Saturday, December 03, 2016

Transplanting a 13 year old Liberty Apple Minidwarf Tree. 12.3.16

12.3.16  Liberty Apple Tree on M27 Rootstock.
 Today I moved an approx 13 year old Liberty apple bush from the old place in Vancouver to the Battleground garden.  It's stretching the definition to call this a tree, although it really is a miniaturized apple tree.  This is a graft of Liberty apple scion onto the mini-dwarfing rootstock M27, which produces a shrub-like apple tree that grows around 5 to 7 feet tall.  It's not vigorous at all.  The roots were confined to a volume a little bigger than a 5 gallon bucket.

Despite the small size, we get a nice crop of a few dozen apples from this tree every year.  If I don't thin them, they are small.  Liberty is very disease resistant, and the apples are absolutely delicious.

I have grafted scion from Liberty onto a less limiting understock, but still wanted to keep this tree for more immediate reward.
I dug it, shook off as much old soil and old potting medium that remained after so many years, and re-planted in what was a squash vegetable bed this year.  The new spot does not have competition from a gigantic Kwanza cherry and lawn, that were issues in the old location.   This time I knew the roots should be in the best contact possible with the native soil.  There was virtually no root damage.  I did remove small branches that were touching the ground.
12.3.16  Liberty Apple Tree on M27 Rootstock
As usual, I gave it a hardware cloth collar to hinder vole damage, a good layer of wet leaf mulch, and fencing to hinder deer browsing.

I don't think it will miss a beat.   I'm hoping for a nice crop of  Liberty apples, in 2017.


  1. Your post reminds me that I planted a Liberty apple in the community garden but unfortunate the tag fell off and I forgot to tattoo a label on the bark. It seems that scratching the name on the bark makes a more permanent label then anything else so far and I'm notorious for mis-labeling and loosing labels.

    1. I have lost labels and worse, had labels that I tied around a branch and forgot about it. Then the branch grew around the wire for the label. I don't know get if there was any damage, actually didn't look like it.

  2. Yes, I've tied a string and left it on the branch and girdled the bark, which is a very bad thing. A garden friend suggested a map on paper but the problem with that is some trees died and relocated and didn't get up-dated. I'm also very bad in loosing paper-work. Liberty is planted together with Pink Lady so it will be hard to tell them apart.

    1. Live and learn! I know most of mine by heart, but my brain is not becoming sharper with time. So I like to label as well. For some, I use labels cut from beer cans that people sometimes thoughtfully throw by the wayside, and cut easily with scissors and punch easily with a paper punch. They also emboss easily with a ball point pen. Then I attach them to a stick or post next to the tree. No girdling that way.