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Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Thu Dec 06, 2012 6:57 pm
by mystang89
Hi everyone, I'm new to the website.
I can't grow a thing to save my life. I have a black thumb. I need advice about buying an apple tree. I live in Kentucky just so you know what the climate is like.
I live in a suburban area with not too much land. I was thinking about buying a Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf tree since they don't become as large as the other Apple trees and from doing a bit of research they don't technically need another apple tree for cross-pollination.
When would be the best time to plant the Apple tree? I was told that now was a great time to plant them.
Do I really need another apple tree for cross-pollination or will it be ok with just one?
I also raise rabbits and so have access to some good fertilizer but read somewhere that rabbit droppings were too rich for apple trees and not to use them. Is this true?
Any and all help is truly appreciated.

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 2:38 am
by OrangePippin-Richard
In KY you might find spring is a better time to plant. The trouble with planting in December is that if winter arrives suddenly the tree will not have had time to establish its roots, so you are taking an unnecessary risk.

You could maybe use the rabbit droppings as a mulch.

The mature height of an apple tree is mainly determined by the rootstock it is grafted on - dwarf rootstocks produce smaller trees (8ft - 10ft), vigorous rootstocks produce larger trees (up to 20ft) and there are various points in between.

Some apple varieties are self-fertile but it is often better to plant two compatible trees (dwarf ones if space is an issue) because they will set better crops and you will also find that if one has a bad year the other should still produce and vice versa.

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Fri Dec 07, 2012 7:48 am
by mystang89
Awesome, thank you for the reply. I was thinking about a sudden hard frost hitting during this time as well, (if we actually have a winter this year) and was wandering if layering the bottom of the tree with about a foot of leaves would act as a blanket for the roots. I really have no clue though, it was just a thought.

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:00 pm
by mystang89
Well, I think this spring is when I'm going to plant my apple trees. I do have another question though.

The apple trees will be going right where to old tree are currently planted. I'd say they are easily 20 years old maybe more. So there root system is nice and established. I was going to cut them down and either grind or pull the root out (probably chain and truck style.)

Can I still plant the trees right where the old ones were or will the remnants of the old roots hurt the new trees since those roots will start to decay. I was thinking root rot or something like that but I don't know how this works. I called an orchard place around here and they said they just dug up what trees that didn't make it and planted others right on top of them but that they weren't established or anything.

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:25 am
by Greyt.Chase
mystang89 wrote:Well, I think this spring is when I'm going to plant my apple trees. I do have another question though.

The apple trees will be going right where to old tree are currently planted. I'd say they are easily 20 years old maybe more. So there root system is nice and established. I was going to cut them down and either grind or pull the root out (probably chain and truck style.)

Can I still plant the trees right where the old ones were or will the remnants of the old roots hurt the new trees since those roots will start to decay. I was thinking root rot or something like that but I don't know how this works. I called an orchard place around here and they said they just dug up what trees that didn't make it and planted others right on top of them but that they weren't established or anything.
I'm not positive on this, but I believe that the decaying roots will be just fine. You want decayed material in your soil so the new tree has nutrients can be drawn up into the new tree. I'm not an expert, just a noob, so I don't know with all certainty.

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:51 am
by mystang89
Thanks. I was going to put some compost dirt in the hole which will have a very generous amount of rabbit droppings for fertilizer. I worry about that as well though. I read that apple trees don't like too much fertilizer so I don't know how much to put around the tree.

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 7:21 am
by OrangePippin-Richard
I think it is better to avoid over-enriching the planting hole because you really want to encourage the roots to spread out into the soil, which will be better for the long term.

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 9:55 am
by mystang89
Is there a rule of thumb on how much manure to put around the tree when also composting?

Re: Planting Garden Delicious Apple Dwarf

Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 11:50 am
by Chuck Rhode
I grow my trees hydroponically. :D

Not really. They are on a sandy bluff near Lake Michigan so the soil is poor and irrigation a necessity. They produce a little fruit but grow slowly. I don't use a lot of fertilizer: a double handful of a granular formulation (approved for gardens in your watershed) in midwinter and another in midsummer; otherwise, I put on a smidgeon (1/2-T/gal) of water soluble indoor plant food and 1-T/gal of 10% CaCl (Max-In) with each cover spray.

I was told not to fertilize the whips when I planted them but just to turn the sod upside down in the bottom of the hole.

I've talked to nearby apple growers but don't have any definitive advice. One says that, when replacing trees, he uses a tree baller to remove the old stump, roots and all. He fills the hole with fresh soil nuked with fertilizer to burn out any soil pathogens that have been feeding on the old tree and lets the bare ground cook for two years before replanting.

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