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 Anyone tried using columnar apple variety as an interstem? 
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Joined: Sun Oct 19, 2014 1:01 pm
Posts: 4
Post Anyone tried using columnar apple variety as an interstem?
My though is to create a tree similiar to M111 w/a M9 interstem, that hopefully would fruit along the trunk. Another variety, or several, would be grafted on top of the columnar variety after it had grown 2 1/2 to 3 feet in height.


Mon Nov 17, 2014 1:50 pm
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Joined: Sat Aug 11, 2012 5:56 pm
Posts: 16
Post Re: Anyone tried using columnar apple variety as an interste
I think columnar apples are more of a novelty than anything else (except extreme space constraint) - they have no real advantages for taste, productivity, or disease resistance. So if it is mainly novelty you are after it will probably work fine but for any of these other reasons I would suggest just grafting one really great apple onto the rootstock that suits you...the world is not short on really great apple varieties ! :)


Wed Nov 19, 2014 6:09 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 10:57 am
Posts: 1375
Location: Portland, OR
Post Re: Anyone tried using columnar apple variety as an interste
Mostly I agree with Eric. THere are a few urban neighborhoods where a columnar apple could fit better. They cost twice as much and produce 1/5 as much as a semi-dwarf, but I live in the suburbs and I can grow trees. WE live in the suburbs so we can grow a real garden.
John S
PDX OR


Thu Nov 20, 2014 10:39 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1166
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Anyone tried using columnar apple variety as an interste
Hey Jimmbo, a fruiting trunk … with production above as well… Interesting 8) Though keep in mind, as the top grows it shades out the trunk, so the shaded fruit may not ‘color up’ well, or continue to form at all. But I can’t think of any harm in trying…

I prune 3 or 4 ‘columnar apple trees’ for friends, and agree, they’re nothing special. But, they are hardy … and definitely consistent in their desire to grow straight up - and not out :roll: And, they’re covered with fruit spurs.

I, too, have had space, thus no reason to restrict the width of a tree. But, in a tight setting (with adequate sun..), columnar’s have likely earned a place. As far as using them as an interstim, from the vigor I’ve witnessed, they’d likely do fine in passing nutrients to whatever’s above, while producing along ‘the trunk’ for awhile at least.

If you try it - please keep us posted.

:?: ...one consideration may be any current plant patents on a specific columnar variety. Not an attorney, I can’t give advice, so proceed at your discretion.

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Temperate Orchard Convservancy: http://www.temperateorchardconservancy.org/index.php


Sat Nov 22, 2014 11:06 am
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 490
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: Anyone tried using columnar apple variety as an interste
The gene for columnar is dominant so if you planted seeds from columnar trees, roughly half of them would express that trait, plus or minus. Depending on your needs, super-early apple pollen or extra late ripening types may make very interesting crosses.
Gold Rush is quite late, not sure about its track record of throwing superior offspring, though.


Tue Dec 09, 2014 5:34 pm
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Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 11:28 pm
Posts: 490
Location: Willamette Valley near Scio
Post Re: Anyone tried using columnar apple variety as an interste
Come to think of it, i grafted a columnar type as a branch on a "bushy" type regular tree, so you can think of the main tree as the interstem. Didn't change the growth pattern of the columnar one bit. This is the opposite of what the OP was proposing.


Tue Dec 09, 2014 6:26 pm
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