Which apple variety is lowest vigor?

Between Pink Lady, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith or Fuji - which variety is most likely to offer the lowest vigor on G11?

One row that I will plant this spring is set for 3 foot spacing and would be best suited for the least vigorous variety. I could dig another set of holes on 4 feet centers in this row, but I would have too many trees to fill the row and no good place to put the extra trees.

I’ve grown all those but not on the same roots. With that said I’d say those are similar. Maybe Golden a little lower but it just might be rootstock. Goldrush is the one I have now that’s low vigor.

The difference between 3 and 4ft isn’t significant in my mind. Plant them at 3ft. Then if necessary take out every other tree down the road. 3 to 6 is a real difference, 3 to 4 not really.

The one vigor chart I found has Pink Lady high vigor and the other three medium.

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I only have experience with varieties on B9 which are not very vigorous in my hot humid climate. I have these trees on 3, 4 and 6 foot spacing. 6 is too far and I’m not sure these trees will ever fill the gaps between trees. 3 and 4 look a lot better.

I hope the trees on G11 will grow a little bigger than the B9. It would be nice to worry about keeping the size of the tree under control, rather than pushing the tree hard with water and fertilizer and hoping it will will reach the top wire at 9 1/2 feet.

I have a multigraft tree on M111 with Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Fuji. Fuji is the most vigorous among these three. GD and GS are similar in vigor.

Stan, do you have a pic? How old is the tree? My 3 year old multi graft tree is barely growing. Too many burr knots I suspect.

Here are a couple of photos from 3/16/2016 (I don’t have more recent photos for this tree). The tree was planted in late spring 2014.


Fuji is the largest branch in the middle, it has a bunch of new grafts that I put on it around the time the photo was taken. Gala is the most horizontal branch (on the left in the first photo and on the right in the second). GD is the branch on the left in the second photo. GS is the branch with most new leaves (on the left in the first photo).

My tree does not have burr knots, but it didn’t grow very well in 2016. While I’ve thinned the apples, I should probably have removed them all, one of the reasons is that a net was on the tree for too long (to protect apples against ground squirrels) and many leaves have been damaged by the wind rubbing them against the net.

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I believe Golden D. is considered of moderately low vigor. I see them planted among the huge orchards in Columbia Valley and they are always smaller than the cash crop. No doubt they are grafted to smaller type stock also, since they are planted simply to set seed and fruit. There are a pair of trees planted at the same time some blocks from home that show clearly the lower vigor of GD.

Fuji is very high vigor, YD moderate, Granny in between, but close to YD. Fuji is famous for growing lots and lots of wood and on 111 can be difficult to discipline and bring to maturity.

True about Goldrush, Ark black is also a spurry stuntman.

Thanks everyone! Looks like the Golden’s are going in the holes spaced three feet apart.

Here Granny Smith is very upright and vigorous, and I multi grafted a Fuji that is much more moderate in growth.

The Goldens certainly sound like the best choice for close planting.

Sorry to pop in on an old thread.

I have Original Golden Delicious (Mullins) that seems to be low vigor. It’s quite different then modern Golden D. Very late to break dormant too.

One of the lowest vigor table apples I grow is Mother. It makes a nice dwarf tree on M111. A lot of the smaller Crabapples like Dolgo and ornamentals really need a standard rootstock to grow any kind of sizable tree.

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Here Golden Delicious is moderately vigorous and not low. Truly slow growing in my nursery is Ark Black- spur strain. Anything marketed as being a spur strain is likely a slow grower and early fruiter. Goldrush is quickly slowed by heavy crops- more so than Golden Delicious here, for sure. Pink Lady also crops heavy and young and should be easy to keep relatively small.