Features of planting apple trees
To get a plentiful quality crop from your own apple orchard, you need to properly care for it. How to rationally approach planting and organize seasonal care for apple trees in your own area, read below.
How to choose an apple tree for planting?
The first thing you need to decide on the grade. Plants should be selected zoned to the climate of a particular area. It is best to make a purchase at specialized points of sale where they provide complete information about plants and sell quality specimens that can be carefully inspected.
Did you know? Previously, apples called all rounded fruits.
The second selection criterion is the degree of culture growth.
Here you need to focus on the size of your own site. When choosing plants, it is worth considering that most varieties will require pollinating apple trees with a similar flowering period to increase productivity. This means that you have to plant at least 2 trees.
If between the columnar varieties a distance of 1.5–2 m is allowed, then tall and medium-sized ones will require much more space. The “step” between such plants is 3-5 m.
So, regarding the maturity, they distinguish:
- summer - ripen from mid-late July to late August, the fruits are poorly stored and are more suitable for fresh or quick processing;
- autumn - ripen in August - late September, stored for about 3-4 months, in use - universal;
- winter - removed from trees in September - October, but they reach consumer maturity after 1-2 months of storage, and the total shelf life is from 6 to 12 months.
Autumn and winter varieties of apples tolerate transportation well, which allows them to be used in commercial activities. After all the criteria necessary for choosing a seedling are taken into account, you can proceed with the acquisition of planting material. The most suitable specimens are one-, two-year-old plants.
They have a higher degree of survival than older apple trees. When choosing them, more attention should be paid to examining the root, the stem and the place of vaccination. The root should have a length of at least 30 cm, consist of several main and a large number of additional roots. The color of the root system is light gray, without inclusions and signs of rot.
If the plant is a year old, then it will not have lateral branches. Two-year-old sprouts have up to 5 skeletal branches, about 30 cm long. The stem and shoots themselves should be painted evenly, without tubercles, interspersed with a darker color. The vaccination site is located 5 cm above the central root. It looks like a small bend with a healed wound or hemp from a stock. If this place looks somehow different, it is better to refuse the purchase.
Important! In the seedling, the main thing is a healthy root system, the quality of the stem is not so important. It is better to buy a seedling with a large root and a small aerial part than vice versa.
Seedlings can offer with open or closed root system. Plants with an open root are dug up before sale, and after the purchase is packaged for transportation. The advantage of this acquisition is the ability to carefully inspect the underground part.
But, the planting of the tree will need to be carried out as soon as possible, so it is better to buy them immediately before planting. Closed-root plants are sold in containers in which they were grown. The downside of the purchase is the inability to carefully inspect the root.But such plants can be planted at any time convenient for the buyer.
Apple tree planting dates
Apple trees can be planted:
- in the spring;
- in summer;
- in the fall.
The planting period will depend on many factors, so you need to select it based on the situation and the specific region of cultivation. In spring, landing is carried out in regions with cold winters. The advantage of this approach is that the seedlings have time to grow stronger in the cold. The manipulation is carried out in late April - mid-May, when the danger of return frosts passes.
The main disadvantage of spring planting is the distribution of plant forces not only on rooting, but also on the formation of deciduous mass. In this regard, the seedling will require increased attention to itself. It will need to be watered and loosened weekly so that the roots do not dry out.
Autumn planting is advisable only in regions with a mild climate, where the soil does not freeze in winter. Held in late September - early October. The advantage of this approach is that the plant will direct all forces directly to rooting. In addition, you will not need to devote a large amount of time to caring for plants, as in the summer.
Did you know? In Russia, with burns, pain was removed by applying chilled pulp of baked apples to the affected areas.
In the summer, most often, they carry out an emergency transplant or when they managed to get a quality seedling with an open root. At such times, landing is very rare. But, if that happened, then you will have to not only carry out intensive irrigation, but also take care of high-quality feeding.
Apple tree planting scheme
The interval between the trees and in the rows is determined by the height of the trees (in adulthood). The greater the interval between the trees and in the rows, the better - thickened plantings are more likely to suffer from pests and fungal diseases.
Depth of planting apple seedlings
Typically, holes are dug 60–90 cm deep and 80–100 cm wide. However, if the soil is fertile, then there will be enough pit suitable for the size of the roots.
Distance between landings
The minimum distance in landings, depending on the strength of growth:
- vigorous on a seed stock - a step between plants - 4–5 m, in rows - 5–6 m;
- weak in seed stock - between plants leave from 3 m to 3.5 m, in rows - 4.5–5 m;
- weakly dwarf rootstock - the step between plants is reduced to 2.5 m, between rows - up to 4 m;
- columnar - planted in one row. For dwarf species, a distance of 60 cm is observed, for semi-dwarf and vigorous - 1.2 m.
Proper planting of apple trees in open ground
First, choose a place to land. It should be well-lit, protected from draft, with the occurrence of groundwater to a depth of 2-3 m. The acidity of the soil should not exceed 5-7.5 pH. Site preparation for spring planting is carried out in autumn, and for autumn, 2 months before the expected planting date.
The preparatory phase consists of the following activities:
- deep cultivation of the soil, at least 30 cm, with the associated removal of roots and vegetation;
- fertilizer application - for each square meter: 10 kg of manure (compost during autumn planting), 10 kg of peat + 100 g of superphosphate, 45 g of potassium salt;
- re-cultivation - to a depth of two times less than the first;
- one month before planting - digging the soil to a depth of 30 cm, followed by leveling the site.
Did you know? An apple is one of the most common symbols in heraldry. The image of the fetus is found on 80 emblems of the countries of the world.
Pits for landing are prepared in 2-3 weeks. Half of the earth from the hole is stacked in one direction, the other half in the other. So that the soil settles evenly when filling the pit, the internal surfaces of the recess are made vertical.
Having reached a depth of 60 cm, the bottom of the hole is dug up by 25 cm. This is necessary in order to improve soil drainage and enrich the lower infertile layer with oxygen.Prepare a nutrient mixture.
Dimensions of the landing pit: 60 × 80 cm.
For each landing pit:
- the upper fertile part of the soil from the pit itself is the volume of soil corresponding to a layer of 30 cm;
- from 20 to 30 kg of humus or compost, depending on the dimensions of the pit;
- 30–40 kg peat crumbs;
- 1 kg of superphosphate in granules;
- 1 kg of wood ash.
A stake is driven into the central part of the pit, and then 1/3 of it is filled with nutrient soil. After that, pour 20-30 liters of water, depending on the size of the pit. Immediately before planting, a small mound is formed in the central part of the pit.
The seedling is installed in the pit so that the supporting stake is on the north side of the trunk. Further, the plant is carefully aligned at the site of inoculation, increasing or decreasing the dimensions of the embankment in the pit. The place of vaccination after filling the pit should be 5 cm above the soil level.
After all these manipulations are completed, spread the roots of the plant along the entire plane of the soil layer, making sure that they do not turn up. Then they begin to carefully fill the hole with fertile soil.
Periodically, the plant is gently shaken to avoid the formation of air voids around the root system. Filling the pit with soil, the near-stem circle is compacted and the seedling is watered with 20-30 liters of water.
How to increase the survival rate of a seedling after planting?
Most often, apple seedlings are planted in the spring, because most regions do not differ in a favorable climate for autumn planting. Due to the fact that during the warm period the plant will spend a lot of energy not only on rooting, but also on the development of the aboveground part, you need to help it adapt faster.
Pruning of apple tree seedlings
When planting plants that were purchased with an open root system, pruning is mandatory. The fact is that when digging up plants, the rhizome is damaged in any case, some of the roots are deformed.
These damaged areas should be removed, since they are already dead and do not carry any functional load for the plant organism. You need to trim to a healthy, lively area.
On the cut it will be white, while the dead parts on the cut are painted in brown. Trimming the root should be done with a very sharp knife, because the pruner does not give an even cut.
After the manipulation, the open area is treated with wood ash. In the case of buying seedlings with a closed root, pruning is very rare. Typically, transplantation of such plants is carried out by the transshipment method, while maintaining an earthen lump.
Reducing the height of the stem allows you to slow down its development and redirect the strength of the plant to root. Shortening is carried out up to 7 kidneys. If there are side branches, they are reduced by a third.
Important! Pruning is not necessary if the seedlings were purchased in a nursery. At special points of sale, customers are offered fully prepared for landing material.
Soaking the roots of the seedling before planting
The roots of seedlings can be soaked before planting in a solution of growth accelerator. Such a manipulation is advisable both in autumn and spring. For this purpose, you can use "Epin" - 2 ml of the substance are added to 5 liters of water. Soaking lasts for 2–4 hours.
When planting seedlings with a closed root system by the transshipment method, it is recommended to use the above solution for irrigation of the soil after planting.
Abundant watering of apple tree seedlings after planting
Immediately after planting, 20 to 30 liters of water are poured into the pit. As the liquid is absorbed, the soil in the well will sag. After watering, you will need to fill up the missing part of the soil.
Subsequently, the introduction of water is carried out on average once every 10 days. But, of course, you need to navigate the weather. If it rains frequently, then watering can be completely canceled.
Barrel Circle Mulching
After watering and natural precipitation, you need to mulch the trunk circle, after loosening the soil. This allows for a longer period to retain moisture in the soil, and also to protect the plant from infection by diseases and pests.
In the summer, the mulch layer should be 5 cm; before wintering, the trunk circle is mulched to a height of 10 cm.
As mulch you can use:
- fresh green grass;
- peat with sand and sawdust;
- rotted manure.
Tips from experienced gardeners
A few practical recommendations that will help when growing apple trees:
- Landing should be carried out, focusing on weather conditions.
- Before planting seedlings with an open root, be sure to inspect and then remove the problematic fragments of the rhizome.
- After trimming the aerial parts, always cut the slices with copper sulfate, and then seal them with garden varieties.
- Mulch the soil and whiten the trunk a few weeks before the expected frost. In cold regions, seedlings must warm the trunk and skeletal branches with burlap or agrofiber.
- Carefully monitor the soil moisture during the first year of life of the plant in a new place.
Did you know? The life cycle of wild apple trees can be 200 years. The most interesting thing is that even at this age, wild animals are able to maintain the ability to bear fruit.
Apple trees require special care in the first years after planting. However, with careful observance of the rules of agricultural technology, after a short period of time, you will be able to get a full crop of apples.