About Pine Tree Apple Orchard
Pine Tree Orchard was originally planted in 1904. From 1950-1958 John's dad worked at the orchard. In 1958, his dad decided to purchase the orchard. Originally Pine Tree Orchard was 25 acres, within a few years of his dad purchasing the apple farm he doubled it to 50 acres. Then his dad bought another farm in Southern Minnesota.
John, his brother and four sisters now operate the two orchard locations on a daily basis. They have been working all together since the early 1980s. John is the grower of all the fruit.
There are about 15 different varieties of apples on both of the farms. Most of the varieties that they have come from the University of Minnesota and are native to this state. They have Harlson, Honeycrisp, Zester, Sweet Tango, First Kiss and the all great varieties that were created by the University of Minnesota. Pine Tree Apple Orchard is an apple tester and get a sneak peek at what a potential variety of apple tree is going to be like before it goes onto market with their partnership with the University of Minnesota.
Apple Growing Season
The apples grown at Pine Tree Orchard take anywhere from 90 to 105 days. Most apple trees at the orchard blossom around May 1st and are ready for harvest around October 31st. There are apple varieties that can take much longer to grow with up to 180 days in different regions of the world.
Technology at Pine Tree Apple Orchard
Over the course of John's 50 year career at Pine Tree Apple Orchard, the farm has seen many advances in technology. One of the things that the farm likes to do is reduce risk and compensate for weather. To avoid having a bad apple crop from dry weather, they have installed a tubing that runs alongside the trees to release water for the plants. Another example of technology advances is the wire netting that they utilize to protect the apple trees from hail. When hail hits the net, it falls onto the ground instead of damaging the tree or the produce.
For more information about the Pine Tree Apple Orchard, watch this virtual field trip.