apple orchard strategy


5 year old buck +
I am planning to start a 60 tree orchard on 30ft spacing. I currently have 15 trees on order for next spring. My idea was to fill out the rest over time by grafting my own.

My order is a mix of disease resistant, cider varieties, and crabs. I ordered 10 on b118 and ant. 5 I could only get on M7 or similar new Geneva G222, G890 and G969 rootstock.

As a ponder this over, maybe I would be better getting more on the semi dwarf now. I could plant them on a reduced spacing in a corner of the orchard and get apples sooner. Then I could graft onto B118 to fill out the orchard and not worry if it takes 10 years for something to produce.

If I took that approach, would there be any downside to planting the rest of the orchard with B118 rootstock next spring? I would graft those over the next few years. While I decide what varieties to graft, the trees will be getting established.
The property is in central PA. We don't usually have more than a foot or two of snow. I was planning to cage but could do electric without much trouble. We have fence wire from when we raised beef. The orchard is close to an outbuilding that has electric. There are plenty of bears around.
If they are primarily for wildlife, I wouldn't be afraid to plant a fairly high percentage of your apples (especially crabs) on Antanovka or B118. I planted about 80 grafted trees on Ant, B118, M111, and M7 in the spring of '11. So far, those that are bearing seem to be more related to the scion than the rootstock. Crabs, generally speaking, are more precocious than many large apples. Some of the crabs on Ant based on the experience of greyphase and myself seem to start bearing 4th or 5th leaf, with big crops more in the 6-10 year range. As mentioned above, a huge sturdy tree will be a big advantage with bears around. Also, 4 or 5 years goes by in a hurry. I am at the point of wishing I had planted a bit more on standard stock and a bit less on semi-dwarf. On the other hand, if these apples are primarily for personal consumption, the semi-dwarfs will be easier to manage as far as spraying/pruning/picking goes.
Is the orchard for human consumption or to feed deer? If for deer primarily, B-118, Antonovka, or MM-111 rootstocks are very well adapted for central Pa. My camp is in north - central Pa. and we have all 3 of those rootstocks planted. They're all doing very well. Our soil is heavier clay-type and those rootstocks seem to do well in it. For top-of-the-line disease-resistance, you can't beat Liberty and Enterprise apple trees. Good eating too. Let us know what use the apples are for. Then we can better recommend some varieties if you'd like to know what many of us plant. Lots of experience on this forum from apple growers.
This will be the main orchard. It is for cider, eating, and deer. I want to eventually let deer have open access to share once they cannot destroy the trees. I will likely establish 2 or 3 more small orchards whose focus will be bowhunting. Those would have 6 to 10 trees with crabs and the usual later maturing disease resistant varieties.

As I started with my planning, i found a great focus among the deer apple experts on B118 and antonovka. I oriented my order toward those if available from Cummins for the varieties I want. However, given the size of my new orchard, I am thinking it would be better to have more semi-dwarfs in my initial planting to get production sooner. Maybe plant 25% with those m7/g30 size rootstocks. Then fill out the orchard with the larger rootstocks as time and money allow.

So my question to those with experience is whether I am missing something? Is there a reason not to start with the semi dwarf trees? From what I have read, they will eventually be tall enough that I can remove the fencing but some might need staked but for a while.

Thank you for the responses.
The main reason for the rootstocks that grow almost-full or full-size trees ( for me & other guys in bear country ) is that they'll eventually have heavy enough wood to avoid total destruction by bears. Getting apple trees to grow above deer height is easy...... and they don't climb trees. Bears - whole other story. Dwarf or semi-dwarf trees are fine to get a crop going, as long as you can keep the bears off them. Even with full size stock, you still have to grow them thru the smaller stages & keep them protected from bears. But for trees that will last into the next generation for eating OR hunting purposes, bigger trees stand a much better chance of making it.

Some of the guys who post on here say B-118 is the best rootstock for sandier soil. According to a Penn State professor I spoke with, MM-111 is the best one for heavy, clay type soil. Bigger rootstocks don't require staking like the smaller ones do. It all depends on your needs, wants, future plans & your capabilities to protect the trees.