viability of Apple Twist trees?

Asked May 9, 2016, 10:06 PM EDT

I've started seeing "Apple Twist" trees for sale in Minneapolis. Two different varieties of apple tree are grown together and twist braided together. Is this a process that can yield a healthy mature "tree"? Will the two trunks growing together cause damage to each other? If you planted one of these, how would you maintain it / prune it? Would you generally recommend avoiding one of these? Or are they fine to grow in a Minneapolis yard? Thanks, I appreciate it. Sam

Hennepin County Minnesota apple cultivars apple trees

1 Response

The entwined trunks will eventually graft together. Manipulation of trees has been practiced for a longtime. Espaliering has been done for centuries. Manipulated or sculpted trees can live a very long time. If the root stock is good, diseases don't set in the tree should mature. They are relatively new so there isn't data on their success here. http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2015/05/15/new-twisted-trees-produce-apples-on-their-own/

Another thing to remember that having two trees in the space of one saves space but it isn't necessary to have two trees for pollination. There are so many crab apple trees in the metro that pollinators are always available.