Tree FAQ: Common Questions about Apples
How do I plant a tree?
Hop on over to our 10 Steps for Planting a Tree blog, my Friend!
What is the most likely way a young tree will die in the first few years?
A roundheaded apple borer, one of the worst pests in the orchard and leading causes of death in trees that are only a few years old. Tree trunks must be checked regularly for evidence of borer. If a borer is found, they need to be dug out with a knife or blasted with compressed air, immediately. They will kill the tree if left alone. Here’s some good sites for info, images of what they look like, and some organic solutions. Learn more from Michael Phillips and University of Maine Cooperative Extension.
Does an apple require a pollinator to fruit?
Yes! Apples need another variety to fruit. Jump over to the first section of our 6 Core Questions for Orchard Planning to read more about pollination requirements.
If I plant the seed of a variety, like Goldrush, will I get another Goldrush?
Intriguingly, no! Like people, trees have two parents. Each seed has been pollinated by a different variety other than the parent tree. Each seed is genetically unique. There are a few varieties, like Duchess of Oldenburg and others, which are known for having seed that will be relatively “true to type” to the parent, but even these will have subtle differences between each seed in a fruit.
What is the best way to propagate a new apple tree?
Apples must be grafted onto a rootstock and clonally propagated in order to create a new tree of a specific variety. For example, all Fuji came from the same parent tree. Besides the original parent tree, there are no other Fuji’s out there that have been started by seed!
Is grafting hard?
No. Apples are fairly easy to graft in comparison to stone fruits and pears. Anyone can learn and it’s really fun. It requires a sharp knife and so proper precautions need to be taken to not hurt oneself while doing it. Not recommended for children. Look for classes through cooperative extensions and universities.
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