Taking Care Of An Apple Tree
An apple tree does not have to be limited to an orchard out in the country, thanks to modern gardening techniques. Pruning apple trees can be done by the average gardener. Not only does this make the tree even more attractive on your property, it will extend the life of your apple tree so you can have fresh fruit for years to come.
Planting An Apple Tree
Most likely you will need to buy a young sapling and plant it in an area that has plenty of nitrogen in the soil. The nitrogen and other nutrients are not only critical for the overall health of the tree, they will help the tree to produce better tasting fruit. Most apple trees can survive in any type of soil as long as it has good drainage. The tree should also be planted in an area that receives plenty of natural sunshine. This sunshine is essential for the tree to grow. Do not plant the tree in a low lying area, as the roots can rot if it is placed in an area where water can stand.
Once planted, the tree needs regular pruning in order to keep the tree healthy and insure proper growth of the fruit. If you plant the tree in the spring, which is best, you can prune the tree in the winter in order to keep its shape. After the tree is mature pruning is done in order to remove any dead branches. You also should remove any overcrowding branches in order to prevent them from stopping fruit growth.
Other than regular pruning, an apple tree is relatively low maintenance after it is planted. As long as you live in an area that receives regular rain, the tree should have plenty of water. Most soils found in yards are also full of enough nutrients to maintain a tree’s growth. Some things to watch out for are common pests that can not only get into a tree and ruin the fruit, but they can also cause rot in the tree itself. It is then wise to speak to an insect expert on how to properly eliminate these pests, as the wrong type of pesticide can ruin the fruit.
With proper care, it takes about three years for an apple tree to set fruit. As a result, patience is the key. You will not be able to get fruit out of the tree in the first year no matter what you do. Once the tree does start to produce fruit you will need to keep an eye out for insect or disease problems. This may necessitate an insecticide or a fungicide, but it is best to talk to a professional before applying these treatments. This is especially true if you plan on eating the fruit, as traces of chemical insecticides can be left over in the fruit if you are not careful.
The best thing about having an apple tree is that the fruit does not ripen all at once. It means that you will consistently have fruit during the peak of growing season instead of having to pick it all at once.