Picking a Cross Pollinator for my Anna Apple Tree

hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CAFebruary 4, 2011

Okay, open for some opinions on a cross-pollinator for my little espaliered Anna, which is not producing enough apples. First, it's not in the best place, too much shade. I hate to try to transplant it at this late date (think it's been in this spot for at least 4 or 5 years), so I'm going to try a cross pollinator planted on that side of the yard. I need something on dwarfing rootstock, since I don't have room for a standard. That's the first requirement. Secondly, trying to pick something I will like. I'm not a fan of tart apples. Fuji's are my "go to" grocery store apple to give you an idea how sweet I like my apples :-) I LOVE the Anna's, they are sweet and spicy, very unusual flavor and extremely good. So, I was looking at the common cross-pollinators, Dorsett Golden and Einshemer. But I think these are pretty tart. Pink Lady was suggested, anyone have an opinion on this variety? And I'm trying to decide between M-111 and EZ-Pick rootstock. Don't think M-111 is going to give me a small enough tree. EZ-Pick sounds interesting and if I can find an area to espalier this tree, I'm thinking this might be favorable to espaliering (is that a word??) Any opinions would be awesome. I'm probably going to walk away with a 3 or 4-in-one grafted tree too, if it has varieties I link. I'm driving down to Bonita Creek Nursery in Bonita this Saturday to pick something up, so hopefully I can make a good decision, today!! Will be picking up a Royal Lee and a Minnie Royal on Colt as well, yummy, cherries in S. California on the coast!! Who'd a thought!!

Patty S.

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I'm in North Park and last year I bought both Anna and Dorsett Golden because I was told they were good cross pollinators. I personally like tart apples, but I didn't think DG was all that tart. Anna is on a semi-dwarf root stock and DG is on dwarf stock, although I can't remember exactly which types. Both trees bloomed at the same time which allowed them to fruit well. The problem I've had is that niether has really gone dormant. They both flowered in November and are now pushing out flowers again after our recent warm spell. I don't know if any of that info will help you make a decision, but that's my experience thus far...


    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 1:37PM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

Let us know if you get any cherries.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 4:23PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Thanks, Willy. I'm pretty much hearing that about the Dorsetts - they really aren't that tart. I think this is what my sister has, and if so, my gosh. Her tree must have had over 100 apples on it every year, and it is a well established dwarf. More than you could possibly eat as a family of 5! And the leaves not dropped are kind of a trait with both Anna and Golden Dorsetts. Just strip off the leaves at the end of the season. That way, they don't hang around and harbor fungii or scab. And my Anna did the same very, very weird thing this year (several folks have said this has happened to them as well in S. Calif) - Flowered in November, and I had 3 apples mature about a month ago! I had late blooms and 3 little apples ended up being ripe in January. They were very small but very sweet. Very weird. Must be due to the odd weather we had last year, and not a very hot summer. So right now, think I'll pick up a Dorsett Golden, a Pink Lady, some cross pollinator for the Pink Lady, and maybe a 3,4 or 5-in-1 that Bonita Creek has just for fun. And my two cherry trees. I'll let everyone know how these Minnie Royal and Royal Lee do. I'm about 7 miles from the ocean, and we just don't get too many nights under 45 degrees (although this last week has been really cold). I have heard nothing but good about them, so I'm expecting great things! Now, if I can just keep the animals and birds away, I'll have some fruit for myself :-)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 5:29PM
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socalgal_gw Zone USDA 10b Sunset 24

I have an espaliered Anna in coastal San Diego. It's my only apple tree and I get lots of apples. My understanding is that crosspollination only affects the shape of the apples (mine aren't very plump because the seed area doesn't swell).

I did buy a Dorsett Golden this year; I'm going to try to graft it onto my Anna so I can have a variety of apples. I don't have room for another tree.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 7:25PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, shape will definitely will be an issue without a cross-pollinator, but so can production. Bet your's is getting lots of sun. And, if you have other apple trees in your neighborhood that bloom at the same time, you may be getting cross pollination and not know it. No one I know in my development have apples, and we're all on at least 1 acre or larger lots, so no hope of cross pollination from a neighbor's tree. Mine is also languishing in the shade espaliered up against the north side of my house. Not the best place, and I'm afraid to move it since it's been in the ground so long. I got about 20 apples developing on my Anna last season, but the damned ground squirrels/roof rats got all but one of them. I'm rather disgusted with the rodent situation at my place. I'm trying snap traps, but that only takes care of the rats and not the ground squirrels (a whole other thread I suppose!)

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2011 at 9:24PM
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jean001a(Portland OR 7b)

It was said "The problem I've had is that niether has really gone dormant. They both flowered in November and are now pushing out flowers again after our recent warm spell."

Then another comment, essentially "that's very weird."

Not so weird at all. But normal behavior for low-chill trees in SoCal. Mine did the same when I lived there.

The apples that develop from the late flowering will be small & of lesser quality than normal. So I always removed any flowers that developed in the fall.

who gardened in LB, CA, for 30-some years

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 12:07AM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Jan, I've never grown a low chill apple before, and their habits are still odd to me, but my 3 little apples I got this January weren't really lesser quality, just small. They looked like little mini apples. In fact, they were incredibly sweet and crisp (and made up a teeny bit for the damned roof rats or ground squirrels that got nearly all my 20 some apples earlier.) I did strip all the leaves off, so maybe I'll get more apples this year if I can figure a way to keep the vermin off the tree. I did end up with a Dorsett Golden, as well as a Pink Lady and a Red Fuji, and I picked up another Anna, too. I'm going to plant these 4 new trees down on another part of my yard, and if I can persuade my hubby to dig up a gigantic root ball for my existing Anna, I'll try to move it to a sunnier location up on the north part of my lot where all my citrus trees are located. So, crossing my fingers I get some early apples and then some late apples this or next year!

Patty S.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2011 at 8:37PM
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jenn(SoCal 9/19)

What a timely post. Just yesterday, we bought an 'Anna' and only after we brought it home did I read it needs a pollinator. Fortunately, we have room for that somewhere in our yard.

The mention of rats makes my hair stand on end. I've seen things that wrap around the trunk which (presumably) deter them from being able to climb the tree. Is there a better option?

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 4:05PM
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hoosierquilt USDA 10A Sunset 23 Vista CA

Well, technically Anna doesn't need a pollinator, but my Anna is not in the best place. My sister has an Anna and a Golden Dorsett that are just loaded with fruit every year. They are right next to each other and in full sun And no, nothing wrapped around the trunk (you might be thinking of Tanglefoot?) will deter Roof Rats. It's poisoning or trapping as far as I can determine. Or barn owl houses. They are pretty tough to control.

    Bookmark   February 6, 2011 at 8:21PM
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