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apple/fruit/crabapple recom. zone 4
looking for recommendations for mid/northern Michigan. looking for a later dropping variety but happy with any suggestions which would bear from October-December. technically im in zone 5 but have had some issues with freezing so would prefer a zone 4 suggestion. thanks! Craig
check out Stark Bros> ..... 20 varieties of zone 3 & 4 apples
I’m in zone 4-5 as well. I planted some crabapples and pears last year, so the jury is still out on them so far. I planted Dozier, Dolgo and Whitney crabapples. For pears, I went with Kieffer, Galloway, and Colette Everbearing. You definitely need to protect them or the deer, rabbits, voles, etc. will mow them off. Hopefully, CAS_HNTR will chime in. He’s very knowledgeable on this stuff.
I'm a big fan of the Dolgo crabapple. I would suggest checking with your local Soil and Water Conservation District and see what they sell. They generally sell conservation grade bareroot trees, very inexpensively.
I'm not much help with variety and don't know what variety this one is in my yard, it was here when I moved in. However, it produces along with the apple tree in the late summer and fall. However, the fruit stays on a lot later than the regular apple tree in my yard. One thing that I have noticed over the years is that it is a late food source for the deer. The fruit will rot out and shrivel up like a big raisin and I always thought that nothing would touch them after that. However, as they freeze and fall from the tree, the deer hammer them in December and January. I actually shake the tree to get the higher fruit to fall for them. Good luck
I have seen deer pretty juiced on those older fermented apples. Shawn
I live in zone 3, Whitney, Transcendental, Dolgo are what I planted on my land. I also have two flowering crabs that turkeys love. The sit up in the trees and pig out. Up here the crabapples hold to the tree through most of the winter. Part of my property is a 52 acre deer yard. I am planting to help the deer winter and am cutting timber on it to improve the yard. All summer and fall there isn't a deer in it. Get a couple feet of snow and about January they migrate in from the mountains.
I have had 18 apple trees over a period of like 25 years. Some things I have learned, don't plant Dwarf varieties. Harrelsons and Harrel Reds hold their apples well into the rut. Pick varieties that drop their apples through out the open deer season not before!. A Whitney crab takes many years before it bears any amount of fruit. Put high cages around the trees to protect them from the deer until they are mature. Bears like apples and break a lot of branches when climbing up to get the apples!
Thanks for all the input thus far! Am planning on several types of apples to have some attraction from oct-dec. thinking some Keiffer pears too. No bear probs here...yet anyway. Am going to fence them too.
Look at adams county nursery in pa. Here in central wi myself and a couple of buddies have gotten about 100 of thier bear root trees and they have been excellent. If you order 25 at a time they give you a nice dicount. Thier site has all thier varietys and when they mature. Plan on spending a total of $30 per tree. 15 for the tree and 3 steel posts and 6 foot wire fences. Weed mat, a foot of mulch and a tube around the trunk to keep the winter mice from girdling them. Do it right and u will not be dissappointed!!!!!!
Don't know if these are available in Michigan.
Here in central MN my biggest problem is a late frost when the trees are in bloom.
I was knocking harrelson apples off the trees into December and the deer were there every afternoon to eat them frozen or not.
I planted Dolgos last year, so far so good as all 13 were still alive last fall. Definitely get tubes for them! I planted the bare root trees in early june and some of them doubled their size by fall! I have some flowering crabs in my yard, the deer love them and they still have apples on them now. the birds love them too.
One thing to consider also is when the trees bloom.. The later the less chance of a frost getting the flowers. Example tree bloom in early May and you get a frost in early May you got no apples. Tree blooms in late May and you get that frost in early may, you still get apples. Tree tubes work well,, but I got lots of bear and the bear like to play with the tubes.. They grab the tubes and the tree and rip the tree right out of the ground. No more tubes for me.
I use wire screen to protect from vole damage. My small orchard is protected by electric fence. Bears are as big a problem here as deer, actually worse. Bear destroy the trees when they climb them. Having a brother who is a fruit specialist and hort prof at a state university is a help . I buy cheap Siberian root stock and we graft. I am up to 10 varieties on one tree. We get our grafts at pruning clinics my brother puts on or at the hort research farm.
Lol, a bear smashed 3 tubes last fall, bent the posts flat to the ground...trees survived
Anybody have a review of "the wildlife group"? Came across them looking for trees. Based in Alabama. Sell trees based in zones and have some on rootstock 118 which is for northern climes. Anybody use them? There is very little info online but all positive from my searching.
I bought mine from TyTy in Michigan, They have good sales and what I got was great. Ill be ordering more from them this year.
Wildlife group is good.....here is a good thread from the past.
I would highly recommend you consider the disease resistance and your ability to care for the trees in your purchase. Crabapples and pears are least maintenance but apples are generally able to span the season more than pears.
Thanks again for the suggestions. I've found a couple nurseries here in Michigan that cater to wildlife plantings and have some decent prices on their crabs, pears, and apples. Planning on pears and crabapples for now and possibly some "wild" apples that should be very hardy as they are grown here in Michigan.
I've planted over 200 trees from the wildlife group and nativnurseries.com and they have both been great.
We had maybe 45 apple trees on one half of our property (NMI) and about 45 pear (half asian) The deer would walk past the apples to get pears if there where pears to be had. The other thing with the pears, and I don't know what it was about them but in the spring they were LOADED with morels. Buckets of them. My old man sold his property and moved so I'm out of luck these days.