Apple Tree Nursery FAQs
"I live nearby you in Southern California; can I
come pick our order up? We'd love to see your nursery and
I'm sorry, but we do not have a retail
location and must ship all orders. You would also be
disappointed with both the "nursery" and the "orchard", as they are
very tiny. For a true apple culture experience I recommend
Riley's Farm in Oak Glen,
where you can walk under magnificent apple trees and have some of
the best apple fare on the planet. We've supplied a lot of
their new apple trees.
How long will it take my tree to start bearing
That depends a lot on the variety; Anna,
Dorsett Golden, and Shell of Alabama will bear at least a few the
second year, while Fuji can take five years to really start bearing.
But the ones that take longer are usually well worth the wait, which
is why we carry them; we don't have room here for losers.
I just want one or two trees and have no need for
ten; can you make an exception to your ten-tree minimum?
No, but you can order one or two nice big two
year-old trees from my
friends at either
What time of the year do you ship?
We must ship when the rootstocks are dormant,
which is after they are harvested in late January but before they
start to sprout in late April. Refrigeration keeps them fresh
during this time but there is a limit to their viability; once they
start to sprout they must be planted or potted.
Can I grow the apple trees in a pot?
Yes, for the first year they can be planted in
a 5-gallon trade size nursery pot and a 15-gallon trade size the
second year; after that they should be planted.
Do you sell ungrafted rootstock?
No, but you can order small quantities from
How far apart should I plant my trees? I
don't have very much space.
We plant our trees on M111 rootstock about 5
feet apart, but you can train them to just about any size. See
our apple books for more details.
Do you carry any other temperate fruits suited for
Not at this time, we're pretty much
Can apples grow in (fill in the blank)?
We've been told that they couldn't.
Heat, humidity, and lack of chilling hours are
not reasons apples cannot be grown in your area. See our
Tropic Apple Page for further discussion
on this topic.
I'm not convinced; all the literature from
gardening books and advice from university cooperative extensions say
that apples need a cold climate and adequate chilling hours to grow.
Why should I believe you? There must be some "microclimate" or
something that's allowing you to grow apples.
I'm that afraid after 9 years of studying the
situation and interviewing other nurserymen I've come to the
conclusion that it boils down to the "experts" simply quoting one
another and citing conventional wisdom while never bothering to
stick a tree in the ground to see what happens. Sure, someone
may have tried a Red Delicious or some other inappropriate variety,
but there are thousands of varieties out there and just because one
fails doesn't mean there aren't others that will do well.
For instance, everyone had just assumed that
since Honeycrisp was from a cold climate that it would be bad in the
heat, and didn't bother testing it to see; it took an ignorant
fellow like me who didn't know better to try it and find out it's
outstanding in the heat and not bothered at all, just like Bramley,
the national English cooking apple, is not bothered by heat.
Sometimes ignorance is bliss I guess.