Want to Barter: Dwarf apple tree for ???

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    I found (yes FOUND) a bare-root apple tree. Someone had dumped it on the sidewalk in front of a local business, still in the root bag. It was not the business owner who dumped it there.

    It’s a perfectly good little tree, and if I hadn’t rescued it, it almost certainly would’ve been destroyed by local hooligans. The problem is, I already have several apple trees in my yard and I don’t need any more. So I have no use for it.

    I’m willing to let this thing go sooper cheap to a good home. Do you have some home-made preserves? Maybe a nice bottle of wine that you got for a song? I’ll consider almost anything in trade, but I don’t want to just give this away. It’s a $50 value.

    Stats: It’s about 8 foot tall, from root ball to crown, and, since it’s a dwarf, it’s not going to get much bigger. Still, you need some yard space in which to plant it. Obviously.


    If you have evidence that this tree is yours (e.g. sales receipt / tree comes when you call it), we can talk. I’ll give the “Lost Tree Misses Home” thing a couple days. Otherwise, whoever makes me the best offer gets it.


    DP_Editor at comcast don’t net



    $50 value, DBP? What brand? What type/flavor? What shape/size? Edit: saw that it is a dwarf!

    Yesterday, at McLendons, bare root apple trees were on sale 15% off both $16.99 single type dwarf and regular and off $21.99 for espaliered four-type grafted trees.

    Furthermore, Swanson’s, in Ballard, currently has 40% off its bare-root trees. Dwarf, semi-dwarf and regular. I picked up a couple for $waaaaay less than $50.

    Your scavenged tree might be Golden Delicious, but its weight in gold to you? Pretty tacky.



    did you say 21.99 for espaliered four-type grafted trees? oh my. how do you think that would do in a very big pot?



    OK, the value of a tree is relative.

    Ms. Kilmer claims that a tree is more valuable than a poem:

    . . . while the City of Clyde Hill has established that a tree is less valuable than John Olerud’s view.

    This particular tree has a $50 price tag on it, so I’m basing my number on that.

    It’s a high-quality tree and it’s 8-feet tall, so I’m guessing it’s been in the ground for a couple years longer than a McLendon tree. I’m also assuming this tree came from a place like West Seattle Nursery, which charges a premium.

    Sorry, but I can’t reveal what kind of tree it is, because that would be the type of info any claimant would need to provide.

    In any case, it’s spoken for.




    JoB –

    I don’t know for certain – most important thing is enough water, right? Stuff dehydrates in containers fast and fruit is water intensive. I’d give it a try.




    i gave it some thought while running errands yesterday.. and growing it in a pot wouldn’t make it portable :( not if i actually let it grow and produce apples.. it would quickly become unweildy.

    i am thinking of growing an apple tree in a pot though after seeing the way apple trees are pruned in Italy and how well they produce…

    i have this notion to reclaim half of my alleyway parking space for a container food garden… we will see.

    i have struggled to find a way to protect my cucumber plants from Yuki.. who knew he would find prickly cucumber leaves irresistible :)




    In doing my own research, I came across these two sites re: espaliers and cordons. I also would consider looking at technique used at SSCC Community Orchard (the name of technique escapes me) that promotes production but also might bring down lateral size to “portable” size?

    Take a peek at cordon patterns in the first link. Look at dwarfs which are not aggressive growers or mini-dwarfs!



    Have fun!



    @ JoB – If you want an apple tree designed for a container, look into columnar apple trees. Raintree (localish nursery) sells some reasonably priced ones:


    They’re basically a stick tree, leaving you with lots of apples and no branch mess!



    stina.. i think the columnar apple trees are what we saw growing in northern italy. it took a few orchards for us to figure out what we were seeing from the train.

    westseattledood.. days like this i wish i paid a mortgage instead of rent.. i would so plant and espalier trees along my front fence



    Espaliers definitely look cool and they take up very little space, but the ones I’ve seen around here have far less fruit per linear foot than a regular tree. I consider them a fad.

    I have a couple of columnars. They are low maintenance and they do quite well in the right conditions, but they, too, are low producers. (The whole tree is like a single, upright branch.)

    The best ratio of apples to yard space + effort is always going to be with a dwarf or semi-dwarf tree. If you have the yard space, go with that.



    Cordons and espalliers aren’t a fad – Modern Europeans and the Romans used them.

    I am still hunting around for the pruning technique taught by the Community Orchard’s actual expert/founder.



    How many ancient Romans do you see around here?

    Or modern ones?


    It’s like backyard chickens. Fun and cool, but ten times the cost of store-boughten eggs. And a hundred times the work.

    Do you know how many times I’ve had to be physically restrained from getting chickens? I’ve got an emergency “hot button” installed in my house, and whenever I feel chicken urges coming on, I hit that. Within minutes a couple of guys in white coats kick down my door, tie me up, and force me to stare at the price tag on a box of PCC organic eggs.

    It does no good if I say, “B-b-but backyard eggs TASTE better than store-boughten.” That only delays my recovery.

    Eventually, I realize that the guys in the white coats are just trying to help me, and I stop resisting.




    is it possible you are doing something wrong with your columnars?

    you should have seen the fruit on those in italy…

    and the eggs from backyard chickens don’t just taste better…



    they ARE better…entirely different than store bought !



    hubby did some research.. it is likely to take 2 or 3 years for the tree i plant in the pot to produce fruit.. and still more years before it produces enough to make it “worthwhile” to grow.

    so the question is.. do i want to invest that many years in a flowering bush… or does it even flower in the first few years?

    and how is it likely to do in a pot i likely won’t be able to shelter during our worse winters?

    This kind of musing is the best part of this time of year for gardeners. Some winter dreams exceed expectations.. others.. well.. not so much :)



    On fruit trees, it’s a matter of geometry.

    With a columnar tree you have the equivalent of a single branch growing straight up. That’s great in terms of saving space, but you’re getting only one branch-worth of fruit per tree. Yes, they tend to grow tall (mine are at 15 feet and climbing) but that also makes them harder to pick.

    With espalier, they’re compact and easy to pick, but you’re still only getting maybe six or eight branches per tree. True, you can “train” the branches to make them longer than the branches of a regular tree. But that takes work, and the yield-per-branch is still no higher than a regular tree. And usually less.

    A dwarf or semi-dwarf tree has maybe five times the number of branches as an espalier and you usually get a higher yield per branch, since the branches are thicker and can support more fruit.

    I got more fruit off a single branch of my dwarf Liberty and Fuji apple trees last year than you can get off an entire espaliered plant.

    Photo by DBP

    In this part of the world, the only reason to go with an espalier or columnar is because you have very limited space or just because you like the decorative effect.

    Katie at the Barton St. P-patch told me she wants to plant some columnar apples along the east parking strip. That’s a perfect place for them. They’re skinny enough so they won’t shade out the P-patch, and they’ll grow tall enough so that most of the fruit will be out of the reach of passersby.

    Stay tuned for more chicken stories . . .



    Remembered the term, finally, fwiw “tratura trellis

    And i thought the last comment on this WSB post from November was a great jumping off point for the curious and motivated to do their own research about what they want to do. Effort, need and sufficient output are far too subjective to draw absolute conclusions…

    Community Orchard of West Seattle searching for fruit-tree expert

    Happy Hoeing!

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