planting an apple tree- decisions and advice wanted
We're thinking of planting an apple tree. I love apples and we wanted to add a tree to our front yard, so an apple tree seemed like a nice choice.
I've been looking for self-pollinating varieties since we only have room for 1 tree, as well as those with superior disease resistance. In my search it seems the Liberty apple is the best. I thought we'd go with the semi-dwarf size since I'd like it to be on the smaller size but not need to be staked permanently.
Are there other choices I've missed? The Arkansas Black and Winston both seemed like contenders, but from what I've read the Liberty seems like it needs less care and has better disease resistance. I'm primarily looking for apples that can be eaten fresh but will also store decently.
Is planing an apple tree a good idea for someone who isn't looking to become an apple tree expert, or for someone who would just like some apples? I really like the idea but am also a bit worried about getting in over my head.
We also have a lot of squirrels, are apples eaten by squirrels just part of the game? Since the tree would be in our front yard I wouldn't want to put a net around it or anything.
Is it crazy for someone to plant an apple tree who knows little to nothing about them just because they'd like some apples?
I'd appreciate any advice or wisdom you may have. Thanks!!