I Want to Plant Some Fruit Trees

susanp(z6 TN)December 20, 2011

Me and my husband live in East Tn, and my dad said to plant some fruit trees in Feb, and I wanted some input from you folks here who have also planted many trees etc. I am thinking about 2 apple trees. Need some that are easy to trim, etc, because we have health issues. What are some good ones to plant?

Thanks

Susan

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maternut(7 west tn)

For someone with health issues, I would stay with dwarf variety's. That would mean no climbing on a ladder to do your pruning. One variety I really like is Gala. With the dwarfs you may be able to have three or four trees compared to having two full size trees. Hope this helps.
Norm

    Bookmark   December 20, 2011 at 3:58PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I agree, apple trees can be very labor intensive. Do your homework before you make a decision. Some things to consider:

1. best scion cultivar for YOUR application
a. YOUR preference for taste
b. texture and quality of fruit
c. disease resistance and possibly even some pest resistance
d. production
e. fruit storage potential
f. possibly some of the other scion-related concerns

2. best rootstock for YOUR application
a. growth rate and relative tree size (especially as that relates to pruning and spraying requirements)
b. preciosity
c. production
d. adaptation to your soil and soil conditions
e. drought tolerance
f. how well the tree will be anchored and possible need for permanent support
g. resistance to certain pests and disease
h. graft compatibility
i. tendency to sucker
j. possibly some of the other rootstock-related concerns

3. site issues
a. soil type
b. drainage
c. sun-exposure
d. wind-exposure
e. amount of available space
f. ease of access
g. etc.

4. planting issues
See info in link: Planting a Tree or Shrub

5. source
a. somewhere that has decent quality trees (NOT one of the bigbox stores)
b. availability of your choice of scion and rootstock combination
c. availability of best size of tree (you probably shouldn't start with something over about 4' tall)
Helpful link: Sources for Fruit Trees and Plants

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 4:18PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

I meant to say...I agree that going with one of the dwarfing rootstock is likely the best choice, because dwarfing trees require much less pruning and are more easily maintained at a height convenient for harvesting, pruning, maintenance, and spraying.

Here's a video for inspiration:
Gene Yale's Backyard Orchard

    Bookmark   December 21, 2011 at 5:19PM
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susanp(z6 TN)

Maternut and Brandon thank you both for your info. It is a lot of good info. It will make deciding much easier.

    Bookmark   December 22, 2011 at 2:17AM
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anntn6b(z6b TN)

AND in east Tennessee, be sure to choose cultivars that are resistant to Apple Rust. We just have too many cedar trees (Juniperus virginiana) which is the alternative host for the rust- if an apple tree is susceptible to rust in these parts, it will get it.

    Bookmark   December 23, 2011 at 11:31PM
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brandon7 TN_zone(7)

Specific disease resistance may be a good way to avoid a disease, but may undesirably limit one's selection. Apples (as a group) are particularly vulnerable to scab, fire blight, cedar-apple rust, and powdery mildew, as well as a few different pests. Cultivars bred for broad disease resistance may be lacking in other qualities. A spray regime, which will probably be necessary anyway, is another way to address particular disease concerns.

This is another one of the many cases where what's best for one grower may not be best for another. A grower who plans to spray only minimally may need to select cultivars with a broad disease resistance, but other growers may find taste or other characteristics well worth the effort required to spray their trees.

IF disease resistance is a primary concern, the following cultivars have had a pretty good across-the-board disease resistance rating in most evaluations:

Arkansas Black
Freedom
Liberty

    Bookmark   December 24, 2011 at 12:26AM
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