I live in central Arkansas and was wondering if anyone in this area has experience growing apple trees, what are the best varieties for the area?
This may sound cheesy buuuuuut Arkansas black apple. I live in north Louisiana & have 3 of them (one died from the drought last year). Mine are the dwarf variety. It is by far my favorite apple. Ever. They are prone to nibbles from deer. I almost lost a young one because of that.
I suggest checking out the heirloom varieties at www,bighorsecreekfarm.com They specialize in southern heirlooms divided in to wam weather and cool weather varieties. Arkansas Black is a keeper best stored in your fridge for 50-60 days and then eaten. I have a 2 year old whip of one of its seedlings (king David) and a 1 yr old Arkansas Black whip, among others, I also suggest a book called old Southern Apples by Lee Calhoun for an excellent education in southern Apple varieties.
Check into the tree varieties offered by Guy Ames in Fayetteville. I think it's Ames Nursery and Orchard on Facebook although you can do a Google search for him as well. He specializes in low maintenance varieties and sells semi-dwarf trees shipped in the fall when they have the greatest chance of survival. I have 7 apple trees and 2 pears from him and they are practically bulletproof. I had one tree planted in the wrong place--my fault--that died from being too wet.