How to choose the right apple tree seedling
To grow a beautiful and fruitful apple tree in the country, first of all, you need to choose the right seedling for planting. About how to choose planting material and how to save it, read below.
How to choose the right apple seedling for planting
To choose the right seedling, you need to pay attention to the stock and choose a tree, depending on the characteristics of the landing site. Depending on the stock, planting material is divided into three types:
- Tall plants up to 8-10 m, with a deep rhizome. Such a tree can be planted on a site where the occurrence of groundwater is at least 3 m.
- A medium-sized culture that grows to 5 m. This species is suitable for cultivation on a site with a subsurface groundwater no closer than 2.5 m.
- Low-growing apple trees are 2.5–3 m high, they are grown in areas with a groundwater table of at least 1.5 m.
Where to buy seedlings
Apple tree seedlings are best bought in specialized nurseries and garden organizations. It is not recommended to purchase planting material from sellers without a license, otherwise there is a risk of buying a fake that will not bear fruit.
What varieties of apple trees to choose
In order to get an excellent harvest of apples in the summer, you must choose the right variety for planting. You should choose varieties that are presented in local nurseries or grow in neighboring gardens, then there will be a high rate of survival and fruiting. When choosing a seedling, they also pay attention to the climatic characteristics of the region and the ripening time of the variety that you want to plant.
Early ripe varieties of apple trees bring crops in the middle or at the end of August, the shelf life of fruits is one week. The most popular varieties of summer apple trees:
- Lungwort - medium-sized tree, reaching 4 m of growth, with a crown having the shape of an inverted pyramid. Fruits reach 150 g of mass, the color is green, with a pink blush.
- White filling - a culture of medium growth, reaching a height of 4 m. The crown is round, of medium density. The color of the fruit is pale yellow, their mass is up to 200 g.
- Grushovka - a tall tree reaching 6 m in height. The top is pyramidal, acquires a rounded shape as it grows. Fruits are rounded, green in color, with a slight pink blush. The weight of apples reaches 120 g.
Mid-ripe varieties of apple trees yield crops in early or mid-September, the shelf life of the fruit is a month. The most popular varieties of autumn apple trees:
- Gala Galaxy - medium-sized tree reaching 4 m. Apples are dark red in color, weighing up to 200 g.
- Delicacy - a short tree, up to 3 m. The fruit color is pink-green, weight up to 180 g. The variety is resistant to powdery mildew.
- Glory to the Winners - medium-sized variety, up to 3.5 m, characterized by high winter hardiness and resistance to scab. Fruits up to 180 g, dark pink.
Varieties of late-ripening apple trees bear fruit in late September or early October. Shelf life of the crop can reach 6 months. The most common varieties of winter apple trees:
- Antonovka - tall tree up to 6 m, with an oval crown. Fruits are yellow-green in color, weighing up to 150 g. It is characterized by winter hardiness and early maturity.
- Idarmed - medium-sized plant, not lower than 3.2 m, characterized by high winter hardiness and resistance to brown spotting. Fruits are light green with a bright blush, 140-190 g.
- Moscow winter - tall variety, up to 10 m. Fruits of green color, 200-300 g; when stored, they acquire a yellowish tint.High winter hardiness, good immunity to powdery mildew and scab.
What to look for when buying
The age of the seedling should be 1-2 years - the younger it is, the higher the degree of survival. When buying planting material, you need to pay attention to the root system and trunk: there should be no growth, damage, diaper rash on them. Under the bark, the shoot should be green, which is easily checked by a small incision with a knife. The rhizome should be elastic, its optimal length is 35–40 cm.
Important! The root system should be moist, but not rotten. You can verify the integrity of the rhizome by easily pulling the spine and holding the central shoot. If the roots begin to separate easily, it means that they rotted and this seedling cannot be planted.
How to save an apple seedling before spring planting
If the planting of a seedling was planned in the fall, but due to early frosts, the planting failed, do not despair. The plant can be stored until spring, for which there are several ways: prikop planting material, snow cover or storage in the basement.
Prikop seedlings are used at a time when it is too late to plant a plant, but the ground has not yet frozen. The dropping area should be dry, well ventilated. To store the planting material, you need to dig a hole, the approximate dimensions of which are 50 cm in depth and 40 cm in width.Do not forget about the animals dangerous for the dug seedlings - mice and hares. Be sure to take all possible measures to protect against them. In the spring, with the onset of heat, the seedlings are carefully dug up and planted in a permanent place. At the bottom of the pit, it is necessary to pour out a layer of peat with sand, which will protect the plants from rotting during snow melting. Seedlings are laid in a pit; spruce branches are laid on top of them and covered with dry earth to the very top. The pit is covered with roofing material.
Important! When placing seedlings in a pit, it is necessary to monitor their correct location: the rhizome should point to the north, and the upper shoots should point to the south. This arrangement of plants inside the pit will protect them from gusts of strong winds and drying out.
Snowdrifts are an excellent shelter for planting material. Snow-making is performed provided that the layer of snow that has fallen reaches 15 cm. The process of snowing:
- Dig a hole in the soil, which will be 40 cm deep, 30 cm wide.
- Place the rhizome in polyethylene and introduce the entire seedling into the pit.
- To fill up with soil.
- Cover with a dense material (roofing material can be used).
- Cover the shelter with snow.
- Pour sawdust over the snow with a layer of 5 cm.
Features of storing seedlings in the basement
Storage of seedlings in the basement should be carried out subject to the optimum air temperature from 0 ° C to + 2 ° C and humidity up to 80%. For storage, it is necessary to prepare wooden boxes, the bottom of which is covered with sand. The root system is loosely wrapped in polyethylene, in which holes are made for ventilation. A seedling is placed on top of a layer of sand and covered with sand so as to completely cover the entire plant.When storing seedlings in the basement, regularly check the moisture content of the roots
How to plant an apple tree seedling on a site
In order to grow a healthy apple tree, you need to choose the right place for its cultivation and observe the technology of planting.
Important! Seedlings must be planted according to the scheme: 3 m distance between plants and 2.5 m between rows, then the crowns growing every year will not interfere with each other.
To plant a seedling, you must:
- Dig a hole measuring 60 cm deep and 70 wide.
- The upper fertile soil layer taken from the pit is mixed with 10 kg of humus, 100 g of superphosphate and 30 g of potassium.
- Mix the soil with fertilizer into the pit until the middle, forming a mound in the form of a hill.
- Carefully insert the seedling into the hole, spreading the roots along the embankment.
- Add soil to the top of the hole.
- Tamp the soil tightly and form a near-stem circle in the form of an embankment from the ground, at a distance of 50 cm from the trunk.
- Water the plant with 20 liters of water.
Video: instructions for planting an apple tree
Optimal landing time
Planting of apple trees in the spring is carried out from April 10 to May 15, during the period when the air temperature becomes stably high up to + 15 ° С.
The landing area should be well-lit, which will have a beneficial effect on the taste of the fruit. There should be no drafts that cause the movement of pests and fungal spores; also a strong wind can provoke breakage of the shoots.A place for an apple tree should be chosen quiet, protected by a fence or a building. Ground water should lie at a depth of 1.5 m. You can select a site on a hill to avoid flooding of the rhizome during heavy rainfall. The soil should have a neutral pH - a too acidic environment will lead to cracking of the bark.
Did you know? The most common type of apple tree is called cultivated apple tree, or homemade (Malus domestica), and has more than 10 thousand varieties.
Land for landing begin to prepare in the fall. The surface of the soil should be carefully cleaned without leaving leaves, fallen fruits or weeds on it. Then the area is dug with humus on a bayonet shovel.The soil must be checked for acidity, for which a litmus test is used. To carry it out, soil is taken from several places on the site, each sample is placed in a tissue bag and lowered into a glass with distilled water for 5 minutes. After this time, a litmus test is dipped in a glass of water for 10 seconds. The result must be checked on the scale attached to the test. If the soil is acidic, then it is lime - it will take 500 g of dolomite flour per 1 m², medium acid medium requires 400 g per 1 m².
Further care for apple seedlings
Growing an apple tree is not a time-consuming process. However, you need to take care of the culture regularly, then the tree will delight the gardener with its beauty and abundant fruiting.
Watering and loosening
It is necessary to water the seedlings regularly so that they grow faster. Watering is carried out 1 time in 2-3 weeks, depending on weather conditions. For one irrigation procedure, 20 l of water are added, which is pre-settled for 2 days. It is imperative to loosen the soil near the trunk circle. The procedure is carried out to a depth of 15–20 cm. Loosening allows the soil to be saturated with oxygen, which is necessary for the root system.
Feeding the young tree begins at 3 years of growth, because the nutrients that were planted during planting will be enough for 2 years. Next, dressing is done according to this scheme:
- Before budding, the fertilizer is applied under digging. It is necessary to retreat from the trunk 25 cm and loosen the soil with urea in the amount of 600 g per tree.
- After flowering, you can apply organic fertilizer in liquid form. It is necessary to dilute 2 kg of bird droppings in 10 liters of water. One tree requires up to 30 liters of mortar.
- The following fertilizer is produced at the end of August, it is prepared from 500 g of nitrophoska, 10 g of sodium humate, 10 l of water. On one tree, 30 l of fertilizing is needed.
- Feeding is also carried out at the end of October, before wintering. 30 g of potassium and 60 g of superphosphate should be diluted in 10 l of water. It will take 30 liters of fertilizer.
Video: feeding apple trees
In an apple tree, it is best to form a sparse-tier crown, which in appearance resembles natural - with this pruning, up to 3 skeletal branches in one tier are permissible. It is necessary to begin to form the top from the first year of growth. Pruning is carried out in early spring, before the juice begins to move, the time at the end of March is great. The first step is to determine the area of the stem, which is 50 cm from the soil. On this segment there should not be branches, they are cut out.Above the zone of the stem, another 30 cm is measured - this will be the zone of the first tier of skeletal shoots. All shoots located above must be removed, and the central shoot cut off by 20 cm.The sequence of formation of a sparse-tier crown (for 2-4 years after planting): on the left - before trimming; on the right - after trimming Next year, it is necessary to remove all shoots in the area of the stem, and also begin to form the lower tier of skeletal branches. Leave 3 branches: the first should be located in the area of the stem, 50 cm from the ground, and the other two must be located on the opposite side, so that between each branch there is a distance of 15–20 cm.
Next spring, at a distance of 50 cm from the first tier of branches, it is necessary to lay the second, which will consist of 2 branches, between them also an interval of 15 cm is observed, as in the first tier. After another year, the formation of the third tier, which should be located at 40 cm, begins higher from the second. For the last tier, one branch is enough. The central conductor should always be 20 cm higher than the rest of the branches, because of this, they cut the skeletal branches, equalizing them with each other.
Video: how to prune an apple tree
Frost protection and winter preparations
Preparing for winter is one of the most important care activities that take place in the fall. It is necessary to remove fallen leaves, fruits and other garbage on the site. Sanitary pruning of the crown is carried out, in which all dry shoots damaged by pests are removed. The trunk and the lower tier of skeletal branches need to be whitened, which will protect the tree from pests, diseases and cracking of the bark in severe frosts.A young tree needs to be wrapped in burlap or thick cardboard. Barrel circle mulched with sawdust after watering, which will help maintain a sufficient amount of moisture for the winter period, and also protect the rhizome from freezing. The lower part of the trunk must be wrapped with roofing material - this will help in the fight against rodents that are not averse to feasting on the bark of a tree.
Did you know? An ancient Persian legend says that if you make a wish, and then eat forty apples one after another, after blowing on each one, then the desire will certainly come true.
Disease and Pest Prevention
On an apple tree, many pests and microorganisms can parasitize, which cause wilting of leaves and damage to the crop. The most dangerous insects for the plant are the beetles from the order of the Winged Khrushchev, weevils. The apple tree is also attacked by: aphids, codling moth, leaf moth. The most dangerous fungal diseases are scab, powdery mildew, fruit rot. Without preventive measures, harmful microorganisms are capable of destroying up to 90% of the fruits, the remaining 10% of the crop will be sluggish fruits, unfit for human consumption.
The causative agents of diseases from which the culture may suffer:
- viruses (mosaic, spotting);
- mycoplasmas (gutta-percha, softening of wood);
- bacteria (cancer).
In order to prevent the spread and development of infectious diseases and pests, preventive measures must be taken in a timely manner. Plants that do not have immunity to pathogens are especially in need of prophylaxis, so the primary action is the choice for planting seedlings of those varieties that have high and medium resistance to fungal infections.
To prevent the spread of disease, you need to protect the apple tree from the carriers of viruses, which are aphids and cicadas. The following drugs are allowed to be used against pests: "Aktara", "Confidor", "Maxi", they are used based on the instructions for use. As a preventive measure, you need to get rid of weed grass in the area that attracts insects, and also remove the basal shoots that the pests eat.
When invasion of the furry stag beetle during the flowering period, it is necessary to use the shaking method. To carry out the event, you need to spread fabric or oilcloth under a tree and gently shake each branch - the bugs will fall down and remain on the fabric, from where they can be easily collected and destroyed. With the invasion of bukarka, which appears during budding and flowering, it is necessary to collect dry, fallen leaves damaged by an insect, and burn them.For preventive purposes, 2 sprayings are carried out with a 1% solution of copper sulfate: the first time before blooming, the second after floweringBlack elderberry infusion can be used against aphids and cicadas - 1 kg of leaves and flowers per 10 liters of hot water; after the remedy is infused for 1 day, you can add 100 g of liquid soap and irrigate the culture and all plants in the vicinity. To avoid re-infection with fruit rot, it is necessary to remove fallen fruits and leaves from the site in a timely manner, the use of the drug "Chorus" is also effective - 2.5 g per 10 liters of water.
In the prevention of fungal infection, which is caused by diseases such as scab, kleasterosporiosis, moniliosis, you can use irrigation with a 3% solution of Bordeaux fluid (300 g per 10 liters of water), which is carried out before flowering and after it.General recommendations for preventive measures against insects and fungal diseases:
- loosening the trunk circle;
- whitewashing of the trunk in the spring and autumn;
- cleaning the area from fallen leaves and fruits;
- removal of weeds and shoots;
- planting on the elderberry and lavender, which repels insects.
So, in order to grow a strong apple tree, you need to choose a quality seedling for planting, which is purchased in a local nursery. An obligatory criterion for choosing a variety for planting should be the climatic conditions of the region of the planned cultivation. Then you need to plant and provide care for the plant in accordance with the relevant rules. And it will thank you for caring for a generous harvest.