Yep, we're growing that many different types of apples. It's an incredible collection of classic heirloom and wonderful connoisseur varieties. And almost none are what you'll find filling the bins of most grocery stores. Read more
Rooms With a View
Salt Spring Island is an idyllic place to visit. And where better to stay than a room at the B&B @ Salt Spring Apple Company? Perfectly located and open year-round.
Thanks for your interest in ordering a certified organic apple tree from Salt Spring Apple Company. We look forward to providing you with a unique heritage or connoisseur apple tree.
We want to make sure you are aware of what's involved in grafting apple trees, so you aren't surprised if there are any delays or complications along the way.
We are a two-person operation – both of us working at this part-time – producing certified organic apple trees of more than 330 different apple varieties, each available on at least three different rootstocks. That adds up to about a thousand different combinations. We can't possibly have all of them in stock at any one time. Nor can we graft hundreds of each variety each year, so ordering trees from us sometimes involves a wait. On occasion, quite a long wait.
It can take a long time for us to provide you with your tree because we only graft once a year (in March). After we graft, it takes months to know if we've been successful and it's an activity that’s vulnerable to the capriciousness of nature, so there's a rather large element of uncertainty standing between us and successful delivery of a one-year whip to you.
Literally from week to week during the growing season, the progress of the trees we have grafted can change. We might graft a large number of a particular variety only to see every single graft fail. Or maybe they will grow successfully, but end up too small to sell by the end of their first season. Some grafts look like they are going to fail and then magically come to life; others, unfortunately, do the opposite. Some little trees stall in their growth after looking promising, while others wait until late summer to start growing much at all.
We don't even try to report on the ebbs and flows of this drama during the growing season, as we simply can’t know how it’s going to turn out until the end of the summer. And those that are planted in the ground in our nursery can’t come out until they go dormant, usually well into November.
As a result, if you order a tree that we need to graft for you, we may not be able to tell you for sure whether we can deliver the tree until well into the fall after grafting. And if all of our grafts of a given variety fail one year or end up under-sized, it sometimes means waiting until the next year. We can’t rush Mother Nature, even though we know you're waiting.
In an era when we can order almost anything we want online and receive it within a few days, this can be difficult for some folks to accept. But it's the reality of a thousand different apple tree combinations and every one of them uncertain until they have grown at least 50 centimetres tall (that’s our specification for a ready-to-sell tree).
If you are in a hurry and are open to suggestions of other varieties we might already have in stock, the delay can be reduced, sometimes to zero. But if you are looking for something particular, please know that this is a process that takes time. And we appreciate your patience.