The apple tree was domesticated on the territory of modern Kazakhstan, in the foothills of the Alatau. From there, during the time of Alexander the Great, she came to Europe. The apple tree quickly spread and took its rightful place, first in the southern gardens, and then spread to other regions. It was believed that the fruits of this tree give a person eternal youth and even immortality. It is interesting that the Celtic paradise - Avalon literally translated means "the country of apples".
We grow this crop because of its tasty healthy fruits, its unpretentiousness and durability. Even without special care, an apple tree can grow and produce crops in one place for decades. But correct agricultural technology significantly improves the quality and quantity of fruits, prolongs the life of the tree, its resistance to pests and diseases. Correct planting of apple trees in fall or spring is essential. It depends on her whether our tree will grow healthy and fertile, or will be constantly sick, and give a meager harvest.
Apple planting time
When is the best time to plant apple trees, in spring or autumn? This question is often asked by novice gardeners. Apple trees can be planted both in spring, preferably before the start of sap flow, and in autumn, after leaf fall. In order to choose the optimal time, you need to know some important points:
- When planting in spring, the apple tree manages to root well before winter. But in the initial stages of growth, it requires abundant watering and protection from the heat, which can come suddenly in the southern regions. But in the northern regions, early planting is preferable, it can be started when the soil warms up a little.
- If you plant an apple tree sapling in the fall, you don't have to worry that it will suffer from the heat. Growth processes do not stop even in winter, they simply fade away. By spring, the tree adapts to a new place and begins to actively develop.
So planting an apple tree in autumn is preferable in all regions, except for those where winters are always harsh, besides, the snow cover is weak or absent due to strong winds or other factors. This does not mean that in the north, trees of this species can be placed on the site only in spring, and in the south - on the eve of cold weather. We have indicated the preferred landing dates, nothing more.
Separately, it should be said about the trees grown in containers. It is believed that planting an apple tree with a closed root system is permissible even in summer, because the plant is transferred to the ground along with an earthen clod. This operation will be painless only in regions with cold or temperate climates. Where the summer is hot, a dry tree will still be oppressed and it will be hard to endure planting. It will need to be shaded, watered abundantly every other day, and treated with anti-stress drugs. We advise you to move the planting time to a more suitable season, and provide the container with side holes and dig in in the shade.
How to choose the right seedlings
It is important to choose the right apple seedlings. Probably, even experienced gardeners once bought a long-favored variety from their hands, but they did not get what they wanted at all. You need to purchase planting material only in nurseries or garden centers.
How to choose a variety
Choose only zoned varieties. Even the best apple tree, planted correctly and on time, carefully cared for, but not intended for growing in your region, will not give a good harvest, and will only take up space on the site. But that's not all.
Do not forget that most varieties of apple trees are cross-pollinated. This means that the tree needs a pollinator variety to get a good harvest. Before planting apple seedlings in the fall, carefully study their features. Perhaps, in order to get a crop of the variety you like, you will have to place a fruit tree on the site that you do not need.
Advice! Ask what kind of apple trees grow in your neighbors. Maybe there is no need to plant a pollinator.
Planting material age
You do not need to think that the larger the apple tree planted on the site, the faster you will get the harvest. 1-2-year-old seedlings take root best of all. When planting older apple trees, you will have a lot of problems with care and still fruiting will be delayed for several seasons.
This does not apply to trees grown in closed containers, they can be of any age. Make sure that a large apple tree has the same large container - the imbalance in size between the underground and aboveground parts does not contribute to survival.
Nurseries sometimes sell mature fruit trees along with an earthen ball. It must necessarily be comparable in size to the crown and sewn into jute or burlap. It is even better if you personally attend the digging of the tree - this way you can make sure that it was not done a month ago.
What to look for
To buy high-quality planting material that will root well and yield a good harvest every year, carefully examine the seedlings and pay attention to the following points:
- The inoculation site should be smooth, well tightened. Any cracks or damage in this place is unacceptable - the lifespan of such an apple tree will be short.
- The roots must be lively, well developed and branched. They are elastic, moist, do not break at the fold. If you scratch one good spine, you will see white wood underneath. A small number of dry roots are allowed - they can be cut off before planting the apple tree in the fall.
- The bark of the tree should be smooth and intact.
- An apple tree with an open root system, intended for planting in the fall, should not be leafy.
- Pay attention to the root system - whether it is wrapped in a damp cloth, treated with clay, or otherwise protected from drying out.
- If there are twigs, they should be 45-90 degrees from the trunk. If the crown consists of vertical shoots, choose another seedling.
- Do not buy the largest apple tree, it is better to choose the one with the most powerful root.
Important! Trees take root better at the age of 1-2 years.
Watch the video where a specialist tells in detail how to choose seedlings:
Place of planting apple trees
Before planting a garden, ask where the groundwater is.
- Tall apple trees, growing up to 6-8 m, have a root system that extends 3 m deep. They are suitable only for areas where groundwater is low.
- Medium-sized apple trees, the height of which fluctuates within 3-4 m, can be planted where the aquifer rises to 2.5 m.
- Dwarfs can be grown in areas where the water lies at a depth of about 1.5 m.
Can apple trees be planted in wetlands? First, you need to take measures to drain water or arrange high ridges for fruit trees and shrubs with a powerful root system.
The area for planting apple trees does not have to be flat. It's good if he has a slope of 5-6 degrees. Naturally, you cannot grow small apple trees under the canopy of large trees, for example, walnuts. It is imperative that the landing site be well lit. If it is protected from the wind, it will be easier for insects to pollinate the flowers.
The distance between the apple trees should be such that they feel free when they become adults. High varieties when grown are located 3-4 meters from each other. For medium and dwarfs, the distance should be 3-3.5 m and 2.5 m, respectively. The free space in the row spacing should be almost twice the gap between the trees.
Important! It is undesirable to plant an apple tree in the place where fruit crops have already grown.
Planting an apple tree
Now let's look at how to properly plant an apple tree in the fall. We will give instructions on how to prepare the tree itself and the pit. And to make it easier for novice gardeners, we will describe the planting process itself in the form of a step-by-step guide.
Planting pit preparation
A pit for planting an apple tree must be prepared in advance. Of course, it is best to dig it out in the spring, but practice shows that this is done very rarely. Make sure it is prepared at least one month before planting the tree.
The depth and width of the pit depends on the size of the adult apple tree.
Pit depth, cm
Pit diameter, cm
Preparing a pit for planting an apple tree will require the introduction of fertilizers, a nutritious soil mixture. If necessary, the soil will need to be deoxidized, its mechanical properties improved, and drainage should be arranged with the close location of groundwater.
Remove the top fertile soil, which is about a shovel's bayonet, and fold to the side. Remove the rest of the soil from the site or scatter it in the aisles. Mix fertile soil with compost, peat or well-ripened humus.
It is necessary to plant an apple tree in the fall in the soil already filled with fertilizers. Add to the planting mix for each hole:
- superphosphate - 300;
- wood ash - 1 l.
If the soil is too acidic, add 1 kg of lime or dolomite flour.
If the aquifers are close, make the hole for planting a tree a little deeper and put gravel, crushed stone or broken red brick on the bottom. Cover with sand.
Fill the planting hole halfway, water well. Cover the rest of the mixture with cellophane or put in bags. The landing pit has been prepared.
Preparing an apple tree for planting
Before planting an apple tree in the fall, carefully examine the root system if the tree was not sold in a container. Use a sharp knife to trim off any broken, dry, or decayed appendages. Soak the root of the tree overnight. The apple tree can stay in the water even longer, but it must be borne in mind that potassium is washed out of the plant. Add any soluble fertilizer containing this element to the liquid. If you have root or heteroauxin, dilute it in water to soak the roots according to the instructions - this will significantly speed up the survival of the tree.
Cut the stem to a height of 90 cm, cut all branches (if any) located below 40 cm from the grafting site into a ring, the rest - by 2/3.
Now we need to properly plant the apple tree sapling. This is a very important stage in the life of a tree. To make it easier for novice gardeners, we will describe the planting rules point by point.
- Pour a mound from the pre-stored planting mixture to the bottom of the pit.
- Place a tree on its top so that the roots are evenly distributed on the sides and in no case bend up.
- Correct planting of the apple tree implies that the grafting site will be 5-6 cm above the ground level. To make it easier to check, place the shovel on the edge of the hole.
It is easier to plant a tree together.
- Hold the seedling upright and fill the hole by gently tamping down the soil, starting from the edge.
- When the apple tree is planted, compact the soil with your foot.
- Stick a strong peg into the soil at some distance from the trunk and tie a tree to it in 2-3 places with a thick rope or strong pieces of cloth. The knots should be weak and not cut into the bark.
- Form a side along the edge of the planting hole from the ground and pour, spending 2-3 buckets of water per tree.
- When the liquid is absorbed, check the grafting site, add soil, mulch the trunk circle with peat, humus or straw.
Watch a video on how to plant fruit trees correctly:
As you can see, there is nothing difficult in planting an apple tree, it is much more difficult to choose the right seedling. Have a nice harvest!