apple tree suggestions

upnort(4)September 8, 2008

I made a new hosta bed (well, 3 actually) this yr and next yr. plan on putting apple trees in the center and each end. The bed is almost the length of my yard and for the most part is in the sun all day. Im wondering what type of trees to plant that will survive in n. wisconsin-and taste good! Im not a fan of Macintosh apples and hate to buy 3 trees and not like any of the apples! Also, is it true that you have to have at least 2 apples trees to get apples? Im arguing over space issues with my huband, he wants a maple and and oak. We dont have room for all of this, so if I only need 2 apple trees I guess I could be generous and leave him room for a tree! But not oak, as pretty as they are,they get hit by ligthening the most and burst into flames. Flaming apple tart anyone?

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Bob_Zn5(Z5 WI)

I have an Empire & a Liberty. Both are dwarf and disease resistant. The apples are late & on the tart side which I enjoy. I didn't know that oaks were more susceptible to lightening than other trees. Maybe it seems that way because they are so long lived.

    Bookmark   September 8, 2008 at 10:57PM
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lisa_neenah(5a)

I've heard that apples can be polinated from crabapples. So if you're lucky enough to live next door to someone with crabapples....

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 7:31AM
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tsugajunkie z5 SE WI

Crabapples will pollinate regular apples. Not only do you need two trees, they need to be two different varieties that bloom about the same time. I'm waiting on a 'Honeycrisp' to produce for me (it's young). It was developed at Minnesota University, I think, and is very hardy.

tj

    Bookmark   September 9, 2008 at 1:09PM
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upnort(4)

Thanx all! I have a crabapple tree in my yard and my close neighbor has 2 apple trees, but I dont know the type. I went into the citrus forum after posting this and I think Im going to go with honeycrisp.
Bob, I read in a tree book about the oak getting hit more than any other tree, including ash which for some reason gets hit a lot too.

    Bookmark   September 10, 2008 at 10:07AM
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booboobearbecky(Zone 4)

upnort-
I live on the border of zone 3/4 in Northern WI. I planted two Semi-dwarf Honeycrisp apple trees and one Semi-dwarf Fireside apple tree this past spring. Both are doing well so far.

The Fireside needs a pollinator; Honeycrisp or Honeygold work well as pollinators. The Fireside apple tree is a vigorous and hardy apple tree surviving up to -40F degrees. These apples are super crunchy and make great eating apples. I opted for the Honeycrisp as a pollinator as it is more winter hardy than the Honeygold variety. The Fireside is hardy through zone 3.

The Honeycrisp needs a pollinator as well. The info that came with the Honeycrisp Apple tree says they can cross pollinate with pretty much any other hardy apple or crabapple tree, as long as they are blooming at about the same time. Some apple varieties that usually bloom close in sequence with Honeycrisp are Jonathan, Gala, & Fireside. The Honeycrisp is hardy through zone 3. Honeycrisp is by far the best apple I've ever eaten! Sweet, crispy, large, juicy & stores exceptionally well.

Actually one of my Honeycrisp trees met an early demise one day after I recevied it and before I even planted it this past spring. A black bear nabbed my new apple tree off our deck....tree, pot, stake and all! And THEN played with it and rolled it around the yard. Apparently the bear thought the potted tree made for great entertainment, so he dragged it off to the woods. 2 days and 20 woodticks later, I still had not found my new honeycrisp tree in our woods, so I called the company I ordered the tree from and explained my delimma. After laughing their A$$ES off, they sent me a replacement tree for free. Now I just gotta save the new apple trees from becoming deer desert. Time to put up fencing around the apple trees.

I'll try and post back here next spring to let you know if my new honeycrisp and fireside apple trees survive the frozen tundra of Northern Wisconsin and it's myriad of wildlife.

BooBooBearBecky

    Bookmark   September 11, 2008 at 10:50PM
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cyjohns

I saw some apple trees in Home Depot that have 4 varieties of apples on a tree. I am thinking of planting two of those. Does anyone have any good/bad experiences with those?
Thanks.
Cyril

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 8:54AM
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upnort(4)

Wow! Thanx Becky for all the info, even the bear story! Quite funny to me, not to you I bet! That was super nice that the company sent you a free replacement. Im printing this out so I can have it on hand after the 9 months of winter!

    Bookmark   September 17, 2008 at 11:28AM
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booboobearbecky(Zone 4)

upnort-
You're welcome, glad my apple tree info helped you out.

cyjohns-
I planted one of those 4 in 1 apple trees 3 years ago. Each of the apple varieties (branches) are grafted onto rootstock. My experience was not good. Each "branch grafting" bit the dust one at a time. In frustration, I hacked the rootstock portion of the tree down at ground level, because I thought the whole darn thing was dead as a doornail. The following spring, a little apple tree shoot came up from the ground (from the rootstock portion of the tree). It's obviously some kind of apple tree growing now, but I have no idea what variety. So after 3 years, I have a 3 foot tall apple tree that is just sort of stunted. I let it grow because I was curious to see what kind of apples it might (or might not) produce. Even if they are crappy apples I was thinking perhaps it would provide a wildlife diversionary tactic for my 3 other fenced apple trees. That seems to be working as the deer munched my stunted unknown apple tree down to the ground a few nights ago. So here we go again....wait another 3 years for a 3 foot apple tree. Time to get the shovel out, dig up the roots, and put that poor decrepit tree to death.

On the other hand, if you're in an area of WI that's a bit warmer than where I live, it might do ok. Ya never know. If the price is right, I'd say go for it. After all, 4 types of apples from one tree is pretty cool. Even if 1 or 2 of the grafted branches were a bust, you'd still have a couple of different varieties of apples from one apple tree. Just make sure the deer know that you don't intend to share. Oh...and don't leave the potted tree out on your deck for the black bears to play with.

BooBooBearBecky

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 3:08AM
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cyjohns

Thanks Becky for sharing your experience. I live close to the IL border, hence it's a bit warmer. We don't have any deer or bear either. Still, after hearing your experience, I may not go with those grafted ones.

Recently planted two each of blue berries and black berries, three grapes and a peach. They are doing well so far. Planning to plant one or two each of pear, cherry and apple trees in the coming weeks.

Thanks.
Cyril

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 2:07PM
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upnort(4)

Becky, I forgot to ask, does it matter how far the trees are away from each other?

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 2:27PM
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booboobearbecky(Zone 4)

Upnort-
I planted semi-dwarf trees so I just estimated based on a picture of a full grown semi-dwarf apple tree. I know... not very scientific, but I have a big yard so I had plenty of room to give my new baby apple trees lots of space.

I did find a really nice table on the internet for exact distances apart when planting fruit trees.

It says:
Apple Standard - 30 feet apart
Apple Semi-Dwarf - 18 feet apart
Apple Dwarf - 8 feet apart

Here's where I found the information:
http://www.ext.vt.edu/pubs/envirohort/426-841/426-841.html

Hope this helps you out.

Cyril-
What variety of peach, pear and cherry trees did you plant? Just curious.

My grapes grew like gangbusters this summer despite the cool weather. The vines ventured on carnivorous! I always know exactly when to pick my grapes when the bears come to check them out. Seems their sense of smell lets them know when the grapes are at their perfect ripeness. As soon as I see this....I pick all my grapes immediately!

BooBooBearBecky

Here is a link that might be useful: In My Backyard

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 10:43PM
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cyjohns

Becky,

Sorry, I don't remember what variety of peach it is. It's a dwarf one from a local nursery. Among the grapes, one is seedless concord. I forgot the names of the other two. I haven't bought my apple/pear/cherry trees yet. I need to write their names down when I do.

Cheers!
Cyril

    Bookmark   September 20, 2008 at 11:47AM
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upnort(4)

Love the photos Becky! Whats the story behind all the bears?

    Bookmark   September 22, 2008 at 12:40PM
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booboobearbecky(Zone 4)

upnort-
We seem to have a lot of black bears living in our wooded acreage. You can read more here ("In My Backyard"):
http://forums.gardenweb.com/forums/load/wildlife/msg0411013911609.html?42

To keep this post on topic....at least the black bears aren't eating my apple trees (yet).

Cyril-
Thanks for posting about your fruit trees. I'm interested in knowing the varieties of pear and cherry trees you chose to plant once you purchase them. If you think of it, perhaps you can post back here with the information?

My grapes are red and purple (seeded). Forgot the names just like you (hee hee!). The grapes are great for making jelly.

BooBooBearBecky

    Bookmark   September 23, 2008 at 2:26AM
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upnort(4)

Becky, I discovered in the post "where are you in Wis" that you and I are in the same library system! I work in the library in Mercer and interlibrary loan to Hayward all the time, and go to meetings with your library director! (keeping this on topic) I just requested a bunch of fruit trees books from other libraries in the system. Weird how youre in one zone and Im in another. Must be lake effect?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2008 at 9:48AM
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