I am new to the site, and to Cider Making as well. I am an experienced gardener though. I would like to ask for some ideas on which apple trees to plant. I appreciate the opportunity to draw upon the experience from the family of brewers on this site.
For starters, I live in KY and am in zone 6-7. My soils are a bit heavy on the clay, but with some enrichment i have managed to get some decent vegetable and fruit yields. We have a lot of bugs and birds here, but I don’t use pesticides. I may net the trees.
I think i want to use trees on dwarf root stock so that they will be relatively small, and hopefully yield sooner. I would like annual bearing trees. If the apples are not good for eating, that is OK as I already have Delicious apples growing.
All this being said, which apples would be a good choice to plant? And, where can i order them at a good price"?
Thanks and any help will be appreciated and shared,
The “Big Owl”
Looks like I already wrote a novel on this topic a couple of years ago, so rather than type this all out again, here it is:https://www.homebrewersassociation.org/ ... #msg223346
I should also say… you are on the right track with dwarf rootstocks. I have one semi-dwarf and it took about 6 years to come into bearing. My other dwarf trees bore right away in the second or third years.
Not an expert on cider apples but I have a fruit orchard with quite a few trees of different fruits. My recommendation is to get trees that ripen at different times. Its really hard to keep up if everything comes at once. We have a lot of deer so the dwarf trees don’t do well here.
In many cases, the apples that are the worst for eating are the best for cider-making. You want a lot of tannins, which don’t taste great. I’ve made some awesome ciders with blends of the following (some are good for eating too)…
Rome, Paula Red, Winesap,Spartan, Wolf Rivers, Red Astricans, Northern spys, Jonathans.
I’d plant a pear tree as well. Because Perry is just effing amazing. And its good for blending.
Oh and 1-2 crabapple trees for blending.
If your growing a fruit orchard then difinately pears and also peaches.
I think that Pietro has nailed it. If you’re limited and can only plant one type, Winesap is a good choice if it is suitable for your geographic area (it’s a great apple for cider, out of hand eating. and baking).