Apple tree newbie

Hello, hubby and I are retired and next year will be moving to a smaller property. There is just the 2 of us and a sloppy labrador. We would love to plant an apple tree or 2 but have no idea of how to go about it. Could you suggest a type of tree, which will start fruiting before we are dead(!) We've heard of patio ones maybe they would suit us? Many thanks
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Dorcas


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Dorcas;933426 Wrote: > Hello, hubby and I are retired and next year will be moving to a smaller > property. There is just the 2 of us and a sloppy labrador. We would love > to plant an apple tree or 2 but have no idea of how to go about it. > Could you suggest a type of tree, which will start fruiting before we > are dead(!) We've heard of patio ones maybe they would suit us? Many > thanks
You mention "patio" trees - these are just apple trees on very dwarfing stock that means that they can be grown in large containers, though they can also be grown in the ground. If you do grow heavily dwarfed trees in the ground, they need more feeding and more protection from competing vegetation, eg grass, than other forms of apple tree, so you do need to keep the ground clear under them. In that sense they can be more work than a typical orchard tree in the ground that tolerates grass growing under it, because you have to weed under them. It is said that patio trees give fruit earlier than orchard forms. But my observation, growing apples from 1-year "maidens", is that you get a bit off them by the 3rd year and they are doing better by the 4th and 5th years, etc. And you can speed that up by buying a 2nd or 3rd year tree, though they cost a lot more, and don't ultimately establish as well as if you get them when they are maidens. It depends what you think is a long time. I remember a cousin of mine in his mid-60s buying a large quantity of port to lay down, that wouldn't be drinkable for the next 15 years - he dropped dead shortly afterwards, but at least he had provided for his pleasure had he lived.
You need to choose a variety suitable for your local climate. For example in the country I am in, UK, varieties suitable for growing in cooler or wetter parts of the distinct. Also you need to think about pollination. If there are lots of apple trees in the gardens around you, well then you can forget about pollination. But many of us find that we need to choose two trees of compatible pollination to get good crops. This information will be on the websites of good nurseries, such as 'Keepers Nursery - possibly the largest range of fruit trees and soft fruit plants in the world' (http://www.keepers-nursery.co.uk ) if you are in UK. You should look to local nurseries for this information if you are in a different country as the varieties available and issues in relation to the varieties suitable for your local climate will vary considerably according to your locality.
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echinosum


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Consider a dwarf of semi dwarf, in general they tend to bear at a younger age. There are many nurseries that have websites, Miller's and Stark's are two of the better known. If you're looking for an heirloom variety check out Big Horse Creek Farms, they have over 300 different varieties.
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I planted a dwarf Jonagold tree in my front yard. I think it started bearing fruit its second year. I've been treating it better the past couple of years, and it's loaded with apples now.
You may need to take into consideration if there are other apple trees fairly near for cross polination. There are several in my neighborhood.
PP in Boston, MA
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Dorcas wrote:

Go to the local library and get some books.
Could you suggest a type of tree, which will start fruiting

If planted in a good situation you will get fruit within about 4 years of planting and a good crop within 7 years.
Choose according to your climate and the space available and don't forget pollination issues when choosing your cultivar(s).
David
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Then- feed as needed; trim as needed; spray as needed; fight off the rodents and birds. And if the stars align and you are rewarded with a crop-- you'll have some real good eating. . . if you chose the right variety.

I'd start at an orchard and see what kind of apples you like. Then I'd visit a local nursery to see which trees lend themselves to backyard culture.
Dwarf or semi-dwarf trees will produce in a couple years.
Jim
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Dorcas;933426 Wrote: > Hello, hubby and I are retired and next year will be moving to a smaller > property. There is just the 2 of us and a sloppy labrador. We would love > to plant an apple tree or 2 but have no idea of how to go about it. > Could you suggest a type of tree, which will start fruiting before we > are dead(!) We've heard of patio ones maybe they would suit us? Many > thanks
Thank you all very much for your advice.
--
Dorcas


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