Did you know that mature apple trees can produce 400-1200+ apples per year? It’s no wonder why the U.S. alone grows 240 million bushels of apples annually. Despite the cold winter months in North America, apple trees are resilient and can withstand lower temperatures. As great as apple trees are though, it’s incredibly important to do your research before planting them. The process of growing an apple tree isn’t as straightforward as you might think, and requires a large amount of patience.
To plant and grow an apple tree, the first thing you want to ensure is that you have done the proper research on location, variation, and available soil. After that, digging a specific hole and planting your apple tree becomes incredibly easy. The hardest part for most people is the patience required to see your tree come to life.
In this step by step guide, we’ll go into detail on how to plant and grow your own apple tree. We’ll also cover where to plant your tree, the best time of year to grow it, and what the specific stages of growth look like.
- 1 Apple Plants Buying Tips
- 2 When to Plant the Apple Trees?
- 3 Where to Plant and How Many?
- 4 Apple Tree Growing Conditions That Must Consider
- 5 Apple Tree Planting Tips
- 6 How to Plant an Apple Tree?
- 7 Apple Tree Care and Maintenance
Apple Plants Buying Tips
therefore it is necessary to choose your apple tree according to these two elements so that it complements your wishes. Moreover, do not forget to look at the points below:
- Keep the plants well balanced that does not grow on one side
- check if the plant has wounds and the sizes have healed well
- Choose the size that fits best where you are going to plant it (cord, wind, structure, etc.)
- Check the root system of the plant by removing the bucket: do not take those having too much root system.
- For more choice of variety, prefer the nurseryman to the garden center
When to Plant the Apple Trees?
Generally, the apple plantation is done between November and March. Many gardeners asked me, can I plant apple trees in the fall? Yes, you can. Actually fall is the best time to plant an apple tree. Just avoid periods of frost or heavy rain. It is good to follow the old proverb “At Sainte Catherine (November 25), all wood takes root”: the tree enjoys winter rains, which is ideal for the development of the young tree.
Where to Plant and How Many?
Although the apple tree grows well in deep soils and clay-limestone or silico-clay. But if you know how to be accommodating then almost all types of well-drained soil can perform well.
Do apple trees need full sun? Will apple trees grow in shade?
Appropriate sun exposure needs for scented and sweet fruits, but the semi-shade is also suitable. Choose the airy area and sheltered from the winds.
Now the question is how many apple trees should you plant?
Most of the apple varieties are cross-pollinating plants that means any flower of the same varieties cannot pollinate. So you must plant two different varieties within a small distance.
Apple Tree Growing Conditions That Must Consider
Apple Tree Planting Tips
- Plant several fruit trees in one space because of cross-pollination. Most of the apple trees need to be pollinated by another. So, plant different varieties for better pollination.
- Dig a hole approximately 60 cm deep and 80 cm wide. Loosen the soil. Mix some crushed horn with the soil at the bottom of the planting hole or fill the gap with a mixture of soil, compost, and composted manure.
- When planting, always have the collar or graft point above the ground(10-15 cm).
- After planting, tamp the soil at the foot of the tree then dot plentifully with fine
- Put in a wooden stake place to prevent the trunk from slanting with the wind.
- Reduce the size of the branches to one-third of their length to promote rooting. Always disinfect your pruner before pruning to avoid transmitting the disease to the tree. Allow bevel to flow the water into the roots.
- Apply a preventive treatment against apple worm (Codling moth) in early June. You can also attach cardboard strips around tree trunks or use pheromone traps to trap insects.
How to Plant an Apple Tree?
You can plant and grow your apple tree indoor and outdoor. Moreover, you can plant an apple tree or also can grow from seed.
If you enough space, you can grow several varieties of apple trees on ground soil otherwise you may plant in pot or container but remember that plant at least two different varieties. Why? you may already know.
Now let’s discuss every planting method of apple.
Grow an Apple Tree In a Pot/Container
You will get fruits from 1 to 3 years from grafting. On the other hand, you have to wait at least 7 years if you choose to grow an apple tree from seed. So grafting apple seedling is most popular to the growers. But you should choose your graft more carefully. Follow my instructions that I told in the section of apple tree buying tips or ask the apple tree seller that what is the best varieties in your region.
From the expert experiences, some dwarf and self-fertile apple species are ideal for growing in a pot on a terrace or balcony. Here I explain how to plant and maintain such a tree.
- Pot bottom drilled at least minimum 40cm in height
- Organic amendment
- Planting Soil
- Clay soil
- Drainage equipment
Here is the list of few recommended items that you can buy for the next purchase-
- GROWNEER Flower Garden Pots
- Wakefield Biochar Soil Conditioner
- Nature’s Care Incredible Expanding Potting Soil
- Turface MVP Calcined Clay
- Liquid Common Houseplant Fertilizers for Potted Planting Soil
- Make a mixture of soil composed of organic compost.
- Put the root ball of the tree to soak in a bucket of water.
- Deposit a layer of clay to facilitate drainage and prevent roots.
- Deposit a geotextile to avoid the rotting of the roots.
- Pour a quantity of soil, arrange the root ball in the center and fill the rest of the pot.
- Water to tamp the soil.
Grow an Apple Tree From Seed
Before the planting methods, I would like to tell you that you must know these point
- You can not get fruit first 7 to 8 years(some can not produce for a lifetime) from the Apple trees that are grown from seeds.
- You can not graft from those trees.
So if you are a beginner gardener it is not recommended to grow apple plants from seeds. The grafting apple tree is suitable for you. Grafting apple trees are less suspectable to diseases. Still interested? Okay, let’s dive into…
Dry the apple seeds
- Remove the seeds from the flesh of the ripe apple fruit.
- Collect seeds from different varieties.
- Pass the pips in cold water.
- Dry them with a cloth.
- Place the apple seeds in a cloth letting the air through.
- Store them in a room where the temperature does not exceed 15 ° C for 2 or 3 days.
- Stir them occasionally and make sure insects do not attack them.
Put Seeds in Germination
- Prepare a container with wet sand.
- Lay several layers of seeds on the sand.
- Cover lightly with damp sand.
- Place the bin in a cool place for 2 or 3 months.
Spray the Sprouted Apple Seeds
In the spring, the apple seeds have begun to germinate, they must be transplanted
- Mix potting soil with garden soil.
- Fill them with pots.
- Drop some germinated seeds.
- Keep moderate humidity.
- Wait a year and transplant the plants to the desired location.
Plant an Apple Tree with Bare Roots
In a nursery or garden center, you have to choose between an apple tree sold in a container or the pot and an apple tree with bare roots. Bare rooted trees are usually cheaper to purchase but must be planted in the next few days, unlike clump trees that can stay in their pots for several weeks. When buying, make sure that the roots are not dry, in which case it will be necessary to make praline.
Required Equipment and Recommendation-
- Secateurs- Fiskars 91095935J
- Spade- Radius Garden 22311
- Planting Soil- Miracle-Gro Planting Mix
- Organic amendment-
- Dig a planting hole about 50 to 70 cm wide and 40 cm deep.
- Loosen the earth at the bottom of the hole and break the clods.
- Make the mixture “potting soil/garden soil/fertilizer.”
- Trim the end of the big roots with pruning shears.
- Position the tree in the planting hole without burying the graft or collar eye.
- Fill the planting hole and shake the trunk slightly to slide the soil between the roots.
- Water copiously (10-12 liters) then tamp.
- Perform a light cut by cutting the inner stems and reducing the length of the carpenter’s branches.
Apple Tree Care and Maintenance
Provide an organic fertilizer rich in nitrogen in each spring of the second year. In the fall, bury a fruit fertilizer to ensure good fruiting.
Pruning is necessary for young apple trees. When the plant becomes mature and begins to bear fruit, it is convenient to prune. Prune your plant at least once a year. Pruning also helps the penetration of sunlight and a good passage of air to help prevent diseases or insect-infestations.
Support overcrowded branches of apples. Give a quantity amount of water during the first years of cultivation in dry weather.
How Much Water Do Apple Trees Need?
Mainly it depends how much rain gets your tree. If your apple tree doesn’t get enough rain, then irrigation is the best idea. Young plants need more water for their root development. So, if the weather is dry and hot or drought, water your young plant once in a week.
But how much water should apply?
Excess is always harmful whatever it is. Excess watering can rot your plant root that causes your plant to die. A young apple plant needs 2 to 3 cm of water approximately. If you don’t compatible with measuring then always apply less amount of water 2 times a week instead of too much water once in a week.
Apple Diseases and Pests
- Apple Scab: It is manifested by brown spots on the fruits and then on the leaves. If the contamination is important the fruits crackle.
- Apple Canker: Produces on the bark lesions that widen gradually and can cause the death of the upper part of the affected branch.
- Oidium: In spring it covers the leaves, floral peduncles, fruits, and young shoots of a white-gray felting. The affected leaves become deformed and fall.
- Monilia: Causes concentric rot of fruit on the tree.
- Codling Moth: Apple worm, the caterpillar digs the fruit.
- January: get rid of lichen and moss trunks with a brush
- February: spray along the branches and the trunk a product of late winter against the overwintering forms of insects. At the end of the month, spray Bordeaux mixture as a preventive measure against the primary diseases.
- March and April: as soon as the buds swell, apply a complete treatment, followed by another application to bursting and when the flower petals fall.
- October: protect your apple trees from chance as soon as the leaves have fallen with copper oxychloride.