How to Plant an Apple Tree?

Having an apple tree in the garden is a true blessing for health. It is easy to plant and grow and will offer you a vast number of fresh apples. Moreover, the pink-white flowers will make your heart bloom during spring.

But, for a beginner, learning the appropriate ways of planting an apple tree is a must. Otherwise, there will be room left for mistakes.      

Now that you have to know the proper steps, proceeding to the details will be best. Small to big, each tip is clarified here.

So, let’s get into the topic. 

When and Where Should You Plant an Apple Tree?

Before getting the apple tree, you must ensure that the time is perfect and the place or soil is correct for planting. Otherwise, the tree won’t grow properly and it can even die.  

So, let’s grab the proper time and place –

  • You can plant an apple tree anytime ensuring 6 to 8 hours of sunlight for the tree. Elsewhere, the tree leaves won’t be able to originate food and the tree might take too long to produce apples. If you choose a bare-root one, plant it only in spring. 
  • Choose a high area for better air circulation and to drive away the cold air. Furthermore, avoid any place surrounded by other trees that will prevent sunlight or air.    
  • Now, inspect the soil whether it is not clay type. We prefer mixing sandy soil and loam soil as these can dry out soon and keep some moisture too.   
  • In the case of soil pH, try to find 5.5 to 6.5. But do not plant the tree on soil carrying a pH above 7.0.
  • Most importantly, make sure there is another apple tree nearby your house or within 2,000 feet in your local area. Plant your tree cautiously to match the blooming time of both trees as cross-pollination is essential for producing apples. Bees will help in the process.       

Eating more apples will reduce the danger of diseases to the heart, lungs, bones, etc.So, planting an apple tree is the key to your good health.

However, if you have ensured the criteria mentioned above, we can move to the major context. 

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Process of Planting an Apple Tree

If you want to take your process of planting an apple tree to the next level, Mary Burton, a horticulturist and a writer at Farm Empower, suggests an easy project.

You can plant a delicious apples tree by storing the tree, distancing each root, digging the soil, placing the roots, saving the graft union, and providing support to the tree. 

Now, we will explain the process and show you how to take care of each planting detail. Without further ado, let us drive you to the steps.

Step 1: Store the Tree

After getting the tree, store it in a shadowy area where it will be safe from freezing, drying out, getting in touch with ants, or overheating.

If the roots are not ready due to drying out, take water and soak them for 4 to 5 hours the day before planting.       

Step 2: Root Distance 

If you are planting more trees, maintain the root distance. The distance will be 15 to 18 feet in each row in the case of full-size trees or seedlings.

If you have got dwarfing rootstocks, keep the distance between 4 to 8 feet in each row.     

Step 3: Dig the Soil

Now, dig a hole maintaining 2 feet depth in the prepared soil and the width size will be two times larger than the root diameter. First, put some loose soil and release some soil from the hole walls to let the roots grow effortlessly.         

Step 4: Place the Roots

Next, place the tree roots carefully on the hole ensuring they are not injured or twisted. Start covering the roots with soil and make it firm to hold the roots.

At this point, never add fertilizer as the tree roots can be ‘burned’ due to extra compost or foods. 

Step 5: Save the Graft Union

In most cases, apple trees are grafted from another apple tree. You will see the grafted union on the tree, which should be above 2 to 4 inches from the ground or the soil line. 

Step 6: Provide a Support 

In the last step, if your apple tree is a dwarf one, it can be uprooted due to the overweight of the crop. Therefore, ensuring support to the tree is the best option. We prefer two options – setting a fence and a trellis for free-standing support.     

3 Regular Cares for an Growing Apple Tree

Planting an apple tree is not sufficient for getting apples from it. You have to put some effort into taking care of the tree to enjoy fresh and tasty apples.

Therefore, go through the extra care sections thoroughly to grow the tree.

1. Watering the Tree

Young trees require water regularly to make their roots stronger. In the case of semi-dwarfing or dwarfing roots, more water is needed. Moreover, the leaves can produce food for the tree with sunlight and water.    

2. Remove Mulch

Mulch should be removed after a period to avoid rotten mulches as it can invite rodents to make their nest. Otherwise, they will eat the bark and harm the tree.  

3. Pest Control

Apple trees are attacked by pests easily. We advise you to apply organic pesticides on a balanced amount. Thus, bees won’t be harmed and pollination will be done. You can know the date of applying pesticides according to the tree variant.      

How to Prune a Young Apple Tree?

Pruning a young apple tree is a step ahead to let the tree grow properly and delay the fruit time. Heavy pruning should be done once a year and it is not always preferred, while some other simple prunings are better for the tree.

Let us introduce you to these techniques.   

  • To reduce misplaced or misshaped brunches, remove the buds.
  • Use strings to tie down any stem bending horizontally to lower stems. Let it stay for a few weeks and observe the growth slower than before.
  • Once the tree is matured enough, cutting some big and misshaped stems are preferred to let more air and sunlight come to the tree.
  • You should cut down weakened stems or twigs, collapsing stems, and brunches that produce no apples. Sometimes, overcrowded branches should be reduced. 

Thus, you can follow these easier hacks to prune the apple tree to observe its better growth. 

Why Should You Thin the Apples?

You should thin the apples to prevent small fruits with a less sweet taste, damaged apples attacked by insects or diseases, etc. Thinning will help the tree crops to remain lightweight with fewer but proper-sized apples.

Therefore, you can do it after a few weeks (4 to 6 weeks) of blooming when the natural fruit drops. Start thinning an apple from each cluster or maintain 5 to 8 inches between the apples. You should thin only the smaller or damaged apples and enjoy better apples afterward.

Harvesting the Apples

Harvesting the apples from your planted tree will give you such happiness that you can not express. You have to be patient to let the apples reach their peak of perfect ripeness.

Collect the apples when they lose the green color of their body. When you observe yellow apples, you can hold the apples and twist their stems to see if the stems are apart without any trouble.

The time of ripeness can vary according to the variant of the tree. But all variants are ripped properly from August to October.

Final Verdict

Finally, you did an amazing job by reading the full process of how to plant an apple tree. Undoubtedly, you have a complete plan of what to do and how to do it. I am sure you can plant an apple tree successfully by following the steps.

Therefore, do not wait anymore and get to work. Wishing you good luck. Happy planting, buddy.

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