Characteristics and features of the cultivation of apple trees of the April variety
Today, thanks to the work of breeders, there are many new varieties of apple trees with a lot of useful qualities, such as large fruits, long shelf life, early maturity. Despite this, some varieties of apples have been always popular for many years, including April.
Aprelskoye variety was bred at Rossoshanskaya fruit and berry station by breeder M. M. Ulyanischev, as a result of crossbreeding of Rossoshansky and the American Macintosh variety. The hybrid received well-deserved recognition, having received a gold medal at the Erfurt International Exhibition in 1969.
Did you know? The territory of modern Kazakhstan is considered to be the birthplace of apples. Probably for this reason, the capital of the state is called Almaty, which translates as “father of apples”. In the city, on Mount Kok-Tyube, a marble monument is erected to this fruit.
Description and characteristics of the variety
April is suitable for cultivation in the Central Black Earth region of Russia and to the south, the most popular in the Tambov and Voronezh regions. Begins to bear fruit late, at 4–5 years. Yields are above average but stable every year. Fruiting occurs on twigs.
The tree is tall, in the years of active growth it can add 0.6-0.65 m per season. If during the year the value of the increase was less than indicated, it is possible that the cause was pests or diseases.
The average height of an adult apple tree varies between 4.5–5 m, however, it can reach 6 m, but no more. So that the apple tree is formed more compactly, does not stretch upward, it should be cut annually. Skeletal branches are strong, extending upward from the trunk, at an acute angle.
The fruits are large, can reach 190-200 g. The shape is round, conical, ribbed not pronounced. The color of the fetus is greenish, the integumentary color has a rosy burgundy hue. White flesh of a greenish tint, juicy. Granularity is weak, the consistency is average. Apple aroma is pronounced, dessert taste typical of the species, with sweet and sour notes, estimated by experts at 4.2–4.5 points.
Ripe fruit contains:
- sugar - 10.5%;
- acids - 0.42%;
- ascorbic acid - 13.2 mg / 100 g.
The timing of flowering and fruiting
April refers to winter varieties, ripens in the middle or at the end of September. Even in the southern regions, waiting for the first harvest before the second decade of September is not worth it. The advantage of late ripening is a long shelf life. Flowering takes place from the end of spring until the third decade of June.
The most important quality of any variety of fruit tree is its resistance to disease, pests and frost. How successfully a particular variety can withstand the above aggressive factors largely determines its popularity among gardeners.
To the frost
It has an average degree of tolerance to winter frosts. In the regions of central Russia, apple trees are grown. However, under bad weather conditions, April, for full aging, may not be enough sunny days. In the Moscow region and at its latitude (Belarus), the variety can suffer from frost, although it grows here.
Important! April has the ability of tissues to regenerate, which is useful for minor freezing - the tree is well restored, especially if it is helped by stimulating pruning and lime processing.
To pests and diseases
The immune system does not belong to the strengths of the variety. April was bred back in the sixties, since then breeding has advanced greatly, and modern varieties have much higher immunity. Grade to scab is especially unstable. If you notice the slightest signs of the appearance of scab or other diseases, as well as insects, you can save the apple tree.
April is a self-fertile apple tree: for flowering, the formation of ovaries and harvest, it needs pollinators. As for other fruit trees of the pink family, a representative of the same species, of a different variety, having close flowering periods, is suitable for these purposes.
In relation to April, the best pollinators are:
- Rossoshanskoe striped;
- Northern synap;
Important! For pollination of apple trees in one garden there must be at least 3 different varieties suitable for each other as pollinators. There is a strong opinion among gardeners that a mixture of pollen from various pollinators has a positive effect on crop yields.
Advantages and disadvantages of the variety
- As a result of many years of observations, we can draw conclusions about the advantages of April:
- stable yield above average;
- great dessert flavor;
- good tolerance of moderate frosts.
- Significant shortcomings are not so many:
- late fruiting;
- immunity is poor.
The April planting procedure is about the same as that applied to other varieties. If you have planted an apple tree at least once, difficulties should not arise. If this is your first experience, read on about the key points of the landing procedure and act accordingly.
When to plant?
Apple trees are planted in spring or autumn, just like other varieties. If the climate zone allows, a young tree can be planted in the fall. Both planting options (autumn and spring) have advantages and disadvantages. If you plant a tree in the fall, 27-30 days before the onset of the first frost, thanks to the natural winter snowing (rainfall), it will have time to take root before the frost.
During the winter, the root system will develop sufficiently (although the plant is in suspended animation, not all processes in it die out), and in the spring, with the first heat, it will immediately begin to build up green mass. As a result, the tree will bear fruit earlier, it will have a more developed immunity.
The negative side of the autumn planting may be the fact that the tree will fall under early frosts or little snow will fall in winter. Then the young seedling, most likely, will not survive the winter frosts. In the spring, you need to plant an apple tree before the buds open - this is about the third decade of April-the first decade of May. More precise dates will vary by region.
Did you know? Grade name April due to this fact: under proper storage conditions, the fetus can last until April, without loss of marketability and taste.
Selection of seedlings
When choosing a seedling should be guided by this rule: the younger the tree, the better. Younger, in the sense of biological age (not more than 1 year), as well as the time that the tree was outside the soil. Ideally, buy a seedling in a nursery so that it is dug up with you.
If the seedling is not dug out with your participation, carefully study its root system: it should in no case have dry patches. The normal color of the roots is white, there should be no visible damage on the trunk. During transportation, the roots should be wrapped with a damp rag, and the tree should be planted as soon as possible after purchase.
Important! There is a simple and very effective way to find out how fresh a seedling is in front of you: remove a small thin piece of young bark on the trunk. Under it should be a green layer, if it is not - the seedling is dry.
Site selection and preparation
The most favorable soils for the cultivation of April are considered fertile substrates rich in potassium and organic matter with a neutral pH.In the event that the apple tree is planted on fertile chernozem, sandy loam or loam, it is enough to remove the upper 20-centimeter fertile layer and make a hole of the same depth.
The place for planting an apple tree should be well lit by the sun, and, preferably, be closed from the north winds. A good option would be to slope south or southwest. April - the tree is quite large, so when planting it, one should proceed from such considerations that the nearest tree should be located no closer than 5 meters.
However, for normal pollination, at least one apple tree should be in a radius of no more than 40 m. Not less than 2 weeks before the planned planting of a tree, a hole is dug, such periods must be maintained so that the hole has time to settle. They dig a pit of 0.8 m depth on sandy soil, cover the bottom with moss that will hold water, and lay fertile soil on the moss.
Instead of soil, you can prepare this mixture:
- top cut of soil - 1 bucket;
- humus - 1 bucket;
- potassium sulfate - 3 tbsp. l .;
- superphosphate - 5 tbsp. l
If the soil is not sandy, moss is not required, but, perhaps, in the event of a threat of stagnation of water in the spring, it will be necessary to place expanded clay drainage at the bottom. In the sandy soil, sandy loam and podzolic soil, during autumn digging, organic matter is added - compost or manure. You can’t do this just before planting, as organics can cause burns to the plants.
Not suitable for growing clay, peat, places with a high level of groundwater. If you are the owner of just such a site, do not despair - you just need to pour a hill out of fertile land, let it settle and condense, and plant a tree next year.
A stake of such a height is driven into the bottom of the pit, north of the center, so that it rises 50-60 cm above the ground. A hill is built at the bottom, on which the tree will be located during planting. The height of the knoll should be such that after planting the tree, its root neck is located 5-6 cm above ground level. After 5-7 days, the embankment needs to be inspected: if it has settled strongly, it needs to be added to the initial level.
After the apple tree is planted and taken root, care does not end there. Next in turn are no less important measures necessary for the growth and development of the apple tree. Wait for the first harvest no sooner than 5 years later, but before that time it is worth focusing on caring for the tree.
We recommend that you familiarize yourself
It must be removed as necessary. Weeding should be at least weed clusters of weeds, it is better, of course, that they were not in the garden at all.
The minimum area where weeds must be weeded is the crown projection zone. There should not be any weedy grass, which after weeding is removed outside the garden and burned.
Loosen the soil after each watering or as necessary (as soon as a crust forms).
The depth of cultivation should not exceed 10 cm - below the horizon of the root system begins. Although the roots of the apple tree are quite strong, it is better not to loosen so deeply - there is no need for this.
Feeding and watering
The first abundant watering of the tree is carried out immediately after planting - 3-4 buckets of warm water. In the future, depending on the abundance of natural rainfall, 4–6 irrigations per season are carried out, including abundant winter irrigation. To determine the need for watering, you need to make a ribbed wooden stick 20 cm long.
The wand is immersed in the trunk circle, and look at how much it is covered with dirt. It is necessary to examine in detail the "indicator" in a place corresponding to a depth of 12 cm or more - it is on this horizon and lower that the roots lie. The more land on the indicator, the more moisture in the soil.In each case, the frequency of irrigation is calculated individually for a particular region and climatic conditions.
To summarize, we can highlight such key points when you should water the tree (although if heavy rainfall occurs at this moment, you can do without additional watering):
- I watering - 14-16 days after the tree has completely faded;
- II - as soon as an active seedling of young fruits begins;
- III - as soon as the kidneys on the shoots of this season are completely separated;
- IV - during the period of fruit loading;
- V - pre-winter watering after a complete discharge of leaves.
Important! During the flowering period or immediately after the tree has blossomed, it is not watered, since excess moisture can cause mold and rot. In addition, it is believed that excess water at this time negatively affects the formation of ovaries.
A deficiency of moisture during flowering (steppe regions, spring without rains) can cause a poor harvest in the fall. In the first season after planting, feeding apple trees are not needed. She should take root, get stronger, adapt to a new place.
Starting from the second or even the third year, a tree should be fed 2–4 times a year. Soon after flowering, in the first half of summer, you can use organic matter (mullein, compost, humus).
To strengthen the immune system, foliar top dressing is performed:
- Spring foliar top dressing is carried out during the flowering period. Use a solution of urea or nitrate (20 g / 1 l of water). Bird droppings are also used (100 g / 5 l of water per tree). After the apple tree fades, it can be sprayed with nitroammophos (2 tbsp. L / 5 l of water).
- In the summer, make nitrogen (July) and potassium with phosphorus (August). You can choose complex mineral fertilizers.
After harvesting, it is better not to add nitrogen, it can weaken the tree, which will cause death from frost. But when digging, in preparation for winter, ash, potassium salt and superphosphate are introduced into the trunk circle.
When the apple tree grows, in the spring you can carry out the tinning procedure: mow all the grass in the near-stem circle, dig it up with the introduction of nitrate nitrate. Then sow the circle with green manure. The event helps to improve soil structure and inhibit weed growth.
Pruning can be sanitary and challenging. The purpose of the first is sanitary thinning, so that the crown does not thicken much. Too thick a crown can cause the development of diseases and the appearance of pests. In addition, dense branches contribute to the chopping of the fruit (on the young branches there are many new ovaries, the growth of which the tree spends energy instead of directing them to form and grow fewer larger apples).
Important! The main rule when pruning fruit trees is to remove shoots growing parallel to the main trunk, its potential «competitors», as well as branches growing inside the tree. Branches parallel to the ground leave.
Sanitary pruning is carried out at least once a year. Dry, damaged branches, those that grow inside the tree, are removed. In partially diseased or dried branches, tissues are cut down to healthy ones; the sections are covered with garden varnish. Perform the procedure during autumn gardening, or in the spring, before the buds swell. In addition, as necessary, sanitary pruning is also done during the growing season.
Stimulating pruning is aimed at stimulating tree growth. It is necessary in the spring (before the swelling of the kidneys), especially if the plant has become a victim of frost or illness. Branches are cut to 1/3 of the length. After that, they begin to grow stronger. In addition, this procedure helps rejuvenate the tree. The crown is formed by the sparse-tier method. This type of crown contributes to better aeration and penetration of the sun.
April is grown including, and in regions with severe winters.And as already mentioned, the variety is not very winter hardy, so preparing the tree for frost is especially important. After the crop is harvested, it is necessary to remove dry and broken branches, areas of dry bark from the apple tree.
Fallen, spoiled and deformed fruits should also be removed from the site. Dig the earth around the tree, remove weed grass. When digging, fertilizers are applied (ash, superphosphate). Conduct abundant pre-winter watering.
Important! It is possible to effectively protect a tree from rodents in the winter by this means: to coat its trunk with clay and manure mixed in equal parts.
But it is better to apply such trunk warming:
- Install 4–6 wooden pegs around the trunk so that the distance from the trunk to each of them is 17–20 cm. The height of the pegs should reach almost to the lower branches.
- Around the pegs, build a semblance of a well made of roofing material, secure it with a wire.
- Fill straw or hay inside the “well”. It is not necessary to pour the fallen leaves there, as it can cause the spread of diseases typical of the apple tree.
The trunk circle is mulched with sawdust or straw, you can use a mixture of them. The thickness of the layer is 12–15 cm. From above, the mulched circle is covered with spruce branches, and the lower part of the tree trunk can also be covered with it.
Disease and Pest Prevention
In summer with heavy rainfall, scab is especially dangerous for April. In order to minimize the risk of this disease, the distance between the trees should be at least 5 m. Do not forget about thinning the crown - a very effective measure to reduce the risk of developing diseases and the appearance of pests.
Inspect the tree periodically for signs of disease.. When the first signs of the disease appear (the leaves cover the spots with a reddish hue, and the fruits turn black, the apples become ugly), the affected leaves and fruits are removed and taken out of the area where they are destroyed.
As preventive measures against scab and other diseases, it is necessary to regularly carry out such measures:
- to feed on time, including foliar - this helps to strengthen the plant's immunity and, therefore, better resistance to diseases;
- in autumn and spring, carefully inspect the tree for signs of the disease in order to be able to start treatment as soon as possible;
- remove dry branches, bark, spoiled fruits and weeds, at least in the projection of the crown of the tree;
- carry out sanitary trimming of the crown regularly.
In the spring, before the buds swell, and in the fall, after the leaves are completely shed, the tree is treated with a solution of urea (1 part / 20 parts of water) or urea (1 part / 15 parts of water). This measure is aimed at combating rust.
In addition, it is not bad, as a preventative measure, to carry out periodic demi-season spraying with a 1% solution of boric acid. Well, and, of course, the long-known and well-proven remedy is Bordeaux liquid (1% solution).
Of fungicides, you should pay attention to such drugs:
- "Healthy garden";
In addition, pests, such as hawthorn, leafworm, fruit tick, weevil, weevil, apple moth, are also dangerous.
To combat these pests, drugs such as:
Whitewashing a tree is an important element in caring for it. In the fall, the trunk is whitened to protect against frost and bright sunlight reflected from white snow. Whitewashing fills the microcracks of the cortex, preventing the ingress of water, which expands upon freezing and destroys the bark. But frost protection is not the only function of whitewashing: in addition, it protects against rodents. The fungicides that make up the mixture (vitriol) prevent the onset and development of diseases.
Apple tree April has long been well studied by both specialists and amateur gardeners. The variety is quite old, has many shortcomings, however, its stable yield, high taste and thorough knowledge, allow April to this day to remain among the most popular varieties for home cultivation.