How do you maintain an apple tree?

Asked By: Moira Lindlahr | Last Updated: 2nd April, 2020
Category: hobbies and interests beekeeping
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To care for your mature apple tree, you'll need to prune it and fertilize the soil. Prune your apple tree in the late winter or early spring. This gives them enough time to recover before they start to bud in the spring. Cut off any broken, dead, or diseased branches.

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Thereof, how do you prune an apple tree?

To prune apple trees, wait until spring and early summer. Then, use hand pruners and loppers to cut off any downward growing branches or branches that are dead or diseased. You should also prune any suckers that are growing at the base of the apple tree.

One may also ask, what should I feed my apple tree? Generally, all fruit trees thrive in a soil pH of between 6.0-6.5. If you are just planting an apple sapling, go ahead and add a pinch of bone meal or a starter fertilizer mixed with water. After three weeks, fertilize the apple tree by spreading ½ pound of 10-10-10 in a circle 18-24 inches from the trunk.

Correspondingly, what month do you prune apple trees?

Apple trees should be pruned in late winter, but you can prune into the spring and summer if you must. Avoid pruning in the fall since this stimulates new growth at the same time the tree should be getting ready for winter.

Why are the apples on my tree so small?

Apples and pears are thinned to one or two fruits per cluster, with at least six inches between fruits when the total crop is heavy. If a too-heavy crop is due partly to too much fruiting wood on the tree, some of the thinning can be quickly done with pruning shears, perhaps as a part of an early summer pruning.

38 Related Question Answers Found

How do you save a dying apple tree?

There are certain things you can do to boost your tree's health so it won't get sick in the first place.
  1. Avoid injuring your tree while doing any yard work.
  2. Watch out for any exposed roots, too, since root rot can be lethal.
  3. Take care of your tree's basic needs.
  4. Keep an eye on the weather.
  5. Properly prune your tree.

What's the best fertilizer for apple trees?

Apple trees require nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium -- the three numbers on fertilizer bags -- as well as various trace minerals. For home growers, fertilizers should have a higher nitrogen ratio to fuel healthy growth. Common granular 20-10-10 fertilizer is suitable for apples.

Do apple trees produce every year?

Many species of apple tree will produce fruit every year -- provided they're grown in the right conditions and don't sustain any damage. In some situations, your tree may fall into producing fruit only every second year.

How can I make my apple tree grow faster?


Increase the fertilizer application as the tree ages to continuously boost growth. In the fruit tree's second year, use one pound of 21-0-0 fertilizer. In the third year, use 1.5 pounds of the same fertilizer. Every year thereafter, increase the amount of fertilizer you use by a pound.

How do I know if my apple tree is healthy?

A good indicator of good tree health is the appearance of the leaves. Make sure the tree's leaves contain the right color hue for the season. In most deciduous trees, this means green leaves in the spring and summer, and yellow, orange, or red leaves in the fall.

How often should I water my apple tree?

It's important to note that, even if you're in the midst of a “brown-lawn drought”, you shouldn't water too much. Once every 7- to 10-days (or even once every two weeks) is plenty. Worse than dry, thirsty roots are waterlogged, drowning roots.

Do I need 2 apple trees?

Most apple varieties do not pollinate themselves or any flowers of the same apple variety; this requires planting at least two different apple tree varieties close to one another so that the bees can pollinate. (There are actually some self-pollinating apple tree varieties if you are really short on space.

How tall should an apple tree be?

The mature height of apple trees varies by type. Dwarf apple trees grow about 10 feet tall, while semi-dwarf varieties can reach 15 feet. Meanwhile, standard-size apple trees often soar to heights above 20 feet and sometimes tower at 30 feet.

What diseases can apple trees get?


Below are a few of the most common apple diseases:
  • Apple Scab. Apple scab is one of the most common and most serious diseases that afflict apple trees.
  • Fire Blight.
  • Cork Spot.
  • Powdery Mildew.
  • Rust.
  • Black Rot and Frog Eye Leaf Spot.
  • Phytophthora Rot.
  • Crown Rot.

What do you spray on apple trees?

Spray the apple tree with horticultural oil while dormant, then again when the leaves are 1/2 inch and again right before the tree blooms, when the small buds begin to turn pink. Apple maggot control begins before the tree produces foliage in the spring with a lime-sulfur spray.

Where do apples grow best?

The northern half of Alabama, for example, can grow apples (see this page). Apples do grow well in most areas of South America, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, and Europe. Sorry Florida, apple trees will grow there, but rarely produce fruit.

Can you over prune an apple tree?

Over-pruning (removing more than 25 percent of the canopy in any one year) may result in the production of watershoots (epicormic growth), which are vigorous, tall, upright and leafy branches, producing no flowers or fruit.

When should you not prune apple trees?


When to winter prune apples and pears
Pruning should be carried out when the tree is dormant, between leaf fall and bud burst (usually between November and early March).

How do you prune an apple tree that is too tall?

Pruning Neglected Apple Trees
  1. Prune out all dead, diseased, and broken branches.
  2. Lower the height of the tree by heading back large, upright growing scaffold branches to outward growing laterals.
  3. Remove undesirable interior branches.
  4. Prune off low-hanging branches.
  5. If additional thinning is necessary, remove weak spindly growth.

How hard can you prune an apple tree?

Apple trees are one of the few deciduous trees that will bounce back from a hard, single-year shortening. This type of pruning requires you to cut off every one of the main branches except for a single leader. You should not do this if your apple tree does not have any major branches lower than 6 to 8 feet.