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Author Topic: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?  (Read 2535 times)

Slicko

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Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« on: December 02, 2015, 02:05:26 AM »
Grandmotherbear opened her post in 'Apples Anyone' June 14 with:

"Hello to all apple lovers, especially you fellow Floridians. I am just northwest of Lake Okeechobee and I wanted to share with you a wonderful website I discovered  about 6-7 years ago. www.kuffelcreek.com He grows apples in the tropics - he himself started out growing them in California, and for years he had a picture of his backyard full of fruiting apple trees and the thermometer at 113. You read his explanation of chill hours and it turns out that what chill hours do is synchronize bloom, fruit set and harvest.  Important if you're a commercial grower, less important if you just want apples whenever the tree provides them. He says in the hot zones you can have bloom, ripe fruit, and green fruit all on the tree at the same time..."

I have always wanted to grow apples but, living in a sub-tropical climate I have always thought that this was out of reach. Whilst I knew that there were some apple varieties that may be grown in warmer climates, I had my eyes opened by the Kuffelcreek website.

I invested in the book 'Growing Apples in the Tropics' and ordered two low chill varieties, Anna  and Tropical Sweet. I was so encouraged by my success when these two trees that I planted two varieties that require more chill, Granny Smith and Royal Gala. All my trees are on dwarfing rootstock.

My first two trees presented me with a small harvest this year but big enough for me to be encouraged and I am looking forward to seeing how the two new trees fare.

So I wonder if there are others living in a similar climate have tried the same process as outlined in the book and how it worked for them.

Mick

Tropheus76

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2015, 02:57:42 PM »
I am in Orlando and I grow Anna, Tropic Sweet, and EnSheimer(sp). The Anna after three years might produce a fruit or two and the EnShimer has produced one or two in the last two years. The Tropic Sweet has not. All are steadily growing, in fact I will need to prune the hell out of them this winter.

Slicko

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2015, 07:26:14 AM »
Hey Tropheus,

I have just the Anna and the Tropical Sweet, both in their first year and both fruited this year. I live in a subtropical climate.

In Kuffel Creek's web site is a basic outline of what can be done with low and higher chill variety apples in hotter climates and it seems to be working for me. I have yet to pick the last of the Tropic Sweet and it is already setting a second crop with plenty of time for them to ripen,

Mick

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2015, 05:51:07 AM »
I know Dorsett Golden sets fruit in the Florida Keys with no chill hours.

gunnar429

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2015, 02:53:16 PM »
My DG is actually flowering at the moment...very pretty flowers!

Too small to hold fruit though.
~Jeff

"Say you just can't live that negative way, if you know what I mean. Make way for the positive day." - Positive Vibration

bsbullie

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2015, 08:14:33 AM »
My DG is actually flowering at the moment...very pretty flowers!

Too small to hold fruit though.

I can't believe you are wasting time growing apples...
- Rob

gunnar429

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2015, 01:02:02 PM »
My DG is actually flowering at the moment...very pretty flowers!

Too small to hold fruit though.

I can't believe you are wasting time growing apples...

In a few years, when I have my apple tastings, you, BSBullie, will not be invited  ::) >:( ;)
~Jeff

"Say you just can't live that negative way, if you know what I mean. Make way for the positive day." - Positive Vibration

bsbullie

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #7 on: December 15, 2015, 01:09:46 PM »
My DG is actually flowering at the moment...very pretty flowers!

Too small to hold fruit though.

I can't believe you are wasting time growing apples...

In a few years, when I have my apple tastings, you, BSBullie, will not be invited  ::) >:( ;)

An apple tasting of one variety?

Will I be invited when in less than a few years, you are digging it up, dead or alive, to replace with a more worthy tree?
- Rob

gunnar429

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2015, 01:15:05 PM »
My DG is actually flowering at the moment...very pretty flowers!

Too small to hold fruit though.

I can't believe you are wasting time growing apples...

In a few years, when I have my apple tastings, you, BSBullie, will not be invited  ::) >:( ;)

An apple tasting of one variety?

Will I be invited when in less than a few years, you are digging it up, dead or alive, to replace with a more worthy tree?

Have more than 1 variety, but yes, you are invited if and when I remove it--there's a method to the madness, as now there will be a few extra spots ina  few years when the cold-hardy, high ph mangosteen,  Blue-raspberry and Electric Strawberry mangoes are available!
~Jeff

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BahamaDan

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #9 on: December 18, 2015, 11:26:44 AM »
Not sure why the negativity from bsbullie, the Dorsett Golden originated on a more southern island in my country than mine and was most certainly developed in tropical conditions. We do not get chill in The Bahamas yet it fruits fine, not sure what makes it "unworthy".

gunnar429

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #10 on: December 18, 2015, 11:34:06 AM »
Not sure why the negativity from bsbullie, the Dorsett Golden originated on a more southern island in my country than mine and was most certainly developed in tropical conditions. We do not get chill in The Bahamas yet it fruits fine, not sure what makes it "unworthy".

Rob is just giving me a hard time because he wants me to plant out my entire yard with Carrie mango trees.   :P :P :P ::) ;) What has been your experience in terms of flavor? (Not compared to Washington apples, but compared to whether you like eating them or not)

If it fruits well, at the very least, I will make hard cider, apple juice, or even jam or applesauce.  Time will tell though.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2015, 01:09:03 PM by gunnar429 »
~Jeff

"Say you just can't live that negative way, if you know what I mean. Make way for the positive day." - Positive Vibration

BahamaDan

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #11 on: December 18, 2015, 01:03:12 PM »
Oh ok, well at least he has a reasonable goal behind his actions. I have not tasted the DG personally, my precalculus lecturer from college has it in her backyard and enjoys the taste so I don't imagine it being one of the mushy sort.

bsbullie

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2015, 07:31:28 AM »
Yes, for the most part giving Jeff a hard time.  I grew up in SE Pennsylvania walking through my friends parents and other apple orchards where the majority of what was grown were heirloom varieties.   Varieties that tasted great.  Most apples varieties available these days suck, and that is led by Red and Gold Delicious,  Fuji,  Gala, etc.  I have tasted Dorsett Golden and my opinion is it is not worthy of growing,  no matter how much space i have.  Some fruits are better left for other regions.  This is just my opinion and not forcing it on snyone but will share if asked.  If you enjoy DG, thats great and there is nothing wrong with it.  Thats why there is vanilla and chocolate.   
- Rob

Jct

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2015, 06:09:41 PM »
I have three apple trees, a Honeycrisp, Gala, and Pixie Crunch, that I planted this last spring and I'm in San Diego.  The Gala produced 6 apples this year, admittedly they were all very small, but they ripened nicely and were very tasty.  We had a very hot Sept/Oct, but the Gala and Pixie Crunch grew quickly.  The Honeycrisp is growing, but not at the rate that the other two trees are, but I believe the M111 rootstock is a slow grower (someone correct me if I'm wrong.) Hopefully next year I'll have more fruit.

As a note, my local Home Depot is selling bare root Honeycrisp trees for $17, that's half what I paid this spring to ship one out! 
LaVerne Manila Mango; Pixie Crunch, Honeycrisp & Gala Apple Trees; Violette De Bordeaux & Black Mission Fig; Santa Rosa Plum; Nagami Kumquat, Pixie Tangerine, Lemon & Washington Navel Citrus; White & Red Dragon Fruit; Miracle Berry Plant (Synsepalum dulcificum)

Tropheus76

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #14 on: December 23, 2015, 09:31:40 AM »
So anyone don here in FL, have your apples even dropped their leaves yet? I have new growth on one of mine already. Was considering removing the leaves since they are all looking ragged having not lost them last year either.

buddyguygreen

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #15 on: December 26, 2015, 08:57:14 PM »
i read an article about growing apples in the tropics, what they did was take an apple tree from a northern country and when the apple trees went dormant in the winter the trees were sent to a tropical location that never got cold, when the apple trees were planted they grew just like they would in spring and started producing like normal but since there never was a temperature change the apples never went back dormant after fruiting and ended up producing 3-4 crops of apples a year growing great. so almost any apple tree could be grown in warm climates.

bsbullie

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #16 on: December 27, 2015, 08:43:29 AM »
i read an article about growing apples in the tropics, what they did was take an apple tree from a northern country and when the apple trees went dormant in the winter the trees were sent to a tropical location that never got cold, when the apple trees were planted they grew just like they would in spring and started producing like normal but since there never was a temperature change the apples never went back dormant after fruiting and ended up producing 3-4 crops of apples a year growing great. so almost any apple tree could be grown in warm climates.

Would like to see that article.   I have trouble believing it was that simple and productive.   Did it mention all the disease and pest issues and how much spraying/care it required?  That is a najor ussue in this area.
- Rob

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #17 on: December 27, 2015, 09:29:31 PM »
I saw the article in the tropical fruit forum about 2 years ago and haven't been able to find it, its on there somewhere, when i find it i'll post it here.  it was a great article, i believe it talked about the pests and the methods they used but i really don't remember the whole thing, just the basis of it. It took place in the tropics with not much temp change so im not sure if the same thing could be done in the sub tropics, but who knows. Im going to keep trying to find the article, it was cool.

Jct

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #18 on: December 28, 2015, 05:11:10 PM »
i read an article about growing apples in the tropics, what they did was take an apple tree from a northern country and when the apple trees went dormant in the winter the trees were sent to a tropical location that never got cold, when the apple trees were planted they grew just like they would in spring and started producing like normal but since there never was a temperature change the apples never went back dormant after fruiting and ended up producing 3-4 crops of apples a year growing great. so almost any apple tree could be grown in warm climates.

We had a bit of a funny summer this year and June/July seemed cooler than normal. My Gala tree set out a few small bunches of flowers, but for whatever reason, they dried up and dropped.  August/September/October made up for it heat-wise and another set of flowers bloomed and they actually set some fruit.  Weird weather this year!
LaVerne Manila Mango; Pixie Crunch, Honeycrisp & Gala Apple Trees; Violette De Bordeaux & Black Mission Fig; Santa Rosa Plum; Nagami Kumquat, Pixie Tangerine, Lemon & Washington Navel Citrus; White & Red Dragon Fruit; Miracle Berry Plant (Synsepalum dulcificum)

DimplesLee

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #19 on: January 01, 2016, 07:58:48 PM »
Apologies - I have also been reading up on apple growing in the tropics eversince I was a teen.

Some of the things I had saved as bookmarks:
http://forums.botanicalgarden.ubc.ca/threads/apples-in-tropics.22051/

This one is Kuffel Creek:
http://www.permaculturevoices.com/growing-apples-in-warm-climates-pvp097/

There is a study done in Ethiopia:
https://biblio.ugent.be/publication/834379/file/6824804

I can no longer find one done in the Emirates(!) of all places. Will prob stumble on it on some other zip files and will update if so.
« Last Edit: January 01, 2016, 10:38:38 PM by DimplesLee »
Diggin in dirt and shifting compost - gardeners crossfit regime :)

Slicko

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #20 on: January 08, 2016, 12:50:30 AM »
Has anyone tried the Kuffel Creek process of leaf stripping and modifying branch angle to horizontal?

Mick

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #21 on: January 08, 2016, 04:13:09 PM »
striping leaves forces a bloom on DG. I got 3 little fruit hanging on a tree with 0 chill hours by striping all the leaves off the little tree.

Slicko

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #22 on: January 17, 2016, 05:35:36 AM »
StrIpped the leaves from my Anna and Tropical Sweet apple trees just after New Year to see how things work. Today, both trees produced their first flowers. I harvested their first crops at Christmas and have plenty of time to ripen any fruit that might set this time.

Mick


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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #23 on: June 28, 2016, 01:41:48 PM »
Injured my back in Sept 2015 & haven't been able to work in the garden, so have been avoiding all my former gardening sites, including this one. But with a good pain control doc (lidoderm patches are wonderful!)- a weekly therapeutic massage and non invasive laser therapy I find myself able to cook at least 2 meals a day now- after eating fastfood and chinese carryout for 7 months I am thrilled!
Have gotten apples from King David, Arkansas Black, Williams Pride, Terry Winter Keeper. Currently have small apples or bloom on Victoria Limbertwig, Summer Champion,  Dorset Gold. I lost one Williams Pride & 1 King David to disease after cutting suckers beneath the soil level. From now on will cut suckers above ground and apply iodine or gentian violet to the stump.
AND I gound a new website dedicated to heirloom antique Southern apples! It is www.bighorsecreekfarm.com. Their mission is to propagate those apples nearing extinction. They have a "cold" weather and "warm" weather list, and much good information about the various requirements and characteristics of each variety.

Grandmotherbear

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #24 on: June 28, 2016, 02:03:20 PM »
I am currently thinking about adding a Dolgo Crab to my orchard as it has large crabapples and an extended bloom time. Right now I have about a dozen apples in 45-55 gallon pots in my front yard facing the lake. Trying to rember all the varieties but not sure of it- 2 pound sweets,2 golden grimes, 2Reverend Morgans (developesd in hot Texas) 2 brogdens (developed in hot Alabama) and a 3 in one-Anna, Dorset Gold, Fuji. Need to net them Up to keep the sqourrells off-they are taking a bite and leaving the ruined fruit behind. Also have low chill peaches, an olive, 2 mulberries, and 3 figs & avocado, plus multiple pineapples and yacon growing mostly in pots.

TonyinCC

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #25 on: September 10, 2016, 02:43:16 AM »
I grew apples in a climate just as hot and humid in South Carolina. If I were you, I would try most any russet variety (Hudson's golden gem,
 russet beauty, roxbury russet,and brown russet are very good) and Pristine(small but excellent golden type)  and Ozark Gold (huge awesome golden type). They will take the heat and humidity with minimal spraying. So will the russets. Gala will have major problems with rot unless you spray constantly, If you are on a rigorous spray program Gala will be a healthy tree and make good fruit but is VERY susceptible to fruit rots before it is fully ripe. Tropic snow is the best low chill peach, IMO. Back to apples, Reverend Morgan is very good. Bramley's seedling in a hot humid climate has a near perfect sugar acid balance and is an excellent dessert apple, an Englishman would drop dead from shock with a smile on his face if he tasted a ripe one from a hot climate....A far cry from the very acid cooking apple it is in cool England. I tried growing every apple variety referenced as growing well in a warm or hot or humid environment, these were some of the best of the 25-30 I fruited. If you have questions about a specific variety,
I can tell you what its chances are before you even try planting it. Tolerance to heat and humidity will determine success or failure for a variety. My trees in SC usually held at least half of their leaves year round. Dorsett golden and Anna fruited but were inferior to any of the apples I mentioned above.

cfinley

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #26 on: September 10, 2016, 03:41:57 AM »
The guy from Kuffle Creek came to speak at a CRFG meeting last year (or maybe 2014?) about his program setting up Apple Orchards in Uganda. One of the things I remember he said was that you can trick apple trees into hibernation by tearing off all the leaves in Autumn when they might naturally drop in colder climates. They will leaf out and bloom again in spring.

He also said that while many cold climate varieties will grow in warmer climates, they might develop a totally different taste, which isn't always that great.

LaCasaVerde

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #27 on: October 24, 2016, 03:52:58 PM »
After reading this post and growing Anna, En Shiemer, and Golden Dorset- two points to add:

Low chill apples can second bloom/crop  in warmer climates. Mine has.

Defoliating low chill apple trees may stimulate a bloom but the more inportant reason it should be done at the onset of winter is that leaves of apple trees regardless of variety are genetically dispositioned to drop in one season when chilling requirements are met. When they are not you should always remove the leaves as these second year leaves are weaker and harbour any pest or disease from the prior summer.

SoCal2warm

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #28 on: October 24, 2016, 05:42:57 PM »
The latest reports have shown that apples tend to be more adaptable to lower-chill areas than was previously thought. A field test by Tom Spellman of Dave Wilson Nursery showed that several apple varieties rated for 800 chill hours could grow just fine in Irvine (located in coastal Southern California, which only gets 50-100 real chill hours). The following apple varieties did surprisingly well: King Tompkins, Braeburn, Gravenstein, Cox's Orange Pippin. The trees tended to flower and set fruit throughout the year rather than a specific season.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiEEHRfAEWY


The results might have had something to do with the fact that the coastal influence has a moderating effect on temperature, and in the winter it rarely ever gets above 65 F in this region, higher temperatures being very detrimental to effective chill accumulation. In other words, the same moderating influence that prevents there from ever being any chill hours below 45 F may be, paradoxically, the same influence that allows the trees to grow well even in the absence of chill hours below 45 F.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2016, 05:46:03 PM by SoCal2warm »

Slicko

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #29 on: November 10, 2016, 07:31:10 AM »
Hi everyone,

It's been a while since I been able to get back to this forum and I have enjoyed reading all the new responses to it. Thanks everyone for your contribution. We are almost finished spring here and my Anna and Tropical Sweet have responded to the warmer weather with gusto. Both have between 20 and 30 fruit each which I am really pleased about as will all this is only their second spring. The TS dropped quite a bit of fruit early on and the Anna had to be quite heavily thinned. With our warmer weather pests the two trees had to be netted once I got fruit set however some six or eight weeks later the Anna continues to flower and set fruit.

The Granny Smith and the Gala are in their first springtime. Both have branches that are now bent horizontal and both had all the leaves stripped in early August. Both started to bud in late October and at the moment have limited leaves and flowers as they were both slow to break dormancy. I think I may have been a bit late in defoliating and plan to go a month earlier next season. I am curious to know if they will hold fruit this season.

Mick

spaugh

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #30 on: December 01, 2016, 04:51:33 PM »
My apple tree is in a very hot inland think dry and hot area of san diego california.  It fruits twice a year and the apples are delicious.  My 2 year old eats them everyday. 

Slicko

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #31 on: December 06, 2016, 08:25:44 AM »
That's really cool!
I am wonderingwhat variety it is. Is it a recognised sub Tropical?
Hope you can let us know

Mick

spaugh

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #32 on: December 30, 2016, 01:22:14 AM »
Not sure what variety it is.  I have a Fuji and it doesnt doas well as the other unknown tree.  I will post photos but they just arenflowering now.  Will have apples in a few months again. 

My neighbors all have apples and everyone gets 2 crops a year.  Any low chill type will be fine.  Im in a really hot area of SD county on a south hill fully exposed.  They need mulch and water and fertilizer and they grow easy.

Slicko

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #33 on: January 02, 2017, 06:01:30 AM »
I was in the garden this afternoon when I noticed that the royal gala had flushed and that it was starting to blossom. On closer attention it had set 3 small fruit. Nothing else was in flower but I had been away for a couple of weeks and it may be there were flowers on the Granny Smith. Exciting!

I also noticed that the Tropical Sweet and the Anna were setting more.blossom.

Mick

spaugh

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #34 on: January 15, 2017, 06:59:37 PM »
My apple trees and peach tree are all blooming.  Looks like its going to be a good year with all this rain.

Slicko

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #35 on: January 17, 2017, 01:52:36 AM »
Good luck with the fruit set, Spaugh.
The photo shows some of the fruit setting on the Gala.. quite a lot of it, actually. I was beginning to think that perhaps the Gala was not going to work. Glad to see that it is happening at last!
Mick


Jct

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Re: Growing apples in warmer climates. Has anyone tried this?
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2017, 12:03:36 AM »
For those wishing to try apples in warmer climates, Home Depot is selling bare root apple trees for $18 in San Diego. Honeycrisp and Gala are a couple varieties that I remember. They were also selling a few 4 in 1 trees.
LaVerne Manila Mango; Pixie Crunch, Honeycrisp & Gala Apple Trees; Violette De Bordeaux & Black Mission Fig; Santa Rosa Plum; Nagami Kumquat, Pixie Tangerine, Lemon & Washington Navel Citrus; White & Red Dragon Fruit; Miracle Berry Plant (Synsepalum dulcificum)

 

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