Apple Trees

On Saturday, we planted 7 new apple trees, so that’s 9 so far, adding the two that we planted in the Fall. Most of those were 3 different varieties, but there’s 6 varieties in all and we’ll add some more later when we can.

There seems to be the impression among a lot of people that I talk to that apples just won’t grow here and I think it’s just because you don’t see that many trees around anymore and because a lot of people stopped growing a lot of the old varieties once there were grocery stores and the Red Delicious took over the market. But, there are lots and lots of different varieties of apples to choose from and it’s just a matter of finding ones suitable to your climate. The most important thing you’ll need to know is the chill hours for your area. And if your unsure about a tree, I say just try it out and see what happens.

Now, we’re in zone 8b planting zone here so we don’t get very many chill hours, but that said, you’ll sometimes see different chill hour requirements given for the same tree, depending on the catalog or website. (Again, if there’s some discrepancy and their cutting it close, I say try it out. Plant some sure-shots and throw in some maybe, maybe not trees and then let the rest of us know how it went.) So, 8b is subtropical so we wanted some proven subtropical-tropical trees and the ones that you’ll find when you look around are: Anna, Dorsett Golden, Ein Shemer, and Tropic Sweet. Anna and Ein Shemer were both developed in Israel,  Dorsett Golden is from the Bahamas, and Tropic Sweet is from Florida. All of these apple trees have low chill hour requirements. We purchased all of these but the Tropic Sweet because the guy I ordered from didn’t carry it. They’re not planted in the best place, and it’s pretty lousy ground, but it’s where we wanted them for various reasons, so it should be interesting to see how they fair. We also planted some Pink Lady, Fuji, and Jonared trees.

I’d like to share some links with you that you might not know about.

Big Horse Creek Farm: click on the warm climate apples and see just how many there are – lots of beautiful old varieties!

Bob Wells Nursery: I’ve bought from here several times and they’re always quick with delivery and the trees are in good shape.

Kuffel Creek: There’s some good info here on hot climate apples and some nice old varieties you just don’t see anymore.

Now, maybe you have a small yard and think you don’t have room to plant very many trees. After all, most of the stuff you read will tell you to plant 10-25 feet apart depending on the tree. Well, that depends on what you want to do! (rules suck – ignore them!)

If you’re worried about space then I’m begging you to check out some of the stuff that they’re doing at Dave Wilson Nursery.

Read this: Backyard Orchard Culture

Watch this: Backyard Orchard Demo

That video will really change the way you think about spacing and growing fruit trees in general.




Friday Music: Drive By Truckers 18 Wheels of Love Live Extended

Oh lordy, lordy, lordy – it’s been a long week! I’ve fallen very behind on keeping up with the blog, but dammit, I’m plumb tuckered out.

So, I ordered some apple trees and they were here when I got home. So, tomorrow we’re planting apple trees. Some of you might think that apple trees won’t grow this far south, but you’d be wrong. More about that later.

Andrea just yelled at me that dinner is ready, so that’s my cue!

Enjoy this little story…”Momma ran off with a trucker! Peterbilt, Peterbilt!”

Post hoc ergo propter hoc…

A New York boy was being led through the swamps of
Louisiana by his cousin. “Is it true that an alligator
won’t attack you if you carry a flashlight ?”
The cousin smirked and replied, “Depends on how fast
ya carry the flashlight.”


Flashlights can be very useful – they can also be props. Same is true for a lot of things and it can be important to know the difference. In a consumer-driven culture where a product is sold not just as a product, but a lifestyle, an identity, it’s a good practice to occasionally take a step back, and determine the reality from the perception or the style from the substance.

You can own all the latest prepper gear or read all the best homesteading books you can get your hands on, but anybody who’s actually put ideas into practice, knows that the difference between thinking about doing something and actually doing it, can be worlds apart.

For instance: the roads are full of redneck wannabes in big fancy trucks with product stickers plastered on every window that can’t skin a squirrel much less change a flat. Don’t be one of them. More often than not, a real redneck will be driving something a little less new and it might be held together with some bailing wire ingenuity. He might not have the latest redneck celebrity t-shirt or be blaring the latest saccharine-drenched version of country music from his radio, but he just might be able to find a workable solution to just about any problem that comes his way. That’s a guy that comes in handy to know. That’s a guy to watch and learn from. Treasure these people! I mean that.

We’re about to start a whole new year and if resolutions and promises are to be made, then you might as well start with a promise to yourself to learn something new, something that involves doing. Our lives don’t have to be based on well-constructed, well-sold, and empty identities. No, our lives can and should be based on gumption, know-how, openness to not only learn, but try something new and useful. This produces self-confidence and pride. The real kind, not that kind that you get from just saying it. We can all do something to improve our lives this year, but it just depends on what you want. Grow a garden, learn to cook, grow some livestock, learn to slaughter, plant some trees, learn to fix a flat, learn an instrument and play your own music, make a knife, write some poetry, it really doesn’t matter as long as your testing yourself and owning your own life. Don’t identify with something – do something! If you want to wear or carry a prop while your doing it, that’s fine, but once you do it, just know – the prop had nothing to do with it. It was all you.