Saturday, December 5, 2009
Espalier Apple Tree
When we moved here 17 years ago we fell in love with the taste of our neighbors apples. Small snacking apples with not much "keeping" or canning properties. But, so fresh and sweet and delicious. Our neighbors didn't eat them, so Ted would pick them by the small basket and we'd eat them and share them with anyone who came around. My garden has more plants than space. So years ago we decided to add this tree to our garden by means of grafting a branch from our neighbors unknown variety tree onto dwarf root stock M26. This gave us a miniature version of their tree. My goal was not a particular pattern. Just a narrow, space saving tree. I planted the M-26 root stock, which came as a small tree, the summer before. In late winter while the neighbor's tree was still dormant we took some branch cuttings. I kept the cuttings in the refrigerator crisper in a plastic bag with moist peat moss. In the spring when the M26 root stock tree was breaking dormancy, Ted's strong hands cut the notch for the graft, matched the neighbor's branch to the root stock and I taped it together and voila! We have our own apple tree. This picture was from this fall. You can click on the picture to get a better look at the tree.