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bgibson11 05-15-2011 04:25 PM

Apple Tree Care
 
Received a Macoun Apple Tree for a wedding present last year and planted it in September. It went through the winter good and this spring it is beginning to bud really good.

Now - I understand that it is always good to get another apple tree to plant with the existing one? I am looking for someone who may know the proper care of this tree...

Any help in regards to pruning the tree and/or planting another apple tree nearby would be appreciated!! What is my best option for another tree? will it have to be another Macoun tree?

user1007 05-15-2011 08:19 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bgibson11 (Post 648630)
Received a Macoun Apple Tree for a wedding present last year and planted it in September. It went through the winter good and this spring it is beginning to bud really good.

Now - I understand that it is always good to get another apple tree to plant with the existing one? I am looking for someone who may know the proper care of this tree...

Any help in regards to pruning the tree and/or planting another apple tree nearby would be appreciated!! What is my best option for another tree? will it have to be another Macoun tree?

Planting another apple tree is really about pollination. If there are other fruit trees in the hood and the bees seem happy and the breezes blow pollen you do not need another one.

You should have done a dormant oil spray last fall and if you are ok using pesticides may want to keep an eye on the tree this year to get insects before they get a chance.

Apples, pears and most fruit trees require diligent and aggressive pruning and you should get a book on how to do them specifically. Basically apples blossom and produce on new spurs.

Obviously if it is a young tree, trim out all the branches that grow inward and overlap each other now before they become problems later. You want to encourage branch structure and strength that can support the fruit.

Watch the bark near the ground for insects and rabbit damage. You may have to add some tree tape or piece of pvc type drain material to keep the tree from being chewed.

What a great wedding present by the way!

bgibson11 05-16-2011 08:05 PM

Thanks for the help.

Currently it is standing alone on a bare 2 acre piece of land. The only other trees on the parcel are young pine trees that are scattered along the border as well as neigboring wooded area 100 ft. away.

We do have a piece of drain tile around the base of the tree. But, I will have to take a look under to make sure insects are no issue.

In regards to pollination, how do I know there is pollination? There are no fruit trees in the area either.

user1007 05-17-2011 11:03 AM

Fruit will not set after it blossoms if there is no pollination.

DexterII 05-17-2011 01:30 PM

Congrats and best wishes on your marriage. When we bought our home, almost 30 years ago, there were 3 pretty good size apple trees on the property, and, for the first two years or so, I sprayed and tended to them quite regularly, but since the deer always seemed to beat us to the punch, and we have a couple of great fruit stands in the area, I stopped spraying althogether, and cut back on pruning them as often. Then, a year and a half or so ago, we decided that they could use something more than simply trimming them to mow under, so last winter we went out in the snow and cut out the center tree, in order to give the remaining two space to grow, and I got real aggressive in cutting and pruning them. We removed all of the dead growth as high as I could get to with a ladder and pole saw, and cut all of the suckers, as well a lot of healthy but interior branches. Well, last year we saw some improvement, nothing to write home about, but this year they are absolutely beautiful; full of blossoms, with a very commanding presence in the yard. Okay, so part of me is bragging, but the other part of me is saying to stay on it, maintain it, and you will enjoy it for many years to come.

bgibson11 05-17-2011 08:57 PM

Thanks a lot guys, for the input.

It appears to me that the best thing to do for now is to take a look to make sure no branches are overlapping and do a bit of trimming. Then, just wait and see what happens after it blossoms.

Again - thanks for the tips and pointers.

user1007 05-18-2011 04:05 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bgibson11 (Post 650096)
Thanks a lot guys, for the input.

It appears to me that the best thing to do for now is to take a look to make sure no branches are overlapping and do a bit of trimming. Then, just wait and see what happens after it blossoms.

Again - thanks for the tips and pointers.

Grew up, or at least came of age in fruit orchards of California so learned to prune fruit trees since jobs doing so were readily availed and paid more than mowing lawns. Before the greed of silicon valley took over it used to snow tree blossoms in the spring.

You cannot do a bit of trimming with fruit trees. You have to be aggressive and stay on top of it. Like I suggested, get a good book on how to prune apple and other fruit trees. But in the meantime, now is the time to fix structure problems in your tree.

maxx 05-18-2011 07:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by sdsester (Post 650504)
Grew up, or at least came of age in fruit orchards of California so learned to prune fruit trees since jobs doing so were readily availed and paid more than mowing lawns. Before the greed of silicon valley took over it used to snow tree blossoms in the spring.

You cannot do a bit of trimming with fruit trees. You have to be aggressive and stay on top of it. Like I suggested, get a good book on how to prune apple and other fruit trees. But in the meantime, now is the time to fix structure problems in your tree.

what would be the best book for the job???

bgibson11 05-27-2011 08:01 PM

Not to bring a dead topic to life but I was wondering if now would be a good time to prune my apple tree or should I hold off until the winter? Does it matter?

user1007 05-28-2011 08:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by bgibson11 (Post 656358)
Not to bring a dead topic to life but I was wondering if now would be a good time to prune my apple tree or should I hold off until the winter? Does it matter?

Heavy pruning should wait until fall or early spring (if you live in a climate where things freeze you will be able to spot damaged branches if you wait until spring) when the tree is still dormant and before the flower and leaf budsbuds swell and pop open. However, fruit trees can benefit from a light pruning late spring and or early summer after the blossoms are done and the fruit is set as well. You should thin out the fruit at the same time---you will not get as many but you will get bigger and better apples.

As mentioned before, if you are serious about growing fruit trees to their fullest potential? Get a good book inclusive of a nice pruning guide. You will find it a great investment.

And always use sharpened tools when pruning anything. It is better for the plants and safer for you. It is not a bad practice to dip them in bleach between cuts if you have the patience. And there is a split jury that seems to vary by region of the country as to whether you should seal at least major cuts.

Spraying for bugs and diseases is an absolute must for fruit trees. An inexpensive dormant oil spray will do wonders. You can use organics or just use other pesticides with care and common sense. Or hire someone to just deal with it (cheaper in the long run that paying retail for stuff and doing it yourself).

Deer, squirrel and some birds can be a problem with fruit trees and I have not found a way to deal with them over all the years. At least the deer usually eat the whole piece of fruit. The birds and squirrels just peck or take single bites out of 400 pieces and of course the fruit flies are not far off the scene after the nonsense starts.

As I think I mentioned, my parents went a little crazy when freed from the climates of Minnesota and planted just about every kind of fruit tree you can imagine---because they would grow---in California. It was fun to a point but many of them had fruit that ripened all at the same time and that had to be dealt with or it would fall to ground, rot and create all kinds of problems. It was hard to consume, freeze, give away so much. Mom was of a generation that new how to can but that did not resolve the problem and why would you open a jar of cherries or sliced apples when you new fresh ones were just around the corner of the calendar? Never plant more fruit or nut trees than you can actually manage to deal with.


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