Planning My Backyard Orchard Plan & Question about Apple Pollination

Hello everyone! I’m new here but just discovered this awesome forum. I’m currently planning on developing a smallish backyard orchard using the Grow a Little Fruit Tree method. This is the plan as it stands. I am in San Antonio, TX (8b, 450-600 chill hours). Do any of you experienced growers have any suggestions or feedback on the plan?

The second question I have is about apples. I’m trying to extend my harvest and the apples that are most commonly grown in my area (Dorsett Golden and Anna) ripen in June/July and I would like varieties that are good for eating fresh and ripen in late September or later. I’m intrigued by the King David apple, which is resistant to fire blight, only needs 300 chill hours, and ripens in November, but I can’t find a second variety that is tasty and a pollinator that works for my area. Any suggestions?


I’d be really surprised if King David hung onto the tree until even October for you…but it may well produce there. I’m not in your area, so I’ll let someone else suggest a pollinator.

(Shell of Alabama, Rev. Morgan, are some I know grow in Alabama and south Texas).

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Welcome to this site mgorham. There is a lot of great information and helpful people here.
I would contact David Vernon at Century Farm Orchards. He grows his own trees and has a great knowledge and selection of trees that could work for you.
I have talked with him and emailed with him many times while starting my orchard. l also bought most of my apple trees from him. They always do well here in my location. Being in Texas has its own limits as to what will and will not do well there. He carries Southern apple varieties that take heat pretty well and has a later ripening varieties to choose from. Some of them I cannot grow here because we get freezing weather and snow in early to mid November. I would like to grow more Southern apples but the weather is working against me.
Good luck.


Your best bet on varieties in your climate might be by contacting some members in your local. You can go to the member map and find growers near you, read their BIO to find out if they grow apples, then contact those who are successful in your area. Good luck

Kent, wa


Honestly I’d be happy if it hung on until September. Most of my fruit will be ripening June-August. Do you think that’s likely?

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Thank you! I will absolutely do this.

How late can red or yellow delicious hang in your area? Or does anyone try them there?
I should think harvest time of King David would be in the same ballpark.

And Fuji, Pink Lady, Arkansas Black and Kinnairds Choice some that likely would hang longer for you.

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Check out Gold Rush, too. @Auburn grows it in the south and might be able to share his experiences.


The kinds most commonly grown are here are Dorsett Golden, Anna, Ein Shemer, and Mollie’s Delicious. I honestly don’t know enough other fruit growers to say when most of them ripen. I would love to grow Pink Lady apples but my area is apparently prone to Fire Blight and they aren’t very resistant. Not to mention I want to espalier my apples and pears and I’ve read Pink Lady doesn’t respond well to that.

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I’m too new to send PMs I think but I will be sure to message locals as soon as I can.

I ate a Mollie’s Delicious from a tree here in Kentucky about 40 years ago. Ripens early August if I remember here. It may be a June apple for you?
It’s about as good as a red delicious from the store in early summer. A little starchy.

Those other apples should do fine for you…but I have not tried them…they are low chill (but not very tasty I’ve been told).

I don’t know if Arkansas Black would get sufficient chill hours…but if it could, that’d be one I’d recommend. Disease resistant and even a bit bug resistant. Might ripen Labor Day there?

Goldrush gets a little CAR but a little spray controls it. It also has a few rots but it always still has a good amount of good fruit.

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I don’t have any experience growing it in Texas, but based on my experience here in California and reports from those growing it in the Southeast and Africa, I suggest that you have a look at the old Southern variety Hunge. There’s some discussion of it on this forum both here and elsewhere. Ron Joyner at Big Horse Creek can provide scionwood; David Vernon at Century Farm can supply it as a tree with enough notice.

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It’s also a super eating apple and stores exceptionally well, I understand.

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I forgot to mention the best part of Goldrush, it is delicious.

That’s ok but even if you map locals chances are you will find several posting about your subject. Easy to just put their handle in the search glass and you can read all their recent posts to determine who might help you
Good luck and welcome to the site

I just looked at it. Would love to put it on the shortlist but I think it’s chill hours are too high for my area. Lowest I’ve found is 700 and the most I get is 600 typically.

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I can give you an idea of what to expect. I’m in DeWitt county, about 100 miles SE of you. I’m probably on better soil, but it’s still calcereous. I have planted probably 12 kinds of apples including the ones you mentioned, but also some Arkansas types. At our latitude apples become somewhat detached from “normal” fruiting patterns. Apples that are rated for many more chill hours than your area will still make fruit, but other factors are involved.I have an established ein shemer. I had two until hurricane harvey knocked one over… It puts on flushes of apples based on weather patterns. If we’ve been in drought and rains come it flushes. In early Spring it flushes. Usually mid Fall it flushes. Sometimes it makes hundreds of apples, sometimes much fewer. My other apples are still immature. There is a very knowledgable apple breeder on this forum. He was in Southern Ca, but I think he moved his operation. I am embarrassed to admit I don’t remember his business name, but I got a bundle of very happy grafted trees from him that have done well for me. He will probably see this and chime in. Regards, Dan

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I think the vendor you are thinking of is Kuffel Creek nursery. They sell bundles of benchgrafts. They also have a list of apples for hot climates and a list of trialed apples that fail to work in hot climates.

That’s the one. I told him to send me a mix of what he thought would work and they are doing pretty well.