Apple tree

Main characteristics of the apple tree

The apple tree, in order to grow healthy and robust, needs a well-drained and not too soft soil. It is characterized by a straight trunk and a rounded crown which, over the years, tends to open up to a maximum diameter of about ten meters. It has pointed oval leaves with an intense green color and jagged edges. The flowers begin to bloom in April showing their white interior slightly mottled with pink. Apples begin to appear a couple of years after planting and the plant reaches its peak of production after six or seven years of life. The different varieties are self-sterile and need other pollinating species nearby to produce excellent fruiting.

Variety of apples

There are over a thousand varieties of apple trees present on the Italian territory. Some are grown almost exclusively for industrial purposes while others help to make public gardens or private gardens more beautiful. Each variety has its own characteristics as regards the consistency of the pulp, the color of the skin and the organoleptic characteristics. The mechanized systems of cultivation currently used have drastically reduced the varieties available on the stalls of large retailers, which currently are only eight. These few varieties are the easiest to market because they can withstand the transport phases better than others without being damaged but are less aromatic and tasty than others with more delicate textures.

How to plant apples

The apple tree can be purchased from a common nursery or a well-stocked agricultural consortium. It is usually sold bare-rooted and the most suitable period for planting is between mid-October and early April. First you need to make a hole in the ground half a meter deep and about eighty centimeters wide. After removing any weed roots and the most voluminous stones, place a few handfuls of crushed stone on the bottom of the hole and then cover everything with a little soil added to mature manure. At this point, bury the apple tree and before filling the hole with earth, make sure that the plant is straight. Water abundantly and wait patiently for the plant to take root.

Apple tree: Use and storage of apples

Apples are widely used in the preparation of both sweet and savory traditional gastronomic specialties. While in northern Italy they are used in the form of puree to accompany red meat dishes, in the center they are preferred to make cakes or spoon desserts. The apple is rich in nutrients useful for the body. If consumed after meals, it facilitates digestion and can promote intestinal transit of food. Its peel contains precious substances but if the fruit does not come from organic crops, it is always better to consume it peeled to avoid ingesting toxic pesticides. Apples can be stored throughout the winter. Spread them out on racks in a cool, damp place.

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