- Tips for Growing Apple Trees
- One tree is not enough
- Spraying ups your chances for good fruit
- Dwarf, semidwarf, and columnar trees are the way to go
- Regular pruning is essential
- All apple trees worth growing are grafted
- Spur types trump nonspur types
- Growing Apple Trees – The Easy Way
- Do you find fruit tree care confusing? Let me simplify it for you.
- In Conclusion: Growing Apple Trees is Fun When You Know What You’re Doing
- How to prune an apple tree in winter
- Apple Trees Are Beautiful in Every Season
- Are fall-blooming apples curiosity or concern?
Tips for Growing Apple Trees
Apples (Malus spp. and cvs., USDA Hardiness Zones 3–9) are a constant presence in the supermarket, but one taste of a just-picked, perfectly ripe apple in autumn will make you eschew grocery-store apples for good and will send you running to the garden center for an apple tree for your own backyard. While growing apples in your garden isn’t hard, there are a few things you should know before you take on the commitment so that you’ll have edible apples in the end. I talked to Elmer Kidd, chief production officer at Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. in Louisiana, Missouri, where the company has been growing apples for 200 years, to get the scoop on what home gardeners need to know about growing this delicious crop.
One tree is not enough
To set fruit, the vast majority of apple trees requires a different variety grown nearby for pollination. While some apple varieties are self-pollinating, even they produce more fruit with another variety nearby. So if you want an abundance of fruit, you’ll need to buy a second apple tree when you head out to the nursery (unless your neighbor is growing apples, too). Your trees must bloom at the same time, however, to pollinate each other, so do some research before making your selections.
Spraying ups your chances for good fruit
Apple trees are prone to a host of pests (such as codling moths, photo, right) and diseases (such as apple scab, photo, above). Keeping the area around a tree clean by pulling weeds to prevent nutrient competition and clearing any plant debris to reduce disease transmission go a long way toward preventing problems. In addition, Elmer recommends killing pests during the season and spraying apple trees with dormant oil every year to protect trees from overwintering pests, larvae, and eggs. Organic sprays are available, but they should be used with caution; follow the package directions to the letter.
Dwarf, semidwarf, and columnar trees are the way to go
Gone are the days of orchards with towering apple trees. Not many of us have the kind of space in our home garden that a full-size tree requires. Plus, why struggle with a huge ladder at harvest time when you can grow a shorter, more compact, and more productive tree? Smaller trees are not only easier to care for but also, in many cases, more disease resistant. They tend to bear fruit earlier than their full-size cousins, as well.
Regular pruning is essential
Pruning an apple tree every year is not just recommended—it’s essential. You will need to prune your apple tree—to train it to a central leader the first year and for maintenance every year after that—to stimulate fruit production and to keep the tree open and balanced. Without regular pruning, an apple tree produces lots of vegetative growth that then turns into fruiting wood. If a tree has too much fruiting wood, it begins to produce too many apples, which weakens the tree and results in inferior—and eventually fewer and less palatable—apples. The key is to achieve a healthy balance of vegetative growth and fruiting wood so that the tree has enough energy to produce healthy apples.
All apple trees worth growing are grafted
If you were to grow an apple tree from a seed, there’s no telling what kind of apple that tree would produce, and more than
likely, that apple would not be a tasty or attractive one. Desirable apple varieties have been carefully bred over generations to have specific traits. They are then grafted onto rootstocks that offer even more beneficial characteristics—such as disease resistance and a manageable size—that will affect the tree’s ultimate performance. Get it right from the beginning by planting a tree that’s been engineered to be exactly what you want.
Spur types trump nonspur types
Spur-type apple trees (photo above, left) produce apples on short stems along their branches on two-year-old wood, while nonspur-type apple trees (photo above, right), otherwise known as “tip bearers,” produce apples at the tips of new branches. Spur-type trees produce up to twice the amount of apples in a year as nonspur-type trees of the same size, and their habit is usually smaller than nonspur-type trees, making them more manageable. In Elmer’s opinion, the only reason to grow a nonspur-type apple tree is if the variety that you want to grow doesn’t come in a spur-type form.
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Growing Apple Trees – The Easy Way
Do you find fruit tree care confusing? Let me simplify it for you.
Fruit tree care can be easy as I’ll show you in this eBook and video mini-course. It includes my 11-page eBook Growing Fruit Trees that Thrive, 30 minutes of video content, and two bonus eBooks. Register for free to get access to this course for 7 days!
2. Learn How to Care for Your Young Apple Tree
Wendy and Jack are a couple I know that were really excited about having their first child. They made it through the pregnancy and Wendy gave birth to a healthy little girl. They were overjoyed when they brought the baby home. Then they sat down at the kitchen table and it dawned on them that they had no idea what they had gotten themselves into.
“Oh my gosh. What do we do now?” Wendy said.
Well, that’s what it’s like with young apple trees. Babies are more communicative. Your baby will cry and squirm to tell you it has needs. In contrast, young apple trees suffer in silence. You may not realize that there’s a problem for years – and at that point it may already be too late.
New growers often have questions about caring for their young trees. The answers aren’t always straightforward and let’s explore them below.
A. How Much Water do Apple Trees Need?
If you’re wondering how much water young apple trees need, the answer is that it depends.
Young apple trees need lots of water. They need to be watered frequently and deeply. In our orchard park we water our newly planted trees up to three times a week with three large buckets of water each time. That’s about 15 gallons of water. We have clay soil which retains water. If you have sandy soil, you may need to water even more frequently.
Three or four months after planting apple trees, you can start to water a bit less – maybe once a week or so. The trees at this point have settled in and become a little bit more independent.
Older apple trees that are well established are much more independent. They have huge root systems that take in lots of water and nutrients from the soil. You’ll need to water older trees only during a drought or when the weather is really hot and dry.
Reading the four paragraphs above may make you feel frustrated. I’m sure you’d like me to tell you precisely how much water your trees need in your unique environment. I can’t fly all over the world to work with you on that. But here are two steps that will help you get your apple tree irrigation timing and technique right.
- How you water matters. Trees take in water through their root systems only, so water the area around the roots. DO NOT water the trunk, branches or leaves. Doing the latter can encourage fungal diseases and wood rot. Because of this, it’s best to avoid watering with sprinklers. Instead hand water or use a soaker hose.
- Water deeply and slowly. Even young fruit trees need a lot of water. So, water the roots, then allow that water to absorb before watering more. Give your tree a deep watering and then let those roots dry out completely before watering again later in the week or month. If your apple tree’s roots never dry out, it will become vulnerable to root rot,
B. What is the Best Fertilizer for Apple Trees?
Like humans, apple trees need food. Think about it. Your apple tree gets its nutrients from the soil and uses those nutrients to expand its root system, grow leaves, blossoms and branches, and to produce nutrient-rich fruit for us.
If you don’t feed your tree, it won’t have the energy to do any of those jobs very well. So, if your apple tree produces unappealing apples – or no apples at all – that may be because the poor thing is starving.
While it’s common for new growers to not feed their tree enough, the other problem happens when they buy the best fertilizer for apple trees that they can find in their local garden centre.
But these ready-to-go fertilizers or nutrients spikes can actually irreversibly damage your tree – and your soil – if they are not customized to your unique soil needs.
That’s why I always advise new growers to keep it simple. The best apple tree fertilizer is nutrient rich mulch. You spread it on the soil over the roots of your apple tree once a year, in the early spring. It will provide food for your tree and you won’t risk the damage linked with overfertilizing.
As you become more experienced, you can learn how to feed your apple tree based on its actual needs. You can determine what nutrients it needs by observing new growth, leaf conditions and general tree health and fruit production. When you are ready to learn more, you can take my course.
So, for a beginner, the best apple tree fertilizer is nutrient rich mulch applied in the spring. Here’s how you do it.
- In the early spring spread two inches of compost or one inch of well-rotted manure spread around the roots of the tree. Make sure the mulch reaches out to the edge of your apple tree’s canopy. Do not allow any mulch to touch your tree’s trunk as it can be an entry point for pests and can rot the wood on the trunk. So, your mulch circle will look like a donut. The hole in the middle is for the trunk and about six inches of empty space before the mulch begins.
- Avoid nutrient spikes and synthetic fertilizers. If you over-fertilize your tree you can damage the soil irreparably and damage your tree (or kill it) in the process. Instead, when you are ready, learn to identify nutrient deficiencies by observing your tree’s growth patterns. I’d also recommend testing your soil every few years to find out what nutrients need to be added to keep your tree healthy and productive.
Other apple tree fertilizers options include leaf mulch, bio-fertilizers, dehydrated chicken manure, and more.
C. Is Apple Tree Pruning Necessary?
If you’re growing your fruit trees organically, you probably do not want to use a lot of sprays to protect your fruit trees from pests and disease. That’s why pruning is an important tool that organic growers use to keep their trees healthy and disease free. Here are some reasons why we prune our trees.
- We improve tree health by improving air circulation within the tree. Good air circulation prevents apple tree pest and disease problems because many pests and most fungal spores need dark, damp and warm conditions to thrive.
- Correct annual pruning ensures that every branch of your tree has access to sunlight so that the apples on each branch can properly ripen and colour.
- Correct apple tree pruning helps you build a strong, sturdy fruit bearing structure for your tree. So instead of having a tree with hundreds of weak branches, your fruit tree will have fewer, stronger branches. And each of those branches will be capable of supporting a heavy harvest.
- Fruit tree pruning starts from the very first year you plant your tree. Watch the video below “Three Secrets of Fruit Tree Care” to see how to prune an apple tree on planting day.
- Older apple trees needed to be pruned and nurtured back to health slowly and carefully. Read about a project that restores old orchards here.
Once you’ve planted and pruned your young tree, you’ll need to continue pruning and shaping the tree over the years. And I’ll teach you about that in my online course in the two hour-long workshop on winter and summer fruit tree pruning.
3. Learn How to Recognize and Prevent Apple Tree Pests and Diseases
Finally, the best way to keep your apple tree healthy and productive is to know what fruit tree pest and disease problems it will be vulnerable to over its lifetime.
That’s because it’s easier to prevent apple tree pest and disease problems if you tackle them early on. Once these problems have spread, fruit tree pest and disease problems are really hard to cure.
So take some time to learn about some of the common diseases. I go through them in my Certificate in Fruit Tree Care course in more detail, but here are a few common apple tree problems.
- Apple Scab
- Apple maggot and coddling moth
- Oriental fruit moth
- European sawfly
- Cedar apple rust
The amazing thing is that once you know what to look for, fighting off apple tree diseases organically can be relatively easy. Some diseases can effectively be removed with pruning. Others can be prevented using organic anti-fungal sprays. And some pest problems can be defeated with a once a year spray with an appropriate dormant oil.
In Conclusion: Growing Apple Trees is Fun When You Know What You’re Doing
If you have a weekend or two, you can learn everything you need to know about growing apple trees. Do your research now and you’ll be able to grow apple trees the easy way.
It’s so much more fun to grow fruit trees with confidence, knowing that you have all the bases covered. You’ve bought and planted the right tree. You know how to care for it properly. And you know the potential problems early on and you have a strategy for dealing with them.
Alternatively, you can grow your apple trees the hard way and run out to the garden centre today, buy a potted tree, plant it and hope for the best.
I’ve done both myself. And for me? I’ll opt for the easy way.
Happy growing every one!
Director, OrchardPeople.com Fruit Tree Care Education Online
Susan Poizner is an urban orchardist and the author of the award-winning fruit tree care book Growing Urban Orchards. She is the creator of the award-winning online fruit tree care training program at www.orchardpeople.com and the host of The Urban Forestry Radio Show and Podcast. She is also an ISA Certified Arborist..
How to prune an apple tree in winter
This winter, follow these five simple steps to ensure deathly, happy apple trees fro years to come, says BBC Gardeners’ World magazine.
Advertisement Good winter pruning will help to produce a healthy autumn crop ©Getty
1. Reduce tree size
If the branches have grown too long for you to reach, reduce them a little to help you prune next time.
2. Reduce density in centre
Cut out any vigorous shoots that are growing into the plant’s centre so air and light can reach all the branches.
3. Remove touching branches
If shoots are very close together, or cross or rub against each other, thin them out by cutting one back to the main branch.
4. Cut out dead/damaged branches
Remove damaged, dead or diseased branches. This shoot with a canker needs to be cut back to the main branch.
5. Thin fruiting spurs
On old trees, thin out some of the fruiting spurs to create room for fewer but better quality fruits next year.
Discover more about winter gardening here.
Emma Crawforth is the gardening editor of BBC Gardeners’ World magazine. Each issue is packed with inspiring planting and design ideas, along with suggestions on how to grow your own delicious produce
Main image ©Getty
“It encapsulates London; it’s fun and, as a cockney term of surprise that dates back to the 1880s, the phrase has a lot of history.
“We are looking forward to seeing Core Blimey thrive, becoming a well-recognised variety of London fruit.”
The UOP has planted trees on multiple orchards and public access sites across London, and is now branching out to other regions.
“It seems likely that we will plant it in these new regions as part of our Helping Britain Blossom project –www.helpingbritainblossom.org.uk .”
You can find information about volunteering to help with urban orchards on the charity’s website www.theurbanorchardproject.org , as well as a detailed guide to planting apple trees.
The most important elements are to plant your tree in a sheltered spot that is not in a frost pocket or heavy soil that suffers in downpours.
Choose a mild day when the soil is not frozen and the forecast is reasonable and dig a square hole that is only as deep as the roots so once covered the soil will come to the same place as it did on the trunk when it was growing in a field – you’ll see the spot if you look.
But the hole should be at least twice as wide as the root ball or bare roots – so that the roots do not grow round the hole but punch through the soil.
Install a stake first, off centre in the hole, so that you won’t damage the roots, then get somebody to hold the tree in place while you push the soil back in the hole, firming it down to make sure there are no air pockets.
Water the area well, then mulch with shredded garden produce or home-made compost to help stop the water from evaporating.
If you are growing an apple tree in a patio pot, make sure it is big enough and that you buy the smallest root stock available – an M9 for Core Blimey.
Other small rootstocks include the M27, which is the smallest and grows to just over 1metre – about 4ft – the M9, which grows up to 2.4metres or 8ft, and the M26, which grows up to 3metres or 10ft.
These are all fine for non-container growing, too, as are the M6 (3m/10ft) and MM106 (4m/13ft).
To find your nearest Core Blimey stockist go to www.frankpmatthews.com.
Apple Trees Are Beautiful in Every Season
Apple trees are beautiful every time of year, and at North Coast Organic, we are especially fond of our local apple trees. So fond of them, in fact, we sometimes wander out into the apple orchards surrounding our processing plant to see how the trees are doing. As the seasons change, so they do they – in some pretty spectacular ways!
Here is what we love about our apple trees
In the spring, usually in mid-to late March, apple trees come out from their winter rest. As their buds unfold, newly formed leaves and pure white flowers begin to grow on the ends of the twigs. At North Coast Organic, we especially enjoy this time of year, because the orchards remind us of fresh Sierra snow. The sweet fragrance of new apple blossoms permeates the air all around, which is an extra treat.
Honeybees are attracted to the apple blossoms’ fragrant scent and nectar. The bees move from one tree to the next, pollenating as they go. We love our honeybees because without them, our apple trees would not be able to produce fruit. As the pollenated flowers begin to grow apples at their centers, their petals will fall to the ground. The trees also prepare for the next growing season in spring by forming the buds for next year’s leaves and flowers.
In the summer, what starts out as small green nodules on the apple tree’s branches, begin to form into fruit. Depending on the type of apple varietal, the fruit’s outer green color will eventually turn red or yellow-red. In the case of some apple varietals, such as Gravenstein, the fruit will remain a beautiful green color. Apple trees produce new growth at this time, making them taller and fuller.
In fall, the apples ripen. About two weeks before harvest, their food supply from the tree is cut off, making the apples sweeter. Apples are harvested in July, August, September and October, depending on the apple varietal. Right after harvest, leaves will begin to turn red and brown and fall from the trees. At North Coast Organic, harvest is our favorite time of year. The trees have worked hard to provide us with their beautiful, sweet and crisp fruit, leaving the air filled with such a wonderful aroma. A good reminder that it’s time for baking apple pies again!
In winter, the apple trees rest. They spend the colder months of the year storing up energy to prepare for the next growing season. We still love how the orchards look, the dark branches of the trees stand in stark contrast to a foggy or rain-soaked sky.
North Coast Organic apple products are made in Sebastopol, CA from U.S. grown certified organic apples. They contain no added sugars, preservatives, colorings or flavorings.
Info primarily from: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/leaves-appear-apple-trees-before-blooms-58225.html
Are fall-blooming apples curiosity or concern?
This apple flower cluster bloomed in September in a Michigan orchard. Michigan State University Extension fruit educator Mark Longstroth explained that such clusters appear in the fall under certain weather conditions, but only if the bud hasn’t developed its overwintering inhibition that would otherwise prevent blooming until spring. (Courtesy Bill Shane, MSU Extension)
Blooms on apple trees in September? That’s what some growers in Michigan reported last fall — an oddity, but not a major cause for alarm, according to Michigan State University Extension fruit educator Mark Longstroth. Nonetheless, growers can curb the inappropriately timed apple blossoms.
Longstroth estimated that autumn apple blooming occurs about every four to five years in Michigan, and it also occasionally happens on plums, cherries and other trees. Scattered reports came primarily from apple growers in the southern part of the state last fall, although he did hear of fall bloom on cherry trees, too.
Fall blooms cut back on the following year’s yield, Longstroth said, but it’s probably not significant for a couple of reasons: First, only some buds on a tree will bloom early. Second, growers will thin fruit after this spring’s bloom anyway.
“With apples, we normally want 75 percent of the flower spurs to bloom in the spring, but then we thin the fruit off 80 percent of those, so we end up with only about 10 percent of the fruit — the big-sized apples that we want to sell — at harvest,” he said.
In other words, although fall blooming does indeed take those buds out of the following year’s apple production cycle, most growers will ultimately notice little if any difference in yield.
The fall blooming in Michigan can be traced to last year’s weather pattern, he noted. Michigan had a very wet spring, which means that there was abundant water, so the trees grew rapidly but didn’t have to grow a lot of roots.
The wet conditions allowed the trees to sprout new white roots in the shallow surface soil rather than across a big root system to draw up water from deep in the ground.
At the same time, the wet conditions allowed the tree to put out lots of leaves but with less of the waxy, outer cuticles that protect against water loss.
That water-rich June, however, was followed by a hot and dry July. “That just sucked all the water out of the trees, so they had to shut down for a little while until they could grow more roots,” he said.
Buds generally develop by late summer, after which they should develop an inhibition to blooming until they go through a winter chilling.
“What we think happened this past fall is that the drought stress caused the trees to stop growing, but when we got rain in September and the trees started growing again, some of the flower buds were far enough developed to have all of their flower parts, but weren’t far enough along to have developed the inhibition that would have kept them from blooming until they had gone through a winter,” he said. “Those buds are the ones that bloomed in the fall.”
While the fall-blooming buds are removed from apple production the following year, he doesn’t believe the tree itself sustains any damage.
“In the area of where the blossoms are, it would reduce winter hardiness, but you’re never going to mature that fruit anyway, so it’s not going to have a big impact on the overall winter hardiness of the tree,” he said. “In fact, growers can have a much bigger negative impact on winter hardiness through their pruning activities in the fall, but that’s a whole other article!”
Generally, fall blooming doesn’t compromise the tree or the harvest much, but growers can still do something to help ensure that it doesn’t happen to their trees in the future. “To reduce the likelihood of fall bloom, you should try to maintain good moisture content in the soil.
Don’t let the trees get drought-stressed in the midsummer if you can help it,” Longstroth said.
Whereas growers in the West typically use irrigation to maintain even soil moisture, those in Michigan often rely on Mother Nature, so they need to monitor rainfall and provide supplemental water if a midsummer drought sets in.
“I’ve been working in apples and other fruit trees since 1978, and in that time I’ve seen fall blooming a half-dozen times,” he said. He doesn’t think it’s becoming more common or is related to climate change, but he is pretty sure he will hear from growers in a few years when September apple blossoms appear again. •
For more on fall blooming, see Michigan State University Extension fruit educator Mark Longstroth’s article on the subject at bit.ly/1RnnYBr
—by Leslie Mertz
Gardener Resources: How To Care For An Apple Tree
There are many reasons for a family to appreciate an apple tree growing in the backyard. For one, a healthy apple tree makes a pleasant sight for both family members and visitors to enjoy. Secondly, a family can learn a lot from observing the different stages in the growth of an apple tree. Furthermore, each member of the family can help in making sure the apple tree receives the care it needs to flourish. With proper care, an apple tree can become an appealing fixture in a family’s backyard.
Basic Care Tips
An apple tree needs a certain amount of attention from its caregivers to ensure that it grows in a healthy way. For instance, an apple tree needs to be planted in a place where it will receive enough sunlight to grow. Furthermore, the spot should have adequate drainage so the apple tree will not absorb more water than it needs to live. In fact, if an apple tree’s roots take in too much water there’s a chance the tree will not survive.
Pruning is also an important part of caring for an apple tree. This process removes dead branches and prevents limbs from crowding one another. Furthermore, pruning allows apples enough room to grow. In addition to pruning, the caregivers of an apple tree must be on the lookout for signs of disease or pests. For instance, if the leaves of an apple tree take on an unhealthy appearance the tree’s caregivers should consult the owner of a tree nursery about the situation.
- The Care of Apple Trees: Read information concerning the proper care of apple trees.
- Questions and Answers Regarding Apple Trees: Find a list of questions and answers that pertains to the care of apple trees.
Apple Tree Varieties
There are many attractive varieties of apple trees to choose from. Some people enjoy growing Red Delicious apples. These particular apples are known for their strong, healthy growth. Not surprisingly, Red Delicious apple trees need to grow in a place with adequate drainage so the roots aren’t flooded with water. When it comes to daily sunlight, these trees require approximately six to eight hours. Not surprisingly, these majestic apple trees are a joyful presence in a backyard.
A Gala apple tree is another favorable variety. Gala apple trees need a great deal of sunlight to produce their white or pink blossoms. In addition, a Gala apple tree requires a growing area with good drainage. The blossoms on these strong trees appear around the middle of spring.
- A Look at Apple Varieties: A profile of many delicious varieties of apples.
- A List of Apple Varieties: Peruse a list of apple varieties accompanied by interesting facts.
- The Types of Apples: Checkout a list of apple varieties with descriptive facts including a look at the qualities of the trees.
Apple Tree Pruning
Pruning contributes to the health of an apple tree and allows it to bear good-sized fruit. The process of pruning prevents dead or broken branches from interfering with the new growth of fruit. Twigs or branches that are crowding one another or crossing over each other should be pruned. When pruning, it’s important for a caregiver to examine the apple tree for diseased branches.
The caregiver of an apple tree must use sharp pruning tools in order for the process to be successful. Furthermore, the cuts must be made cleanly. They must also be made in a way that allows water to drain off the pruned area. One common reason for pruning is if a branch is growing in a downward direction. Also, if a branch is cracked or broken it can be pruned.
- Information on Pruning Apple Trees and More: Find diagrams and instructions regarding pruning apple trees along with other pertinent information.
- Pruning Apple Trees: Find out the facts about pruning apple trees.
Apple Tree Training
Training the branches of an apple tree by tying them together helps the tree keep its shape and maintain good health. In fact, the practice of training an apple tree may continue over a period of many years. A caregiver should look at an apple tree’s trunk as its center or leading part. A caregiver should strive to create an arrangement of limbs (growing outward from the trunk) that have plenty of room to expand.
A mature, trained apple tree has branches that have freedom to grow without crowding one another. Many caregivers train an apple tree so that the branches are shorter at the top of the tree and longer at its bottom. As a consequence, all of the tree’s branches are able to receive sunlight. An apple tree that has been properly trained conveys a sense of balance to an observer.
- Facts on Pruning, Training, and Caring for Apple Trees: Discover facts on how to train and prune apple trees as well as information on different apple tree varieties.
- The Process of Training Fruit Trees: Read detailed information on training and pruning fruit trees.
Common Apple Tree Diseases
The caregiver of an apple tree has the added responsibility of watching for any diseases that may affect the tree. For example, sometimes mildew can form on the leaves of an apple tree. This mildew may reveal itself in a powder-like appearance on the leaves. Sometimes when an apple tree is exposed to too much dampness or humidity mildew can occur. Proper pruning can help in the prevention this problem.
Apple scab is another disease seen with apple trees. The disease gets its name because of the scabs that are often discovered on the surface of the fruit. Dark spots also appear on the tree’s leaves. Once again, areas with a lot of dampness can contribute to the development of this disease.
- Information on Apple Scab: Learn about apple scab, its causes, and more.
- Fire Blight Facts: Learn about the symptoms of fire blight, how it can spread, and more.
Common Apple Tree Pests
Not surprisingly, apple trees are also vulnerable to pests. The codling moth is an example of one of those pests that sometimes affects apple trees. The moth larvae can gain access to both an apple tree’s leaves and fruit. Fortunately, there are traps that can help with a codling moth problem.
Apple maggots are another pest that affects apple trees. The maggots gain access to the tree, lay eggs, and tunnel into the apples. In short, apple maggots can ruin many pieces of fruit on an apple tree. Once again, there are some traps that can help with an apple maggot problem.
- Information on Managing Fruit Tree Pests: Features helpful information on apple trees and pest management.
- A Look at Pests on Fruit Trees: Learn about pests of fruit trees.
Harvesting is one of the most enjoyable parts of caring for an apple tree. Ripe apples have a firm surface as well as a crisp texture. The caregivers of an apple tree should check to see when it is time to harvest their particular variety of apples. Once caregivers have a few seasons of experience with handling mature apples, they will be better able to determine when they are ready to harvest.
In many cases, a caregiver will find apples on the ground. There are many reasons why apples fall to the ground before they are ripe. For instance, deer sometimes munch on apples and knock them to the ground. In addition, a strong windstorm will cause some apples to fall. Fallen apples that are rotting and bruised should be cleared away from the area by caregivers so they don’t attract pests.
- Apple Harvesting Information: Read about the harvesting time for apples along with some details regarding their proper storage.
- Answers Regarding Apple Harvesting: View answers to questions regarding apple ripeness and other issues that deal with harvesting.
Having an apple tree in the backyard is an exciting experience that requires persistent dedication from its owners. Furthermore, family members can join together to enjoy the responsibility of caring for their apple tree.