Apple

Apple is a Deciduous plant that grows best in zones 2 through 9

Light requirements: full sun 
Soil Requirements: moderately rich
Moisture requirements: moderately moist

Apple is best planted in full sun in moderately moist, moderately rich, neutral soil, loamy soil.

Flowers

white, pink

appear in the Spring

Fruit

Red, yellow, green, pink

appear in the Fall.

Apple is best planted in the Winter for a Fall harvest

Apple is drought tolerant.
Apple is shade tolerant

Growing Apple

Selecting and Preparing Your Site

Select a well-drained site that gets plenty of sunshine. A bit of shade is okay as long as your trees get 6 hours of good sun daily. The tree should be somewhat sheltered to avoid breakage of branches during wind storms, but should also be far enough away from other trees that they don't interfere with the free movement of air around your tree. At least 30 feet for standard size trees, 20 feet for dwarf and semi-dwarf sized trees. Remember, you need to plant two different, compatible trees for pollination, so take this into consideration when you choose your site.

Once you've chosen your spot, take a soil sample and send it for testing to make sure it's right for your tree. Google "yourstate soil testing" to order a mailing kit and find out where to send it. Here in Michigan it's the Michigan State University extension. The extension website will explain to you exactly how to take the soil test sample and, after you get it back, how to read it. Soil is important, but not as important as air circulation, sunlight and drainage.

You should clear away all grass and weeds in a four foot (or larger) circle around where you are planning to plant your apple tree. Grass is not a good companion for apple trees.

Digging the Hole

Dig your hole about three times as deep and wide as you think you need for your root ball to spread out in - or even bigger. Remove any big rocks and mix the soil you've taken out of the hole with some compost and any soil amendments your soil test indicated you need. Place some of the mixture in the bottom of your hole until its the depth you need it to be to rest the root ball on.

Planting the Tree

Apples can be planted in spring or fall. Here in Michigan, spring is better because or winters can be brutal. Our springs can be brutal too.

Your tree is either in a pot, or bare rooted. Hopefully it is dormant. It is a good idea to get your tree into the ground as soon as you get it home. If it is bare rooted, you can soak the root in water overnight before planting it. If it is in a pot, take it out of the pot and break up the soil around the root ball before planting.

If you bought your tree from a nursery it is most likely grafted. Look for the graft union in the trunk of your tree above the root ball. When you put the tree in the hole you have dug, the roots should be spread out nicely and the graft union should be at least an inch above the soil line.

You may wish to install a mouse guard before covering the roots with soil.

Once that's all handled, fill in your hole and tamp the soil down. Water thoroughly, much more than you think it needs, then cover the entire cleared area with a thick layer of mulch. Make sure the mulch does not touch the bark of your new tree.

Protecting Your Apple Tree

Choosing and Aquiring a Young Apple Tree

Apple Trees From Seed

Apple trees can be grown from seed with a little effort, but the fruit you get from your tree is not likely to resemble that of the parent tree. Apples are not self-fertile and require a different type to pollinate. If your apples are pollinated by bees & such, you really never know what you're going to get. It could be other apples on your property, or the neighbors apples or ornamental crabapples that "father" the seeds, so the flavor of the fruit could be aweful, or wonderful. You can pollinate your apples carefully using a Q-tip to transfer pollen from one tree to another to create a hybrid of your choosing, but it's still a grand experiment. It could be lots of fun, but it's an experiment that will take several years to bear fruit.

Apple Trees from Cuttings

Apple Trees from Nursery Plants

Select an apple tree from a local nursery, a variety that has proven to grow well in your area. Remember that apple trees do not self-pollinate, so you'll need to get two varieties unless you have close neighbors that grow apples or crab apples.

Apple Tree Varieties

You will need two different types of apple trees for pollination. Both varieties should be hardy for your growing zone and you must be sure that they bloom at the same time.

Early-blooming apple trees bloom in early April. Mid-blooming apple trees bloom in April to May. Late blooming apple trees bloom May to June. If your two apple trees do not bloom at the same time, they can not pollinate each other.

Be aware that some apple varieties have sterile pollen and are useless as pollinators due to uneven numbers of chromosomes. These are polyploid or triploid. You can read more about it here http://thefruitblog.blogspot.com/2005/03/triploid-apples.html

A comprehensive encyclopedia of apple varieties can be found here:
http://www.orangepippin.com/apples

Care of Apple Trees

Pruning Apple Trees

http://www.weekendgardener.net/how-to/prune-apple-trees.htm

Harvesting Apples

Uses for Apple

Eating Apples

In the fall when I have an abundance of fresh apples, I like to load up the slow cooker in the evening with fresh, sliced, peeled apples and sprinkle a little cinnamon and sugar on them and set it on low. In the morning, after a quick stir, I have a yummy topping for pancakes.

It also tastes great mixed with yogurt after it cools down.

For an easy dessert I add my favorite biscuit recipe with some cinnamon and sugar added and sprinkle some chopped walnuts on top. I turn it up to high and let it cook until the dough sets. This is great by itself or with ice cream.

I also like to chop and dehydrate my excess apples for use later. They are a great addition to baked goods and my morning oatmeal.

Apple Crafts

See also

http://www.witchipedia.com/herb:apple
http://www.kitchenwitchcorner.com/food:apple

Companions

Apple Tree Guild

French Marigold Tagetes patula or Mexican Marigold Tagates minuta, Comfrey, Southernwood, Strawberries, Thyme, Chives, Nasturtium, Fennel, Egyptian Walking Onions, Asparagus, Feverfew, Monarda, Dill, Garlic Chives, Tulips, Artichoke, Bush Beans, Camas/quamash, wintergreen, Ground cherry,

Incompatible

Potential Pests and Diseases

aphid, tarnished plant bug, green fruit worm, codling moth, oriental fruit moth, plum curculio, apple maggot, leafrollers, apple budmoth, leafminer, leaf hopper, spider mites, Japanese Beetle

Apple Folklore

Apples are considered feminine in nature and associated with a number of Goddesses including Aphrodite, Hera, Athene, Eris and, of course, Pomona. Its element is Water and it resonates with the energy of the planet Venus.

Apples are used in magic relating to health, rebirth, longevity, strength, peace, love, fertility, abundance and hospitality. It represents the harvest and is a necessary component of many harvest festivals including Second Harvest, Samhain and Thanksgiving.

Apple blossoms can be used in love and healing incense.

Apple wood makes excellent wands and rune stones.

Apple cider is a suitable libation for many Gods.

Correspondences
Element(s): Water -
Planet(s): Venus -
Season:
Sabbat:
Deities: Aphrodite, Hera, Athene, Eris, Pomona
Zodiac Signs:
Gender: female

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