Archive for March, 2013

Pink Pearl Apples
March 31, 2013

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I have high hopes for Pink Pearl here, as so far it has passed some initial tests.  It is extremely vigorous but set a nice bunch of fruit buds the third leaf on vigorous M111 rootstock.  The branch angles are pretty good and it hails for a hot-summer, low-chill climate.  The one I tasted had a pearly, opalescent skin and a pink-stained flesh that had decent apple flavor with a hint of berry overtones.  We’ll set how the fruit set is this summer and how it tolerates our late summer heat.

Tropic Apples
March 17, 2013

Tropic Apples
So it’s an apple blossom; whoopee, big deal, we see them all the time. Except this one is in Mumbai (Bombay), India. This really shouldn’t be a surprise, as we’ve seen apples growing all over the tropics, but people just assume that they’re in a cold part of the tropics. OK, for the sake of argument I’d grant that this is in a really cold part of Mumbai (have you ever been to Mumbai?..) but it still never, ever, gets below 56 degrees F. (14 C.) and averages about 100 inches of rain, not exactly what you think of as apple country. This tree is blossoming as they’re starting to get some heat before the monsoons arrive in June. Since it blossoms during the dry season they have a fairly decent chance to set some apples, which we will chronicle later on in July.

Still Shipping Apple Trees for Spring 2013
March 14, 2013


We’ve had a very good year, but find ourselves in the position of still having good rootstocks and scionwood. We’ll be able to accept and ship apple tree orders into April, which is typically a good time to ship to the tropics as this is the start of the rainy season for many areas.

Any guesses where the trees in the above photo are growing? Virginia? South Carolina? Maybe even Florida? No, these are in Bangkok, Thailand, and doing very well, thank you. When starting out benchgrafts in soggy climates like this it is important to plant them in either raised beds or pots so that they have good drainage, as without any leaves on the tree there’s not a lot of transpiration going on and the roots end up sitting in water, leading to root rot. A symptom of this is when the bud sprouts a few centimeters and then dies.

We’ve been getting apple tree photos back from Mumbai, India and lowland Uganda also and will be updating the blog with them in the coming days. Lots of other activity in the Caribbean and South America also, so it’s promising to be a banner tropic apple year.