Apple Grafting Workshops

We are fortunate to work with Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project (MORP) each Spring to offer a grafting workshop. Check out our Old Fort at Hesperus Facebook page for information on upcoming events.

Orchard History

An apple orchard was established at the Old Fort in the early 1900s. It is a combination of crab apples and traditional apples established on above ground grafts. There are no records indicating what varieties are present.

Nearly eighty, 100+ year old apple trees grow at the Old Fort at Hesperus Orchard. Over the last several years, MORP has grafted every tree and submitted leaf samples to the USDA-ARS for identification. Results confirm the rare, diversity growing here: Hibernal, Virginia Crab, Snow, Wealthy, poss Tetofsky, NW Greening, Old Fashioned Mac, and dozens of other unknown, grafted cultivars that are so rare that the lab does not have their match (although many of them match another in the orchard!). This work is made possible by a MORP partnership with Old Fort and a USDA Specialty Crop Grand Award for the state of Colorado.


  • Work began to identify varieties in the orchard by mapping the orchard, taking pictures of trees, blooms and apples.
  • Grafts were taken from over 80 different trees.
  • First annual grafting and pruning demonstration held


  • Grafting and Pruning Workshop held in April


  • Grafting Workshop held in April
  • Wildlife fence built around entire orchard with electric fence


  • Grafting Workshop held in April


  • Orchard mapped with updated GPS technology
  • DNA samples taken from over 30 trees



A glass of Fenceline Cider2019:

  • Hosted Tasting Event at Fenceline Ciders to introduce Old Fort Cider
  • Monitor new seedlings
  • Sale of cider apples to Outlier Cellars

Pruning Resources

On March 31, 2012, an Assessment workshop was held in the orchard. With the help of Jude Schuenemeyer from Montezuma Orchard Restoration Project, twenty people learned about assessing and pruning old style orchards.

Recommended Resources for identifying old varieties of apples:

Apples of New York (2 volumes), published in 1905 by the New York (State). Dept. of Agriculture, New York State Agricultural Experiment Station under the guidance of Spencer Ambrose Beach, Nathaniel Ogden Booth and Orrin Morehouse Taylor. Available for free download on Google Books. The download is 26 Mb and over 700 pages but a great resource.

Old Southern Apples by Creighton Leigh Calhoon, Jr. - A book that became an instant classic when it first appeared in 1995, Old Southern Apples is an indispensable reference for fruit lovers everywhere, especially those who live in the southern United States. Out of print for several years, this newly revised and expanded edition now features descriptions of some 1,800 apple varieties that either originated in the South or were widely grown there before 1928.

Big Horse Creek Nursery - Specializing in Antique and Heirloom Apple Trees. Use resources on left side of main page to help you identify your varieties using bloom and fruit.