MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — There’s a new concept in apple trees that’s starting to take off: trees that produce two different kinds of apples like Honey Crisp and McIntosh.

The trees are called Apple Twist, and are grown at a farm in Wisconsin. But you can now find them at places like Leitner’s Garden Center in St. Paul.

It’s a new twist on apples. Instead of planting a couple trees in a cramped backyard, you can plant one tree and get a two for one.

“They cross pollinate each other so you don’t have to plant two different trees. It saves money, work, and it’s just a cool concept. Something new to try,” Leitner’s Madeline Westby said.

For an apple tree to produce fruit it needs a different apple tree near it. So Northern Family Farms in Merrillan, Wisconsin, began physically twisting and then tying two different apple trees together.

Essentially what you have here are two different root stocks, two different trees twisted together that will eventually produce two different types of apples.

Over time, the trees will grow together on their own.

At Leitner’s, you can also get a Fuji and Haralson tree or a Honey Crisp and Honey Gold tree, just to name a few. It’s $79 for a tree.

“It’s been a huge selling point with something that looks beautiful and has that function,” Westby said.

The trees often produce fruit in their first year and they can grow to be about 15 feet tall. And the apple twist has one more incentive — the pollination naturally attracts honey bees.

“When they were in bloom, it wasn’t too long ago with more blossoms, they were covered in bees and it was such a nice sight,” Westby said.

Leitner’s recommends that you frequently water the trees during their first year.

John Lauritsen

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