Midwest Fruit Explorers
Garden Club for Backyard Fruit Growers
Create Your Own Fruit Trees
Create your own fruit trees through our grafting workshops, videos, and more.
Grow Unique & Heirloom Fruit
Grow fruit that has been lost in modern day supermarkets.
Answers to Common Questions
Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions.
Information & Events for Members of MidFEx.
Gene's Backyard Orchard
Learn the secrets of growing apple trees in limitied space. A how-to guide and virtual tour.
Descriptive and detailed links for backyard fruit growers and Chicagoland gardeners.
Tool used to track member fruit list and to aid in IPM.
Gene's Backyard Orchard
North Apple Bed
Train a Mini-Dwarf
Map of Backyard
Anyone who doubts they have enough space to grow apples should talk to Gene Yale. He'll set you straight. One of Gene's favorite sayings is "If you have enough room to grow a rose bush, you can grow a dwarf apple tree ... and they give full size fruit." Gene lives in a suburb of Chicago. His backyard is no larger than most in the city, about 2500 square feet, but it accommodates 97 apples trees (93 different varieties) and 6 blueberry bushes.
His secret is growing dwarf and mini-dwarf apple trees, all between 3 and 6 feet tall. Their small size is achieved by grafting the desired variety onto a dwarfing rootstock. These dwarf and mini-dwarf apple trees still bear full size fruit; it's the tree, not the fruit, that is small!
Gene explains his enthusiasm for these smaller trees as follows: "I like the idea of having a small tree, because when I want to taste an apple I only have to reach over and pick it. If anything I'm stooping down. One big benefit is ease of maintenance. Spraying, pruning and picking are much easier and you can do everything without climbing up ladders. Besides, I 'd probably only have room for 2 standard apple trees in my back yard."
We hope you'll come along on this virtual tour of Gene's backyard orchard. There are plenty of pictures along with Gene's commentary and insights. The virtual tour consists of five pages followed by the pages titled "Gene Answers Questions", "Training a Mini-Dwarf Apple Tree" and "Gene's Favorite Apples".
We want you to understand where you are when you look at a picture, so alongside many photographs is a corresponding map of Gene's backyard. The camera icon
shows where that picture was taken, and the photographed area is highlighted in a lighter color. To the left you see the map that corresponds with the photograph at the top of this page.
Clicking on any map takes you to the "Map of the Backyard" web page. It has a larger more detailed map along with the map key and scale.
Continue to the next page and begin the tour
Midwest Fruit Explorers, P.O. Box 93, Markham, IL 60428-0093
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