-by Dwight Bradley
After the rough 1995 winter which killed 20 of our 50 apple trees and set back quite a few more, the summer of 1995 was a great growing season. Most of the trees that survived the winter, and all of the new whips that went into replace the lost trees, put on two feet of strong growth. Even varieties that had struggled in past years shot up. For example, a State Fair on Antonovka rootstock, which was planted as a whip in 1988, had never managed more than 3-6 inches of weak growth before this summer. This year, about ten branches grew 2 feet or more. One possible cause is the ample summer rainfall, which contrasted so strongly with the previous dry summers. Another possibility is that I innoculated every tree in the orchard with a dose of beneficial mycohhrizae in early May. As we’ve heard many times from Dana Olsen, the mycohhrizae enter into a symbiotic relationship with a tree’s roots, and make certain nutrients more available than otherwise.
Varieties that fruited; Norland (2 trees), Parkland, Rescue, Yellow Transparent, Morden 359, Heyer 20, Crimson Beauty, Yellow Jay, Oriole, and Goodland. Four others bloomed but did not set fruit: Minnesota 1734, Chinese Golden Early, Rosthem 18, and Almata,