Well, I am pretty impressed. I purchased four different grape vines and a Granny Smith tree from an online nursery – Willis Orchards – in the fall of 2008.
From other posts, I put some pictures ot the Granny Smith tree with blooms on it. Willis Orchards noted that the tree was "fruiting size" and it indeed appears there will be little clusters of apples on the tree this year. We'll have to pluck most of them off to keep the apples from weighing down the branches.
For the grape vines, we purchased a Niagara, Concord Seedless, Crimson Seedless, and a Flame Bunch Seedless. The reason I chose those varieties was because they all ripen at different times – and they are all different colors! Niagara is green, Concord has a dark purple, the Crimson Seedless is an orange-like color, and the Flame bunch grapes are red. It was going to look great on the arbor out front with all of the colors!
Unfortunately, when I received the four, I was less than happy with two of them. The Niagara and Crimson grapes looked like little twigs and were very busy with twigs going every which way out of the main vine. The Concord Seedless and the Flame bunch looked fantastic with two or more canes that were two or more feet long.
I e-mailed Willis Orchards with the below pictures and complained again about the Niagara and Crimson grape vines. When I first got them, I asked if they were sure that they were three-year old plants (I made sure to get the three-year old instead of the one-year old vines so they would mature and produce grapes quicker). At that time, they ensured me that they were three-year old vines.
As you can see, those two grape vines are doing great with good growth. Now, for the ugly. These two were planted exactly the same as the Concord and Flame – but look at the difference with them.
These two bad grape vines are going to really throw off the coloration of the arbor – not to mention there will be a lot of spots to fill in. Even if I get two new grape vines, they will now be a year behind the other two. I usually do not complain as I am a quiet and timid individual, but this sort of ticks me off that they sent such small twig-like vines.
On a positive note, both the Concord Seedless and Flame bunch have small grape clusters on them! Each vine has one small grape cluster – so it looks like we will at least have a few grapes this year.
Concord Seedless grape bunch: