Position – Plant apple trees in full sun for the best fruit yield. They can tolerate some shade but are likely to give fewer fruits.
Size – When mature, apple trees can grow 12 metres tall and 9 to 12 metres wide. But, it’s best to prune them yearly when mature to remain at about 6 metres. Plant the tree away from external walls, electrical lines, and other trees.
Soil Type – Apple trees are not fussy about soil type but prefer slightly acidic soil. The only requirement is that the soil drains well.
Loosen the ground in the area before planting the tree about 1.5 metres deep in your regular garden soil mixed with some acid compost.
Mulch – Add a thick layer of pine bark mulch (keeping about 20 to 30 centimetres away from the tree trunk to prevent it from becoming soggy and subject to rot). Mulch keeps the soil moist and the weeds at bay.
Watering – Water apple trees every second day after transplanting for about a week. Thereafter, reduce your watering to twice a week in dry or hot weather for the next 2 to 3 months.
Once established, there is no need to water it without much rain. Apple trees require about 2.5 centimetres of rain every 7 to 10 days.
Pruning – Create a healthy plant and stimulate growth by pruning apple trees. Pruning assists in producing larger quantities and better quality fruit. Prune in the first few months of spring, and only do heavy pruning when your apple tree is at least three years old.
Harvesting – Cup ripe apples in your hand and twist the stem to pick and enjoy.