A Note About our Orchard Practices

When researching practices used in orchards for pest control, I visited with a lot of people. I wanted to find the best practices with minimum amount of spraying of chemicals that I could find.

One of the people who I had discussions with was the late George Motz of Balsam Lake, WI. He told me that he had an orchard for 40 years, never sprayed and never had a real worm problem. He said he always kept geese in the orchard. The concept is that the geese will keep the ground free from apples that drop and also catch a lot of insects. The idea sounded good to me, so I got geese!

The idea of geese in the orchard was short lived. They did a very good job of cleaning up fallen apples, but rules are now being enforced by the FDA that no livestock are allowed in the orchard. Now I am using red Christmas tree balls covered with “Tanglefoot”. This products is sticky like long lasting fly paper and the red balls attract the female flies and is very effective. Also I experimented with an organic citric spray with limited success. Overall these pest control practices do a good job on a small orchard like mine.

There will be a natural lime spray used on the trees before they blossom. The lime is a natural product designed to smother any insect eggs hiding on the bark of the trees.

― Bill Z.
Owner, Z-Orchard

Beacon Apples at Z-Orchard

Did You Know?

“It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.”
“More than 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States, but only the crabapple is native to North America.”
“Apples ripen six to 10 times faster at room temperature than if they are refrigerated.”
“Apples are a member of the rose family.”
“Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.”
“It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.”

Our Apple Varieties


Beacon Apples at Z-OrchardThis bright red apple is truly a “Beacon” in the landscape. It boasts a soft, juicy flesh and a slightly tart flavor. It creates a lovely pink skinless applesauce due to the red staining in the flesh. A favorite of many. Introduced in 1936.
Ripens mid- to late August


Beacon Apples at Z-Orchard Large, dappled red fruit with a well-balanced flavor, outstanding crispness and juiciness. Best for fresh eating and salads as the flesh is slow to brown. Fruit will easily store 7 or more months. Introduced in 1991.
Ripens late September


Beacon Apples at Z-OrchardFirm texture with a complex tart flavor. Good for fresh eating and cooking. Especially good pie apple. The fruit will store for 4 to 5 months. Tends to be biennial bearing. Introduced in 1922.
Ripens late September to early October


Beacon Apples at Z-OrchardSavory, sweet tasting apple, with a slight tart balance and rich overtones. Amazingly slow to turn brown when cut. Appealing, large, bronze-red blush fruit. Excellent for fresh eating, snack trays, and salads. Introduced in 2006.
Ripens mid-October


Beacon Apples at Z-Orchard Very large fruit with sweet flavor and fine-grained flesh good for fresh eating, salad, and baked apples. Tree is vigorous and weeping. Introduced in 1943.
Ripens mid-October

Prairie Spy

Beacon Apples at Z-Orchard Large, firm, dense fruit that is excellent for baking and long-term storage. Tree is very vigorous and productive. Introduced in 1940.
Ripens late October

Wolf River

Beacon Apples at Z-OrchardWolf River got its name naturally from the place it was found— on the banks of the Wolf River near Fremont, Wisconsin in 1875. Very large apple. Although considered by many to be a bit dry when eating fresh it is a prized dessert and baking apple
Ripens mid-September