Tuesday, October 22, 2013

~ Planting Our Apple Orchard ~

To say I am excited for next spring is an understatement. I just ordered 10 new apple trees from Gilby's Apple Orchard. They are all grafted onto M16 hardy root stock which means they will be able to withstand our cold Minnesota winters.

photo credit

Our choices are:

Early Season 

(2) Zestars - Large, crunchy, juicy red fruit with a sprightly sweet-tart flavor. Excellent for both fresh eating and cooking. The fruit will store for 6 to 8 weeks. Tree is vigorous, upright and very susceptible to apple scab. Introduced in 1999.                                                                                                                                                          
(1) Chestnut Crabapple - Large, russeted crabapple with a rich, nutty flavor. Best for fresh eating or sauce. The fruit stores for 4 to 5 weeks. Introduced in 1949.                                                                                      

(2) Sweet Sixteen - Crisp and juicy with an exotic yellow flesh and a very sweet, unusual sugar cane or spicy cherry candy flavor. The fruit stores for 5 to 8 weeks. Tree is very vigorous and fruit may be subject to premature drops. Introduced in 1977.                                                                                                                                               
(2) Honey Crisp - Large, dappled red fruit with a well-balanced flavor, outstanding crispness and juiciness. Best for fresh eating and salads as the flesh is slow to brown. Tree has low to medium vigor and excellent scab resistance. Fruit will easily store 7 or more months, a benefit for small commercial growers. With more than 3 million trees planted, Honeycrisp™ is easily the most popular U of M introduction to date. Introduced in 1991.

Late Season

(1) Harlson - Firm texture with a complex tart flavor. Good for fresh eating and cooking. Especially good pie apple. The fruit will store for 4 to 5 months. Tree is of low vigor and easily trained. Tends to be biennial bearing. Fruit may be prone to watercore and russeting. Introduced in 1922.

(1) Frostbite- Intensely sweet, firm and juicy flesh. Stripped maroon-red and gold-yellow, 2 1/2" diameter fruit. Fruit may be prone to russeting. Excellent for cider. Introduced in 2008.

(1) Fireside - Very large fruit with sweet flavor and fine-grained flesh good for fresh eating, salad, and baked apples. Tree is vigorous and weeping. Introduced in 1943.


  1. Very cool. I always love going through nursery catalogue and seeing all the different varieties I have never heard of before. Is that rootstock a full sized tree or smaller. I have been looking at getting all dwarf sized trees if possible to make for easier maintenance and picking. I can't wait to see your orchard planted next spring.

    1. It is a hardy dwarf rootstock but at the orchard they still trim the trees in the fall to keep the apples within arms reach.