Apple Tree Care

  1. Arkansas Black Apple: The Cabernet of the Apples

    Arkansas Black apples in tree

    Apples are the most popular fruit tree planted in the world with 7,500+ varieties to choose from. This can make selecting just one a challenge. Based on the adaptability alone, the Arkansas Black apple should be on the top of your list.

    Thought to have been discovered in the mid-1800's in Bentonville, Arkansas, it is said to be a seedling of the Winesap apple, which it shares many characteristics. It quickly grew to become a popular regional selection and was a commercial success into the 1930’s. The Arkansas Black has distinguished itself as a true Gem of home garden apple selections since that time.

    Very able to adapt to many climates, the Arkansas Black can tolerate the hot summer inland valley temperatures of California - sometimes more than 110 degrees - or the cold winter climates that are found in USDA Zone 5a - minus 15 to 20 degrees. Then everything in between including coastal planting zones like 8a and b and zone 10 are all good for the Arkansas Black Apple.

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  2. Dwarf Apple Trees

    Assorted Dwarf Red and Green Apples

    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 selected 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

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  3. Apple Varieties

    lattice apple pie

    Apple varieties are sometimes divided into three categories.

    The first and largest category are fresh eating apples. There is not much better than sinking your teeth into a ripe apple fresh from the tree. Absolutely delicious!

    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

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  4. Planting Apple Trees

    Planting a new apple tree

    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 should be approximately twice the diameter of the

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  5. How to Grow an Apple Tree

    bunches of apples on tree

    Growing 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.

    A second consideration before growing apple trees is that nearly all apple trees do not self-pollinate. This means that to grow apple trees that bear fruit, more than one tree needs to be planted. The two or more trees used should also be of different species with similar

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  6. Pruning & Trimming Apple Trees

    Central Leader Pruning

    One 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.

    Pruning apple trees should be done in the winter, encouraging

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