One of the most favored grown or eaten anywhere, ‘McIntosh’ apples are soft, sweet and juicy. Ripens early to mid-September. Self-fertile. Good pollinator for ‘Cortland’.
‘Red Delicious’ produces medium-sized, striped to solid red fruit. Light yellow, crisp and sweet flesh. Fresh eating and salad variety. Semi-dwarf (12-15’ tall, 14’ wide). Late blooming. Pair with ‘Yellow Delicious’ or ‘Honeycrisp’.
‘Honeycrisp’ has it all — flavor, crispness, and a storage life of up to 7 months. Mid to late season apple ripens in late September. Considered one of the best. Plant with ‘Red Delicious’ or ‘Yellow Delicious’ for cross pollinating.
‘Yellow Delicious’ produces medium-sized, bright golden-yellow fruit. Firm, crisp and juicy flesh. Good for fresh eating and cooking. Semi-dwarf (12-15’ tall, 14’ wide). Late blooming. Pair with ‘Red Delicious’ or ‘Honeycrisp’ for pollenizer.
‘Cortland’ produces large red apples are extra juicy, with tangy sweet-tart flavor. Excellent in fresh salads, as flesh does not brown after cutting. Good eating, canning and pie apple. Ripens in mid to late September. Plant with ‘McIntosh’ for pollenizer.
‘Winesap’ is an old apple cultivar of unknown origin. The apples are sweet with a tangy finish. It can be used for eating, cooking or making juice. It is very resistant to mildew. dark red, round and medium sized; the skin of this apple is firm, and the flesh is crisp and exceptionally juicy with a creamy yellow hue. ‘Winesap’ apples are highly aromatic with a balanced sweet-tart taste and get their name due to their distinctive spicy wine like flavor. Pair with ‘Cortland’, ‘Honeycrisp’, ‘Gala’ and ‘Granny Smith’.
‘Fuji’ was developed in Japan, but is an all-American cross of ‘Red Delicious’ and ‘Ralls Janet’. A very attractive modern apple, crisp, sweet-flavoured, and keeps well, which is they they are often available in the grocery store. A self-fertile variety.
‘Gala’ apples were discovered in 1934 in New Zealand and made their way into the U.S. market in the 1970s. Fruit is pale golden yellow with red stripes, with a firm, crisp interior that is mildly sweet and vanilla-like. Has a thinner skin than most. Self-fertile, but plant with ‘Winesap’, Cortand’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Honeycrisp’ and ‘Red Delicious’ for cross-pollinizing.
‘Braeburn’ apples were discovered in 1952 as a chance seedling growing in a New Zealand orchard. The parentage is unclear, but both ‘Lady Hamilton’ and ‘Granny Smith’ apples were growing on nearby trees. Produces medium-sized yellow fruit. Self-fertile.
‘Granny Smith’ apples originated in Australia in 1868 when Maria Ann (Granny) Smith found a seedling growing by a creek on her property and found the light green fruit to be great for both cooking and snacking. Self-fertile, but production will increase if planted with ‘Yellow Delicious’ and ‘Gala’.
all VVN fruit trees are semi-dwarf, 15’ high x 15’ wide
PLANTING: Amend soil by mixing up to 50% compost with existing soil.. Plant tree so soil level in container is level or slightly higher than surrounding soil. Water in to remove air pockets around roots and mulch with wood chips. The first season, water regularly to establish tree.
FERTILIZING: Adequate nutrition is essential for quality fruit production. The best thing you can do is top-dress with compost every year. A general rule of thumb for adding additional fertilizer is to apply a combined 2/3 pound of bone meal and 1/3 Texas greensand to each tree the first year, double that the second year, and triple the third and subsequent years. Fertilizer should be broadcast on the soil surface around the drip line of the tree. The “drip line” is the circular line at the outer ends of the branches.
SCAFFOLD TRAINING: Improperly trained fruit trees have very upright branch angles which can result in excessive vigor and serious limb breakage under a heavy fruit load. Larger branches can be spread out using short wooden boards with a notch cut in each end to catch the branch. Hanging weights on branches or tying it down with string wrapped loosely around the limb are other useful methods for spreading branches. All upright growth from scaffold branches should be pulled down to a horizontal position or removed.
PRUNING: Pruning fruit trees during winter dormancy will invigorate the tree and cause it to grow and branch more the following season. It’s best to do dormant pruning in late winter or early spring, after the risk of severe freeze is over. Be sure to remove any dead or diseased wood also. After the tree resumes growth in the spring, continue to train the scaffold branches of the tree as you did the previous growing season. Prop lateral branches out to a 50 to 60 degree angle. Summer pruning will devigorate the tree and cause it to grow less in that growing season.
FRUIT THINNING: To ensure good fruit size, return bloom for the following year, and to prevent tree breakage, it is necessary to thin the fruit. Every apple blossom results in a bloom cluster of 5 to 6 blossoms. Apples should be thinned when they are about the size of a dime. Cut off enough fruit so that the remaining apples are spaced 4-6” apart, and leave only one fruit per cluster. It may seem like very few fruit remain, but you will harvest higher-quality fruit, potentially reduce insect and disease problems, and increase the chances for a full crop the next season.