Boskoop Grafts Rescue Ailing Apple Tree

True confessions: 2013 or so I benchgrafted Virginia Beauty on G 30 rootstock. I then (inadvertently) burned the foliage by spraying insecticidal soap at 95 degrees weather; next year sprayed it with Roundup (had wrong sprayer); and next year smeared Tanglefoot for ants/aphids directly on the trunk bark. In each case I scrambled to limit damage after discovering the error of my ways.

The tree survived these insults in puny, weakened condition: almost no new growth. Two years ago I started topworking Belle de Boskoop, an extremely robust, vigorous grower. Photo below: tree in stunningly good health today, can hardly believe it. Plus Boskoop is one of three best apples I’ve ever eaten right off the tree; highly recommend. I should name this tree Rasputin.

image cid:43BC9531-1EE8-43B9-8B55-427187463CAD@Belkin


Or that should be your name, poor tree! Lol.


The Belle de Boskoop and Red Boskoop scions I grafted this spring–both onto established trees and B-118 rootstock–are growing pretty vigorously here in Montana as well. As a new orchard hobbyist, my experience with triploid varieties is limited (both Belle and Red varieties are triploid), but as long as a person is aware of the pollination requirements, I hear it is a great apple for making cider. I am listed as being in Zone 4b, which is compatible for these Boskoops, but I am told in reality I am Zone 3 and so I will see. Perhaps some years I will get quality fruit from these, and other years perhaps not (?)


Update: Boskoop is only tree in my orchard getting fire blight strikes this week. Not a good sign. It’s pruned wide open.