Liverpool -- Farout - We've crossed the Pond!
Classixuk; what had been your partnerâ€™s favorite eating apple in 99? We've got Granny Smithâ€™s
in our stores too, in fact, I've got a Granny Smith (spur variety) growing here. Wow! Lots of questions - and what a story! I love it! --- and I've got the day off (Our Memorial Day) to answer...
In my studies of apples I couldn't help but run across glowing accounts of English Apples, but after tasting, and even growing some of them, I realized they were all "Mid-season" apples â€˜around hereâ€™ -- and that we could grow even later season apples, of which Granny Smith is one of the latest. Yes, you've got a Seedling
, and it's all yours
! It may very well have characteristics of a Granny Smith, if a Granny had been one of its parents. So, who was the Dad? - Some other pollinator variety from the orchard of conception. I'm no longer sure where our Grannies come from, New Zealand or not? But if you could gather information on where your market apples come from (both summer and winter shipments), and what the common pollinator for a Granny is -- you may have a lead to your Apple's dad. But the genetics are so diverse, and rarely does a Seedling apple match or surpass the desirable characteristics of either parent. That said; if this apple's desirable to you, and productive in your climate -- excellent - it may be a keeper.
Apples are amazingly hardy, I remember years ago my father and grandfather made a truck load of apple (cider over here) juice (over there), throwing the pulp in a vegetable garden. The next spring there were hundreds of apple seedlings popping up. Grandpa left them alone, out of curiosity. I eventually grafted on some known varieties for him to give away, and one he left right there. I suspected your seedling apple wasn't much for eating, and planned to suggest you graft it over, or dig it out ... But if you're interested in propagating it â€“ great!
Apples are 'ready to eat' when their seeds turn brown. If they're dropping, without worm-action, that's a good indicator of ripeness too. (I'm trying to stick to your questions here) Your apple tree is unique - and baring any knowledge of international patent law - is yours; and can be named for your cat! You can propagate it. My preferred method, cause it can be done at my convenience, is to buy some 'Rootstock' -- specifically grown apple stock (one year old 'trees') used for anchoring and limiting an apple trees size. You may have a local source; check mail-order catalogs or a good nursery... If worse came to worse, plant a batch of any apple seeds, wait for them to grow one season, then graft onto them with your variety; you wouldn't have the size limitation or hardiness ... but you'd get rootstock for free. We can mail-order rootstock, often in bundles of 5. If you can do this, graft on 'your' variety (what's that cats name
- so I'll recognize this new variety?), and give away as many as you like.
There's also Budding
... that's inserting a fresh cut bud from your tree, beneath the bark of a growing young tree (rootstock); that bud eventually establishing an entire tree of your variety. So, there are ways of propagating your tree. And, anyone with an existing apple tree could also graft on a 'scion' from your tree onto theirs early next spring. Propagation will take some form of grafting -- and hey -- you've got Rootstock Central
'over there' at the East Malling Institute
-- they're responsible for any rootstock with the notation of "M" --- M-9; M-27, M-106, M-111....
So, you've a seven year old seedling apple tree in a difficult location... There are some around here who might suggest you dig it out and transplant it -- I'm not one of them. No. one, that would be a lot
of work, especially dodging the roots of your hedge, No. two (which should have been #1
), the tree could die -- and with it - you, or your cats claim to fame! I'd do like you're doing; make sure it's getting plenty of sun, and the more room the better. I doubt the claret tree will be hurt by the apple, but it sounds like the claret (ash?) will easily overgrow the apple; so I'd get on with the propagation. That way you'll have plenty of little identical trees to disperse among family & friends. I'd keep some in good sized pots, for a while, until you end up where you 'plan' to be... And you'll have to look into those plant patents
As far as the birds ... netting? Net the 'best', or sunny side, leaving the rest?
I'll wait to see if you've more questions --- Sure enjoyed reading your post, please keep us posted
--- and since you won't have a "USDA" climate zone ... disregard the following.