It is always nice to have a manzano in the garden, not only because of its fruits but also because it is a generous tree, with colorful and intense foliage. But to have one it is necessary to know how to take care of it so that we can enjoy it as we have always wanted it. Although there are different varieties of apple tree, all of them need practically the same care.
In addition, they are plants that withstand frost very well, so if you want a rustic plant in your garden, we definitely recommend getting one. Next we are going to tell you everything about this magnificent tree fruity.
Origin and characteristics of the apple tree
Although it is important to know the care, first we must know what the manzano to know, for example, in which exact location of the garden to plant it. So, you should know that it is a deciduous plant native to the mountainous regions of western Central Asia, and that can reach a maximum height of 10 meters (Although in cultivation it is rare that it is allowed to grow so much. In fact, it is normal to keep it with 4 meters at most to make it easier to collect the apples).
Its crown is open, rounded and highly branched. Oval, acuminate or obtuse leaves sprout from it, with a serrated margin and dark green on the upper surface and pubescent on the underside. The flowers arise in cymes with the appearance of umbel or corymb, in number from 4 to 8, and are hermaphroditic.
Last we have the fruit, the apple. Technically it is a pommel, which measures between 30 to 100 millimeters wide by 35 to 110 millimeters high. The skin is thin, and green, yellow or reddish in color as usual. The pulp, on the other hand, is whitish / yellowish, somewhat hard but not too hard (it can be chewed without effort), and it has a rather pleasant sweetish taste. In the center of the apple there are some seeds, these yes, hard, small, and blackish in color.
Main varieties apples
There are many, around 1000 varieties and cultivars. Therefore, among all of them we recommend the following:
- Apple Beauty of Rome: the skin is red and yellow. It is late.
- Gala apple: the skin is yellow.
- Golden Delicious apple: it is golden in color, and very juicy.
- Red Delicious apple: its skin is red, and it also has juicy meat.
- Pippin apple: it is somewhat late. Green in color, and slightly acid pulp.
Apple tree cultivation and care
The apple tree is a tree that in cultivation is not a very demanding plant. However, to get it to produce an interesting amount of fruit, it is very important to know its needs well. In this way, we will achieve not only our goal, but also make it a healthy tree.
It is a tree that requires good exposure to sunlight for at least 6 to 8 hours a day. It is not harmed by frosts, but if some are registered in spring, the ideal would be to choose a late apple variety, otherwise the fruiting season could be delayed, or it could even not be all the good that is expected of it. .
In the case of having little space, you will have to prune it, or buy a dwarf apple tree. In any case, do not worry too much about this because it resists pruning well, but yes: they must be done at the right time, and avoiding excesses (we will tell you more about it below).
The roots will not cause problems. Now, it should not be placed next to a wall or wall, a few centimeters, otherwise what is going to happen is that the trunk will grow inclined, moving away from that wall or wall. And this can be an inconvenience, since at the least expected moment the wind could blow very strong, which would cause the plant to fall.
Beyond the variety, it is important to bear in mind that the apple tree needs a well-nourished, somewhat moist, non-salty soil with good drainage.
Do you want to have it in a pot? You can, but… we only recommend it if you buy a dwarf apple tree. This, being grafted on a dwarf variety, will be difficult to exceed 2 meters, so it is more appropriate for growing in a pot.
In the event that you dare to get one like this, low in height, you have to put fertile substrate on it. For example, one highly recommended is this one that they sell here!, which is made for typical garden plants.
As for watering, the apple tree needs enough amount of water (around 200-300 liters a year, once it is adult) and it is recommended to water it when the tree receives shade to avoid the rapid evaporation of water when the tree is exposed to the sun. During winter, do not over water to prevent the soil from freezing.
Although fertilizers are good for the apple tree, avoid applying them when the tree is just planted so that the roots are not burned. You can add an organic compost, for example compost when the tree is established, and from there do it during the spring and all the summer.
Transplant and planting frame
In late winter, when you see the buds ‘swell’, it will be an ideal time to plant it in the garden. If you are going to plant more than one, you have to do it at a minimum distance of 3 meters so that they can have a correct development.
You should avoid planting them too close together, since doing so would end badly, with diseased branches, and with less capacity to produce fruit.
The pruning of the apple tree basically consists in ensuring that it has the appropriate number of branches so that it can support the weight of its fruits. It is a very fruitful tree, so the thinning of branches is something that has to be done from time to time.
It has to be done at the end of winter. You have to remove:
- All branches that are in poor condition; that is to say, those that are dry, broken, diseased or dead.
- Those that intersect.
- The shoots that appear along the trunk (below the crown).
Also, you have to trim the branches that grow too much.
When you finish, seal wounds with healing pastein order to avoid infections.
The pests that most affect it are the following: Red spider, aphids, psila, fruit fly, San José louse, and fruit embroiderers. Fortunately, can be treated with environmentally friendly, non-toxic insecticides such as diatomaceous earth, neem oil or potassium soap.
Does not usually havebut yes it could end up affected by powdery mildew, chancre, virus, moniliosis or mottled. To avoid this, it is necessary to try to keep it fertilized and well watered.
If there are symptoms, such as rotting of the fruits, or burns on the leaves, it must be treated with fungicides.
They must be collected when they have reached the size and color of the apple variety that we are growing, something that will happen throughout the fall.
Apple tree multiplication
The Apple tree can be multiplied by seeds in winter (so that they go cold before germinating), grafts and cuttings in spring.
How to germinate apple seeds
Withstands frosts down to -12ºC. It cannot live in tropical climates, since it needs to spend an average of 800-1000 hours of cold per year, that is, those are the hours in which in autumn and winter the temperature must be 7ºC or lower.
What uses is given to the apple tree?
It has several uses:
- Edible: this is the best known. Its fruits are eaten as a dessert, raw, or well cooked (in cakes for example). Jams and preserves are also made.
- Ornamental: it is a beautiful tree, which produces beautiful flowers in spring and also provides a pleasant shade. It can even be worked as bonsai.
Do you like the apple tree?