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Re: [nafex] Pest resistant apples

Ed Fackler wrote:
Ed Fackler, one of the smartest guys in heaven, wrote:>
>      Also, during this period I went on many, many wild-goose chases
around the eastern US looking at the "old trees which bore clean fruit
> year".  When I budded them here, they became equally susceptible to
everything which existed here!!!

Like Ed, I have run across some of these trees.  The one I grafted
turned out to be Spartan, and yes it got bug-bit in my orchard!

A common thread in these mythical "old trees which bore clean fruit
every year" stories is that the tree is old and is growing in an
abandoned farmstead with very few other insect reservoirs.  We have
always jumped to the conclusion that the reason for these trees being
clean is due to them being some magical cultivar.  I have to believe
that the environmental conditions of the trees is more important than
the cultivar.

Many authors have made the observation that a typical fruit orchard is
nothing like a healthy ecosystem.  I think it would be an interesting
experiment to try to mimic, and then manipulate, the variables that
these mythical trees grow in.

-Severe N stress (Two things happen:  Alternate bearing so no host
every other year and low protein available for worms, etc.)
-Many hungry animals constantly scouring the ground for windfalls
(which I believe the trees tend to release earlier than healthiest
-Nearest alternate host tree +200 yards (200 meters) away.

Not much use for a commercial grower, but it might be of use to a

Best regards, Joe

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