Apple trees in Cold climates

Thu. Sep. 27, 2018

Click below to listen to my 2 min. Garden Bite radio show:  Apple trees in Cold climates

Oh, apple season, how I love you!  Shall I count the ways or just name some spectacular cultivars.  ‘Honeycrisp’ comes first to my mind.

Apple ‘Honeycrisp’ from my former home in Lakeville

For those of us in cold climates, growing apples wasn’t always easy but with a lot of research by places like the University of Minnesota, that started breeding apples in 1888, we can grow some delicious apples!

I remember, gosh it’s been decades already!, going to the MN Landscape Arboretum and getting one of the first public tastes of the new ‘Honeycrisp’.  That was the best apple I’ve ever tasted.

Since then, there’s been a steady flow of new delightful introductions like ‘Zestar’, ‘Frostbite’ for very cold climates to zone 3b.

Apple ‘Zestar’ in Lakeville 2008

The newest introductions, ‘First Kiss’ and ‘Rave’ are early season, and were a big hit at The State Fair.

My first experience with planting ‘Honeycrisp’ many years ago:  It was supposed to have been able to produce by the 3rd year, it was mislabeled and turned out to not be a dwarf variety and took 7 years to produce, a year after I moved!  ARG…  In another place, I had added a ‘Zestar’ to a newly planted/correctly labeled ‘Honeycrisp’ and they’re still producing delicious apples!

You need two varieties to get apples, one can be a crabapple!

As for planting, the U says  plant your apple trees in full sun in May or June, once all chance of frost is gone.  Dwarf apple trees can start producing in 2 to 3 years, full size trees can be up to 8!

Find out all you need to know on planting/growing/caring for apples in your cold climate home landscape!  The link takes you to the University of Minnesota Extension.

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