The apple tree (lat. Mālus) belongs to the deciduous trees of the Pink family. In nature, there are about 50 species that grow mainly in places with a temperate climate.
The tree is distinguished by delicious, sweet, juicy spherical fruits, they contain many vitamins and minerals necessary for the human body. The color of the fruit ranges from white to bright red, depending on the species.
Trees grow from 2.5 m to 15 m. Leaves are bare, sometimes pubescent from below, oblong, less often rounded. Wild species have thorns on the branches. During the flowering period, white or pink flowers, collected in umbrella-shaped inflorescences, flaunt on the tree. At this time, the air is filled with a pleasant, fragrant aroma.
The apple tree, the care of which does not cause difficulties, is an excellent melliferous plant, most of the species are usually grown as an ornamental tree in gardens or parks.
Types of apple trees. In gardening, two types of apple trees are used: undersized and tall. If you want a tall plant, then keep in mind that the groundwater level should not exceed the permissible norm - 1.5 - 2 m, since its roots are deep. The apple tree has a strong trunk, bears fruit for a long time, in its shade it is nice to hide from the scorching sun by installing a bench near it or hanging a hammock.
For low-growing apple trees to enjoy a good harvest, provide additional watering or use other methods to increase the amount of moisture in the soil. An indisputable plus of this type of apple trees is that they take up little space and begin to bear fruit early, just four years after planting a young tree, you can get several buckets of mouth-watering, large fruits.
Apple trees for growing in Ukraine. Among the huge variety, the most popular are the following varieties:
Geneva Earley is a tall, winter-hardy, large-leaved tree with spherical, slightly flattened fruits. Ripening occurs in mid-summer, after harvesting apples are stored in the refrigerator for about 2-3 weeks.
White filling, also called Papirovka, is a popular early-ripe fruitful variety with rather large fruits. Apples have a wonderful sweet and sour taste, the pulp is juicy, tender, and coarse-grained.
Glory to the Winners - a late summer variety with large round or oblong fruits. You need to pick apples before they are fully ripe, then they will remain juicy until the beginning of the winter cold. The fruits are great for fresh consumption, as well as for making jams, juices, desserts.
Renet Simirenko is a tree with a wide-pyramidal crown that begins to bear fruit early. Herbaceous green apples, on one side are covered with a delicate blush, have a delicious taste and aroma, contain a lot of iron. Harvesting occurs in September-October, apples are stored at home until late spring, with strict adherence to the required temperature until the next harvest.
Topaz is a vigorous tree, this variety is distinguished by large, slightly flattened fruits with a dark red blush. The pulp is sweet and sour. At a temperature not exceeding 2 ° C, they are stored for about 4 months. Topaz is the most popular of the late winter varieties with regular high yields.
Champion - popular among consumers due to the peculiar taste of fruits with delicate pulp. The apples are yellow-green in color with thin red stripes. In order to prevent the loss of useful qualities, the temperature in the apple storage chamber must be constantly maintained at no higher than 1.5 ° C.
Purchase of seedlings. Before choosing a plant, decide what taste of the fruit you would like to receive. Next, choose the variety you like. Also evaluate the growth shape of the tree, its size should look harmonious in your garden.
Pay attention: whether the variety you like is zoned in your area.
Give preference to sustainable representatives of ornamental, fruit plants. Before buying, inspect the seedling well, it should not contain many branches, the trunk must be even with the top - a high branch without additional competitors.
Location and landing. Saplings of these ancient, amazingly beautiful and useful plants can be planted in autumn and spring. The main thing is to be in time in autumn before the onset of frost.
Soil requirements - looseness, moisture, fertility. It can consist of chernozem or sandy loam with deep groundwater; deep medium loamy is also suitable. Do not make the hole too deep, 50x50 is enough. The root collar should rise 6 cm above the soil level. Gently spread the roots and cover them with earth, lightly compacting with your foot. Then, to make the soil fit better to the roots, pour 3 buckets of water over the tree.
For the first 5 weeks, water one bucket a day. Watering can be skipped in wet weather.
Ornamental apple trees will add fragrance and vitality to the garden area. During the flowering period, the persistent refined aroma of their flowers spreads like a delicate fragrant cloud across the expanses of the garden and fills the air with freshness. Charming, densely arranged flowers delight with their beauty for more than two weeks. The flowering apple tree, which is a pleasant pastime, is so beautiful that some gardeners grow it solely for the sake of this mesmerizing sight.
The fruits have many beneficial properties, contain pectins, phytoncides, the use of apples in any form has a beneficial effect on the human body. The plant is well pollinated and gives a rich harvest. For better fertility and vitality, the tree needs to be pruned and thinned periodically.
Watering. Water a young tree in the first year in the summer once a month, then mulch with loose soil. If the weather is dry, watering is needed before bud break, 20 days after the end of flowering, three weeks before harvest, during the period of leaf fall. Do not water during the ripening period of apples, otherwise the fruits will crack from waterlogging.
Loosening, mulching. Suitable for mulching are compost, chicken manure, vermicompost, rotted manure. Add a small layer of your chosen organic matter and cover it with dried grass or straw. The soil under the mulch layer will preserve the quality and fertility, and mulching also protects the plant from the harmful effects of weeds.
Top dressing. Regular fertilization is the basis for the normal growth and yield of fruit trees. To provide the apple tree with all the necessary nutrients, manure and other composts are suitable.
Manure, phosphorus and potash fertilizers should be applied in the autumn. Nitrogen fertilizers should not be used in autumn, otherwise the tree will not have time to prepare for winter, it is better to do this in early spring and repeat in the first half of the growing season.
Trimming and shaping. Timely formation of the crown of the tree is the basis for caring for an apple tree. Select three or four main branches from a young plant that do not intersect with each other, the rest that clog growth and spoil the crown during growth can be removed.
Favorable months for pruning are March-April. There are two types of pruning - trimming and thinning. In the first case, the tops of the shoots are removed, and in the second, the whole branch. Read more: Pruning fruit trees.
Flowering and fruiting. To prevent the apple tree from depleting and not taking long breaks in fruiting, regulate the load by thinning the ovary. Leave no more than 2 fruits in the bunch. If the branches of an adult tree bend strongly from the abundance of fruits, install special supports.
It is quite simple to determine the ripeness of apples, they acquire color, taste characteristic of their variety and begin to fall off. Carefully select apples intended for long-term storage, there should be no damage on their surface.
Reproduction and grafting. Apple trees are propagated in several ways:
Diseases and pests. For the apple tree, such parasites pose a threat: caterpillars, moths, weevils, aphids, ants. Periodically, while walking in the shady garden, inspect the leaves and branches of the trees. Having noticed pests at an early stage, there is every chance to get rid of them quickly and for a long time.
Prevention of the appearance of parasites - timely mulching and planting flowering grasses near the apple tree, this will attract a flock of wasps that can easily cope with pests.
Plants in winter. An ornamental tree will delight in the spring with a lush fragrant flowering, and in the fall it will bear ruddy fruits if you increase its frost resistance. With the approach of cold weather, huddle and mulch the near-trunk soil. Tie the trunks around to prevent hares and other rodents from damaging the plant. Young trees are additionally protected by whitewashing a specially prepared chalk solution.
Interesting Facts. Your garden will look luxurious and yield a good harvest if you follow these helpful tips:
PHOTO OF APPLE