It’s harvest season, and you all know what that means—apples! Apple trees, like many plants, can be tricky to grow, but given the proper care and attention, they will bring out a delicious bounty year after year. When planted from a pot, it’s possible to plant throughout the growing season so long as they are given enough water. Apple trees need full sun, well-draining soil, partner trees for cross-fertilization, and good air circulation to thrive. Because of these needs, it’s important to carefully consider where you plant your tree. When planted, remember to water it regularly and watch out for pests.
Apples are particularly vulnerable to pest problems, which makes it important to know which ones to look out for. This changes depending on which variety of apple you have as well as the regional area you live in, so double check just in case! The UC Integrated Pest Management Program (UC IPM) has a great starting list of what to look out for and how to handle each potential problem. Usually, dealing with pests for apple trees requires heavy pesticide usage; however, there are some alternatives. Some apple tree varieties, like Jonagolds, are naturally pest-resistant. You would still need to use pest control on such trees, but it would reduce the use of pesticides. Another alternative, though tedious, is to place paper bags around each apple as it starts to grow to protect them.
Thanks for tuning in to the first installment of the Nursery Compendium. Check back on October 30th for the next chapter!