New apple orchard in South Louisiana

I’ll be putting in some 20+ apples in South Louisiana this Spring. Working to finalize my order with Century Farm now. I’m not aware of anyone in my area of the Deep South growing anything other than Anna, Dorsett Golden, Ein Shemer. I’m in 8b, an hour north of New Orleans, heavy clay soil, hot muggy weather. Plan is to extend my current raised bed of blackberries and figs to accommodate 2 rows of 10 oblique cordons, all M111 rootstock. I’m contemplating another raised bed with 5-6 varieties on Bud-9 in a Belgian fence. All will be trellised, mulched and irrigated.

Here is my current list:

Anna, Aunt Rachel, Bevans Favorite, Cauley, Dixie Red Delight, Dorsett Golden, Dula’s Beauty, Goldrush, Granny Smith, Hunge, Johnson Keeper, Kinnairds Choice, Mattamuskeet, Mollies Delicious, Old Fashion Limbertwig, Reverend Morgan, Shell of Alabama, Terry Winter, Wickson Crab, Yates.

Any additional suggestions or advice is appreciated.

I currently have 25 blackberries, 10 citrus, 50+ figs, persimmons, pears, huckleberries and blueberries. This will be my first dive into apples!

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I’m a big fan of David and century farm. I have quite a few of those varieties. I’ve never lost a tree I purchased from him.

Best of luck on your new apple endeavor.

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Hi Casey:

Nice project. Your list includes a lot of apples I have never heard before. I’m not in Louisiana but my local climate is quite humid too but with less intense heat/sun exposure. So like Cajuns say in your location: lâche pas la patate! Marc

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Congrats on the new orchard, that’s exciting!

I’m in zone 7b/8a in the Southeast and am growing a few of these, but none have fruited yet, so not very much help here except to say one that didn’t do well for me.

Granny Smith couldn’t handle the heat and humidity here. One small tree I grafted myself died and another tree I purchased from somewhere else had a really bad canker like infection unlike anything I’ve seen on any other variety I’ve grown, and it was so bad I removed the tree.

Good luck with the new orchard!

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Your list looks good to me…best of luck.

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Well, I’ve measured, researched, read, thought and planned some more. Trying to devise a system for early bearing, aesthetic appeal, long term success, ability to protect from animals, etc…is challenging! Here is my most up to date plan:

M111: Anna, Cauley, Dixie Red Delight, Dorsett Golden, Dula’s Beauty, Goldrush, Granny Smith, Hunge, Johnson Keeper, Mattamuskeet, Mollies Delicious, Shell of Alabama, Terry Winter, Wickson Crab, Yates

Bud9: Aunt Rachel, Bevan’s Fav, Blacktwig, Hewes Crab, Kinnairds Choice, Old Fashion Limbertwig, Reverend Morgan, Roxbury Russet, Summer Banana, Yellow June

Plan is a long row of the M111 en arcure, spaced 6ft, ordered by ripening time, so I can move nets along to protect fruit as the season progresses. This location separates the yard from the driveway, and will provide a barrier/privacy screen of sorts.

Belgian fence with 8 Bud9 18”-2’ spacing, to separate courtyard from parking area, 2 stepovers against the brick of the house, and 1 espalier (form to be determined) with a King David against a brick wall.

I’ll try to use this thread as a journal and record of the process. Any advice is certainly welcome. Thanks

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@LADPT , can’t wait to hear of your progress. What influenced your decision when it came to which varieties would be M111 and which Bud9? Was it based solely on availability?

Lots of pics please. BTW got my first harvest of Bevan’s Favorite this spring. Tasty and beautiful medium size mid July apple. Great early apple choice!

I’d recommend that you consider adding Carolina Red June to your plans. I’ve grown both it and Yellow June, and if I were going to grow only one of these, it would be CRJ. While smaller, it’s a tastier apple with better texture. It sometimes provides a small second crop, too.

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That’s funny. I had it on order and some members talked me out of it as being too tart. On a whim I switched to hollow log.

Que sera sera

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Rootstock choice was based on Century’s availability. They did have the Bud9 varieties also on M111. I wanted to try both rootstocks, so tried to find a place and form to match each in my yard. I’m kind of assuming Century has only limited certain varieties on Bud9, based on vigor/habit, while all are available on M111. I’ll ask to confirm that is indeed on purpose.

Kuffel Creek was closed/out for this season. I had planned to get some varieties on M111 from them.

As for varieties chosen in general, I picked off of Century and Kuffel Creek recommended lists for hot climates. Interestingly, only 4 varieties made both lists: Aunt Rachel, Dixie Red Delight, Mollies Delicious, Reverend Morgan.

Carolina red June gets fireblight pretty much.
I have graft of it some’ers
if it hasn’t died.

Thanks for the info. All mine are on M111

Regina

I may still try a graft next year if its available.

Thanks

Sounds nice! Yeah Im from your area grew up there in Tangi parish and at one time planted a couple apples that gave a few fruit. Mostly citrus, fig, pear, banana though when i lived there. Now im up here in KS trying to grow more than ever in a more harsh climate lol.
You will learn new things since few grow that many apple cultivars that far south. Hopefully you can share results later for other southern growers.
In choosing my apple types, and pear, my #1 concern has been fireblight resistance. You may also have a chill hour issue on the ones that need a lot of chill hours.
On citrus, you might want to add Prague Citsuma depending how far north you are since yall get those occasional pipe breakers that can fry most citrus even a Satsuma north of Hwy 16 or so. :slight_smile:

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We are probably at a lower latitude, but have had apples in South Texas for several years. Interestingly, they are indeterminate in low chill areas. Ours will have flushes of flowers and fruit at the same time, typically after a rain event or some other weather change. The last batch of apples we got were from Kuffel Creek and he confirmed this behavior in low chill areas
Rust hasn’t been a problem on the apples, but our mayhaws get a bit every year, although there are no cedars within a mile or two. D

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Larry Stephenson of Southern Cultured Orchards and Nurseries may be a good source of information for you. He’s in Mississippi and frequently posts on the NAFEX page on Facebook. Perhaps you’re already familiar with him.

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Small world, I live on Hwy 16 just east of Tangi.

@applenut has inspired me to give it a go with the apples here.

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Hurricane Ida

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Today

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The current raised bed is 10ft x 90ft. Plan to bring it down along the road, and take in a big area where the live oak was. The pile is cow dirt, aged wood chips, ground live oak stump. I’ll spread it out above the clay soil after I get a few more roots up. Hopefully the raised bed soil will be healthy enough to sustain tree life, and maybe over time some roots will anchor into the dense clay beneath. The blackberries and figs grew like mad!