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Old 01-13-2008, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,738 posts, read 47,532,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boonskyler View Post
thanks forest, that tell you how much i know about apples, yea here i am plan to live of the land, no wonder my wife has doubt on me.
There are a great many varieties of wonderful apples that grow in Maine.

I am prepared to plant six varieties of apple in raised beds this spring.

I have no doubt that you too can plant an orchard and tailor it to any expectations that you desire.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:22 PM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
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Quote:
I am prepared to plant six varieties of apple in raised beds this spring.
have pick the varieties yet, and why raised beds, would that complicate weeds control between rows.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:53 PM
 
Location: Maine
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Is anyone good at ID'ing apples with only a picture? I have great apples growing wild and have no idea what they are.
Quote:
thanks forest, that tell you how much i know about apples, yea here i am plan to live of the land, no wonder my wife has doubt on me.
If the apple is golf ball'ish sized or smaller it's a crab apple. You'll find both on the ground from later summer til after frost. When they've hit the ground might be bruised. They should be used soon or put up. I dehydrate and sauce them. If you can find wild trees with apples you can pick those without bruising.

You'll be fine. We won't let you starve while you're learning.
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Old 01-13-2008, 06:54 PM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boonskyler View Post
have pick the varieties yet, and why raised beds, would that complicate weeds control between rows.
Cannot say why Forest is using the raised bed method for his apple trees, but it does make it easier to maintain a better pH balance for the trees. Apples like about 6.5 to 7 pH and it is much easier to maintain that when they are small using raised beds. Also you don't tend to walk right over the freshly planted roots and compact the soil around the young roots before they have a chance to firmly establish themselves.

By using several different types of apple trees you assure proper pollination of your fruit. Apples need 2 different pollinators to produce their fruit. By planting several different types, you get that cross-pollination for all the trees and therefore a good apple crop every year. With six different types you can have early crop trees and later crop trees and spread out your apple harvest over a longer time span.

(Sorry, grew up around fruit orchards and hard to shake sometimes.)


Look into the Honeycrisp apples that were developed by the University of Minnesota. They are a fantastic eating apple, VERY crisp and very sweet. They would make a fine addition to any newly planted mini-orchard, as long as you have the right pollinators that is.
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Old 01-13-2008, 07:20 PM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
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Quote:
You'll be fine. We won't let you starve while you're learning.
we do have plan B for that is if all crops fail, Shaw and Hannaford is less than 10 miles from us (will find local grown market when we live there). That is one thing we like about Maine, large track of land with all convinience still affordable.

Quote:
Look into the Honeycrisp apples
That is the best apple i have eaten, never seen them in Supermarket in south Florida.
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Old 01-13-2008, 08:40 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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Smile Planting apples in Maine

I typed this once and my system crashed, ARRRGgh!

I typed it once again, hit 'submit' and the thread was closed, sigh, CG I do understand, and I do apologize for any off-topic behavior on my part.

I will endeavor to do it once again. Calmly.

Apples are like mint and potatoe.

Plant mint seeds and you do not know what kind of mint will grow. The genetics of the seed will be mixed up and you may get a mint with a strong essense oil, strong smell, nice flavour, etc; or you may get blah.

Plant hundreds of mint seeds, fill a greenhouse and calmly smell and taste the leaves of each plant. You may find one that is 'chocolate mint', or you may not. You may find one that is 'bannana mint', or you may not.

Once you have found a desirable mint, then you clone it. Those clones will have identical genetics and will carry the same flavour and smell, as the original plant did.

However let your 'chocolate mint' plant go to seed, plant those seeds, and the genetics will mix and produce for you, blah once again. Maybe out of hundreds of mint plants you may find one that resembles chocolate, or maybe not.

So it is with mint, with apples, with potato, and with garlic.



Apples are very prolific. Every wild animal that eats them will redistribute those seeds everywhere, thus all of Maine has apple volunteers growing.

There are men who hike all over Maine sampling every apple tree they find. Ever hoping to find a palatable apple, and occasionally they do.

The Maine scion exchange is peopled by those men.

Find an apple that you like and wish to produce, and you remove a scion and graft it onto a pre-existing tree. That grafted branch will then possibly produce the desired apples for you.

But harvest the seeds and plant them, and once again the genetics will have mixed. There is no guarantee of what kind of apple those new trees will produce.

We are planting our apple trees in raised beds due to the high moisture in our forest.

We selected our apple trees first by harvest season; One group of trees that ripens mid-fall, and a second group that ripens in late fall to early winter.

Secondly we selected one variety in each group that produces an apple known for a high sugar content, and two varieties noted for tart or acid content.

Our hope being to spread out the harvest a bit, so as not to over-load us with apples all at once.

And also to provide two different blends of apple juices for fermenting.

Following is the list of what apple trees we are planting. The number of trees, and then a description of their fruit.

2 Prima Apple - Medium-large roundish fruit has rich yellow skin with a striking orange-red blush. Resembles Jonathan which is buried somewhere in its convoluted parentage. Mildly subacid juicy white flesh provides excellent eating and makes good cider. Keeps a couple of months.

2 Golden Russet Apple - The champagne of cider apples, when the root cellar has finally cooled off and the best cider is ready to be made: sweet, balanced, thick and smooth. Also recommended as a “sharp” acid source for fermented cider. Excellent eating; keeps all winter and well into spring. Round medium-sized hard fruit; uniform in size and shape, softens as winter progresses but maintains its superior sweet flavor. Solid deep yellow golden russeted skin!

4 Sweet 16 Apple - Whenever anyone eats a Sweet 16 for the first time, you know they will be surprised. Fine-textured crisp flesh contains an astounding unusually complex combination of sweet nutty and spicy flavors with slight anise essence, sometimes described as cherry, vanilla or even bourbon. I always love Sweet 16 season. Truly excellent fresh eating, although it is too sweet for some pallets. Round-conic bronze-red medium-sized fruit, striped and washed with rose-red.

2 Cortland Apple - A cross between two commercial giants at the time, one (Ben Davis) on the way out and the other (McIntosh #0522) on the way in. Although never as important as McIntosh, Cortland remains a very popular apple throughout northern New England even in this era of many new introductions. Medium to medium-large slightly ribbed dull red fruit with a purple blush. Excellent eating and cooking. Slow-oxidizing white flesh is very good in salads; fine-grained, crisp, tender, juicy. enough acid to produce a surprisingly delightful cider, fresh or fermented, in a mix or even on its own.

2 Esopus Spitzenburg Apple - Without peer in flavor and quality. A choice dessert and culinary apple, mentioned in nearly every list of best-flavored varieties. subacid, crisp and juicy. Famous for being Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple. For years I figured that meant it was a warm-weather tree and shouldn’t be in the catalog until I learned that Tom was forever frustrated by his inability to grow Spitz down south. Medium-large bright-red round to mostly conic fruit, covered with russet dots, not unlike a slightly more conical Starkey. Excellent acid source for sweet or fermented cider.

4 Minnesota 447 Apple - Seed planted at the University of Minnesota before 1936, but never introduced. This massively flavored dessert apple—not for the faint of heart—provides a whole new level of culinary experience. Likely the most distinctive and unusual apple I’ve ever tried. Astonished friends have described its flavor as strange, molasses, olives, fabulous, sweet, complex and sugar cane. The roundish fruit is medium-sized and entirely covered with dark bluish-purple stripes. The aromatic crisp crystalline flesh is an apricot-orange color with occasional red staining, so juicy it’ll run down your hand. Years ago David Bedford of the University of Minnesota said they would never release it because it didn’t taste like an apple. Joyfully they changed their minds. My young tree has cropped for 5 years without fail. Grow it where it’s cold as it may have no flavor farther south. Will receive a name in the next year or two. Any ideas? We’re voting for ‘Sugarcane’.

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Old 01-13-2008, 09:28 PM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
653 posts, read 1,678,937 times
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forest, thanks for start this thread. i think no matter how small yard one has, fruit tree should be planted, to save trip to supermarket, to feed and home for wild life.

Quote:
We are planting our apple trees in raised beds due to the high moisture in our forest.
are you refer to ground moisture or air moisture due to trees in the forest surrounding.

our lots in Ellsworth and Waltham are wood lot with mature standing trees. we plan to clear cut 2-3 acres for our fruit trees and kitchen garden. we are not sure which location
yet, we want to take time to find out which will best suit us.
apples are one of the first pick for it uses and longer storage, varieties would be one that does well in out area, may be some that we like and may have to work hard to make it work in Maine.
Prima, Golden Russet, Sweet 16, Cortland, Esopus Spitzenburg, Minnesota 447 Apple ,
some of variaty from the list un heard of, may be when we up in Maine during the apple season, we have to visit the orchards in the area to try those apple.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:14 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
29,738 posts, read 47,532,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by boonskyler View Post
...
are you refer to ground moisture or air moisture due to trees in the forest surrounding.
Much of my forest has standing water, for as long as one week after each rain.



Quote:
... we plan to clear cut 2-3 acres for our fruit trees and kitchen garden.
Please do give consideration to your 'Forestry management plan'.



Quote:
Prima, Golden Russet, Sweet 16, Cortland, Esopus Spitzenburg, Minnesota 447 Apple, some of variety from the list unheard of, may be when we up in Maine during the apple season, we have to visit the orchards in the area to try those apple.
Attend the Common Grounds Fair.

At each fair they have a presentation of dozens of apple varieties with tasting competitions. Local experts talk about the varieties and the habits of each tree. Some times apple varieties need names, so they ask for names.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:45 PM
 
Location: Gary, WV & Springfield, ME
5,826 posts, read 8,464,146 times
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Wow, never heard of some of those apples. Thank you for the fine description.

When I bought my Maine property, the broker told me "there are a few apple trees here."

This past autumn was the first time I was there when the apples ripened and I was healthy enough to take walks through and around my spread. A few? If every tree were removed from my forest except the apple trees...I'd still have a forest! I didn't know I was buying a dozen orchards!

Apple wine, here I come
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Old 01-14-2008, 05:50 AM
 
Location: West Michigan
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Very nice mix Forest! You have picked 2 of my favorites (not that I have met an apple I didn't like) Spitz and Golden Russet. I forgot you lived out in the boonies . Standing water will ruin a good tree, you are right about that! You are also spot on about having to get trees to plant and not seed. Established trees, you at least know what type and generally what quality you will start with. Don't be faint hearted when pruning them either the first few years. That is where most people make the future hard on themselves when it comes to harvesting their apples. More branches doesn't work out to more fruit, GOOD branches make more and better fruit. (Tip: after pruning your trees the first time, not the cut back after initial planting, leave them, don't even look at them again that day. Next day go out and look at them again, odds are you will see some you missed.) Good Luck! Apples and Peaches are my favorite trees to be around in the spring and harvest time. Cherries are all right, but there is a butt load of work to harvest them rascals by hand.

Last edited by Bydand; 01-14-2008 at 05:54 AM.. Reason: typos
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