What are your thoughts about columnar apples? Are they worth the planting if space is limited? Best flavor? Downsides?
I started with Scarlet Sentinel. When I saw how productive I added a sweeter (to me) Golden Sentinel. Advantages: gives you large fruit for a couple weeks of tasting
Disdvantages: tree form doesn’t look all that attractive to me, but hidden in a garden plot, it’s a nice surprise
Nice though in pairs against a wall.
What do you think of the flavor and texture?
We - like everyone - like honeycrisp apples for the sweet/sour crunch, and also Granny Smith. Fuji and Pink Lady are good too.
The ones you listed have great taste (from my store-bought perspective) but because Washington State is awash with apples, familiarity has dulled my desire. Here people can’t give apples away!
The Golden Sentinel escaped the apple axe - so it passed a certain taste threshold - but I can’t describe exactly what that is - probably not boring!
I would just say it’s important to be aware that their natural growth habit is more accurately described as “candelabra” rather than “columnar”.
Oh really? So a natural espalier shape?
No. The branches that end up growing out turn upright like the main trunk. It forms a three dimensional candelabra; not flat like espalier unless you prune it to be flat.
Oh I see. The individual branches have that ‘straight out and bend up’ shape of a candelabra, but the whole tree together is not flat like espalier. Thanks, I appreciate the clarification.
Here’s a picture to demonstrate the candelabra habit that can develop if not pruned to force it to remain a single column. I actually prefer this because it still remains very compact, but can produce far more than if pruned to a single trunk.
Thank you, really appreciate that. It helps understand better.
Have you raised Obelisk? Tasted. (I’ve not).
I have not tried it (nor have I seen it for sale).
Red fleshed, or so I’ve been told.
‘Obelisk’ is listed as white fleshed on Pomiferous.com. None of its recorded ancestors are red fleshed either; (‘Cox’s Orange Pippin’ x ‘Court Pendu Plat’) x ‘Wijcik Spur McIntosh’ = ‘Obelisk’
Thanks…guess I’ve been misinformed along the line someplace.
I’d actually love to try crossing one of my columnar apples with ‘Pendragon’ (redfleshed) and ‘Hunt’s Russet’. I had potentially made a successful cross this year, but deer got the fruit before it was mature.
I don’t have it, but Maypole is a columnar red flesh one. SkillCult in Calif. is breeding to it.
I’m trying to cross several red flesh and other apples. So far, some seeds to plant and a couple little seedlings are about all I have. But, looks like a number of grafted cultivars may bloom first time this year to use in crosses.
‘Maypole’ is a tart redfleshed crabapple. I’d like a columnar redfleshed dessert apple.
If you decide to work with columnar genetics for your crosses any random colomnar apple should produce about 50% columnar offspring when crossed with any non-columnar apple. The columnar gene is dominant so it only needs to be inherited from one parent. Most existing columnar cultivars are the result of a columnar crossed with a non-columnar, but if one were to get a hold of a columnar tree that carries two copies of the columnar gene (homozygous) then it could potentially produce 100% columnar offspring regardless of what it’s crossed with.