Congo Apple Orchard


Hi @applenut,

Hope all well. Great job on the apples dude.
@RichardRoundTree tells me we are sort of working in the same area albeit different climates.
Where in the Congo are you based ? After reading blood river by Tim butcher, my interest in the Congo multiplied. Would love to go out there.
How did your project get started and why the Congo ?


That’s pretty incredible that you can make it work there! What’s funny is my initial reaction was “That’s too much work. Why don’t they just focus on what’s best suited for the area?”

And then I remembered how I’ve spent weeks researching and debating the relative merits of burying, insulating, or containerizing figs, and how I schlep my potted citrus in and out with the seasons. Takes one to know one, I guess!


I think we always want what we don’t have or is very hard for us right? All i want is tropical plants and when i think of moving somewhere tropical i really would miss my temperate fruit! It makes sense they would want to grow apples since they are so easy to store and so good for your belly.

I was super impressed by this entire en devour and it seems like @applenut is getting two crops per year or like a crop per 8 months or am I crazy? Is there breadfruit available for seed in Africa I wonder? It is a very impressive project and something everyone involved should be so proud of.


The Congo project is close to the border of Uganda. The client there reached out to the Uganda branch of our nursery, the director is the guy in the yellow shirt in the bottom photo. They’re excited about grafting trees grown from both rootstocks and scionwood produced on the client’s shamba (farm) in Congo. The two guys in front in the first photo are splitting a 2" wide piece of parafilm tape, the grafting machines on the table in the background. The hard hats are for rain and to keep from getting poked in the eye when working under and around the trees.


Those guys are pros now. Check em’ out. They’re awesome at grafting and have their systems all in place. Turn on some music and hang out grafting and then wait and watch for the grafts to heal and grow; plant or sell them. They’ve got a long-term, sustainable business. Well played Mark.



Sorry if this has been answered , dot hAVE TIME TO READ (PC Stolen)

I know Grape growers spray with Urea to defoliate make the vines go into dormancy
(urea (is urine concentrated ) (thinking of removing rust from a old schwinn I use Vinegar already (baking soda ) , but thinbing of trying the Urea (again. but concentrated
(also sulfites for wine making .

I am guessing these strong chemicals will defoliate , and make a tree go into dormacy
I have no idea , but I know sulfites (sulfer)(edit What’d I’d expect Lime sulfer) could burn the leaves also so maybe more common in the orchard (than urea for some people, and may cause the same results

I have no idea , but could look into it.

I am babbling So Here is what I saw online Just putting the two, and two together



alos pick off leaves.

OKAY REREAD THROUGH. (scroll though)
and re read again (thanks Apple Nut all I wrote I guess Was a waste below this post in a way
, but in a way maybe not if people wanted to experiment cross breeding)

Do you know what the altitude is in this area
(maybe a wasted reply below , but maybe others could cross breed some of these types species within each other.)

Just saying
THESE people are dedicated to growing apples , and that’s great
What I am thinking see all the old data about 2 different genera being crossed

talked about recently was a Mexican hawthorn
it is acidic why not cross one off those
(with a Caribbean Doresett apple Low chill hours )

I am thinking better yet use a red delicious lower acid . and back cross
, but that was my thought originally.

red D . X Mexican Hawthorn = c ( C offspring)
c (which is the offspring ) X Red D. (as a back Cross )

I do not know much about apples( Link below).,
but read a lot about intergeneric cross breeds
between 2 species (pear genus Pyrus X mountain Ash berry genus Sorbus )= Shipova
(and other cross breeds between species (ingtergeneric )
within the rosaceae
like firethorn Pyracantha in old 100 year old info online a few years ago
so I believe A distant low heat unit tree could be crossed , and crossed back.

maybe some of those southern apples would be better all along


No need for chemicals to defoliate, there are lots of hands for that work that need employment. Same with plowing or trenching, yeah, we could rent a tractor or excavator, but then you’re putting a lot of guys (and gals) out of work.

No need for breeding any further also, we have plenty of excellent apple varieties, both high chill and low chill, that do just fine in a zero chill climate.

Altitude here there is about 4,500’ but it never gets below 50 degrees. I know Congo is in the news in a bad way lots of times, but its a huge country and not all is bad. This part is breathtakingly beautiful and incredibly fertile.


I absolutely love what you do and have always been amazed by the nature shows on the Congo it seems like a very special place and anywhere that has been able to stay so untamed must be pretty fierce and awe inspiring. Is it one harvest per year for your apples? It seems like you are getting more from what i gathered and your soil looks incredibly fertile. I was also wondering about the availability of breadfruit and what you think about its viability in helping feed Africa? Its a massive carbon eater that produces a fruit with alot of essential amino acids / proteins and b vitamins.


If anyone wants a great book on the Congo, find, download, buy or whatever easier way the west has figured out to do books. Errm Blood River by Tim Butcher. Great read.