The past two years we have gone from working on my personal collection of historically interesting apple trees, to apple trees that are more advantageous to our clients. Such as Disease Resistance.

We know that within our core area of Wisconsin, different diseases have areas that they thrive in. It’s not just weather related. We also have learned that how one has the ability to manage their trees, was very different from how we manage the trees in the orchard. We have had to learn not only the ‘pains’ of folks trying to grow great apples, but how to grow great apples as someone doing this in their backyard.

It was a learning curve, but now we can approach things from a consumer perspective other than an orchard perspective.

That’s not all what this selection of trees is about however…
This list is about the ability to grow great apples sooner than we have or sooner than we were willing to. It seems that one of the many issues we hear about is that (from a consumer) you have to wait so long to get any apples. We also heard that the trees ability to prune themselves was not going to happen. WHAT? Pruning. So much pruning. I have learned over the years that more often than not, my pruning clients say that they grab their pruning tools and go out to the trees and then stand there scratching their heads because a sudden case of overwhelm comes over them. “What branches do I cut?”

When out doing workshops or if I’m at your home doing the actual pruning to your trees, I go about this a little different, “What branches do I want to keep?”

What I’m about to present to you is a list of trees that has been very carefully crafted.
With this list of Apple Trees, you may or may not have heard before. If you have heard of some these before, I would wager a free cup of coffee that you haven’t heard of the pruning method to develope these trees, and that is one of the reasons why this offering is so valuable.

What I was doing was bringing the best combination of trees (with a couple exceptions like Cox’s Orange Pippen and Esopus Spitzenburg which make up for when you take your first bite), that have qualities of disease resistance, and the trees have been pruned as such that they will not have co-dominant leaders that seem to be so common out there. They have been pruned as such that the primary pruning has already been done for you. You now can learn the art of pruning while being more relaxed and that is not as ‘time critical’ as it usually is.

The processes used are as such so that we can deliver the highest quality trees. One of these processes is called the KNIP BOOM process. This creates what is known as a 3-2-1 tree. What that is, is a tree that has a 3 year old root system, a 2 year old trunk, and 1 year old side branches or feathers as we would call them.

Not only are these trees extremely well abled to handle transplanting, it is been shown that the trees will produce 80% more in their first ‘production‘ year vs. a tree that had been started from only from a 1 year old whip. The trees are showing production of 20% more after 5 years of the trees being in production.

Faster production on much stronger branches. This is where I have ridden the fence for a long time. Personally, I have always preferred the longer approach, as in good things come to those who wait.

However, pruning methods have changed a lot over the years. It is hard to accept these things and say it is to the benefit of the tree. In the end, the consumer wants what they want. Turns out, it is ok.

Those who grow apples for themselves and those who grow for a living, grow apples very differently. Methods change drastically based on ability to grow, and resources/materials available that may be needed. Principle remains the same, everyone should be able to grow great apples whether you do it for a living or not.

Now. Now what exactly is the selection of these trees?
All of the following are KNIP BOOM trees. Included are Disease Resistant trees and Disease Resistant Cider Apple Trees. Keep in mind that there are many more disease resistant trees, just not ‘KNIP BOOM’ trees. Read on…

Fresh Eating and Cider both, this apple is considered a Winter Keeper, meaning it keeps very well. This apple was found by Nathaniel Haskell on the Valentine Farm in Maine as a seedling in 1787. It was known as ‘Plantatation Number Four’ until 1793. More than a hundred years after that in 1907, just a portion of the original tree was still standing. This cultivar has a general resistance to diseases and pests. Zone 4

This is one of my personal favorites. Here is what apple lover ROWAN JACOBSEN said about the Cox in his book, ‘Apples Of Uncommon Character…
“Sitting beside me on the passenger seat was a bag of Cox’s Orange Pippens I had just picked up at a farmstand. I grabbed an apple, bit into it, and my world changed. A kaleidoscope of fruity esters burst across my sinuses. Visions of colorful fruits spun in my eyes like a slot machine. (I love that part!) I had never tasted anything like it. There was lots of mandarin in there. It was sprightly, exotic, spicy…my brain strained for adjectives. It was like cherry vanilla ice cream with lemon zest and rose petals. It was heavenly.” 
Well, there you have it. There is only bare minimal quantities of this one. Zone 4

One of Thomas Jefferson’s favorites. This infamous apple is one of the best right at Christmas time. Don’t pick it till into October. The sour and sweetness of this apple is pushed as far as you can go in an apple. Eat it or make cider. It will make an excellent single variety cider! Zone 4

This is one of those…you know, the one who says, “anything you can do I can do better.” I love growing this apple. Doesn’t seem to be affected by anything. Just grows really great apples all on its own. John Bunker, an apple authority, says that the Golden Russet is the “Champagne of Cider apples.” He goes on to say, “If you plant 100 trees for cider, 99 should be Golden Russets.”
I love eating these fresh off the tree. Always fill the pockets of my vest with them. Disease Resistant to Apple Scab and Cedar Apple Rust. Zone 4 

‘GOLDRUSH’ G41 Dwarf
This is one of the very last apples I harvest. Tart, sweet, and spicy. Disease Resistant. It has been called the, “Moron Proof Apple.” Maybe that’s why I love it so much!
Intense flavor will knock your socks off. This is a ‘must have’ to finish off your season. Well, that and Winecrisp I suppose. Zone 4

Picked late in the season, once you eat it you might say this is one of the sweetest apples you have ever had. Well, maybe. This apple was called “the Moonshiners Apple”, where in Grimes Golden Park in West Virginia, a monument marks the original trees location. 1790 is when historians figure this tree was born.
Disease Resistant to Fireblight and Cedar Apple Rust. Has been known by folks to be not so cold hardy, however we have trees surviving and producing here in Zone 4a.

Well the Honeycrisp certainly doesn’t need an introduction now does it? One of the most popular apples in the midwest period, and for good reason. A large crisp apple, just one, is enough for a good meal.
In our orchard, we can grow these well. The Honeycrisp has the most trees in our orchard, more than any other cultivar. Disease Resistant to Apple Scab. The more the tree ages, the more resistant to Fireblight it is. A superior apple that stores exceptionally well. Possible Zone 3, Zone 4 for sure.     

A Russet apple, to which I love, is a hardy one that is known to grow to Zone 3. So, how do you like them apples?! Has been confused with the asian pear, but rest assured it is an apple. I’ve some trees that have been not looked after and they still shine. Good Disease Resistance. Zone 3. 

Well know, you want an excellent all-purpose apple? This is it. It’s a keeper, and very productive. Disease Resistant to Fireblight. Good size apple too. Zone 3

‘REDFIELD’ G222 Dwarf
Check this out…This apple is a cross of the Wolf River and Niedzwetzkyana. This is a large red-fleshed apple that will make you a very beautiful cider. Very Disease Resistant and hardy to Zone 3.

Ok, story time…
This apple is considered the oldest American apple, from the early 1600’s. Story goes on to say that this is the one that ate the founder of Rhode Island, Roger Williams. When Williams had died in 1683, he had been buried on his own property in an unmarked grave.

When it was 1860, folks had attempted to recover the body to place it somewhere with some respect. But Roger wasn’t there. But what was there was a root of an apple tree that had formed the shape of a torso, legs, knees, and feet.

The root is displayed at the Rhode Island Historical Society in Providence.
I hope to go see it someday if I’m in the area.

A darn good keeper, and sweet too, so long as you give it some time to sweeten up. Kind of painful to eat fresh off the tree, just give it some time to mellow out, you’d be glad you did! Shows resistance to Cedar Apple Rust, Powdery Mildew, and Apple Scab. Zone 4.

Susceptible to Cedar Apple Rust. If you don’t have that problem in your area, then read on. This is the best crabapple for cider, period. By itself or blended. You want hardy, you got it. Reports of this tree doing very well into Zone 2. How far into it, I don’t know for sure, so I will call this Zone 3 for sure.

If you want a cider apple to up the alcohol in your hard cider, then you might just as well get started with this one. Sugar level is about 25%! Very productive heavy bearer. Disease Resistant. Zone 3.

‘WILLIAMS PRIDE’ G222 Dwarf and BUD118 Standard
Wow. Just wow. Disease Resistance all the way around! Early August ’round here is when we begin to enjoy this crisp and extremely tasty apple with alot of ‘zing’ in the flavor. One of my ‘Must Have’ trees. Zone 4.

‘ZESTAR!’ G222 Dwarf
Disease Resistant to Cedar Apple Rust, Fireblight, Sooty Blotch and Fly Speck, and Powdery Mildew. This is a University of Minnesota apple, so you know its hardy! I like these a little earlier than what my wife does. A little earlier, crisp with a sweet tart flavor.

My wife lets them sweeten up on the tree another 2 weeks and then she will start picking. These are harvested ‘early’ in the apple season. A large apple.  Zone 3. 

These are specialty trees folks. Specialty trees that have some excellent qualities that are important to our clientele.

The quantities for each cultivars is minimal at best. Part of it is my need to experiment in our orchard and I just don’t have the quantities built up yet. Our constant improvements are always passed on to you. We know how trees will react and we already know what the main concern is of our clientele…fruit trees that have the ability to come into fruition sooner, and that don’t need to be pruned right from the get-go. Disease Resistance, BONUS.

So that’s what we have been working on. Trying to be an advocate for both you, and the trees themselves.  

-Don ‘Growing Great Apples’ Albrecht

P.S. Today, November 19, marks the beginning of pre-ordering your apple trees for SPRING 2020. Call us to place your order and insure you get what your looking for. We are ‘pick up’ only. Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin. Hope to hear from you!