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Latin Name : Malus domestica
The apple is a tree from the rose family.
It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits.
It is a small tree reaching 5-12 m tall, with a broad, often densely twiggy crown.
The leaves are alternately arranged, simple oval with an acute tip and serrated margin, slightly downy below, 5-12 cm long and 3-6 cm broad on a 2-5 cm petiole.
The flowers are produced in spring with the leaves, white, usually tinged pink at first, 2.5-3.5 cm diameter, with five petals.
The fruit matures in Autumn, and is typically 5-9 cm diameter (rarely up to 15 cm).
Apples do not flower in tropical climates because they have a chilling requirement.
Apples are perennials and are propagated asexually by grafting. Seedling apples are different from their parents, sometimes radically.
Apples are relatively indifferent to soil conditions and will grow in a wide range of Ph values and fertility levels. They do require some protection from the wind and should not be planted in low areas that are prone to late spring frosts.
Apples require good drainage, and heavy soils or flat land should be tilled to make certain that the root systems are never in saturated soil.
Apples are prone to biennial bearing. If the fruit is not thinned when the tree carries a large crop, it may produce very little flower the following year. Good thinning helps even out the cycle, so that a reasonable crop can be grown every year.
The trees are susceptible to a number of fungal and bacterial diseases and insect pests.
Apples can be canned, juiced, and optionally fermented to produce apple juice, cider, vinegar and pectin.
Mature trees grow to 20 ft. Two varieties are needed for best fruit set. Fruit production expected during 3rd year. Spray program necessary for good-quality fruit.
Apple trees are usually trained to a central leader. The trees are pruned to a main trunk with horizontal limbs ever one to two feet up the leader. A pine tree is an excellent example of the central leader type. The pine tree achieves the central leader naturally; unfortunately fruit trees must be trained to this system. Remove any limbs that are too close together or angle sharply upward. Wooden "spreaders" can be used to widen the angles between the limb and trunk or the limbs can be tied or weighted down to achieve the same results. Mature trees may be pruned any time during dormancy, but the select time is in early spring before growth starts.
Spacing 20' x 25'
Soil PH 6.0
Moisture Requirement Moderate
Pruning Requirement Moderate