Columnar Apples These unusual trees open up intriguing possibilities, especially for urban farmers. With apples growing on short spurs, very close to the trunk, these hardy and disease resistant varieties can be tucked into tight corners where you’d never before pictured an apple tree. Try several in containers on your balcony. Consider planting a row of alternating varieties 1 meter (2-3') apart as a section of living fencing. Not only would it define the property line and provide a measure of privacy, but at the same time it would supply both you and your neighbor with apples for fresh eating, pies and cider! Bareroot trees.
Photo courtesy of Raintree Nursery

Apple Columnar : GOLDEN SENTINEL™ Small Semi-Dwarf (M26)


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Developed in Summerland, BC in the 1980s, this disease resistant 'sentinel' is known for large, golden-yellow apples with a rosy blush on the sunny side. Both appearance and the sweet, mellow flavour makes for favourable comparisons to Golden Delicious. Storage life is also similar, at about four months. Golden Sentinel's distinctive colonnade shape can easily be maintained by pruning the branches back to 10-15cm stubs every spring.


G41 Dwarf
G935 Small Semi-Dwarf
G969 Small Semi-Dwarf
G30 Semi-Dwarf
G890 Semi-Dwarf
Pollenator definitions
Some trees and many berry plants are SELF-FERTILE ̶means the insect pollinators or even the wind can pollinate the blossoms without the need of a second tree.
NEEDS A POLLENIZER ̶ means another tree of the same type or kind but a different variety must be blooming nearby at the same time.
EXAMPLE A Liberty apple and a Wealthy apple can cross-pollinate. Two trees of the same variety ie: ̶ 2 Wealthy apples, cannot cross pollinate because they are genetically identical.
Other trees are marked as SEMI-FERTILE. These will set fruit without a second tree. However they will often bear more, and sometimes larger fruit if another variety of the same kind of tree is nearby.
You can select 2 different trees of the same kind marked as NEEDS A POLLENIZER or plant one of those along with one SELF-FERTILE or one SEMI-FERTILE. Also consider ripening times ̶ a Goldrush apple might not start blooming before a Pristine is finished.

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Growing Tips

Apple Growing Tip

Besides selecting the most disease resistant varieties, there are
a few simple things to do to have better apples.

  • Fertilize under the outer edges of your trees. There are no feeder roots next to the trunk. A well fed tree stays healthier. (Adequate calcium in the soil also helps so that apples keep longer.)
  • Pick up fallen fruit and compost, dispose of, or feed to livestock (where possible).
  • Rake up leaves in the fall and compost them away from the orchard.
  • Prune trees to encourage light and air to reach the inside of the tree.
  • Provide bird nesting sites near your orchard. A variety of orchard companion type plants will attract native pollinator insects and also encourage birds to come and eat insect pests.