This Can’t be Happening

Apples need a certain amount of chilling hours to blossom and fruit; since warm climates do not receive sufficient chilling, only a few “low-chill” apples like Anna and Dorsett Golden will do well there. 

Yeah, right.  I know, you’ve read that in every gardening book and heard it from every university master gardener.  I believed that for a long time also, until I planted 100 varieties of apples and they fruited all over the place.  People have said it must be because I live in a “microclimate” of lower chill that allows them to fruit.  I then show them the above photo of a Terry Winter apple tree blossoming like crazy right next to a Valencia Orange tree, also blossoming like crazy.  I get the beauty of the apple blossoms and the scent of the orange blossoms, thus the title of this blog, Apples and Oranges.  By the way, I pulled out a big clump of banana trees to plant the apples in the photo.

Yes, apples do behave differently here, and some are more suited to our climate than others.  But what’s so different about that?  Its true for every apple-growing climate; North Carolina growers can’t grow Northern Spy very well and Northeastern growers can’t grow a decent Fuji or Pink Lady.  Folks in Washington State wish they could grow GoldRush and they all have late spring frosts that can wipe every blossom off a tree some years.  I would venture my apple crops are some of the most reliable in the country, and I can grow one of the widest selections of apples. 

Yes, wonderful things happen that aren’t supposed to, and they happen all the time.

 

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One Response

  1. We started in our garden in Townsville, Australia, with 10 different varieties grafted on M26, apart from Braeburn, which is grafted onto M111. One year later all M26 grafts (incl. Anna & Dorsett) have perished, but Braeburn is happily growing and like it may already flower this year. I am now testing Fuji and a few other “warmer” varieties, and if the “M111 theory” should be true, will progress towards higher chill varieties. The good thing is that plants don’t read garden books…

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