All about the apple tree: which variety to choose and how to grow it correctly

Ask a resident of Europe to list the fruits known to him, and the list will certainly begin with an apple. Perhaps none of the Europeans will dispute the view that the apple tree is the queen of the local gardens. Many legends, beliefs, songs, poems tell about apples and apples. According to biblical tradition, even the paradise tree of the knowledge of good and evil was decorated with apples, which played a fatal role in the fate of Adam and Eve. And the beautiful Greek goddesses Hera, Aphrodite and Athena quarreled with a golden apple with the inscription "beautiful", tossed by the goddess of contention Eris. But how much do we know about this wonderful tree that delights man with its fruits from prehistoric times? So, let's talk a little about apple trees.

Where apple trees grow

Apple tree is a deciduous tree of temperate latitudes. In Eurasia, wild apple trees grow throughout the continent. They can be found in European countries located in the far west of the mainland, in the Alps, and in the Far East, in Mongolia, China, the Caucasus, Central Asia, Turkey, Iran. The wilds of this tree grow in North America, but their fruits are tasteless and small. The ancestor of garden apple trees is considered to be a native of the Old World.

Wild european apple tree

In nature, apple trees can live from fifty to eighty years, in garden conditions, individual specimens live for more than a century and even overcome the bicentenary. In the English county of Nottinghamshire, today you can see the Bramley apple tree - the Bramley apple tree, which grew from a seed in 1805. Her numerous offspring are pleased with the unsurpassed quality of the fruits of culinary experts around the world.

Bramley's apple tree, which grew from a seed in 1805

True, most longevity apple trees are found in warmer places. The north, the shorter the life of the fruit tree. An apple tree in the middle lane lives a maximum of seventy years.

According to the botanical classification, apple trees are one of the genera of the large subfamily of apple trees in the family Rosaceae, which is part of an infinitely huge order of Rosaceae. That is, the apple trees are in a distant relationship with roses, but their closest relatives are quince, pears, hawthorn, mountain ash, cotoneaster, medlar, and irga.

Since ancient times, man began to cultivate the apple tree, develop its new varieties and varieties. Now even scientists find it difficult to name the exact number of existing varieties and varieties of apple trees. It is only clear that there are several thousand of them. New varieties are being bred even in Australia, such as, for example, RS103–130, introduced to the public in 2009.

Australia strain RS103–130

Nowadays, apples are grown on an industrial scale in China, Spain, Germany, Poland, Italy, Canada, the USA, South Africa, Argentina, Chile, New Zealand.

Apples from around the world

Apple Festival in Almaty (Kazakhstan)

How did the most common apple varieties appear in our area? Where are they grown? Each variety has its own story, sometimes it is very exciting.

Apple-tree varieties Aport

The famous sort of apples Aport

The famous apple variety Aport, a mention of which can be found at the beginning of the XII century, was brought back from the Balkan Peninsula to the present southern Romania and Ukraine in the XIV century. From there, Aport came to Russia and later in the 19th century to Kazakhstan, where it became famous: after crossing Sivers with a wild apple, a variety variety was grown that has been grown to this day. Apples ripen in September and can be stored until the end of the year. Aport was grown on an industrial scale, but was gradually replaced by new varieties and hybrids. Now it can be found in private households and in private farmsteads.

Aport apple variety story - video

Grade apple-tree Gala

Many fell in love with not very large bright sour-sweet apples of the Gala variety

Many fell in love with not very large, weighing an average of about 130 grams, bright sour-sweet apples of the Gala variety. They ripen in the fall - from late September to November. They have a really great dessert flavor, rated 4.6 out of five. Apples are well stored for up to two to three months. Gardeners appreciate this variety for the regularity and abundance of fruiting. Not very high frost resistance of the tree allowed the State Budgetary Institution “State Sort Commission” to recommend a variety for cultivation in the North Caucasus region, but Gala growers also grow in other places where there is no threat of prolonged winter frosts above -30 ºС.

Golden Delicious apple tree

Excellent golden, as the name of this apple variety is translated from English, has been known since the end of the XIX century

Excellent gold, as the name of this apple variety is translated from English, has been known since the end of the 19th century, when they were discovered by A.Kh. Mullins in the North American state of Virginia. FSBI "State Commission" recommends growing these apples in the North Caucasus and North-West regions, as these apple trees have low indicators of frost resistance and winter hardiness. This variety attracts gardeners by the fact that the harvest of apples, whose weight is in the range of 140–180 grams, can be stored until May next year. Golden Delicious is self-fertile and needs pollinating trees, but already a two-three-year-old tree gives the first crop.

Fuji grade apple tree

Beautiful and dead Fuji apples were bred in Japan

Beautiful and dead Fuji apples were bred in Japan. This variety is especially actively used in Korea and China. In the central regions of our country, fruits are harvested in mid-October. The harvest is stored for up to three months if stored at room temperature, and at low (in storage, cellars, refrigerators) - until the summer of next year. It should be noted that the Fuji variety in our area does not ripen properly. Due to the lack of solar heat, apples do not collect enough sugar in Russia, in the north of Ukraine, in Belarus. Here clones of this variety are grown that mature two to three weeks earlier - Kiku, Nagafu, Yataka and others. Clones of this variety Fujik, Fujina and Fujion are listed in the Russian State Register with the permission to grow them in the North Caucasus.

Fuji clones in the photo

Apples Beni Shogun

Fujin Apples

Fujion Apples

Fuji Kiku Apples

Toshiro Fuji Apples

Yataka Apples

Granny Smith apple tree

Granny Smith (Granny Smith) - Australian variety

Granny Smith (Granny Smith) - a variety of Australian selection of the second half of the XIX century. Apples of this variety are green and juicy. The apple tree prefers a temperate climate with mild winters. It grows well, for example, in Israel, where it is among the most popular. Federal State Budgetary Institution "State Commission", having submitted Granny Smith to the State Register, the North Caucasus was indicated as the recommended growing area. In the descriptions of the variety, the network indicates the weight of apples about 0.3 kg, during the variety testing in Russia, Granny Smith apples reached about 0.15 kg.

Mutsu grade apple tree

Apple tree Mutsu appeared in the 30th year of the last century in Japan

The apple tree Mutsu, which is also called Mutsu, Mutsa or Crispin, appeared in the 30th year of the last century in Japan. Over time, she ended up in European, Ukrainian and Russian gardens. The variety has an average winter hardiness and is grown in regions with mild winters. By mid-September, the fruits reach removable maturity, consumer ripeness is gaining in one and a half to two months. The refrigerator can be stored until the spring of next year. Mutsu apple tree requires regular treatments for diseases and pests.

Apple trees Mutsu near Odessa - video

Jonathan apple tree

Jonathan is recommended for cultivation in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, Kabardino-Balkaria, Adygea, Northern Asetia-Alania, Karachay-Cherkessia, Chechnya, Ingushetia, Rostov Region

The well-known variety Jonathan, which is also called Oslamovsky, Khoroshavka winter or Winter red, appeared at the beginning of the 19th century in the North American state of Ohio, where the climate is quite mild, winter temperatures are rarely below -1 ºС. An appropriate climate requires a tree when grown. The apple tree harvests in the sixth, rarely in the fourth or fifth year of life. When the variety was included in the Russian State Register, Jonathan was recommended for cultivation in the Krasnodar and Stavropol Territories, Kabardino-Balkaria, Adygea, North Ossetia-Alania, Karachay-Cherkessia, Chechnya, Ingushetia, and the Rostov Region. In Russian conditions, apples gain 135–165 grams. Jonathan - a variety of late winter consumption, at low temperatures can be stored until May next year.

Idared apple tree

The first harvest, the apple tree Idared gives in the third to eighth year of life

Apple tree Idared is a variety of North American breeding (Idaho state), therefore, it can be successfully grown only in areas where winter frosts do not fall below -20 ºС. The apple tree gives the first crop in the third to eighth year of life. The FSBI Gossortkomissiya, which included Idared in the list of recommended varieties, indicated the North Caucasus and the Lower Volga region as the growing area, and in 2017 added the Kaliningrad region in northwestern Russia to this list. On an industrial scale, Idared apples are grown in the Krasnodar Territory. Apple trees of this variety also grow successfully in Ukraine, where they were first grown in the steppe and forest-steppe zones, and later in southern Polesie. In Poland, Idared holds a leading position among exported apple varieties.

How the apple tree grows and bears fruit

The apple orchard is beautiful in any season, but if you want not only to admire this bewitching sight, but also to create something similar yourself, beautiful pictures are not enough.

Apple Orchard - photo

Apple orchard in spring

Apple orchard in summer

Apple orchard in autumn

Apple orchard in winter

What does the apple tree begin with?

Each apple tree begins with a seed or cuttings. It is not worth it to grow an apple tree from the seed of a purchased and eaten apple alone. Not only because it is long and troublesome. There is a high probability that the tree will turn out to be a wild game, to which the liked variety was grafted. And the situation with the cuttings of the selected variety is not easy: you need to have the appropriate stock and skillfully carry out the vaccination operation itself, which is not quite simple without experience. As a result, a sapling appears on a summer cottage or garden plot, which someone has already grown for a year or two.

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When planted in accordance with all the rules, surrounded by attention and necessary care, the tree will yield the first fruits, it largely depends on the selected apple variety. Each variety enters the fruiting season at one time:

  • Mutsu apples are likely to be tasted in the fourth year of a tree's life;
  • the apple Jonathan will have to wait six years, he rarely begins to bear fruit in the fourth or fifth year;
  • waiting for the apples Gala, patience should be stocked up for six, or even seven years from the time of planting a seedling;
  • the apple tree Idared can please the first apples in the third year of its growth, but it is possible to wait for this event before the eighth year of its life;
  • the favorite of gardeners The white filling, the first to ripen in our area in the middle of summer, pleases with the first harvest after planting a seedling already in the third or fourth year.

There are other early-growing varieties of apple trees, their first fruits can be obtained already in the third or fourth year from planting:

  • Bogatyr is grown in the north-west of the country in the Kaliningrad region, in the central chernozem regions, in the Central and Volga-Vyatka regions;
  • Imrus is zoned for the central chernozem regions and the Central region;
  • Orlik is recommended for the Central and North-Western regions and central black earth regions;
  • Student reared in the central chernozem regions;
  • and others.

Early varieties - photo

Grade White filling

Variety Bogatyr

Variety Imrus

Variety Orlik

Grade Student

The entry period of each apple tree in the fruiting period is determined not only by the variety, but also by many other factors: the climate of the area, soil quality, location of the site and the tree itself on the site, and so on. On average, it is from five to fifteen years. During this period, the roots of the tree and its crown are fully formed. Gardeners noted this relationship: the earlier the apple tree enters the fruiting season, the shorter the tree's lifespan.

If we are talking about dwarf and semi-dwarf apple trees, then the observation found that the same apple variety grafted on different stocks has different lifespan. The most durable dwarfs on the stock of the Caucasian forest apple tree, the least - grafted on a paradise apple tree, the so-called paradise. The life expectancy of half-dwarfs on duseny (varieties of low apple trees used as rootstock) occupies a middle position between the life expectancy of tall and dwarf apple trees. On average, undersized apple trees live 15–20 years.

The first crop of undersized apple trees, as a rule, falls on the third year of their life, and from four to five years the period of mass fruiting begins.

The first crop of undersized apple trees, as a rule, falls on the third year of their life, and from four to five years begins the period of mass fruiting

A separate article is columnar apple trees. They can bloom even in the year of planting. By the way, all the flowers on such an apple tree are removed so that it can take root well and grow. Column-shaped apple trees of fifteen to seventeen years old live and yield annually.

Fifteen to seventeen columnar apple trees live and yield annually

Are these extra branches?

In order to grow a beautiful, healthy, abundantly fruiting apple tree, it is impossible to do without forming a crown, that is, a tree pruning operation. It is impossible to execute it correctly if you do not know the basic concepts of the structure of the tree crown.

A continuation of the trunk (lower part of the trunk) of the tree is a central vertical shoot, called a conductor. To the sides of the stem, and with age and from the conductor, side branches, which are called skeletal branches, depart. It is on them that fruit branches and fruit wood are formed.

Apple tree branch diagram

The leafy buds of an apple tree, elongated and pointed, are tightly attached to the annual shoot. Flower buds are more rounded and somewhat spaced from the two-year span of the shoot. Fruit bags are formed by older flower buds.

Flower buds of apple trees are formed on various types of fruit wood:

  • fruit twig - a 10-30-centimeter mild shoot, initially giving only flowers, from which apples mature after pollination;
  • spear - shoot up to 10 cm long, ending in a flower bud;
  • ringworm - a slow-growing shoot up to 5 cm long with a rosette of leaves at the end, under favorable conditions, the apical bud at its end degenerates into a flower;
  • fruit bags - the thickened part of the fruit branch, where the apple ripens, flower buds are usually formed on them.

On annual growth shoots in most varieties of apple trees, only leafy buds are formed. It is these branches that are used to form the crown - skeletal and lateral branches.

How to make an apple tree bear fruit every year

As you know, many varieties of apple trees initially have a fruiting period of 2-3 years: one season is fruitful, then a break of 1-2 years, when there are no apples at all or there are very few of them. Such periodicity is clearly pronounced in the varieties Papirovka, Lobo, Mantet.

Varieties of apple trees with a pronounced frequency of fruiting in the photo

Apples Papirovka

Lobo Apples

Apples Mantet

This happens because fruit buds give both flowers and fruit shoots, on which flower buds will form only next year, therefore, apples will be only in a year.

In other apple varieties, such as Antonovka, Cinnamon striped, Melba, the frequency of fruiting is not so pronounced, as part of the flower buds are laid already in the current season, that is, partly the crop will be received next year.

Varieties of apple trees with a less pronounced fruiting frequency in the photo

Apples Antonovka

Cinnamon striped apples

Apples Melba

Avoid the frequency of fruiting of the apple tree under a number of conditions.

  1. The variety of cultivated apple trees should be intended for the area where the tree grows. Flower buds should not freeze in winter.
  2. It is necessary to restrain plant growth, thereby activating the laying of flower buds. Proper trimming of the tree allows this to be achieved. An example would be apple trees on dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstocks, which initially had a growth restriction, but due to the strong root system, ensure stable nutrition of the crown.
  3. The tree should not be overloaded with crops when the fruits ripen on all branches and branches. Free fruit branches should remain in the crown. At the same time, it is impossible to prevent the thickening of the crown by fattening shoots. When they reach a length of 18–20 cm, they must be shortened in the summer by half or two-thirds of the green ones. You can perform this operation in the fall or next early spring.
  4. It is necessary to provide the tree with good nutrition, protection from diseases and pests.

If the apple tree does not bloom

Beginning gardeners often enough ask a question about a growing but non-blooming apple tree for several years.

The first point to which they should pay attention is the variety of apple trees and the date of its entry into the fruiting season. Perhaps a specific apple tree has not yet come to please the gardener with the harvest. As mentioned earlier, apple varieties have different times of bearing fruiting.

If it’s time to give birth to a tree, but there are no flowers, you must use the advice of knowledgeable gardeners. So that the tree laid flower buds and the next year yielded a crop, you can perform the following operations:

  1. Bend vertically growing branches and secure them by pegging or pegs at an angle of about 60º relative to the tree trunk.
  2. Young thin shoots can be fixed in the form of a ring.
  3. Trim part of the roots of the tree.

All these actions will lead to the laying of flower buds, and next year the tree will yield a crop.

What to do if the apple tree does not bloom - video

A brief conclusion follows from all of the above: each apple tree, like any other plant in the garden, requires interest, replenishment of knowledge, attention and care from the gardener. Then the tree will fully reward him with a full-fledged harvest.

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