Farm, Garden and The Land > Permaculture, Land Management and Foraging

Starting an Apple Tree Orchard

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CagedFeral:
Thanks very much. I'm using everyone's advice as I type this. I need to learn more about what pollinates what. I don't want to end up with a crabapple. Right now it's been raining and all kinds of wet but good advice about keeping watered this summer. I'm about to make a couple slow watering buckets to set out for them this summer.  Right now I'm only thinking of roots. I don't expect apples. I'll be very happy just watching them grow.

Cedar:

--- Quote from: CagedFeral on April 01, 2017, 05:09:03 AM ---I need to learn more about what pollinates what. I don't want to end up with a crabapple.  Right now I'm only thinking of roots. I don't expect apples. I'll be very happy just watching them grow.

--- End quote ---

I have been doing this for 30+ years and I need to still go back and look at charts to see what pollinates what. Generally you will be fine unless you live in a very apple deficient area. If you have any apple tree anywhere within a mile, you probably have one to pollinate your trees. I believe you said you had a "Yellow Delicious", so you are probably more than fine.

And what is wrong with a Crabapple? It too is its own cultivar (variety), and there are some quite fine crabapples out there. If by what you mean with cross pollinating is that your tree will not produce the variety you want, but instead will become a 'crabapple', this is not correct. You will either get a light or no crop off your tree with poor or wrong pollination.  In Canada I had a crabapple in my front pasture which was red all the way through and make a beautiful apple juice which was pink coloured and just delicious. A friend took some off that tree and other tree and made Spiced Crabapples to can up. Crabapples also tend to be excellent pollinators.

And YES!! Expect apples!!! That is part of the joy. Otherwise you could just be growing any non-fruiting ornamental. Ornamental pears that people grow actually confuse me  ;D

Cedar

jerseyboy:
Here is the Orange Pippen site

https://www.orangepippintrees.com/pollinationchecker.aspx

Golden delicious and liberty are not recommended pairs.

Here is a chart I use which gives a good visual.

https://www.acnursery.com/apple_pollinizer.pdf

It shows that Liberty is a very early flowering variety. 

Here is another chart

http://raintreenursery.com/uploads/ApplePollination.pdf

Golden delicious blooms later but there appears to be some overlap.

Good luck and remember that there are many traits to look for in an apple, sweet, tart, high acid, long keeping,  baking (stays firm when cooked),  keeping period,  bloom time, harvest time, flavor, disease resistance, etc.

Also, like Cedar said, crab apples are often used for pollinators in large orchards.

Oh here is a short history and some comments for the liberty apple

https://www.orangepippin.com/apples/liberty

Personally, I like honeycrisp the best for an eating apple, although I did plant a young liberty last year.

Jerseyboy

CagedFeral:

--- Quote from: Cedar on April 01, 2017, 08:19:34 AM ---And what is wrong with a Crabapple? It too is its own cultivar (variety), and there are some quite fine crabapples out there. If by what you mean with cross pollinating is that your tree will not produce the variety you want, but instead will become a 'crabapple', this is not correct. You will either get a light or no crop off your tree with poor or wrong pollination.  In Canada I had a crabapple in my front pasture which was red all the way through and make a beautiful apple juice which was pink coloured and just delicious. A friend took some off that tree and other tree and made Spiced Crabapples to can up. Crabapples also tend to be excellent pollinators.
Cedar

--- End quote ---
Don't mean insult Crabapple. I recently read that they are great pollinators so I'd like one or two. I'm just remembering those little green sour apples that we'd salt and would give us stomach cramps as a kid. We loved them even though we knew we'd soon pay for it. I'm not even positive they were crabapple. They were very small and sour though. I'm relying on 35 year old memories

CagedFeral:
Good info. More to apples than you'd think. I'm reading the links and It's starting to sink in. I know I want good pollination and disease resistance. I like nearly any apple myself. As long as it doesn't have a big rotten spot or worm holes. I've always been a fan of the Granny Smith so I'll probably lean toward planting that next year.

I put a mulch ring made from plastic 55gal barrels around them yesterday. Cut outs are only about 6'' high so no rabbit protection. I did make some pest repellent from garlic, hotsause, cayenne pepper and raw egg. I'm not sure i'll work but it sure makes me want to run away. 

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