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Old 02-11-2014, 01:59 PM   #1
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Default Planting fruit trees

We have had a good opportunity pop up which is going to put us out of Colorado and back into Arkansas where I grew up. The house we are about to close on only has an acre attached to it, but I have also looked at another 2 acre piece within walking distance up the road.

We are going to be there in time to plant trees, and I am seriously looking at planting about a dozen of the Smokehouse apple variety trees so that I can use them for making ciders as well as selling any left over apples we don't eat or juice. Wife also wants some Honeycrisp and I will of course have a few Golden Delicious to help with pollinating everything else.

I got my hands on some smokehouse apples last year and they made damn good cider

Anyone have any suggestions for other good cider apples?

Also will be looking at probably planting a half dozen or so peach trees, most likely Elberta's but I haven't really done my research there yet

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Old 02-11-2014, 02:51 PM   #2
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I grew up on our Family Orchard and will give you some advise on varieties.

GoldRush - Easy to grow and deliver great flavor for eating and well as a great cider apple.

Arkansas Black - Also easy to grow, and they store/age well.

RedFree - Early apple. Great flavor and really sweet for a early apple.

Galarina - Like a gala but firmer and more resistant to pest.

Freedom/Liberty/Empire- Any of these are great. Like a McIntosh but delivers better fruit.

Remember old varieties will need a lot of care and you will have to bomb them with a lot of chemicals to bear decent fruit.

Gold Delicious are a good choice for store apples, but JonaGold is better for you.

The "Well Known" types of apples have been changed to produce apples better suited to shipping! A 2012 Gold Delicious is not the same as a 1950's Tree.

Honey Crisp are hard to grow. They are susceptible to a lot of disease, calcium deficiency, and pest. It is a sugar bomb packed full of water and not much other flavor. They are a crowd favorite because most people don't know of other varieties besides a red delicious.

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Old 02-11-2014, 04:11 PM   #3
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I will look into the Gold Rush. I have been researching the Honey Crisp a bit more and think that I will convince the wife to choose something else. Remember Arkansas Black's from when I was growing up and they were pretty good. Will look at the Galarina as well as we seem to go through a lot of Gala's in our house.

Another one that has made it onto my short list of cider apples is the Orleans Antique.

I am hoping to try to keep my management program organic, but will admit that my experience has not been in orchard management but has been in managing greenhouse and field food crops.

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Old 02-11-2014, 07:54 PM   #4
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Make sure your varieties are mold resistant/diase resistant, as Arkansan has a wet climate, and that will limit your choices. Also don't try and go all organic down there, it is hard with the climate.

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Old 02-11-2014, 08:03 PM   #5
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I am also planting trees this year. Elberta peaches, plums,dwarf
almonds. If you want to go organic, and you DO want to go organic,
you need The Holistic Orchard by Michael Phillips .The bible that one.
Also The Cider Makers Handbook by Claude Jolicouer, has a great section on herloom apples. The best eating apples don t make the best cider,
and vice versa

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Old 02-11-2014, 09:53 PM   #6
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+1 to the Michael Phillips book. Even if you're not going organic it's a great resource.

Call around and see what the local orchards are growing, then plant varieties that you want but you can't find in your area.

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Old 02-11-2014, 10:47 PM   #7
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The heirloom varieties are great, plus it is so dang cool just how old some of them really are. Try Rhode Island Greenings, they are a great apple for cider and baking and they are more difficult to bruise. Also try Golden Russetts if you can get your hands on them. Golden Russetts have a very high sugar content so they are great for eating, but I have also heard good things about them being used in hard cider. Others would be worth looking into are Baldwin, Northern Spy, Empire like mopar had mentioned, and Cortland.

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Old 02-12-2014, 12:50 AM   #8
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mopar318 has a great list, but I would suggest you look at tall spindle technique if land is an issue (or you want more yeild). There is a slightly larger up front cost, but the yields are tremendously more.

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Old 02-14-2014, 01:13 PM   #9
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Some good cider cultivars are: Orange Pippin, Kingston Black, Dabinett, Brown Snout, Dolgo Crab.
This might help:
http://www.greenmantlenursery.com/fruit/apple-cider.htm
Regards, GF.

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Old 02-15-2014, 03:01 PM   #10
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Grimes golden is also another good pollinator good old time apple for cider. There are a lot of southern apples, check out some of the southern nurseries, centuryfarmorchards.com and albemarleciderworks.com specialize in southern apples, cumminsnursery also has a lot of cider apples. You might want to look at some of the apples Thomas Jefferson grew in his orchard in VA and search Tom Burford for his book on southern apples, its a pretty interesting book and tells a lot about what kind of apples you might want to grow where its warm. Good Luck WVMJ

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