We ordered our 8 new apple trees from a grower we know in B.C. named Harry Burton on Salt Spring Island. He grows many heritage apple trees and grafts from his own stock. We have seen and heard good things from other people and we've actually visited his orchard and eaten his apples too. He is supplying our apple trees grafted onto MM111 root stock which will make the trees about 80% of their natural size and much hardier and drought tolerant than their dwarf counterparts. This means we'll need a ladder for picking fruit once the trees are established but also means longer life and stronger trees. Any fruit we miss while picking will simply windfall and become food for the animals and birds so it's not a loss really. One other bonus is that larger trees spaced 15-18 feet apart allow for livestock grazing without much tree damage thereby adding manure to the orchard while keeping the grass down and providing shade during hot weather, a win/win situation for a self-supporter. Our trees will come bare rooted and will need to be soaked and planted as early as the weather allows. You'll notice that varieties are selected for different qualities. Some ripen early and some late, some are for cooking and some store well. We should have an apple season from August to November/December and then apples in storage through the winter. Some apples, like Ashmeads Kernel actually taste better after they've been stored for a month or two. Here's a little info about the apple trees we're getting, and Happy Early Valentine's/Birthday Steve!
Bramley Hardy to zone 4.
Honey Crisp or Honeycrisp Hardy to zone 3.
Mutsu aka. Crispin Hardy to Zone 4