The story quotes Mark Smith, who promotes backyard orchards via the Wakefield Estate in Milton, Massachusetts:
“The first year, we picked off all the blossoms to return energy to the trees,” Smith explains—a standard practice for new orchards. He added that the second year, gardeners are advised to pick all the blossoms except for 15 to 20 per tree, again to return energy to the tree for further growth. By the third year, 30 to 40 blossoms are left to fruit and by the fifth year, the small trees are producing “about 100 apples each.”
The author, Maria Karagianis, reports that a row of apple trees can provide not just fruit but also "a layer of privacy between homes in denser neighborhoods," according to Pamela Thompson, head of programs at the Arnold Arboretum.
Karagianis also touches on planting, variety selection, and pest control.
The story appeared in the Globe's "G" section, a sort of "lifestyles and culture" magazine that appears every day except Sunday.