Growing Exotic Apples

with’s Susan Poizner

On this week’s episode of Down The Garden Path, Susan Poizner of Orchard People joins Joanne and Matt in the studio to discuss growing exotic apples.

Susan is the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book, Growing Urban Orchards. She is also the host of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast, and offers online courses in fruit tree care.

If you’re considering planting an apple tree in your yard, Susan suggests thinking outside of the box. Susan delves into apple tree cultivars and how they are developed and explains how to source and order more exotic apple tree cultivars. Cultivars that produce delicious apples may also be easier to grow.

In this episode, you’ll also learn about the history of apples and how we’ve transitioned from the hundreds of cultivars from decades past to the only five or six main ones in grocery stores today.

We discuss how the best selling Red Delicious apple became less delicious over time and how we can grow even tastier varieties. Susan does warn that this endeavor is not for the faint of heart, as there are many steps involved throughout an apple tree’s life. So if you’re looking for a low-maintenance fruit tree, this may not be for you.

Joanne discusses rootstocks and why they are important, and Susan reviews the differences between Standard, Dwarf and Semi-Dwarf trees and the best ones for your yard.

Thinking of planting a fruit tree next spring? Now is the time to place your order! Specialist fruit tree nurseries often take orders up to six months in advance because many cultivars do sell out. You can find Susan’s list of recommended mail-order sources on her website

This show also appeared as a Facebook Live. View it on the Orchard People YouTube channel.


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