Mature Dwarf

No, not the title characters in the classic Disney movie.

Apple tree.

When I was a tiny girl we lived in a small town and had an apple tree in the yard that was large enough to accommodate my swing. My parents took it down – I’m not sure why but it was old and prone to storm damage.

During the years that followed we visited an apple orchard once each fall. The trees were large and planted in rows.  The view at harvest included ladders for the pickers to climb and canvas bags worn over one shoulder. Most of our visit was spent in the sales shed as my parents discussed the merits of the different varieties and how much of their favorites to purchase.

A recent drive to orchards demonstrated acres of semi-dwarf trees. They stand as sturdy individuals in rows. Shorter and pruned for easier harvest I’d guess that any ladder required is of the four or five step variety.

According to my source — new plantings tend to be full dwarf. They are trained to a trellis. More trees per acre. A tall man with good reach could harvest without a ladder. And while the example below is from a botanical garden instead of a commercial orchard — the principle is the same.

Dwarf Tree Full Size Apples
Dwarf Tree
Full Size Apples