Looking for apple tree advice...

Your place to discuss ways the habitats for deer can be improved!
tnthielke
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:36 am

Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby tnthielke » Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:56 am

Looking at putting in an apple orchard next spring on our land in northcentral WI. Black bear are, and will continue to be, a concern. Trying to figure out if we should go with semi-dwarfing or standard rootstock. Thinking of going with standard, with the goal of getting the trees tall enough that the bear don't rip'em down. Anyone have experience doing this? We're looking at 20 to 40 trees, so we really want to get it right the first time. Thanks for the feedback...
TNT

msbadger
 
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Joined: Wed Jun 04, 2008 3:59 am

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby msbadger » Mon Jun 30, 2008 5:51 am

Thats a big investment...so it really depends on wheather your looking at this as a commercial venture or just a habitat improvement....and how soon you want production...that being said if its commercial...could go with semi or dwarf stock and espiar them..(excuse spelling)...over all cost is more as well as time in caring for them...but production in 2-4 years
 
If you go with standard you'll have to wait 4-7 years for good production ...pruning...spraying and picking will be more labor intensive ...but over all less money and long run more produce... or do a mix of both
 
Bear and deer will need to be discouraged which ever way you go....some good spray deterants...I was told by a NY Genieva testing orchardist that good ole Ivory soap hung from trees are still used by commercial growers...I'd try that along with hair pickups from local salons used as a barrier....also evenually will break down in soil....we have more problems with buck rubbing.....

tnthielke
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:36 am

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby tnthielke » Wed Jul 09, 2008 4:41 am

Thanks for the input -- we'll definitely try out the soap... We're doing this mainly for habitat improvement. I'd rather delay production if it increased the chances of survival (i.e., I think we'll use standard rootstock). We plan on having a "primary orchard" with 10 to 20 trees, and also add something like 5 trees to each of the foodplots we have going... I think we'll put wire fencing around each tree to keep the deer from rubbing... though I don't expect that to slow down a bear if he decides he's hungry... Thanks again!
TNT

allthingshunting
 
Posts: 105
Joined: Wed Jun 11, 2008 6:08 am

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby allthingshunting » Wed Jul 09, 2008 9:45 am

I would suggest going with the standard bare root stock.  It will take a little longer for the tree to bear fruit, but it will yeild much higher amounts and the tree will grow larger to help combat the bear damage you are worried about.  I have had great success with the standard sized trees.
 
Protection from animals is always a concern...especially when first getting started.  I don't have any experience with bears, but keeping the deer from damaging them is very easy...just cut approx. 10' long piece of wire fencing that is 48" high and secure in a circle (just wrap the wire ends around that are left from cutting this piece from a roll).  Place around the tree and anchor with 4' high metal fence posts (i usually only use 1, but 2 or 3 might help with your bear problem).  This will definately keep the deer at bay from browsing and rubbing.
 
I have found that securing the fence to the posts with zip-ties will save you time later.  If you are able to mulch around the trees, this will keep the weeds down, but eventually you will probably find the need to access inside this small enclosure to pull some weeds or prune the tree itself.  Zip-ties can be easily cut and then you can remove the entire piece of fence.
 
One final piece of advice...visit www.arborday.org (no this isn't a plug, i have no affiliation with them, i simply used them in the past year with great success)  After doing price comparisons at a number of places, i found them to be the least expensive.
You will find very reasonable prices for non-members, and a small membership fee will get you a fairly large price break which will help tremendously on an order of 40 trees.  Free shipping for that many trees too.

tnthielke
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:36 am

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby tnthielke » Fri Jul 11, 2008 4:53 am

Hey ATH, thanks - that's a lot of useful info - much appreciated.
 
You're lucky you don't have bear to deal with... last week they decided our empty keg coolers at the shack were fun toys to play with -- one ended up 200 yards down the road on the old railroad tracks. Of course, then they decided the empty cans in the 55 gallon barrel were better off strewn all over the front yard (first time that's happened in 24 years). And then we discovered our bulldozer shed has become their newest scratching post (at least it's not our meat pole anymore...). Needless to say, I'm applying for a tag and taking up bear hunting -- hope I like bear meat...
TNT

danesdad
 
Posts: 559
Joined: Tue Apr 29, 2008 6:40 pm

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby danesdad » Fri Jul 11, 2008 9:26 pm

Contact your states wildlife department.  In Pennsylvania, if a bear becomes a problem, the game commission will bring a live trap out and catch the bear and transport it to a faraway locale and release it unharmed.  Maybe they do something like that where you live.

tnthielke
 
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jun 29, 2008 6:36 am

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby tnthielke » Sun Jul 13, 2008 5:49 am

I'll look into that... you're probably right on with that suggestion... although I wouldn't mind going after a bear with a bow, at least to try it once...
TNT

BlkLabDE
 
Posts: 5
Joined: Sat Jun 21, 2008 5:30 am

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby BlkLabDE » Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:34 am

I hunt next to a commercial orchard, they use standard clothes dryer sheets to give off a human smell and they seem to work well at discouraging deer.

vambo991
 
Posts: 225
Joined: Mon May 26, 2008 1:30 pm

RE: Looking for apple tree advice...

Postby vambo991 » Wed Aug 13, 2008 5:57 pm

Hey Ms Badger, I was thinkin' bout planting 5-6 apple trees on a small (12 acres) out-of-the-way honey hole. What kind? I don't know the first thing about apples. This place is river valley surrounded by hardwoods and bluffs. Not much great food there, but there's a lot of crazy sign. I think these deer are walking by this hole on their way from crop fields atop the bluffs to Mississippi River feeder creek.


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