Replacing my huge old apple tree

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mjg000

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Replacing my huge old apple tree
« on: September 30, 2018, 13:24 »
One of the reasons I took on Plot 94 was that I had envied the cooking apple tree that had been prolific on it since I had first shared a plot nearby.  It has actually been prolific this year but it is now spreading its limbs over about 1/3 of my plot and some of next doors.  Our resident fruit tree expert had promised to come and give me advice about serious pruning back to bring it under control.  He came, he saw and he said "my advice is to take it out completely, it's much too big for an allotment".  I really need to have an apple tree....
So my question is..... shall I buy some cordons to go round the edge of the plot or should I just replace it with a dwarf rootstock variety.  I'm also debating whether to go for a dual purpose apple such as a Bardsey or Charles Ross.  Any thoughts?

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Pescador

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Re: Replacing my huge old apple tree
« Reply #1 on: September 30, 2018, 15:54 »
My only advice would be, don't replant in the same spot as apples are susceptible to Specific Replant Disease, which means that following apple with apple will probably not do well. By all means plane an apple or apples on the plot but not in the same spot.
Every Pickle Helps!

Paul's Preserves and Pickles.

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Lardman

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Re: Replacing my huge old apple tree
« Reply #2 on: September 30, 2018, 16:27 »
Step away from the saw and pause for a minute, if you hack it down it may take a decade or more to get a useful crop - that's a long time to be appleless, best to put a plan into action and then decide what to do about the current tree.

What do you want to use the apple for and when do you want to be able to use it?

 
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mjg000

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Re: Replacing my huge old apple tree
« Reply #3 on: September 30, 2018, 17:24 »
At the moment I get enough windfall apples to make 2 or 3 pies a week from June until September and always have some frozen to keep me going through the winter. I took out an eating apple tree a year or so ago because I didn't particularly like the taste but it could be used in apple cake without added sugar which is why I'm thinking a dual purpose  apple might be a good idea.  If replanting then the tree must be away from the edge of the allotment and on dwarf stock.

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Lardman

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Re: Replacing my huge old apple tree
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2018, 20:24 »
mmmmmm pie  :tongue2:  sorry got sidetracked  :nowink:

If found the so called dual purpose apples to sub par as a desert apple and sub par cooking, Jack of all, master of none sort of thing.  If your use is mainly in the kitchen you want a true cooker, you'll also need to be growing it as something more substantial than a cordon, you'd be lucky to get 15 fruit of a decent size. A nice 4-5 tier espalier would keep your height down, provide good growing space and take 3-4 year to establish.

If you're after something what retains it's shape when cooked, as well as Charles Ross take a look at Annie Elizabeth. If you want something as a puree and don't fancy the hassle of a bramley, Edward V11 comes pretty close to it and doesn't have the growing or decease problems, both should keep naturally into the new year in a cool shed which saves freezer space.  If you could squeeze 2 trees in a mid season desert like kidds orange red would bulk out your pies, go well in cake and is lovely to eat as an apple off the tree.

If you like the apple you have, there's nothing stopping you grafting it on to a smaller rootstock, it's really easy to do but would add 2 seasons to the process. So many options....  ::)

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AnneB

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Re: Replacing my huge old apple tree
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2018, 20:27 »
I have got one of these too.  I have chosen to keep it and with the help of our resident site expert have pruned it over a period of 4 years to keep it under control, reducing it in height, taking out crossing branches and reducing height, making more of a tulip shape.  I have shade near it not surprisingly, but grow lettuce, spinach and surprisingly strawberries near it and they have done well.
This year I have had tons of apples, I have had more than I can cope with, kept fellow plotholders supplied, plus the local cooking/food charity and the play centre.  All from one tree! Glad I kept it.  I would try and manage it rather than taking it out.
« Last Edit: September 30, 2018, 20:30 by AnneB »



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