Dwarf versus semi-dwarf apple tree
I thought those of you
making a tree-planting decision might get a kick out of this visual of
two apple trees of the same variety planted on the same day and starting
at the same maturity level.
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On the left, we have a
dwarf tree (Bud 9 rootstock). The dwarf is shorter than Mark but is
absolutely coated with flowers. On the downside, nearly half of the
nearby dwarf trees perished during their first two years of life --- they are much less hardy while getting established despite my careful weeding and mulching of the high-density row.
On the right, we have a
semi-dwarf tree (MM111 rootstock) that has been trained in the same
manner as the dwarf. The semidwarf is so tall I've already started it on
a size-restriction campaign (cutting off the central leader).
In terms of fruiting, this second tree created its first small flower
cluster this year, which you may or may not be able to see in the upper
left corner of the photo.
In case you're curious
about whether all of these beautiful blooms are going to turn into
fruit, I'd originally thought that our recent hard freeze did them in.
But a few of the later-opening flowers appear unnipped (based on the
color at the center of the bloom), so I'm keeping my fingers crossed but
trying not to get my hopes up. I'd love to be able to show you a photo
of the dwarf trees dripping with fruit in a few more months!