What to Consider Before Planting an Apple Tree
There is plenty of appeal to planting an apple tree in your yard. Not only are they bountiful providers of fresh, delicious produce, they are aesthetically pleasing trees that add charm to any landscaping. However, it is important to do your research and learn exactly what it takes to raise and care for one. Fruit trees are delicate and more susceptible to disease and pest infestations. For these reasons, they require a separate set of tree care regimens to promote the best yields possible. Continue reading to learn which aspects of apple tree planting you need to consider.
Time of Year
The timing and climate for planting an apple tree must be right if you want your tree to produce good yields. The proper time to plant an apple tree depends on the region you live, but also the species of the apple tree. In most regions, spring is the best time to plant anything. This is when temperatures and weather conditions are milder. It is also the rainy season, which is what helps stimulate spring growth. In regions where temperatures remain mild year-round, fall can also be a successful time to plant one. Consult your town’s extension office to see which apple varieties are best for your area.
When you want to plant your tree, you must consider pollination cycles. They require cross pollination, which requires planting two different species of apple tree that bloom at the same time. There are other equally effective methods of cross pollination as well. For instance, you can be successful at cross-pollination if you have a close neighbor with a crab apple tree or other apple tree that also blooms at the same time. In fact, you can just borrow a branch, stick it in a bucket of water, and place it under your tree during its blooming season.
Location and Soil
Not only does the location matter, the soil properties do as well. An apple tree requires a generous amount of sunlight, at least 6 hours each day, as well as, soil that is well-drained and has the proper pH levels. Soil that is too acidic or to base, can be improper conditions for all tree species. You can buy a soil testing kit to test your soil’s pH level, but you must also consider compaction and drainage. This is why it is important to use an organic mulch at the base of your tree.
Ongoing maintenance is important. Without routine tree care, especially in the immediate years following planting, an apple tree can quickly go into decline. They are also highly susceptible to pests and nuisance wildlife interference since apples are sweet, juicy, and delicious. In its early years, it will require insecticide application every two weeks during its blooming stage. This will deter fungus and insects. On top of pest and disease control, you will also need to properly prune branches and thin out canopies at the right times per year. Talk to a local tree care provider for these services.