Apple tree growing in kansas

Hello all,
I live in Kanas, zone 6b. I wish to plant two apple trees in my backyard. I have no prior experience in gardening. I have few questions, I couldn’t find answers to.

  1. First off, our lot is backing to a lake. How far should my trees be planted do that it does not affect the lake? Any thoughts?
  2. Planning on cameo and fuji, dwarf variety. Any suggestions, I have no experience pruning and also I want to grow my trees with no sprays. Are they strong enough to tolerate my inexperience?

Thanks in advance

You can probably grow apples in Andover w/o sprays if you bag the fruit. Fuji does well for me here, but is susc. to fireblight. Don’t know much about Cameo.

The lake shouldn’t be a problem as long as the soil isn’t water logged.

I wouldn’t advise dwarf apples for you. You might go w/ a semi-dwarf (MM111, Elma111, MM106, Elma 7 rootstock).

I would also recommend you order trees from a reputable on-line nursery (i.e. Raintree, Burnt Ridge etc.) not from a big box store.


Olpea is a professional grower and is a solid expert. To elaborate on what he said about where you get your trees… the online nurseries will send you bare root dormant trees. They dont look like much, but it is the best way. Trees started in pots have a screwed up root directions that the tree may never recover from. Buying form chain stores there is a high percentage of mislabeled trees.

When you plant them you can take photos and post here for initial pruning instruction, they won’t need much pruning until they are larger. Watering is a delicate balance, many new trees are killed by over watering. Do deer ever come to your yard? If so the trees need protected.

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Thank you very much for your inputs Olpea and Curtis. I have couple of more questions.

  1. Do you have any suggestions on what Apple variety I can choose. I am looking for a resistant, sweet tasting, low acidic apple for fresh eating. William pride or Liberty?

2 Best time to plant. Spring or fall? Is it too late for to order and plant now?


To make it easier for you, here’s the list of disease resistant apples from Cummins nursery

This is kinda late to order bare root fruit trees but you can try Burnt Ridge nursery.

There is another good nursery called Schlabach Nursery run by Amish people. They ship their trees until May, I believe. It does not have a website. You can call them at 866 600 5203 or 585 798-6198. Their address is 2784 Murdock Rd, Medina, NY 14103.

Schlabach and Burntridge probably ones of more reasonable priced nurseries.

I have William’s Pride and like it a lot. People said they have a water core issue. I rarely experience it. Finger crossed.



My online friends Mamuang and cckw gave some good advice, listen to them. You mentioned Williams Pride and Liberty. Those are both summer apples (Williams Pride is much earlier than Liberty).

I’ve grown both of these apples. If you are looking for a sweet, low acid apple, neither of these will exactly fit that description.

I too like super sweet apples, but found Liberty on the opposite end of the spectrum. I removed it after a few harvests. Williams Pride is a bit sweeter, but not super sweet. It’s very grower friendly. Scab and fireblight resistant, and grows vigorously.

I’m really not an apple guy. I only have about a dozen varieties. There are folks here who have grown hundreds of apples. Of the few I’ve grown and fruited, my favorites are Swiss Gourmet and Fuji (very sweet crisp apples).

I might suggest a broader inquiry on this forum if you are looking to explore lots of varieties. Just make sure you are clear you want sweet low acid apples.

I like the same, as long as they hold their crunch.

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Andover wants sweet, low acid apple so his description fits Fuji. Unfortunately, it’s not an easy apple esp. for new grower.

I love low acid, sweet apples, too, but the taste of WP is quite refreshing.

How does Honeycrisp do in Kansas? it’s not very easy one but not that hard, either (in my area). Andover probably would like HC’s sweet taste and crisp texture.

You are also right that I’d leave it to those who grow a lot of apples to comment :grin:. .


I’ve been afraid of trying it here because of all the warnings it doesn’t do well in really hot summers.

I grow Pixie Crunch which has the same magic crunch, but a lot smaller. It’s a very nice apple.

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I think @applenut has grown honeycrisp in his hot climate and it has performed better than expected. I have it in the hot and humid southeast but haven’t gotten fruit yet.

You might look into Galarina, State Fair and Yellow Transparent varieties as well. We sell a bunch of them.

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Yes, over the years I’ve heard of several accounts of Honeycrisp doing well in hot climates, but I’ve heard much more problems in hot climates. Apparently hot days aren’t as detrimental to the apple as hot nights.

CCKW recommended Suncrisp to me, and sent me some wood a couple years ago. From that wood, I just set out three Suncrisp grafted trees in the orchard last week. I’ve heard others recommend this apple, however I don’t know how sweet the apple is.

Suncrisp is sweet and aromatic. I have had them the last two years from several orchards, and have a 2 year old tree with a pile of spurs on it (go Geneva 890 rootstock!). Suncrisp is an October apple here. It stores well in a fridge with some shriveling, but no mealiness or major loss of flavor up to about Jan 1. I suspect they will keep past Jan 1, but have not had a good sampling past this because I can’t keep from eating them. Suncrisp is a good later season apple for storage. I’d find something that sounds tasty to you for an early-season apple. Cummins or their subsidiary have it on G.890 (semi-dwarf) or G.41 (dwarf).

As suggested by others, Williams’ Pride is a good one. It stores reasonably well, but you’d probably have a gap in mid/late Sept where you were waiting for fruit.

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As you can see I am a confused soul. I thought I had it all figured out with cameo and Fuji. But I was not able to find cameo from any of the reliable nursery(from what I read from online reviews). So I wandered away.

From turkeycreekfarm list I picked Galarina and Fuji, as they can be planted together. But they both are available in dwarf variety. @olpea suggested that I go for semi dwarf variety how do you choose the variety?

As usual all inputs appreciated.

Honeycrisp does wonderful here. Mine have been bearing for several years. Are they as good as store bought? No they are not as good as a great honeycrisp but they are very good. If you want to try them Olpea let me know and I will send you some.

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That sentence sort of suggests you may not be aware how apples are dwarfed. Most of the dwarfing of an apple is the result of the rootstock it’s grown on. The variety can have some affect on the ultimate size or vigor of a tree, but it’s mostly the rootstock. Apples like Williams Pride and Spigold are naturally vigorous varieties, but they can be slowed down to dwarfs by various rootstocks. I apologize if I misread your question, and you already know all this.

I suggested semi-dwarf for you because semi-dwarf typically require a little less management than dwarf apples.

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Your statement about wanting no spray and your choice of Fuji appears contradictory. Fuji is susceptible to fire blight. I do not know much about Galarina but I am afraid you would have to spray for fire blight.

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@olpea, yes I had not understood that semi dwarfs are easier to maintain then dwarfs.
Now I think I should wait for fall so I have more options available to pick from, now lot of variety is sold out. It will give me time to educate myself.

That’s a good plan. For best selection order early fall or late summer. Most online nurseries ship in the spring, but there are a few which ship in the fall. Either way you’ll get the best selection to order late summer or early fall.

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I Assume im in your area! Surprised I don’t know anyone with apples in my area so I must not know you. Have your apples been successful? Im looking for scion “cuttings” to graft to my root stocks. I have maybe 15 trees that are going on 2 years old. Im looking for good varieties for the area and maybe a unique one or so.