Apple trees

by Beccie
(Jonesvile, NC)

Good morning Grandma,

How in the world have you and Grandpa been? I'd like to ask you about our apple trees. I am not sure what kind they are but, they are probably around 30 years old or so. I really don't know. The apples are out and we have 2-6 apples per branch. There are four or five branches on the bottom that have no apples and I would like to know if it's ok to just cut them off to get more nutrients to the apples that are growing. They look pretty puny right now. Last summer we did have some that we gave away. The tree is only about 15 feet high. It looks old, but it may not be. Maybe I can bring it around. Does it like alkaline or acidic soil? Would feeding it fresh compost be good for it? Can you give me some of your wisdom on this? Thank you, Beccie P.S. Is there a natural salve or sealer that I can use on the branches that I cut off?

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Jun 19, 2009
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Apple Trees and Pruning
by: Grandma

Hi Beccie,

I'm trying to get my wind back into my sails and using typing as a physical therapy to get my arm moving again. Grandpa has been taking good care of me but the poor guy is worn out with taking me to the Dr. and therapy and keeping up with housework and cooking, so I figured I better try to step up to the plate.

Yes, compost is very good for apple trees. You can spread it as far around as the drip line (that is as far as the branches reach out).

No, you should not prune the trees this time of year. If you want to prune the bottom branches it should be either late fall (once the leaves fall off) or early spring (before the sap comes back up). If you wait until then you don't have to worry about it bleeding, so you don't need to use anything to cover the cuts.

The PH balance should be neutral around 6.5 or so for apples trees. If yours is a little off don't worry since it is producing apples. Some fruit trees will have a bumper crop every other year, I know my cherry tree is like that. One year I'm going crazy trying to clean up all the cherry pits from the birds and the next year I'm hoping I can salvage enough to make some good pies.

Now I'm off to answer your question on painting.

Love,
Grandma


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