How to Grow
an Apple Tree
Whether eaten straight from the tree, in a pie, squeezed into juice
or cider, or made into a sauce, just about everyone loves apples. And,
with the variety of colors, tastes, and textures to choose from, it’s
no wonder apples are such a popular fruit.
The first apple trees, called Crab-trees or Wild Apple Trees, originated
in Britain and are the ancestors of all the apple trees grown throughout
the world today. Growing an apple tree can be fun and rewarding, but
there are several factors to take into consideration before planting
your tree. Number one on this list of considerations is, of course,
the type of apple tree you want to grow and since there are so many
different types of apple trees to choose from, you should spend some
time thinking about this before you decide. Remember too, that if you
plan to do a lot of cooking with the apples that you grow, you need
to pick an apple tree that will give you good cooking apples. Empire,
Jonagold, Golden Delicious, Stayman, and Rome apples are all excellent
choices for baking and cooking. Gala, Red Delicious, Braeburn, and Fuji
apples aren’t as good for cooking apples and are best eaten fresh.
Another consideration when choosing which apple tree to plant is the
size (its height and spread) apple tree that will best suit your garden.
An apple tree’s size is dependent on its rootstock. Thus, before purchasing
an apple tree, be sure to first ask what type of rootstock it has. If
the rootstock is a seedling, the apple tree will grow to be a full size
or standard size tree. If, on the other hand, the rootstock is size-controlled
or dwarfing, then the tree will grow to be smaller than a full size
tree. Fortunately, the rootstock does not affect the type or quality
of the fruit the tree produces. It does affect how quickly the tree
will bear fruit and can affect its ability to resist pests and disease.
Choosing the right location to plant your tree is also essential to
successfully growing a quality apple tree. Apple trees can grow in most
types of soil as long as there is enough water and sufficient drainage,
as well as sufficient nutrients in the soil and a proper pH level. If
at all possible, plant your tree at a slightly elevated level to help
avoid over exposure to frost. When the tree is planted on a small hill,
the cold air will flow down the hill and not accumulate around the tree.
Also, your tree should receive enough direct sunlight so it should not
be planted where it will receive too much shade from other trees or
buildings. When selecting a site for your tree, you should also consider
the tree’s spacing needs. The tree’s rootstock determines how much space
a tree will need to grow. Also, make sure the soil surrounding the tree
is free from weeds and grass. Grass that grows around the tree will
compete with it for the water and nutrients in the soil and prevent
the tree from reaching its full growth and productivity.
In addition to which tree to plant, what size tree to plant, and where
to plant your tree, if your want to ensure the growth of a healthy tree
that produces quality fruit, you must also learn how to properly plant
and prune your tree, maintain healthy soil, add adequate fertilizer,
and protect it from harmful pests and disease. It may seem like a lot
of work, but once you taste the fruit of your labor, you will find it
to be well worth your efforts.
About The Author:
Peter Dobler successfully operates several web sites on the topic of
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