We are having an excellent apple year here in the Willamette Valley. I thought I would introduce you to some of our trees.
These are my espalier trees. Espalier trees are grafted on dwarf rootstock, and are grown on wires or trellises.This keeps them short and easy to maintain. And since they are supported, you can have a lot of apples without breaking branches.
I put in 3 posts, and ran 4 lines of vinyard wire between them.
Above is a 6 way combination. I can't remember one of the varieties but the rest are Yellow Transparent, Yellow Delicious, Macintosh, Braeburn and Fuji. It is a fun way to get a lot of variety in a small area. The one below, and in the first few photos, is a Red Gravenstein. It is incredibly prolific, like its bigger cousin, and with the Transparent is just ripe now.
In addition to the Red Grav and the 6 Way Graft I have a Braeburn and a pear tree on the same wires. Nearby is the funny little fellow seen below. It is a dwarf Braeburn.
I try to keep it fairly well trimmed for health, but tend to let the branches reach the ground. Just think of all those extra apples! Phoebe, being more practical and safety minded, likes it trimmed up so you can actually walk and mow under it. She took matters into her own hands this year, which is why it looks so nice.
apple fair could not figure out what it is. Maybe it is a cross that only exists here.
One of the challenges of big trees is pruning them. I don't have a safe way to get to the top of the trees, so I cannot easily lighten the load on the limbs. As you can see in the above photo, there are some dead leaves, indicating a branch that has broken off. And in the upper left/center area you can see a limb that cracked. I can't get up there, so figure I am letting the tree self prune. Maybe not the best I can do, but it is what I can do now.
The King and Mystery ripen in October. So these apples have a long way to go to be ready to eat. When we have a bumper crop like this, we can have our Cider Pressing Party. It is a great event, one we have not had in several years. If we pull it off this year, you can read about it in October.