Trying to identify apple tree

carmellia(z 4 Minn)September 10, 2007

I saw an extraordinary apple tree over the weekend and I would love to know what it is and get one for myself.

It was growing in a remote fence line out in rural Sterns County. I suppose it is a crab apple. The apples were about the size of an egg and they had the shape of a perfect little miniature apple - wide at the top and tapering to the bottom. From a photograph, I think a person might believe they were looking at a full size apple. They were yellow/red, with the yellow being predominant. The tree itself was not really apple tree shaped. It was growing more tall than wide, as scrub trees usually do. Growing in the fence as it was, I don't suppose that is a proper indication of how the tree would grow if given proper room.

I confess that I got out of the car and picked a handful of them. For a tree that obviously got no attention, it had surprisingly few wormy ones. It is definitely a tart apple, but not completely lacking in sweetness, as crab apples can be. Maybe it isn't a crab apple, just a tiny apple.

I have tried looking it up on Hortiplex and searching -Heirloom Apple Trees - on the web, but I am finding photos to be scarce and descriptions very meager. If you could help me identify this little gem, I would be so very grateful. Carmellia

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julie_mn(z4 MN Henn)

Hey there Carmellia-
I can not help you identify that tree- but- I can tell you, if you have the fruit- you can wintersow the seeds with great ease! I found a little beauty near my home and sowed the seeds with great germination! I planted out the seedlings and had good luck with them till I forgot to protect from the critters one winter and lost them.
This is not usually how our apple trees grow- but- I suspected that this loner tree on railroad track land was a wild thing growing on it's own root stock and would probably have a great percentage of similar fruit and structure to the tree if grown from seed. It was worth trying for me- maybe you can try growing your own too!


    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 7:02AM
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leftwood(z4a MN)

I'd been puzzling about this, a crabapple that is shaped like a miniature apple. Don't think I'd seen one of those before. But Julie got me thinking in another direction: that tree just might be a cross between an eating apple and some crabapple, retaining the apple shape. That's my best effort on the subject. Except . . .

IMO, it's really up in the air what kind of fruit that seedling will produce, whether it will be close to the parent or not. If you've got land to putts with, go ahead and try. But if you have less than an acre to grow on, I wouldn't waste room on a poor bet.

    Bookmark   September 11, 2007 at 11:01PM
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carmellia(z 4 Minn)

Now I'm curious about how long it would take to get a producing apple tree from an apple seed. Any idea? I suppose I've got nothing to lose. Also, I was thinking of trying my hand at grafting. I know nothing about it but if I can find some very very basic instructions (Grafting for Dummies?), I would give it a go.

A neighbor has suggested to me that the tree was probably not purposely planted, and being poorly planted, growing up in a fence line with no proper care, it may be incapable of producing the larger apples a parent tree may have produced. I don't know apples, but that sounds like a possiblity too.

Still, I can't get that scrubby tree with its minature Delicious apples out of my mind. I think I will have to pursue my grafting education. Either of you ever try grafting? Carmellia

    Bookmark   September 12, 2007 at 11:31AM
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