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1) Why do I want to plant apple trees?

Are the trees required primarily for fruit production, for shade, or for ornamental purposes? If the trees are needed for shade and ornamental purposes, there is a great selection of ornamental trees and shrubs that will prove more effective and much less troublesome than apple trees.

2)   What are the major pests of apple tees in the area?         

Important notice:    In the Southern Interior, some Regional Districts have enacted Noxious Insect Bylaws. These are meant to help protect commercial apple growers. The bylaws require home gardeners to provide adequate control of pests and diseases on their trees. Consequently anyone planting a fruit tree in those areas must have suitable spray equipment or be prepared to employ a custom spray operator to do the job. Currently the Sterile Insect Release program (S.I.R.) is attempting to eradicate Codling Moth which is the main insect pest of apples. All home gardeners must comply with the rules of this program.   Be Aware.

Zone: Vernon ?5, Armstrong-4, Lumby-4


SUMMER APPLE Gingergold: Yellow skinned, large fruit that matures between Sunrise and Gala.

Silken: An early (mid-August) apple with soft yellow to whitish skin color. Flesh is crisp sweet and juicy. Annual bearer. Fruit has a short storage life. The tree is small. Developed at Summerland.

Sunrise: This is a cross of McIntosh x Golden Delicious developed at Summerland. Fruit has a bright red color with a pale yellow background. Flesh is crisp with an unique pear- grape flavor. Ripens 2 weeks before Gala. Short storage life. Immune to Apple Scab; resistant to Powdery Mildew.


Gala (Royal) This is a cross Golden Delicious x Cox’s Orange Pippin. Skin is red-orange color. Crisp, dense, aromatic flesh. Excellent quality. It is a good keeper. Tree is large and vigorous. Fruit ripens in September. Hardy Zone 4. This variety was developed in New Zealand.

McIntosh: An old variety from eastern Canada introduced in 1870. It is still popular here and across Canada. We grow a selection called Summerland Red McIntosh. Fruit is medium to large and attractively colored. Thin skin. Flesh is sweet with a delicious aroma. Excellent for fresh eating, good for cooking. The tree bears young, annually, and abundantly. Partly self-fertile. Ripens in September. Hardy to zone 4.


GOLDEN DELICIOUS: Introduced in 1900. Fruit is large, conic, golden yellow. Flesh is firm, crisp and juicy. Mild sweet flavor. High quality. Thin skinned. Fruit bruises easily. Partly self-fertile. Good for cross-pollinating other varieties. Ripens from mid-September. Hardy to zone 5. chanel replica sale

AMBROSIA: Discovered as a whole tree sport in BC in early 1990. Fruit is medium to large. Skin color is up to 80% total red with a distinctive pink- red blush. Fruit shape is conic. Fruit is sweet, crisp, juicy and aromatic. Fruit matures between Spartan and Red Delicious.  Trees are very upright and spurry.

HONEYCRISP: Developed at the University of Minnesota in 1991 from a cross of Macoun X Honeygold. Skin is mottled red over yellow ground color. Flesh is very crisp. Excellent quality. Better than McIntosh and Red Delicious for fresh eating. Ripens in late September . Tree is an annual bearer and is hardy to zone 3.

JONAGOLD: A cross of Jonathan X Golden Delicious, developed in New York State in 1968. Fruit is normally large and red striped over bright yellow. Flesh is firm and juicy. Superb full rich flavor. The finest dessert and eating quality. Jonagold is a triploid variety. It needs a pollinator and will not pollinate other varieties. It is susceptible to Apple scab and Powdery Mildew. Ripens from mid- September. Tree is hardy to zone 5.

RED DELICIOUS: Good red colour with an elongated shape. Fruit is sweet and juicy.

SPARTAN: Developed at Summerland in 1936 from a cross of McIntosh X Newton. Fruit is medium sized. Skin is dark red, almost mahogany. Flesh is pure white, firmer than McIntosh, highly aromatic with a fine flavor. Superb for fresh eating. Tree is annually productive. It is an excellent pollinator for Jonagold. Ripens in mid- September. Tree is hardy. chanel replica


BRAEBURN: Originated in New Zealand in 1952. Fruit is medium to large. Color is red on a greenish-yellow background. It is not a highly colored variety. Flesh is firm, crisp and juicy. Flavor is sweet, tart and aromatic. Like Jonagold, Braeburn is a triploid, So it needs a pollinater and will not pollinate other varieties. Fruit ripens in late October. Tree is hardy to zone 6. Tree is susceptible to Apple Scab, Powdery Mildew and Fire Blight. hublot replica uk

FUJI: Developed in Japan in 1962 from a cross of Ralls Janet X Delicious. Fruit appearance is poor. Fruit is medium to large. Flesh is crisp, juicy with a fine texture. Flavor is mild, sweet and aromatic. Ripens in mid to late October. Tree is vigorous and precocious. Can be biennial bearing. Hardy to zone 6.

GRANNY SMITH: Originally from Australia in 1868. Fruit is medium to large. Skin color is grass green with white lenticels and often a dull red blush. Flesh is firm and resistant to bruising. Flavor is tart with some sweetness. Fruit matures in early to mid-October. Tree is vigorous and early bearing. Hardy to zone 5.

Disease resistant apples have recently been developed, such as:

LIBERTY: Resistant to Apple Scab, Fireblight and Powdery Mildew. Trees are productive, but fruit size can be small. *Note ?Most garden center’s have many other varieties of apples.


Apple varieties do not grow true to type from seed. A seed from a McIntosh apple will not grow in to a McIntosh tree. As a result Apple trees are propagated by grafting or budding the desired variety onto a suitable rootstock. Thus apple trees are composed of two parts, namely rootstock and scion variety. rolex replica uk

Originally apple trees were grafted onto seedling rootstocks resulting in a tree 25 ft tall and 30 ft wide (7.6m-9.1m). These were called standard trees. In the 1960’s, semi- standard rootstocks were used resulting in trees about 18 feet x 20 feet (5.5m-6m). In the 1980’s semi-dwarf rootstocks came in giving trees 12ft tall and 15 ft wide (3.6m-4.5m). In the 1990’s fully dwarfing rootstocks have become popular, resulting in trees 8 ft tall x 10 ft wide, or smaller (2.4-3m). Some rootstocks can result in apple trees 6 ft tall x 6 ft wide (1.8m ?.8m).

Home gardeners may not have much choice in the size of apple trees that they can buy. Commercial orchardists want small trees and the nurseries are obliged to provide these. Typical dwarfing rootstocks are M26, M9, M27, B9 and 03.


- All apple trees on dwarf rootstock will require support. The trees are very small with thin wood. The fruit produced is of normal size. A full crop of apples on a small tree is a heavy weight to support. Branches can break off. The root system is shallow and trees may fall over. The most common form of support is to pound a 2 inch diameter post (5cm) into the ground beside the tree. The trunk and branches are tied to this support post. Various trellis systems can also be built. audemars piguet replica sale


Planting distances will depend on the rootstock being used. Choose nursery stock that is suited to the space available. Select a well grown one or two year old tree from the nursery. Two year old apple trees should have at least four or five well spaced branches with a good root system. dwarf apple trees should have many branches (feathers). The usual practice is to plant early in the spring but planting can be completed in the fall when weather conditions are good and the soil is moist.

Prepare a hole slightly larger than the root spread. Trim off any injured or broken roots before planting. If the tree is in a plastic pot, remove the pot. If the tree is in a fiber pot, you can slit the sides of the pot and plant with the pot-or remove the pot. Sprinkle a handful of bonemeal in the bottom of the hole (phosphorus) to help the root system get established quickly. Place the tree in the hole, mix in some peatmoss or compost with the planting soil. Replace the soil in the hole, treading the soil firmly around the roots to ensure that the tree is firmly anchored. Give the tree a good watering.

*Make sure on dwarf apple trees that the graft union remains 2 to 3 inches (5cm-8cm) above the permanent soil level. If soil is piled up over the graft union, scion rooting may occur and the dwarfing effect will be lost.


Dwarf apple trees are normally grown to a central leader system. At planting time, if there are no side branches, cut the tree back to 32"-34"(81-86 cm) above the ground. If the tree has lots of side branches (feathers) cut the leader back to 8" (20 cm) above the top branch. Remove any branches closer to the ground than 20" (50 cm). Aim to develop a framework of well spaced branches that are capable of bearing crops without breaking. In subsequent years, switch from heading to thinning cuts. Cut out entire shoots that are crowded or crossing into the center of the tree. Narrow angled crotches should be avoided as these are sources of weaknesses. As the tree starts to bear fruit, prune for convenience in picking, spraying, and to allow light to enter all parts of the tree.


Soils in the Southern Interior are chronically low in organic matter and nitrogen. Minor elements such as magnesium, boron, and zinc may be low as well. If good weed control is practiced, no fertilizer should be required for the first two or three years. When the tree starts to crop, apply one ounce (28 grams) of a complete fertilizer such as 12-16-12 (which also contains minor elements) per square yard (0.8 sq. M) in the fall. Nutrients can also be applied as foliar sprays. Organic growers should use appropriate organic fertilizer material.


While some apple varieties are partly self-fertile, cross pollination can have a very significant effect upon productivity of most apple varieties. To provide for cross pollination it is necessary to have two or more varieties.


Only a small portion of the apples on an apple tree are needed for a full crop. The rest of the fruit must be thinned off so that the apples that are left will grow to a good size. In addition to this, some apple varieties are prone to biennial bearing. This means that they have a heavy crop one year followed by a light crop the next year. Thinning out the fruit on a heavy crop year will help to have a larger crop in the off year. Thin the fruit in June after the June drop. Space the apple 6" (15 cm) apart.


Each apple variety has its own maturity index. For example, McIntosh apples are ready to pick when the seeds are 80% brown. Spartan and Red Delicious apples are ready when the flesh appears clear white when the fruit is cut across. If the apples taste starchy, they are not ready. If they are starting to drop, pick them.


Apples have more pests and require more spraying than all other kinds of tree fruit. Insect pests include: codling moth, leafrollers, bud moth, green fruit worms, aphids, leafhoppers, and many others. Diseases include: apple scab, perennial canker, powdery mildew, crown rot, fire blight, and others. For more information on pest control check the "Gardeners Guide to Fruit Tree Sprays" published by the B.C. Ministry of Agriculture and Food or consult the B.C.M.A.F. publication "Pest Control for the Home and Garden." Organic gardeners should use accepted organic methods of pest control.

Thanks to John Price, P.Ag., Horticulturist