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In 1964 a fruit grower in Canada found a strange branch in the crown of apple variety ‘McIntosh’. It had no side branches and was densely covered with fruits like a corn cob with seeds. He informed about his find the Summerland Experimental Station, where worked a horticulturist of Latvian origin, Kārlis Lapiņš. Thus, the first columnar apple-tree was discovered. Kārlis Lapiņš (better known as Lapins) propagated and examined the natural mutation, and found that half of its descendants inherit the same tree type. In the following decades many columnar apple cultivars have been developed in the world, and also in Latvia. They are grown mostly in small gardens – both for fruit and as ornamental trees. But Lapins later became famous worldwide as the breeder of the first self-fertile and compact sweet cherries.

Submitted on: 20/06/2019