your use, It's never going to get out of the range of browsing. M6 or M106 would be much better. I have apples in damp ground and they are not that happy, they also tend to get blown over as they can't establish a good root system.  I believe the previous owner who planted them did put them on little mounds, but the problems with root development are still the same, when I bought the house there were 5 apple trees and two pears 4 of these trees had been blown over, two I have rescued the third is simply to large to get back up again. As to types well it depends what you want them for. I personlay do not like the soft early apples, but I love a good russet, and then something late and cox like for keeping, and then a cooker.
 
Jay Mullaky
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The biggest problem I have had with sheep is when a few rams got in with the oaks for what ever reason the trees were perfect for scratching with their horns

With the apple trees I got last year I actually did an experiment to see could I stop the sheep from eating the leaves. I allowed some sheep in with the trees and they went for the leaves, so I got them out. Then I collected some sheep shit from the field and mixed it with water forming a thick shit cocktail and rubbed some on the bark and flicked it  onto all the lower leaves and it worked perfectly. I watched the sheep go to each tree and no damage has been done since. Even months later you could still see the dried specks of crap on the leaves.

One reason why I want to put them in the tunnel is to get them going early, this side of the pond your lucky if their is any growth by the end of March   I also think a few friends would be interested in the dwarf for their gardens and I may even try to sell a few.

The mossy area I mentioned really isn't that wet, we don't use fertilizer on the land only what the sheep provide with their manure and this area just never had sheep on it . I will also be digging a pretty deep hole and filling it with some stone for soakage and I have a neighbours shed full of manure so they should be sound.

One aspect I hadn't thought off, and am grateful it was brought up, is the shorter life span of the dwarfs. I would definitely like to plant a tree that will be there for as long as possible.

Really appreciate all the feedback
 
Ken W Wilson
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M111 is better than most on wet soils.
 
Ken W Wilson
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The manure might make them grow too fast. Is Fireblight a problem there?
 
Jay Mullaky
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Ken W Wilson wrote:The manure might make them grow too fast. Is Fireblight a problem there?


It's not something I have come across before, plenty of the crab apples have bit of scab on them from time to time but between the sheep and other critters they all get gobbled up
 
Henry Jabel
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Jay Mullaky wrote:
One reason why I want to put them in the tunnel is to get them going early, this side of the pond your lucky if their is any growth by the end of March   I also think a few friends would be interested in the dwarf for their gardens and I may even try to sell a few.

The mossy area I mentioned really isn't that wet, we don't use fertilizer on the land only what the sheep provide with their manure and this area just never had sheep on it . I will also be digging a pretty deep hole and filling it with some stone for soakage and I have a neighbours shed full of manure so they should be sound.



That time frame sounds perfectly normal to me. So unless you are really racing to be first to market I don't really see the point.

I would not dig down and add manure and stones. People add stones and broken ceramic bits to pot plants it doesnt help in pots so I have no reason to believe it will help in the ground. Adding water impervious stones I think would only make the situation worse especially if you are on clay. I would not add any ammendment in the hole itself or the roots can circle and not spread out properly over time. When you add the manure just leave it on the surface like would happen naturally when animals graze, worms will digest it and take it down to the root layer and excrete it in a better form for the trees to take up.

Build up if you think it will be waterlogged at some stage in the season but it sounds like you might be alright with that.
 
Scott Foster
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"M-9 is the best rootstock for moist conditions.  One of the major causes of death to all fruit trees is wet feet/ moist soil.  

M-9 is a dwarf rootstock (grows from 6 to 9 feet in height) that's resistant to collar rot. The drawback is that the roots are brittle, so stake the apple tree to protect it from toppling over in high winds". (University of IL AG extension)

Also, pay close attention to chill hours, not sure what zone you are in.  Persimmons are one of the few fruit trees that thrive in moist soil and they have almost no pests.  

"
 
Rez Zircon
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My neighbor turned regular-sized apple trees into dwarfs. He cut them at about shoulder-high and trained out half a dozen branches (which are now thick as your arm), so the mature trees are about the size and shape of an inside-out beach umbrella. They're ugly as sin but bear well and every apple is in easy reach.
 
Jay Mullaky
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Thanks for all the info guys.

I definitely would like a mixture of early and late apples.

What would be the latest apples? I have some crab apples that still have all their apples even though we had a hurricane pass through. Are there any apple trees that will keep their apples into November?
 
David Livingston
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Hi Jay
What is your aim with these apples ? Do you intend to go into commercial production ?  Also what type of soil have you ? Have you though of grazing geese rather than sheep ?
If it was me I would get as many different types as possible or even search out some local types that do well . Have you thought of asking your neighbours? You could actually graft your own you know

David
 
Jay Mullaky
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Hi David

Live on a sheep farm and have just noticed how the sheep like to eat crab apples, have maybe 60+ crab apples randomly throughout the farm. The sheep never bother the trees, only the rams and there are fields which they never go into so should be safe. Wouldn't have any interest in going commercial but would like to be able to give apples to neighbours and family.

I am also interested in getting a few hives or making them and the additional apples flowers would help out the bees, have really noticed a decline in bee activity over the last few years.

I would be very interested in learning to graft but at the moment I am.happy enough to buy trees as I can get bare root trees cheaply. I will also be getting a few pears as well, probably conference variety.

I also have about 50 apple/pear trees growing in the tunnel that I planted from seed. If they survive over the winter I  will definitely plant them out somewhere and see what happens.

 
David Livingston
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Have you thought about getting a quince ? They are quite hardy and easy to grown from hardwood cuttings plus you can graft on to them apples and pears . Are you going to transplant out your seedlings
 
Jay Mullaky
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I actually have a few quince though I have never paid much attention to the fruits. Have 3 mulberry trees and 2 walnuts but these are only 2 year old trees. 

I will definitely plant out the trees I grew from seed although I will leave them in the tunnel for another year but probably trim the tops of them. They are from random apples and pears from random parts of the world so I could imagine the winter might kill a few.
 
David Livingston
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Quince is a nice fruit that goes well with apple and like the mulberry is very very easy to propagate.
I would not worry so much about the apples, the trees are tough its the fruiting that might be an issue . Thats where the grafting comes in .
Since you seem interested about hives are have you read about Topbar hives or Warre hives ?
 
Rez Zircon
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You might want to get in touch with this guy, or at least read through the site for info on old varieties:

http://www.applesearch.org/

Yes, there are apples that keep their fruit well into winter; I have a volunteer of unknown ancestry that still has a tight grip on all its apples despite that we've had a couple good hard Montana freezes already. (Not good eating apples as they're very densely fibrous, but good for pie, and I'm going to try them dried.)

 
Kathleen Sanderson
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Most apples require quite a lot of chilling hours, which means that it probably wouldn't be a good idea to keep them in a greenhouse or tunnel all winter, unless you lived someplace really cold like the Interior of Alaska, or Siberia. 

I don't know if you can get Gravenstein there (the old kind, with a striped apple).  If you can, it's probably the best summer sauce apple in existence. 

Kathleen
 
Jay Mullaky
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Thanks so much for all the info


Would this be a good example of grafting? Seems almost too easy



And could I graft onto my existing crab apples?
 
Joylynn Hardesty
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Location: Officially Zone 7b, according to personal obsevations I live in 7a, SW Tennessee
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My cranky computer wouldn’t play the video…
Take a look at this thread, recommending various ways to graft and places to buy scion wood.
https://permies.com/t/59197/Fruit-Tree-Grafting

This tool is recommended in that thread.
https://www.rakuten.com/shop/imagestore/product/iT101A/?listingId=285551922&sclid=pla_google_imagestore&adid=29963&gclid=CKCphYO-ws8CFZIbgQodBKQEIQ

These are the results that Randy Butcher got on his first group of grafts, using that tool.
https://permies.com/t/69667/Apple-trees-sale-central-North
 
Randy Bucher
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I am new to grafting myself and have spent "many" hours reading and watching videos.  I will try to share some information that I have seen with you. It might have an impact on which rootstock to use.

Apple Rootstock



NAKB 9 (M-9-337)  [30-35% size of standard tree] The standard to which most Malling 9 type rootstocks are compared. Requires support. Very precocious and produces large fruit. Resistant to collar rot. Susceptible to fire blight.

BUD 9 (Budagovsky 9) [35-40% size of standard tree] Precocious. May be more tolerant to fire blight than M-9. Resistant to crown and root rots. Extremely winter hardy. Requires support. Moderate suckering.

M-9 Pajam #2® (USPP 7715-Cepiland) [35-40% size of standard tree] Slightly more vigorous and productive dwarf rootstock that produces a tree similar in size to M.9, EMLA 9 or NIC 29. Requires support. Susceptible to fire blight. Superior rooting compared to other 9 clones.

VF EMLA 26 [40-50% size of standard tree] Precocious. Requires support. Moderately resistant to powdery mildew. Most hardy of Malling series rootstocks. Light suckering. One of most widely planted rootstocks in the USA.

Geneva 41® [35-40% size of standard tree] Fully dwarfing rootstock similar in size to M.9 with precocity and productivity surpassing M.9 in trials. Cold hardy and highly resistant to fire blight and crown rot.

Geneva 11® [40-45% size of standard tree] Good precocity. Recommend using support. Resistant to collar rot and fire blight.

Geneva 935® [40-50% size of standard tree] Semi-dwarfing stock similar in size to M.26. Most precocious and productive of the semi-dwarfing rootstock. Cold hardy and highly resistant to fire blight and crown rot.

Geneva 210® [60% size of standard tree] This rootstock is precocious, fireblight and woolly apple aphid resistant and cold hardy.

Geneva 890® [60-65% size of standard tree] This rootstock is highly resistant to woolly apple aphid and fireblight. It is also cold hardy and self supporting.

*****All Geneva rootstock descriptions are based on New York growing conditions, so mature tree size may be different in different climates and growing conditions.

EMLA 7 [50-60% size of standard tree] One of the most popular rootstocks in the commercial industry. Somewhat precocious. Fruit size often small. May require support. Resistant to collar rot and fire blight. Adapts well to a wide range of soil types and climates. Has tendency to sucker.

EMLA 106 (VF MM106) [60-70% size of standard tree] Semi-vigorous rootstock that crops early and requires no support. Resistant to woolly apple aphid, but susceptible to collar rot. Excellent anchoring qualities with well-developed root system. Produces an early fruiting tree with heavy cropping.

EMLA 111 [75-85% size of standard tree] Vigorous, well anchored, resistant to collar rot and woolly aphids. Tolerant of a wide range of soil conditions, and a good selection for heavy, poorly-drained soils.

BUD 118 [95% size of standard tree]  Extremely winter hardy stock that does not require support.  Precocity is similar to an EMLA 106.  Resistant to collar rot and apple scab.

MALUS SPROUT FREE® [100% standard size tree] New, cold hardy, highly sucker resistant, vigorous, well-anchored rootstock for flowering crab apple cultivars. Hardy to Zone 3

If you look at the different rootstocks you will notice some require support . Which means you should stake the tree to help support it. Other critters ( as you put it ) will eat a new small apple tree down to a nub and kill it for sure. Apple trees "need and should" get chill hours even if you put them in the tunnel.
Just something to think about....
 
David Livingston
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I have had a thought all your crab apple trees where they originally crab apples or are they apple trees that have not been cared for and taken over by the crab apple rootstock ? I have one of those tools it cost me 15 € on ebay
 
Randy Bucher
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A good old-fashioned utility knife is better than than tools
 
Jay Mullaky
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Thanks for the info Randy I will have to do some research.

David the crabapples are true crabs, they were all collected from seed.

I was hoping it might be as simple as taking some cuttings from my current trees and grafting them onto my crab apples as I have loads of those.
 
Joylynn Hardesty
pollinator
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Jay Mullaky wrote:
I was hoping it might be as simple as taking some cuttings from my current trees and grafting them onto my crab apples as I have loads of those.


Well, it can be that simple. Here is a good overview of how to change an existing tree into a desired cultivar. There are more expensive methods to protect the cut wood, but this low tech method looks like it would work fine. (So says the inexperienced person about the Permaculture News article.)
https://www.permaculturenews.org/resources_files/farmers_handbook/volume_4/7_top_grafting.pdf

An example of a commercial orchard’s similar method of doing top work.



Edit to add: Ha! I was just able to see your prior video. Yes it's supposed to be that simple. Above in this post, both video and article, they show examples of the trees show how they look in later years.
 
David Livingston
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yes the crab apples would work I prefer quince I just make hard wood cuttings then a couple of years after I graft apples on to them
 
Jay Mullaky
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Back again so after some research I have changed my tree selection and have sent in my order to reserve the trees

10 Egremont Russet       M26     
10 Lord Lambourne         M26     
10 Morrens Jonagored      M9     
10 Dabinett                    M26       
5 Suntan                       M26     
5 Winston                     M26      
5 Collina                        M9         
5 James Grieves             M26      

5 Concord Pear                       
5 Clapps favourite                   

60 Apple trees and 10 pear.

last year I ordered very late and was restricted to the trees they had left so at the moment I have the following growing

5 conference pears                                                        
5 beurre hardy pears                                                     
2 black mulberries                                                          
5 beauty of bath                                                              
10 gloster                                                                           
5 idared

I have become very interested in grafting and have counted well over 100 crab apples on the farm that are very vigorous and would be appropriate hosts. 
 
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