The Survival Podcast Forum

Farm, Garden and The Land => Permaculture, Land Management and Foraging => Topic started by: markl32 on March 31, 2016, 08:16:39 AM

Title: Where are people getting their cider apple cultivars these days?
Post by: markl32 on March 31, 2016, 08:16:39 AM

I remember Jack mentioning some cider apple specific nurseries a while back but so far I have not been able to find the show or a reference.  We are considering integrating Cider apples into our mix here.  Also I have friend that is looking to put in a few acres of cider apples. 

Does anyone have a cider apple nursery recommendation?

Title: Re: Where are people getting their cider apple cultivars these days?
Post by: I.L.W. on March 31, 2016, 11:29:53 AM
Cider apples are more an industrial agriculture pursuit in the US. They deal in grafted trees on a large scale, so you would plant your root stock trees first, selected for your site, then purchase scion wood for grafting rather than buy a full tree.

If you refine your search to Scion Wood for the cultivars you want, you'll find tons of vendors. If you're looking for bare root pre-grafted trees, you're likely going to have to settle for more general purpose cultivars.

You can easily find the following suitable cultivars as trees:
Whitney Crab
Wolf River

If you want a more selective variety, you'll need to get scion wood. Good varieties are:
Medaille D'Or
Arkansa Black
Roxbury Russet
Ashmead's Kernel
Calville Blanc D'Hiver

With any apple, there is a huge difference in production depending on growing region. Early flowering cultivars don't work in colder regions. Many require more chill hours than you can find down south. You can't just get a bunch of cider apple trees and expect them to grow, you have to narrow your search to what works in your area. It does complicate getting the orchard established, but it has an upside too; your cider will be unique to your orchard, and the ciders from your region will taste distinctly different from those produced in other regions as growers are using completely different mixes of apple varieties adapted to their landscape.

Look for cider mills around you. Many offer local scions, can offer advice on which rootstocks to use etc. Often they will have workshops on orcharding and cider making as a secondary business, which is a great way to learn all the more nuanced aspects of the craft. Some may even have large presses you're permitted to use (usually for a fee), allowing you to press hundreds of gallons at a time.

Look locally for that type of info, what works in my region wouldn't be applicable in yours. Trees in my area will be selected for fire blight resistance, in your region, probably more for cedar-apple rust. Different root stocks, different fruiting cultivars... means we'd be shopping from completely different vendors.

I found a place called "Bull Run Cider" about 20 minutes away from you (assuming your profile location is current).
2225 Cedar St, Forest Grove, OR 97116

It appears to be an urban tap room, but given their selection, they must know some local growers (or grow themselves). Somebody there knows something, it may be worth an inquiry.

Many growers don't advertise (the sell to food processors) but are more than willing to deal in trees for some extra income if you reach out to them. Just cruze Google earth in your location and look for the characteristic Orchard layout. When you spot one, right-click and choose "What's here" to get an address you can use to pin down the business name and contact info.

Here's a registry of apple growers. It won't be all-inclusive, but it's a good start.
Title: Re: Where are people getting their cider apple cultivars these days?
Post by: markl32 on April 01, 2016, 09:04:11 PM

Thanks!  Excellent information.  I am going reach out to some other growers as you suggested and see what in an learn.