9-22 End Apple Tree - Zone 3
Characteristics of the tree
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922-End is one of the few good-tasting apples that can grow in extreme cold climates. In appearance, it is yellow with a red cheek, and its flavour is tart and tasty. It is also very juicy. While it is good to eat fresh, it is more of a cooking apple: it makes excellent apple juice, applesauce and apple pies. It is ready to harvest by around September 10th, at which time the apple is about 80% red. It should not be left for too long on the tree. Note that 9-22 End is not a keeping apple, and it is recommended to eat or process it soon after it is harvested, as it does not keep long. It also does best when grown in very cold climates. If grown in warmer climates (especially zone 5 or warmer), the fruit must be harvested half-ripe because it goes soft very rapidly.
The 9-22 End apple tree is first and foremost extremely hardy, one of the only apple trees that are genuinely suitable for extreme cold climates up to zone 1. It has been growing successfully for several years in the Peace River Country of Northern Alberta, and Fairbanks, Alaska. It has been shown to resist temperatures of -42ºC for long periods of time, without any tip damage. In terms of its growth habit, the tree is vigorous and spreading, and is a spur-type apple. (A ‘spur-type apple’ refers to how and where the tree produces fruit buds. A spur-type apple tree produces fruit buds on two-year-old wood, and also produces squat gnarly branches full of fruit buds, called ‘spurs’ on older wood. This growth habit gives it a more compact form)
9-22 End apple tree was developed in Alberta, by the Prairie Farm breeding program, but remains relatively unknown. Its name comes from “plot 9, row 22, end of row” which refers to its position in the breeding orchard. It was brought to our attention as one of the top apples you can grow in zone 1 and 2 by a friend who has been testing fruit tree varieties in Alberta for decades.
The apple trees we produce are grafted on standard-sized rootstock, so they are ‘full-sized’ apple trees (as opposed to dwarf or semi-dwarf). The life expectancy of this type of apple tree is around 100 years. The illustration shows different stages of its growth up until the age of 20 years (as one rarely plans a landscaping arrangement with a longer time period in mind). At 100 years old, the apple tree will be even larger than shown here – it can reach 7 m in height and spread over 9m – while the house might no longer exist!
You should note that this illustration is meant only to give a general indication of what you can expect, and the growth of your tree might look somewhat different. The development of a tree depends on the soil type, irrigation, fertilisation and climatic conditions. What we show here is based on our observation of observations of the growth of apple trees in zone 4, in rather poor soil. In zone 2, growth will probably be slower, while in a rich soil it would be faster.
All our apple trees are sold bare-root, without pots. They have been cultivated directly in our soil. Bare-root trees must be taken out of the ground and shipped during their period of dormancy, which is why we only ship trees in the spring. A big advantage with these kinds of trees, is that they take up very little space, and can therefore be easily shipped by mail all over Canada!
This photograph shows a 2-3-foot apple tree, just like one that you might receive. Depending on the height you choose at the time of purchase, the tree might be a little smaller (1-2 feet) or somewhat taller (3-5 feet.)
All our apple trees are grafted on standard-sized rootstock, which we grow ourselves at the nursery. Trees that are grafted on standard-sized rootstock will become full-sized apple trees (as opposed to dwarf, or semi-dwarf.) While the life expectancy of a dwarf apple tree is only about 20 years, full-sized apple trees such as those we propagate have a lifespan of around 100 years. We believe it is of the utmost importance to plant for future generations, which is one of the main reasons we prefer these kinds of trees.
Besides this, standard-sized apple trees also have many other qualities that set them above dwarf and semi-dwarf trees in our view. For example, their deep and well-developed root systems allow them to draw water from deep underground during periods of droughts. They are more vigorous and resilient, which in turn also makes them more disease-resistant. They are very hardy, and last but not least, much more productive!
To learn more about grafting and the role of rootstocks, see our article here!