Gardening

Planting an Apple Tree was Never So Easy: [10 Steps + Images]

Important points for planting an apple tree:
  • When? In spring, ideally in March.
  • Where? It requires at least 6-8 hours of light. It is resistant to cold. It does not tolerate excessive heat.
  • Harvest time? The apple tree can take up to 8-10 years to produce the first apples.
  • How do we prepare the land? Fits most terrains. You need a neutral pH. It prefers siliceous-clay soils, with excellent drainage.
  • How do we water? It is not very tolerant of the lack of water. The tree adult apple generally requires between 200 and 300 liters of water per year andkilo of fruit produced.
  • How do we sow? Here step by step.
  • How do we harvest? The apples are harvested between August and October, except for the earliest varieties that are harvested from July.
  • Plagues and diseases? Aphids, scab, carpocapsa, borer butterfly.

The apple is one of the most widely distributed fruits in the world.

Not only is it a healthy food, with a great supply of vitamins, fiber and potassium , but it also has a delicious and refreshing taste.

Today, the apple tree is one of the most cultivated fruit trees in the world.

And although its cultivation is as simple as sowing an apple seed in the ground, there are certain essential requirements for its sowing to be successful.

In this article we tell you what is the most effective way to sow it.

Did you know…
Did you know that the apple tree can be considered a fast growing tree ?

What do we need to plant an apple tree?

Before starting, it is necessary to define the necessary requirements for a good crop , answering the following questions.

When should it be sown?

As it is a fruit tree, its recommended  sowing at the end of March. 

May and early June also represent good weather , as it corresponds to the time when all tree species are generally planted.

In very hot regions, it can be sown early in the year as long as there is no frost.

For this, it is best that you get the advice of an expert.

The apple tree usually blooms between April and May.

During the months of June and July , it is loaded with tender fruits , so it is the time when we must protect it more from birds and insects and carry out the thinning.

It can be harvested between August and October , depending on the variety.

If you want to know more:

  • How and when to prune an apple tree?
  • How to fertilize an apple tree?

Where to plant an apple tree?

 It is very resistant to cold  and does not require  huge amounts of light and heat  for its maturation.

It is recommended that you get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight a day.

It prefers humid and temperate climates to cold. Withstands temperatures down to -10 ºC

Its optimum growth temperature varies between 18 and 24 ºC

How often should it be watered?

It is not very tolerant of excess heat and dry climates.

During the first stages, waterings must be abundant and frequent , avoiding waterlogging. Stagnant water is harmful to you.

At first,  twice a week and ideally drip As the first shoots become stronger, watering can be spaced to 12 days.

The adult apple tree generally requires between 200 and 300 liters of water per year and kilo of fruit produced.

How do we prepare the land?

The apple tree adapts to most terrains , although prefers siliceous-clay soils, with excellent drainage. 

Its root system is superficial, so it can live in shallow terrain.

It is the fruit tree that best tolerates the lawn .

It grows best in the soil with  a neutral  ph level, moderately rich in nutrients.

It is important to consider the space , since it can reach up to 9 meters in height .

Also, keep in mind that  you must plant the tree leaving between 5 and 7 meters apart  from any other tree, especially if you are going to plant two apple trees in the same field.

How to plant an apple tree straight from seed

  1. Germinate the seed. The best way to effectively grow apple trees is to germinate the seed before planting . If you sow the seed directly into the ground, you run the risk of cross-pollination , which can negatively influence the fruits.
  2. You can use seeds extracted directly from any apple , or if you prefer, you can also buy seeds from an authorized dealer. If you have extracted them yourself, clean them well and air dry them until the rind feels dry.
  3. Next, place several seeds on a paper towel . Add a few tablespoons of peat-based planting soil and add a few drops of water to moisten it.
  4. Mix the soil, making sure the seeds are well covered .
  5. Place the seeds and sowing soil in a zip-lock bag and refrigerate them for a period of one to two months, at a temperature between 5 and 10 ° C.
  6. Make sure the soil is kept moist.
  7. When the seeds sprout, take them out of the fridge. Sow the seeds in a pot.
  8. Get a pot that is at least 6 inches long and fill it with a good soil mix , making sure it has good drainage.
  9. It is not necessary to use fertilizer (such as calcium nitrate , ideal for apple trees), although if you think it is necessary , you can use mulch to give the seeds more nutrients.
  10. Place the seed at a depth of 2 to 5 centimeters and cover it with soil. You can place two seeds in the same pot, to guarantee the growth of the plant . Once sown, water to keep the soil moist, avoiding puddles.
  11. Keep the soil moist and place the pot in a well-lit area.

Sow in seed and outdoors

If you plan to sow the germinated seed directly outside , skip this step and proceed to the next one:

  1. Clean the ground . It removes weeds and debris from previous crops and all kinds of residues to ensure that your apple tree receives the right amount of nutrients.
  2. All plants must be pulled from the roots to prevent them from growing again.
  3. Prepare the ground. Dampen the soil before planting the apple tree ; This way you reduce the risk of the seeds moving due to the force of the water.
  4. Fertilize the soil . Spread a 1-inch layer of compost over the soil. If you plan to sow several seeds to later transplant them , you can create furrows 2.5 cm deep.
  5. If you draw several grooves, try to leave the same distance of 30 centimeters between one and the other.
  6. Put the seeds in the ground. Place each seed at a depth of 2 to 5 centimeters and cover it with soil.
  7. If you sow several, each germinated seed should be 30 centimeters apart.
  8. Cover the newly planted shoots with a thin layer of soil to protect them . Then, sprinkle an inch of sand on the dirt that covers them.
  9. This will protect the soil from hardening in the cold.
  10. Wait a few days. Regardless of whether you have planted in a pot or outdoors , you will have to wait a few days for the sprouts to strengthen.
  11. Keep them moist, well lit, and ventilated until they are 12 to 24 inches tall.
  12. If you sow outdoors, it is best to put a wire mesh mesh to protect the seeds while they are growing.
  13. Graft to ensure your apple tree produces fruit . Although this point is not mandatory, if you are planting apple trees because you want to harvest its fruits, it is better that you pay attention.
  14. The fact that your plants are already growing does not guarantee that they will bear fruit . To make sure it does, what you need to do is a graft. In other words, you must place the cutting of a tree that does bear fruit on the trunk of your tree so that they merge and become a single plant.
  15. There are different ways to do grafts. We recommend that you consult an expert to guide you in the most effective way to do it. You will also need to make sure that both species you plan to graft are compatible.
  16. Transplant your shoots. Whether you have planted several plants in rows, or have done the planting in pots, when they have reached a considerable height and thickness, you will have to transplant them to their final place.
  17. Preferably, transplant on a cool, windless day . If the soil is frozen, very soggy, or too dry, transplanting should not be carried out.
  18. Dig a hole large and deep enough for your tree’s root ball to grow loosely and roots to develop.
  19. The size may vary depending on the size of your tree , but it should be at least twice the size of the root ball . When planting, check that no roots are left out of the hole.
  20. Fill in the hole. Make sure that the root neck – where the stem begins – is not buried , but at ground level. Tamp down the soil to compact it and eliminate air pockets.
  21. Keep in mind that it will take around four years for the trees to be five feet tall , and about ten years before they start to bear fruit, so we recommend a lot of patience.
  22. Regularly prune the plants . Throughout the life cycle of the apple tree , we will remove the leaves in poor condition.
  23. The pruning of the apple tree also guarantees that robust trees are obtained , capable of supporting the weight of the crops, achieving an abundant production, aerating and lighting the center of the tree and eliminating alldry, diseased or non-productive wood .
  24. Don’t prune trees for the first five years , as pruning can stunt the growth of young trees.
  25. Fruit thinning . Once your tree begins to bear fruit, you can do a regular thinning.

Fruit thinning increases the amount of sugar, dry matter and acidity. It also serves to suppress fruits that are damaged by diseases, malformations or excessive growth.

Apples are produced in the form of a corymb , giving rise to two, three or more fruits in a single bunch , when it should only produce a single fruit, therefore the rest should be suppressed. The fruits should clear when they reach the size of a hazelnut .

To learn more, you can see: Apple cuttings .

How to harvest apples

The apples  are harvested between August and October , except for the earliest varieties that are harvested from July.

It is best to harvest it in the middle of the day, ensuring that there is no humidity .

When they reach their point, the apples are easily detached from the tree.

Store the apples in a cool, dark place . Store them at a temperature between 0 and 7 ° C.

To learn more, read: Apple varieties .

Apple tree pests and diseases

To learn more about the pests and diseases of the apple tree, see this article.

Some of the most common pests and diseases that affect the apple tree are:

Aphids

The apple tree is mainly affected by four types of aphids : woolly, brown, green and ashy.

For its prevention, it is recommended to apply potassium soap and neem oil .

Carpocapsa

It is a butterfly that appears during the summer , its caterpillar is pink in color and feeds on what it finds inside the fruits , causing its premature fall or directly its putrefaction.

For its control, it is recommended to apply Bacillus Thuringiensis and neem oil .

Drill Butterfly

Drill butterflies, specifically the Zeuzera or yellow drill and the Cossus or red drill, often open galleries in tree branches.

For its control, it is recommended to apply Bacillus Thuringiensis and neem oil

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