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Apple Tree Care

Apple trees are deciduous, fruit bearing trees that grow primarily in the northern hemisphere. They prefer the dry climate and warm summers of Canada and America, and cannot be grown in the tropics, or above the Arctic Circle. There are some apple trees that are now cultivated in Australia and New Zealand.

When grown in the wild, apple trees often have thorns on the branches, in order to protect the fruit. Apple trees are also flowering trees, and it is the pollination of their flowers that will allow for fruit to grow. When planting apple trees in a garden, it is important to know that many apple trees do not self-pollinate. For this reason, only one apple tree in the garden may not be able to produce much, if any fruit. To solve this, plant several different varieties of apple trees with similar flowering times to allow for cross-pollination.

The fruit of apple trees come in many different sizes and colors, ranging from almost cherry sized to grapefruit sized, yellow and green to red. The fruit from apple trees should be eaten directly from the tree or within a week of harvest. Fruit that will be stored from apple trees should be kept in a cool, dark, moist and frost-proof location.

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  • Dwarf Apple Trees

    Dwarf apple trees have many advantages to standard sized apple trees. First of all, dwarf apple trees are smaller. This means that they take up less room in a garden. The reduced size of a dwarf apple tree makes it easier to prune, spray and harvest fruit. Additionally, dwarf apple trees will produce fruit earlier than standard apple trees, often only three years after being planted, as opposed to as many as ten years.
     

    There are generally two ways to create a dwarf apple tree. One way is to specially breed them smaller. This is very hard to do and may take hundreds of years. A faster, and much more common way is to graft the tree onto a rootstock that has been Assorted_Red_and_Green_Apples_2120pxselected for its dwarfing characteristics.

    There are several different types of rootstock, and each works best with specific trees. Dwarf apple trees often require much less care than full sized apple trees. The rootstock chosen for the dwarf apple tree will often be much hardier than the original root system of the tree. Also, the smaller stature of a dwarf apple tree will mean that less pruning needs to be done, and the tree will require less spraying. Less tree to care for means less work to do.

    Just about every breed of apple tree can be dwarfed. The type of the dwarf apple tree depends on the variety grafted, while the size depends on the rootstock used. Some rootstock will dwarf apple trees more than others. It is important to select not only the breed of tree desired, but also the size. A dwarf apple tree will grow better in a home garden than will a full sized apple tree.

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  • Apple Varieties

    Apple varieties are sometimes divided into three categories. The first, Apple_pie and largest
    category, are those apples bred for fresh eating. The next category is the cooking apple, and finally the cider apples. Cider apples are typically too tart for fresh eating but they give cider a rich taste that dessert apples, such as a Golden Delicious apple, cannot.

    Apples are mostly bred for skin color, long storage capacity, high yields, disease resistance, and taste. Examples of red skinned apples are Red Delicious, Akane, Cortland, Mollies, and the Spartan.

    Golden or yellow skinned examples are Golden Delicious, Yellow Newton Pippen, Yellow Transparent, Mutsu, Calville Blanc, and Granny Smith. Striped or multi-colored apple examples are Braeburn, Cox Orange Pippin, Gravenstein, and Honeycrisp.

    The color of the apple’s skin does not determine whether it is sweet, tart, crisp or soft. Apples vary in tastes, textures, and some have very subtle variances.

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  • Planting Apple Trees

    Planting apple trees in a home garden will allow for delicious fruit that everybody can enjoy. Planting apple trees does not differ much from planting other types of trees, but there are some special things to consider when planting these fruit trees. The location should have soil that is well drained, since standing water will easily kill the trees. The location  should also have good air drainage, keeping low-lying cold air in the spring away from the tree. Apple trees should be planted in November, if possible. They can also be planted up to the end of march.
    The location used for planting apple trees should also provide for full sun access. If planting apple trees in a lawn, the grass should be removed from the planting area in a four-foot diameter circle, to prevent the grass from competing with the young tree for nutrients and water.

    Once the site is selected, the first step in planting apple trees is to dig the hole. The hole Soilshould be approximately twice the diameter of the root system, and two feet deep. The soil should also be loosened up around the border to allow the roots to break through more easily. The roots should be spread out on the loose soil, ensuring that they are not twisted or crowded.

    Soil should be placed around the roots and pressed down firmly, to remove any air pockets. When planting apple trees, it is important to ensure that the location of the graft is at least two inches above the soil. This will ensure that no roots will grow out of the scion.

    When finished planting apple trees in the garden, watering will remove any extra air pockets in the soil. A newly planted apple tree may need to be supported with a stake until the roots can take hold. Mulch should also be applied around the base of the apple tree to help retain moisture during the first growing period.

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  • How to Grow an Apple Tree

    Apples_on_treeGrowing apple trees can be a fun and rewarding experience for the home gardener. Growing apple trees is a relatively easy process, and yields delicious fruit that can be enjoyed by everybody. There are, however, many factors to consider before attempting to grow apple trees in the garden. The first consideration when growing apple trees is what size tree is desired.

    Apple trees come mainly as a scion, or top portion, grafted ontoapple tree a rootstock. The type of rootstock used will help determine the eventual size the tree will grow to. Some rootstocks will produce a full sized tree, while others will dwarf the tree and make it grow smaller. Growing apple trees that are dwarfed is more common in the home garden. Continue reading

  • Pruning & Trimming Apple Trees

    Central Leader PruningOne of the primary problems faced by gardeners when growing apple trees is that they do not understand how to prune an apple tree properly. Pruning apple trees plays an important role in ensuring proper growth and fruit production. Pruning apple trees begin from the first season after planting, and contiue yearly until the tree dies. Before growing one, any gardener must fully understand how to prune an apple tree properly. Before understanding how to prune an apple tree, it is important to know how apple trees grow.

    Apple trees are central leader trees, this means that there is one main upright
    trunk, called the leader. All branches will sprout and grow out of this. A properly pruned apple tree should have a scaffold shape. This means that there are branches circling the tree, perpendicular to the leader, and there should be an area of about two feet between the levels to allow for light to reach the lower leaves and fruit. Continue reading

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