Limbertwig Apple

price403(Zone 6b, WV)April 16, 2008

My mom has a Limbertwig apple in her yard that was planted by her dad. It was started from a layered branch in the early 40s. His dad started the original tree from a seed in the late 1890s. It's about 20 feet tall and the top limbs droop to about 6 feet from the ground. Is it possible to bench graft these and get them to grow upright? Would I have to train the leader to a stake to get an upright trunk or graft the scions to branches of an existing tree? I'm not sure how it was trained or even if it's necessary. I'd like to have a couple of these on semidwarf rootstocks near my house. They are a nice weeping tree and the apples great. They keep for a long time, too. I'd appreciate any advice I can get.

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applenut_gw

Price:

Limbertwig is actually a family of apples with a half dozen varieties: the one we have out here is Royal Limbertwig. The weeping habit is indigenous to the species and they are commonly trained so that the trunk is 8' tall and the branches hang down from that. You can graft scions to another tree but they will eventually weep also. You may want to explore other varieties to add to your collection.

Applenut

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 11:56PM
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price403(Zone 6b, WV)

Applenut,
The tree I'm talking about is a seedling of a Red Limbertwig my great grandfather planted here in WV. I want to graft it to preserve it. No one else in my family has one and if this one dies, I'd like to have a couple to keep it going. The fruit is great and it keeps for months. I'm wanting them to weep, I just want them to be high enough on the trunk to keep them from growing to the ground. I was wondering about the training. Do you need to train the leader up a stake or do you just prune any branches lower than 8 feet as the tree grows taller? I'm not sure of their early growth habit because the one limbertwig tree is all I've seen. No one around here grows limbertwig varieties. The wood is really flexible, but it never breaks under the weight of its apples and it produces a lot of them. I'm hoping to get a few grafted this winter for myself and maybe some for family members.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 12:34AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

I have a couple Limbertwigs and have found them not that hard to get to grow "regular". I prune back the long shoots in the summer and that means my trees don't weep all that much.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 1:25PM
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applenut_gw

Price:

I'd train it up a 6' pipe or stick, letting it branch like a regular central leader tree. As it gains in height, you can start pruning the lower limbs off, which may be laying on the ground with the weight of the fruit. It will bear fruit very early in its lifetime and then bear heavily after that.

Applenut

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 11:37PM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Hey one other thing you might want to do is to contact Ron Joyner at Big Horse Creek Farm. They sell many varieties of Limbertwig and may be interested in getting some scions of your family tree to see how it compares to the other Limbertwigs.

Scott

    Bookmark   April 18, 2008 at 8:33AM
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