Re: Considering standard rootstocks
There are still quite a few standard apple trees scattered around old homesteads of the Pacific NW. Do they look like fun to you? I inherited around a dozen of them thirty years ago and have replaced all but 4 or 5. I found myself risking my life: pruning, thinning, spraying and harvesting them. Fruit would simply fall to the ground, and from such a height, be pretty-well wasted from bruising.
But personally, I tend to plant more aggressive trees. If you care to prune them yearly you can keep even the most aggressive of apples (try Gravenstein on seedling rootstock
) in check. It’s actually kinda fun! Plus, if your soil’s crap, the more aggressive root system will find what it needs to nourish a half-decent tree, as opposed to an ever-anemic specimen on ‘dwarfing’ stock. They’re more work, but they provide more tree and fruit – your choice
As far as aftercare of newly grafted apple trees; I’d place them where you permanently want them. Just protect and water them. You never get all the roots during a transplant and it’s always a shock of sorts to the tree. The grafts will heal with no special care and full-sun is what they want.Bear
… had several beautiful trees lose major limbs this winter from a(nother) bear in the orchard. But keep in mind, these magnificent ‘Standard apple trees’ we see on old farmsteads didn’t just happen in a dozen or so years, many are likely moving in on a century, like mine. You can let them spread, but to acquire the girth to withstand a bear will take decades, even with Antonovka
My recommendations? Go for it – the bigger the better and the more the merrier