Pristine Apple Care – Tips On Growing A Pristine Apple Tree
The purpose of this post is to share with the readers some tips on how to grow a pithy apple tree. You may have heard of pithy apple trees before, but you are not sure if they are suitable for your situation or not. So let’s get started!
1) Choose a location where there is plenty of sunlight and good soil conditions.
2) Choose a variety that is hardy to Zone 5 (or lower).
3) If possible, choose a fruit bearing year.
That means the tree will produce fruit during the summer months only. For example, you want to plant an apple tree in April so it will bear its first crop of apples in June. When choosing varieties, look at their tolerance for cold weather and their ability to withstand frost damage.
4) Avoid selecting a tree that produces very large fruits.
They tend to rot quickly and become unmarketable.
5) Make sure the soil is well drained and does not contain clay particles.
Clay tends to inhibit fruit set in apple trees. If the soil contains clay particles, make sure you add compost to it regularly. Compost helps break down the clay particles and improves drainage in the soil.
6) Don’t plant the tree too deeply.
The root ball should be at ground level. If you have to bury it deeper than that, then mix some organic material into the soil first (e.g. compost, rotted manure, etc).
7) Water it immediately after planting to remove any air pockets from the soil.
8) After planting, water the soil on a regular basis for the first year or two (or until it becomes well established).
Don’t over-water the tree though. Soaking the soil is not the same as giving it a slow, deep watering.
9) In the spring and fall, feed your fruit trees with an organic fertilizer high in nitrogen (e.
g. blood meal, bat guano, etc). Also add an slow release fertilizer high in Phosphorus (e.g. bone meal, wood ash, etc).
Follow the instructions on the package for application rates.
10) In the winter, apply wood ash, sand, and gravel around the base of the tree. This will keep the tree upright and prevent it from rotting at its base.
11) Prune it properly during the dormant season (i.e. late winter or early spring). Make sure you prune back any weak or dead branches. Also remove any “suckers”.
These are the branches that grow out from the base of the tree. Every year or so, apply wood ash to the cut to prevent the cuts from rotting.
12) Pick your apples during the summer and fall months. If there’s an over-abundance of fruit, share some with your neighbors, or preserve some for later use.
As you can see, pithy apple trees are easy (and fun) to grow!
“Here’s a tip on growing Apples…”
As you’re reading this, you can hear the crunching of leaves under your feet. It’s a beautiful fall day, and you’ve been taking in the different scents of the changing leaves.
As you walk along the path through the orchard, you notice a sign on one of the trees. It says: “Tip #9: Avoid planting apple trees near roses”
You chuckle to yourself as you read that.
Why would you NOT want to plant an apple tree near a rose bush? Don’t they smell nice together?
Well, the reason is because both of these plants have “deep” roots. They can both potentially reach down to the water table and compete for needed moisture. This can cause the roots of both plants to suffer, and neither one will thrive properly. Also, apples are susceptible to a disease called “Rosella”. If an apple tree becomes infected with Rosella, it will begin to produce small, lighter-colored apples that smell like roses. Needless to say, this condition will also require a trip to the hospital for the tree.
On a more serious note: avoid planting your apple trees near sources of high nitrogen. This could be things like bird feeders, rabbit shelters, or even excessive manure. The reason for this is excess nitrogen causes lush, green growth. Lush, green growth means more leaves and less fruit. So keep your apple trees away from things like that.
You continue walking along, reading sign after sign. You’ve learned a lot about apple trees in the past half hour. You never knew there was so much involved in growing apples. It’s almost like raising children, you think to yourself with a smile.
All of a sudden, you come across another sign that catches your eye. It says: “Tip #12: Avoid diseases with proper sanitation”
Well, you’ve already cleaned up the sawdust from underneath the apple tree. You’re not sure if you need to do anything else. You walk over to the tree and grab the last tip that you haven’t seen yet.
“Tip #13: Plant your apple trees as close to Mother Earth as you can”
You stand back and look at your tree. It’s planted at the present height of a normal table. You think for a moment, and then grab a shovel from the shed.
What do you want to do?
You’ve decided to plant your tree at a lower height. Since it’s already been planted, you can’t set it any lower than the root ball it’s in without significant digging and reworking of the existing soil.
To do this, you’ll need to dig the tree out of its current hole and pot, and replant it in a shallower container. Then, fill in around the tree with soil until it is at the desired height.
First, you need to get the tree out of its pot. This is fairly easy to do. Just remove the tree from the container and cut the side of the pot away from around the tree. Removing large chunks of hardened soil like this can be difficult though, so you might want something to poke it out with. A screwdriver or a butter knife will work just fine.
With the tree out of the pot, you should prune the roots. This will make it much easier to transplant. Any roots that are circling the root ball should be trimmed away. You can do this with your hands or you can use pruning shears; whichever you find convenient. Be sure to not trim away too many roots though, as this will cause the tree to lose stability and could potentially lead to death.
Once the tree is pruned, you can begin to transplant it into a shallower container. This one should be made of something non-porous, such as ceramic or plastic. Pottery or terra cotta pots will lead to a fungal infection, so stay away from those if at all possible. You should think about how tall you want the tree to be ultimately and make the container about that height.
For example, you could plant the tree in a container that is 2 feet high. This way, the tree would ultimately be about 4 feet tall when fully grown. Remember, the deeper the container, the slower the growth will be. Shallower containers allow more growth and are better for shaping the tree.
After filling in around the root ball with soil, gently tamp it down with your hands to secure it. Water it thoroughly and then place it in a location with indirect sunlight. The tree will now need to be watered about once a week, or whenever the soil dries out.
Congratulations! You have now learned how to grow apple trees. Continue practicing with other types of fruit trees and you’ll be able to grow all sorts of delicious foods!
Well done, thank you for reading this guide! I hope you learned something.
I’ve been getting some requests for these types of guides. I’m not sure if it is because there is a greater need for self-sufficiency nowadays, or if I’m just reaching more people than I thought. If the interest is there, I can continue writing these. Let me know in the comments!
Thanks again for reading and have a great rest of your day!
Next: If you liked this story, you should try my other story Doppelganger, a post-apocalyptic sci-fi novel geared toward young adults.
Sources & references used in this article:
Evidence of Zn isotopic fractionation in a soil–plant system of a pristine tropical watershed (Nsimi, Cameroon) by LH Bailey – 1919 – Macmillan
The Holy Earth: The Birth of a New Land Ethic by LH Bailey – 1920 – Macmillan
The ethics of liberty by LH Bailey – 1903 – Doubleday
Organic apple and grape performance in the Midwestern US by J Viers, P Oliva, A Nonell, A Gélabert, JE Sonke… – Chemical geology, 2007 – Elsevier