Apples are one of my favorite fruits. Most fruit trees require the existence of another tree of the same species in order for both trees to be able to bear fruit. However, many apple trees are self-pollinating, but it does help to have two apple trees for increasing your chances of having fruit when the trees mature. Here are 5 tips on growing apple trees for your fruit-growing venture.
5. Prepare the Ground for Planting
Dig a hole that is around 4 feet in diameter. Be sure to remove all the weeds and roots of said weeds before planting the tree. It’s best to try to keep this area around the newly planted tree as free from weeds as possible. Adding some mulch around the tree will discourage weed growth and allow the tree to get as much nutrients as possible.
4. Stick to the Younger Trees
As much as I love apples and want them to grow in my yard, making sure my apple tree has a fighting chance is very important. Planting an apple tree that is just a year old means that you should have little difficulty getting it to become well-established. Trees that are 3 years old or older might bloom sooner, but they have a more difficult time adjusting to their new location.
3. Be Ready for Pests
Aphids and mites will attack even the disease-resistant varieties. There are also codling moths, apple maggots, plum curculios, and green fruitworms. Some of these might not be common pests in your area, but know where you can purchase the appropriate insecticide when you need it. Voles are another pest that enjoys nibbling on apple trees. Our barn cats take care of the voles in our yard.
2. Don’t Plant in a Low Area
Lower areas are more prone to heavier bouts of frost. Choose an area that is more elevate than others, has well-draining soil, and lots of sunshine. The last thing you want is to loose your newly planted apple trees to spring frost.
1. Stagger Trees for a Longer Harvesting Season
There are three types of bloomers; early, mid-season, and late. By planting two of each variety, you will extend your apple season and not have to pick so many apples all at once. This will give you time to harvest and deal with apples a little at a time, instead of having tons of apples all at once and letting them go to waste.
As long as you choose two apple trees that bloom around the same time, you won’t have to rely solely on bees to pollinate the flowers. Apple trees planted within 50 feet from one another are able to pollinate one another. What types of apple trees do you have growing? Do you have better success with a particular variety over others?
Top Photo Credit: Hugo Provoste