How to Take the Best Care of Apple Trees
Many people dream of picking an apple from their own tree. Whether to slice it and add it to a pie or enjoy it under the shade of the tree itself, an apple tree produces big, happy results when it’s all yours. Lots of people have apple trees all for themselves, and the good news for you is, it’s actually not that difficult to do.
Having an apple tree on your property can be a huge asset to you and your family. In the early spring, you’ll be able to enjoy their beautiful budding flowers as they decorate your property with their pink and white petals. And in the fall, you’ll have delicious ripe apples to enjoy. Though you can plant an apple tree and just hope for the best, a little bit of planning and care can help to ensure you’re getting the results you’re after.
Knowing how to take care of apple trees can help to protect them from things like disease and infestation that will end up preventing them from producing the fruit you desire. With the help of a professional arborist, such as our staff here at Mr. Tree, your apple trees can thrive all year long. Here are a few tips for how to take care of apple trees.
Removing certain parts of the tree, such as branches and buds, can help make way for an even healthier tree. For this reason, many people choose to have their trees pruned. Pruning your apple tree is one of the best ways to take care of it, and it gives your tree the best chance to grow fruit and flowers when it’s supposed to. When properly pruned, your apple tree will maintain its health and vigor for the rest of the year. Along with remaining healthy, pruning also can increase fruit size, promote flower bud development, and reduce the spreading of some diseases.
The time of year that you have pruning done can play a large role in the health of your tree too. While pruning at the right time can help your apple tree flourish, pruning at the wrong time can leave your tree more susceptible to disease and infestation. Having your apple tree pruned in the wintertime will allow your tree to flourish during its growing season, which is usually spring. If your tree is already fully grown, pruning in the summertime can be done, as it helps to prevent the tree from growing any larger.
Though pruning may seem as easy as taking a few inches off the top, knowing how to prune correctly is of great importance. Cutting too much or without using the proper techniques can result in devastation for your tree. Certified arborists like our team at Mr. Tree can answer all of your pruning questions. With the right tools and knowledgeable professionals doing the job, pruning can be done fast and efficiently.
You will need to fertilize your apple tree so that it maintains the necessary nutrients it needs to grow healthy and continue producing fruit. This is especially important if the soil you’re using is lacking in some important macronutrients like nitrogen, phosphorus, or potassium. Though the soil may have had those macronutrients initially, as the tree feeds, it may need them re-added yearly to maintain its growth rate.
You can choose to fertilize your apple tree with either organic or chemical fertilizers. Either of them can be useful depending on what your soil is lacking. If you’re unsure of what your soil needs most, doing a soil test can provide you with more answers. Fertilizing the soil around your apple trees can be done yearly, around the time just before your flower buds begin to break.
Guard from Pests
Humans aren’t the only ones attracted to apple trees. Many pests are known to be drawn to them as well. Apple maggot flies are notorious for laying their eggs on apples in the summer months. Once those eggs hatch, the resulting larvae dig into the apples and burrow themselves there. You can prevent this by placing red sphere traps on your tree.
Codling moths are another common apple tree pest that you should look out for. These moths and their larvae feed on apples, making them inedible for humans. The best method of protection from these pests is to spray for them in the early season or trap them using a tent-shaped waxed-paper trap that can be hung in the tree.
Another way you can help keep pests at bay is by making sure there aren’t many apples on the ground. Most fruit trees fall victim to dropped fruit, whether it’s from animals knocking them down or large gusts of wind. They don’t cause much harm on their own, other than becoming quite messy over time, but one thing they do is attract pests. Animals will be able to easily access fallen apples, and as more animals are attracted to the easy meal, they may be tempted to try to eat the apples still on the branches. Clearing away fallen fruit as soon as possible is an easy preventative measure to take.
Have Occasional Maintenance Performed
Knowing when something is outside of your expertise can be helpful when it comes to owning a tree. Tree professionals can give you valuable information that can keep your tree healthy longer. They can also provide the necessary services needed to prevent disease.
The best time to have your tree looked at is before there’s a problem. Preemptive care, performed by certified arborists, can both increase the health of your apple tree and save you a lot on future tree services later on.
Professionals are able to give you advice based on your specific tree, and they can let you know how often it should be inspected, as well as which services will be in its best interest to have done. If you’re unsure how to take care of your apple trees, call Mr. Tree today to schedule an appointment.