Carlos Queen and other apple questions
This spring I plan to plant a few apple trees in my new, deer-fenced orchard. So far I am planning on Carlos Queen, Norkent, and maybe Red Sparkle? I'm not sure, I haven't done enough research yet. I like tart apples(like Mac's) that are good for fresh eating but also have at least some storage potential.
I'm also interested in espaliering them, so I plan to buy the trees as young whips from this nursery: http://www.littletreenursery.com/ I've bought other trees from them before..almost all of them are grafted. The only fault I have found with them is that they seem to be quite slow. I don't know if that is due to poor grafting, or what. Other, larger trees that I have bought from nurseries like Dutch Growers, Lakeshore, etc., have taken off much faster. So that is one reason I am hesitant to buy fruit trees from them..but I don't know where else I can get very young fruit trees from. I love the architecture and practicality of espalier, but maybe I should just can that idea?!
If anyone has experience with espalier: since these aren't dwarf trees, how do you figure out how far apart to space them? The point would be to prevent them from growing taller than probably 6 ft. So most of their growth would be horizontally, along wire supports. Can a apple tree be grown to a certain size and then kept that size, without compromising the trees health? Will the trees simply wind up being smaller naturally when espaliered?
Anyway, comments on anything or everything are appreciated..Konrad, I'm looking especially at you!