Taking Care Of Apple Trees

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Taking Care Of Apple Trees – OSU Extension experts explain why winter is the best time to care for apple trees in the yard. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)AP

CORVALLIS, Ore. – From beginner gardeners to passionate urban farmers, everyone with a piece of land wants to grow an apple tree.

Taking Care Of Apple Trees

Taking Care Of Apple Trees

Other fruits are also desirable – pears, cherries, figs, plums, and some of us like apples the most. This leads to people buying trees impulsively and recklessly without doing the proper amount of research.

Best Apple Tree Varieties (with A Guide To Flowering Groups)

“Although apples do well in this climate, they are not necessarily easy to grow,” said Erica Chernoh, horticulturist with the Oregon State University Extension Service. “They need regular maintenance and care.”

So before you head to the nursery, load the tree onto the cart and wheel it to the checkout, ask a few questions. When choosing a variety to grow, consider flavor (sweet or sour or somewhere in between), height and disease resistance, Chernoh said. The flavor is up to you, although some garden centers have fall tastings, or you can buy several different varieties and do a blind tasting.

For homeowners, he recommends dwarf trees, which reach 8 to 10 feet and are especially popular and easy to find at nurseries.

“Dwarves are much easier to control,” said Chernoh. “You don’t have to climb a ladder to harvest or prune. And they fit well into the small lots that many of us live on.”

Ornamental Apple Tree

If you ignore the first two characteristics, be sure to find out how well your potential tree can fight disease. Apples are susceptible to a range of diseases such as powdery mildew, apple scab and anthracnose. Reputable nurseries should be able to advise on varieties resistant to scab or powdery mildew. You can also check catalogs, books, magazines, and orchard associations, such as the Home Orchard Association. And never ignore the hard-earned knowledge of experienced friends.

Cernoh recommends ‘Honey Crisp’ and ‘Liberty’ for apple scab resistance, and ‘Pristine’ and ‘Enterprise’ for powdery mildew and apple scab resistance.

If you’ve already planted a tree or two, winter dormancy is the time for pruning and spraying, two tasks that are daunting to the uninitiated. February is a good time to do these tasks.

Taking Care Of Apple Trees

“People are afraid of circumcision,” Černoh said. “They think it will cause irreversible damage. But in reality, the trees are quite resilient.”

Research| Apple Trees

First, you need to understand the goals of pruning. It is necessary to create a solid structure that will give a good crop and open the tree to ensure good penetration of the sun and air circulation. For the new tree, Černoh said he will plant it to waist height, and next year he will send branches for the scaffolding that will form the frame of the tree.

For established trees: First remove dead, dying and diseased wood. Next, look for water sprouts (the weak arms that grow straight up) and thin them out. This will take care of a considerable amount of trimming. Never prune more than a third of a tree in one year. After removing the water sprouts, go to the cross branches and cut them until you reach one-third of the way.

It is important to learn the difference between an annual and biennial tree, as apples are produced on biennial trees and spurs, which are small thorn-like shoots that grow along the main branches. First-year sapwood is a thinner, greener tree that grows at the end of a side branch, with circular scars or rings separating it from second-year wood. Focus on giving the tree a balance of both; don’t cut only an old or 1-year-old tree because next year it will become a 2-year-old tree and will bear fruit in the future.

Check out this post on Instagram A post shared by Ashley Awramenko (@sassafras_gardens) on Sep 24, 2019 at 5:39pm PDT

Fruit Trees For Every Garden: An Organic Approach To Growing Apples, Pears, Peaches, Plums, Citrus, And More: Martin, Orin, Martin, Manjula, Waters, Alice: 9780399580024: Books

“Don’t prune too much,” said Chernoh. “If one-third doesn’t get all the branches that need to be removed, wait and do additional pruning in the summer or next year when you can remove the other third. On the other hand, if you don’t prune at all, the tree will grow too many branches and produce less fruit .”

The longer you wait to prune apple trees, the more difficult it is to bring them back into the orchard. It will take several years, the restoration will take a third of a year. The more neglected it is, the harder it is to prune.

For additional help, see the OSU Extension publications Training and Pruning Your Home Orchard and Growing Fruit and Nut Trees in the Home Orchard. There is even one on Obrežanje for the restoration of an old, neglected apple tree.

Taking Care Of Apple Trees

February is also suitable for using inactive sprays to protect trees from diseases and pests. Start by reading Disease and Insect Management in Your Home Orchard. The inert sprays Černoh suggests are acceptable for organic gardening, but that doesn’t mean they’re completely non-toxic.

How To Prune Your Fruit Trees

“Application of dormant sprays is important to control diseases such as scab or insect pests such as aphids or mites,” she said. “During the dormant season, it is believed to be less toxic because most beneficial substances are less active at this time of year.”

Regardless of which pesticide you use, read the label. It includes warnings and explains what safety measures should be followed, such as wearing a long-sleeved shirt, closed-toe shoes, safety glasses and a face mask. Don’t ignore the signs, Chernoh said. Not only do they offer instructions and safety precautions: it is the law to read them and follow the instructions.

For apple scab, apply one spray now when the tree is dormant and the bud tips are green. Spray again later in winter when the bud tips turn pink but before the flowers open. For insect pests, apply horticultural oil in late winter to control aphids, mite eggs or scale.

Some communities offer apple pruning classes or demonstrations. Call your county extension office to see if anyone teaches the class or knows someone who does.

How To Grow And Care For Pawpaw Trees

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If you purchase a product or register for an account through one of the links on our site, we may receive compensation. Use this simple guide to growing apple trees with seeds found in purchased fruit. This is a great starter project for anyone who wants to try simple plant propagation. The same method works for pears.

Of all the ways to encourage a love of plants, nature, and gardening, starting something fairly prolific from seed—such as an oak tree from an acorn or an apple tree from seed—seems to be a surefire way to create a lifelong interest in growing. And how good is it to take the seeds from the fruit you eat and grow them into fruit trees?

Taking Care Of Apple Trees

Personally, I love experimenting with seeds, watching things grow, and propagating plants from food scraps is a favorite rabbit hole to explore.

How To Care For An Apple Tree Bonsai?

And how wonderful it is for a child (or anyone) to grow something from a simple seed and cherish it for years to come.

This is how apple seeds germinate. You can follow the same steps to germinate pear seeds.

Some apples have lots of seeds, some have few, some have none, or just have little white boxes where you’d expect to find seeds. Look out for store-bought apples like McIntosh, Delicious, Granny Smith, Sparta, Fuji, Gala, and so on, and when you eat them, look for fully formed (dark brown) seeds.

It is best to start with a few (10-20) different types of apples to increase your chances. If you do this, make sure each type is separate and labeled so you know what worked.

Now’s The Time For Pruning And Spraying Apple Trees: Here Are Some Tips

Start with a ripe apple (that you would eat) to ensure the seeds inside are ripe. Cut the center so that you don’t damage any seeds with the knife.

I like to take clear close-up pictures in the moment so I have something to compare later.

When the fruit becomes overripe, the hormones that control seed dormancy decline and the seeds in the fruit can actually begin to germinate. This is called vivipary (“live birth”). If you ever find sprouted seeds in an apple, sow them! And thank them for making breeding so easy.

Taking Care Of Apple Trees

You can then very gently soften the shell of the seed to make the process easier. This is a method called scarification. I do this by folding a small piece of sandpaper with the right (rough) sides together. Insert one grain at a time and gently remove some of the hair by rolling it between your fingers. Simple: you don’t want to expose the fetus inside.

Apples: How To Plant, Grow, And Harvest Apple Trees

After grinding the seeds, spread them on a damp (not dry, not wet) paper towel (or kitchen towel), fold it up, and put it all together in a food storage container or plastic food bag.

You may see other methods where the seeds are placed in moist potting mix instead of a paper towel. I’d rather

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