Fruition’s Apple Tree Abundance Kit
It’s the little things! And here are little things that make all the difference to help up to five apple trees truly come to fruition.
Fruition’s Apple Abundance Kit includes:
5 metal permanent tree labels
5 plastic rodent guards
15 UV-resistant orchard bands to help staking your tree (each tree needs 3!)
Not included is a 10-foot metal stake, ideal for each tree; these we will be sharing at our Garden & Orchard Store in spring.
When you purchase this kit with trees (brilliant!), they will be shipped when your trees ship in spring.
Here’s a little more insight about Fruition’s Apple Abundance Kit:
5 Plastic Rodent Guards
Mice & Voles can quickly ‘girdle’ and kill young trees, munching their nutritious inner cambium bark in winter. Spring plantings don’t require mice protection but fall plantings do. We put mouse guards on each fall and then remove them in spring. We check for borers when we take our guards off in spring and then again when we put them back on in fall. We aim to leave the trunk open and visible during the growing season, allowing plenty of air flow and making borer patrol easy during the months it matters most.
5 Permanent Labels
There is no better time to have a strategy for permanent labels than before the tree goes in the ground. It’s so easy to put off or even worse, those famous last words, “I’ll remember what it is!” Even if just planting a few trees, it’s great to keep them labeled, and even better, create an orchard map.
The trees will come from the nursery with a small plastic tag with its name (like the one on top, below), though this temporary tag won’t actually hold up in the elements over time. They often become faded, torn, mangled or broken off within the first year. Since these tags aren’t meant for permanent use, it’s ultimately up to us to keep track of the varieties we plant and create long term labels for the trees.
There are all kinds of labels for trees, and some of them hold up better than others. Purchase a few, make a few more (get creative!) and either way, make an orchard map in addition to your permanent labels. Also, we’ve learned the hard way: Oil-based sharpies and other permanent markers fade quickly in sunlight.
Without further ado, here are our favorite approaches to labeling our apples:
- Make an Orchard Map As trees mature, the permanent label we once earnestly created can become difficult to read or even illegible. Whether on paper or on a computer, we’re so happy to have an orchard map as a backup in these situations. At Fruition, our orchard map is in a google doc and stay tuned, we’ll share it with you, soon! For larger orchards, we recommend numbering each tree and keeping an orchard key.
- Aluminum Tags These are one of the most common types of labels. Write on them with pencil to create an indentation that never fades, a huge advantage over any label that is written on in ink. Many of the aluminum tags available are fairly small and can be difficult to locate when the tree matures. While they don’t fade or rust over time, we’ve found that they still become difficult to read after many years, and sometimes partially devoured by expanding tree branches.
- Vinyl Tags We love the John Bunker method, simply combining vinyl siding, metal wire and a number two pencil! We love up-cycling something that would otherwise lounge in the landfill. Not only that, these home-made labels don’t fade as quickly as sharpie or pen! Drill holes through cut-out vinyl rectangles, or squares…your choice! And attach to tree branches with metal wire. Check every few years to make sure the pencil isn’t fading. It usually holds up remarkably well, often never fading a bit. Thanks, John!
- Painted Wood If you can make the time and crave the creativity, a) we love you and b) painted wooden signs are fantastic! They fun to make, they hold up well (especially if you coat them in sealant) and will bring you and your community joy for years to come.
15 UV-Resistant Orchard Bands
If you’re staking your tree (which all of Fruition’s semi dwarf trees would love!), immediately connecting the tree to the stake is crucial.
Rubber Orchard Bands as well as home-made cloth ties are fabulous for connecting the tree to the support stake.
We tuck one just above the rodent guard once we slip it on, another 6 to 8 inches below the top and a third band in the middle of those two. Though they’re UV resistant and will expand without inhibiting your tree, you’ll likely need to replace them every few years.
The first few years are the most crucial to protect your tree and these tools will help establish as well as surround you with abundance for many seasons to come!
Sow Seeds & Sing Songs,
& the whole Fruition Crew