This section of the book is from the Guide To Hardy Fruits And Ornamentals book, by Thomas Joseph Dwyer, published in 1903.
Most any other situation or exposure except those objectionable ones referred to above will be desirable for the apple orchard. We prefer the northern exposure, but believe when other conditions are equal that it makes but little if any difference whether or not the land is level or has a northern, southern, eastern or western slope.
* The Three Systems
-- There are three distinct and separate ways of planting an apple orchard. All are perhaps equally good, and one system superior and more desirable than the other under different conditions and circumstances. It is, we believe, unwise to recommend any one particular rule without having a full knowledge of the situation and the aims and purposes of the planter. We therefore think best to explain briefly the methods now generally in use and let each one choose the one he finds most desirable and adaptable for his individual environments One of the methods to adopt, and the old-fashioned one, is to plant the apple trees thirty-five to forty feet apart each way. Another system and one that has been used quite largely is to plant peach trees between the rows of apples, and also alternately in the row, removing the peach trees in a few years or as soon as they are done bearing, and then leave the land entirely to the apples. The third arrangement is to plant the apple trees twenty feet apart every way. With this plan you get one hundred and eight trees on an acre of land and under ordinary conditions will have these trees come into bearing and produce a barrel of apples each the sixth year after being planted. They will, of course, bear quite some fruit the fourth and fifth years. From the sixth year on to say about the eighteenth, they will bear many crops, large and small, without the trees interfering with one another or becoming too much crowded to hamper all-round favorable facilities in care, cultivation and gathering of the fruit. After this period the trees should be and in fact must be grubbed out and removed as the necessity requires. In adopting this method it is of course the privilege of the planter to have these intermediate trees of summer, fall and. early winter varieties, commonly called "fillers", but there is no objection in having the orchard all in one variety. This seems to be the most universally recognized, "up-to-date" system of apple orcharding. We can in truth call this intensive fruit culture. It is, of course, especially desirable and commendable where parties are hampered for land and wish to use what they have in the most practical way for the largest financial results. When other things were equal we have favored and practiced this close planting for some time, and believe we ought to admit this right here. There are many things in its favor. A man will become more interested in one hundred and eight trees on an acre of ground than he will be on thirty. He will be sure to look after their cultivation, feeding, pruning and spraying better. This natural interest will be much increased when the ;greater number comes into bearing and the income from them larger each fruiting year. He must have the courage to thin them out noon, as they become so large that their branches intermingle.
In naming a list of Apples we will confine ourselves to a small selection of the leading and reliable standard varieties, of course including the sorts of recent introduction that are considered valuable acquisitions. There are many other varieties that are good under special favorable conditions of soils and climates. The ones hereafter named will, we feel sure, be found adaptable to a wide range of country and suitable for our varied lay of ground and exposures. We will classify them, those for commercial purposes, and those for home use, putting each class under three separate headings, namely: Summer, Autumn, Winter. Those selected for market or commercial purposes will be principally with the view to early fruiting, size, color, productiveness and all-round market qualities, somewhat regardless of high flavor. However, this list will necessarily include some of the best eating apples. The varieties named under the heading "For Home Use" will be chosen for their high quality, ignoring quite entirely all other considerations. However, we are pleased to know that this list will embrace some sorts that are at once both desirable and profitable for both purposes.