Position – Plant your apple tree in full sun for the best fruit yield. They can tolerate some shade, but you’re likely to get fewer fruits from them.
Size – Apple trees can grow to 12 metres tall and 9 to 12 metres wide when mature. But, it’s best to prune them yearly once mature to remain at about 6 metres. Ensure that you plant the tree away from external walls, electrical lines and other trees.
Soil Type – Apple trees are not fussy about soil type, but do 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 normal 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). This will keep the soil moist and the weeds at bay.
Watering – Water the apple tree every second day after transplanting it 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 your apple tree is well established, you won’t need to water it unless you are not getting much rain. They only require about 2.5 centimetres of rain every 7 to 10 days.
Pruning – Create a healthy plant and stimulate growth by pruning your apple tree. This will assist in producing larger quantities and higher quality fruit.
Prune it in the first couple of months of spring, but only give a heavy pruning when your apple tree is at least 3 years old.
Harvesting – Ripe apples should come off easily when they are cupped in your hand, lifted and twisted a little.