Different Types Of Apple Trees
In the past, there have been only a couple different kinds of apple trees that you could buy. But now, thanks to the wonders of genetic engineering, if you want to buy an apple tree you are able to choose between many different types of apples and flavors. Here I will outline five different popular types of apples that you can consider for your first apple tree.
First introduced in Japan, the Fuji apple has been around since 1962. The Fuji apple has yellow-green skin with red streaks down the side. The inside is delicious and sweet. It is white, firm, crunchy, and very flavorful. It becomes ripe in the middle of September, but tastes the best if it is left to fully mature until October or November. These apples will start growing early and grow in abundance. They are good for pollinating other apples. The Fuji tree can tolerate wet, dry, or poor soil, but the fruit quality will most likely reflect the quality of the soil. The apples always taste the best when they are fresh, and are great for cooking.
Gala apples are a wonderful tasting import from New Zealand. The Gala apple has yellow skin with a slight hint of red, and it is medium sized. The insides are yellow, very juicy, firm, crisp, and smell excellent. When they are fresh they are one of the best tasting apples you can grow. They grow quickly, and the trees bear heavily. They become ripe in late July. They are generally not used for cooking, just because Fuji is a better alternative. The trees can grow in wet, dry, and poor soil as well.
The delicious Brae Burn apples' color varies from gold with red streaks to almost completely red. It was first popularized some time in the late 1940's. It was also originally from New Zealand along with the Fuji, and is now the best selling apple in Germany. The insides are white, crisp, aromatic, firm, and juicy. They are sweet, but also slightly tart. The size varies from medium to large. They were introduced to the United States around 1980, and met with great enthusiasm. They are some of the most popular apples in the world. They generally don't become brown too quickly after being cut. They become ripe around October or November.
As red as its name proclaims, the Red Delicious apple is very tall and large. Their yellow insides are crisp, sweet, juicy, and delicious. They are grown across the country, and are great to put in salads. They are usually recognized by their distinct heart shape. They were first introduced in 1874 in Peru, Iowa. They become ripe in mid to late September. They are usually best when they are fresh off the tree.
Golden Delicious apples have great, juicy flavor. Their insides are firm, white, crisp and sweet. They are great for cooking because even when they are cooked or baked they keep their great taste and shape. The skin is thin and soft. They are great for salads. They range in size from medium to large. They are shaped much like the red delicious apple. The insides are crisp, juicy, sweet, and mild. Many people enjoy them, although they bruise rather easily. They become ripe in late September. They are good for many purposes, and they last a long time if not handled roughly.
Pruning Your Trees
If you have just entered the tree growing world, you have no doubt heard the term "pruning" tossed around by the more veteran growers. Well, I have something to admit. For several years, I did not even know what pruning was. I heard the term a lot, but I never felt comfortable asking someone what exactly it was. Even though it would have benefited my gardening and tree growing, I was too prideful to ask. I've found that pride is the reason for the failure of many great endeavors; if I had just asked someone what pruning was, I wouldn't have undergone a few of the disasters that occurred during my first years of gardening.
Pruning is the removal of dead or unneeded branches to encourage the growth of flowers. Usually a tree will end up devoting energy to branches that don't need it, while neglecting branches which are bearing more fruit. If you remove the branches that are taking all the nutrients, you will begin to see a flourish in the other ones. Pruning also keeps the tree in shape by keeping the branches even. This prevents it from becoming weighed down on one side. Having too many branches on one side could cause the tree to become permanently crooked.
Many gardeners don't even think about pruning their trees until they start to bear fruit. This is a big mistake, and you should never neglect to care for a tree just because it hasn't yet begun to produce. During the entire process of growth, you should prune the tree in a way that it is even and uniform. Then, when it does start to produce fruit, the results will be significantly greater. It is very easy to tell the difference between a tree that has been pruned regularly during its growth, and one that has been neglected. Generally the shape of the tree is much more natural looking if it has been pruned.
The first thing to look for when you start pruning is any branches which are dead or diseased. These are quite easy to recognize. Usually they don't bear any fruit, and might be misshapen or discolored. Don't hesitate at all in chopping these guys off, as they are nothing but detrimental to the health of your tree. Sometimes a branch can be dead or diseased without making it too obvious. If this is the case, simply wait until the tree is flowering and it will become obvious by not growing anything.
The second type of branch to look for is the branch that is too close in range to all the other ones. If it grows at such a length and angle that the end is right next to all the other branches, they might end up crowding each other out. Take off the smaller of the two branches to allow the larger one to have the breathing room that it needs. This same rule applies to the weight balance of your tree. Sometimes, for reasons we will never understand, a tree will grow several branches on one side and weigh itself into being lopsided.
So hopefully I have provided you with a basic knowledge of pruning. There are more situations and types of branches that require pruning, but what I've outlined is the very basic parts. These can alter depending on how old your tree is. For example, for the first 3 years of a tree's growth it requires pruning that follows more "formative" guidelines. After the tree is well established, you will need to use "regulatory" pruning to keep it where you would like it to be. There are entire books written on how to prune trees depending on how old they are. There are far too many techniques for me to go over, so if you want to use these advanced techniques then you should go to your local library and check out a book.
The Many Types Of Cherry Trees
One of the most pleasant trees you can possibly maintain is a cherry tree. The word Cherry is derived from the name of an ancient city in Turkey. It describes both the tree and the fruit it produces. A cherry fruit is classified as a "drupe". In the center it has a single hard core that holds the seed. The outside of the fruit is smooth and might have a small groove down one side. There are hundreds of different varieties of cherry.
There are two main groups that cherries can fall under. It is either a wild cherry or a sour cherry. Wild cherries are generally used for plain eating, and originated in Europe or western Asia. Usually if you buy a bag of cherries from the store, you can guess that they are wild cherries. The other type, sour cherries, also originated in Europe and western Asia. These are less pleasant to eat, and are used more in cooking situations, including the production of jam or jelly.
Cherry trees aren't just known for their delicious fruits. They are also popular for their beautiful flowers or blossoms. The clusters of flowers that appear in the spring are rather breathtaking, and have inspired many a song or poem.
If you're looking to plant a cherry tree, you might consider black cherries. It is best known for being the tallest tree available, and producing beautiful white clumps of flowers. The fruit, which becomes ready to pick in the summertime, is small and black. The only negative aspects about this tree are its vulnerability to certain caterpillars, and the tendency for the fruits to fall on their own and stain concrete. That's why it is best to keep them over grass rather then near a sidewalk.
Another one of the most beautiful types of trees is the purple leaved plum. Contrary to its name, it isn't a plum but rather a larger type of cherry. Its tree is most recognizable for its strikingly purple flowers. Through the course of its flowering season, they usually change from deep purple to light pink. Either way, you'll probably be the only one on the block with such a colorful tree. One of its strong points is that it is particularly resistant to pests.
The Amur Chokeberry is most recognizable for its golden bark on the trunk and branches. When its flowers bloom in the middle of spring, they are very small and white. These trees specifically require moist, but well-drained soil. If your yard can't supply that, then this is probably a tree you should skip. This tree is one of the most susceptible to pests and diseases unless you live in a very cold climate. It is one of the most high maintenance trees, but the cherries are delicious and the flowers are some of the lushest.
No matter what your yard or soil situation is like, you should have no problem finding a cherry tree that will do well in your area. They are a great thing to add to your yard, and when it flowers it will take the breath away from everyone that looks at it. It works great as a focal point for any garden. So go to your nursery today, and enquire about what types of cherry trees are known for doing well in your region. You're bound to find something you like.
Dealing With Bird Problems
If you are lucky enough to have a cherry tree in your yard, I am sure I don't need to tell you how much enjoyment can come from them. Just eating the delicious cherries that spawned from your tree is a rewarding experience in itself. Looking out your back window and seeing a magnificent, glorious cherry tree is also rewarding. Most people are impressed just by the fact that you have a cherry tree, because they are usually thought of by non-gardeners as some sort of exotic plant.
But along with the joys that a cherry tree can bring, there are many annoyances. They seem to attract more unwanted creatures than any other plant in the world. Almost every day it seems like there is a new type of pestilence swarming the tree, trying to get a nibble of its delicious fruits. I can't say I blame them, but if they want to eat delicious fruits then they should grow their own trees.
One of the main and most constant problems that most people deal with is birds eating the fruit off the tree. It can seem almost impossible to get rid of this pest. After all, they can come in from any angle and make a quick getaway with the cherries. Or they can sit undetected in the branches and munch away all day. A bird certainly has its versatility on its side. Those little guys can be a real hassle to catch or repel. However, there are several different ways you can deter the birds from your house.
The most used way of repelling birds is to place a plastic owl within the vicinity of the house. If you find any animal that usually eats birds and purchase a plastic version, usually real birds will be instinctual enough to avoid it. These can include snakes, owls hawks, or scarecrows (OK, maybe they don't eat birds normally. But they sure scare the birds for some reason). Most of the time you can purchase these at your local gardening store. If you want a different version or a more lifelike representation, if you look online then you're sure to find something that will work.
If you get a plastic animal of some sort, usually it will cure the bird problem for a while. However, some birds are just really brave (or really stupid) and will continue to eat from your tree. Almost any reflective surface or noisy object will prevent the birds from coming too close. I personally like to use reflective tape designed for scaring birds. You can purchase this at any gardening store. I usually use this in combination with a large assortment of wind chimes for maximum scaring. Once you have a plastic animal along with reflective items and noisy items, almost all birds will be too terrified to even go close.
While airborne creatures might take a little more than their share of fruit, you should still consider leaving one tree exclusively for them. While they might seem like a pest sometimes, birds can be the one thing that livens up your garden. If you're used to having birds and then all of a sudden you've scared them all away, you'll feel like there is something missing from your yard. Something that, on the inside, you truly loved all along.
Dealing With Moths
Having a steady supply of fresh fruit from your backyard is quite a nice thing. Many people strive to attain this dream. However, many people fail to realize how easy it is to obtain a fairly serious infestation of worms in their fruit. I can't think of anything more unpleasant than biting into an apple off of the tree you've slaved over for so long, only to find that you have not been diligent enough with your pesticides.
Even though it seems like a hassle to always be spraying pesticides, it is something that you should never overlook. Spraying pesticides is a fairly quick and easy process, and you shouldn't have to do it very often at all. Believe me; it is worth it to just get out there in the yard every couple of weeks and spray.
Spraying can seem like a time consuming process. After all, you have to go out and buy all the supplies, mix the chemicals, apply them, and clean up everything you used in the process. Sometimes you'll even need a ladder to reach all segments of the trees. The entire process can take as long as four hours if you have several large trees. Doing this every 2 weeks can get very tiresome and irritating. However, you should always persevere. Usually being adamant in your regular spraying will help prevent infestations of such things as moths, but sometimes it's just not enough.
Usually you can recognize of moths have laid eggs on your trees by the ends of the branches. If you notice something that looks like a cluster of moth eggs, you should immediately prune the branch you found it on and destroy it. Check the rest of the tree very thoroughly. If the eggs were to hatch, you would have a huge amount of moth larvae crawling around through your tree and into your fruits. I don't know about you, but the very thought of this makes me wretch.
I once had a friend who was dealing with a very bad moth infestation. He couldn't find a single fruit on his tree that didn't have a worm inside of it. He ended up having to cut down the entire tree (the stump was a wriggling mass of white larvae. I threw up when I saw it. Damn my weak stomach!) and have the stump professionally removed to get rid of all traces. Having to start completely over on a tree you've worked on for so long is an absolute travesty.
I myself live in the same area as that friend I just mentioned, and I have never had a problem with moths. This is because every Saturday during springtime, I make it part of my schedule to go outside and spray down my entire tree. Preventing the infestation of unwanted guests is much better than having to cut down a tree and start completely over just because of a little laziness.
If you have not thought of spraying pesticides in the past, you should head to your local gardening supplies store today. Find out what pests are most prevalent in your area, and buy the appropriate pesticides to prevent them from ever visiting your trees. I urge you not to brush this off, as it will save you lots of trouble in the long run.
How To Prevent Small Fruits
The one thing that usually shocks new tree growers is the fact that the fruits produced by their tree are much smaller than the ones they're used to seeing at the grocery store. "What is wrong with my tree?!", "My God! What have I done!?" are some cried you may hear from the disgruntled tree grower. However, small fruits are a natural occurrence. But while smaller fruits might be what nature originally intended, it is possible to attain larger fruits without any genetic altering or added chemicals. It is only through advanced techniques that the professionals reach such large sizes with their fruits.
Usually in the early stages of a fruit trees growing, veterans do something called "fruit thinning". The theory behind this process is that with less fruits to pay attention to, the tree will be able to more efficiently send cells to the leftover fruits. When there are hundreds of little fruits on one tree, competing for the available materials necessary for growth, you will most likely just end up with a bunch of stunted fruits. To take care of this problem, simply pluck a third of the fruits extremely early on in the process. You should notice larger fruits that season.
On almost any tree, the success of each individual fruit depends on the spacing. Usually there should not be any fruits within six to eight inches of each other. During the fruit thinning process, this is the distance you should generally aim for to optimize the amount of nutrition that each fruit gets. Any closer and you'll find they are crowding each other out. Usually this is the first mistake that a new tree grower makes. Having tons of fruit starting to grow is not always a good thing!
Sometimes small fruits are caused by conditions out of the gardener's control. During the process of cell division that all new fruits go through, cool weather can be fatal to the largeness of your fruits. Likewise, if the weather is particularly cloudy very early in the season, then fewer carbohydrates will be available to your plants. Occasionally, if the factors are all against the well being of your fruit tree, then the fruits will drop to the ground before they are even ripe. A lack of water or certain nutrients, or excessive pests and diseases can also damage the growth of fruits. If you notice these things going on early in the season, you should do more fruit thinning than normal. Sometimes as much as three fourths of the fruits should come off, to allow full nutrition to those who remain.
The best way to find out how to gain larger fruit sizes is to experiment. If your tree has been around for a while, there is almost nothing you can do to it to cause it to die or stop producing fruit. Just test different thinning techniques or anything you can think of to make the fruits larger. You might even head down to your local nursery and enquire about what they would suggest. They will be able to give you advice based on your region and specific tree, which is better than anything I could tell you. So don't settle with small fruits. Go out there and find out what exactly you need to do to improve the size.
Training Branches To Go Where You Want
Many people associate pruning with changing the structure of your tree to fit a different shape or style. However, this is not the case. Altering the structure of the tree is known as "Tree Training". This is a much better way to develop an alternate form for your tree. Pruning should be used to prevent diseases, prevent lopsidedness, and encourage healthier fruit growth.
Pruning is also used to maintain the proper shape for the tree. For example, if you have an abundance of branches on one particular side of the tree, then you will use pruning to get rid of the larger segments which weigh down the tree to one side. Think about it more in terms of maintaining rather than altering. While pruning is useful occasionally, most of the time you can use training as a healthier and more efficient alternative.
Training has not been around for very long. Through tying down branches or propping them up from the ground, one can direct the growth of the tree to take whatever shape they want. This theory is usually used in the early days of the tree to encourage it to develop fully. If you direct the tree and get it started off on the right foot, you'll save yourself a lot of pruning time later.
Usually, training occurs during the summer. Rather than just cut off all the branches that aren't going in the right way, you try to redirect them. The mechanisms you use can be thought of as orthodontic braces for your fruit tree. They pull or push the branches, like teeth, in whatever direction you want them to go. Eventually they naturally grow that way due to your training.
It can be hard to decide how exactly to train your tree. There are many different forms and shapes to choose from. Some are meant to allow a high density of trees in one orchard, and some are meant to provide maximum fruit bearing per tree. Depending on where your tree is and how you want it to function, you will have to look for different types of forms that will perfectly fit your situation.
The theories of training can also be applied even if you are growing a tree in the traditional (natural) form. Sometimes branches will grow too close together and block each other out, so training them to grow away from each other can prevent the need to prune them later. This is highly beneficial even if you are just growing a tree in your backyard, in a non professional environment.
To train a tree, you will need some sort of outside brace to push or pull a branch. Alternately, if you want to push 2 branches closer together or further apart, you can place something in between them or lash them together with rope. Successfully training your branches just takes a little imagination in deciding what to tie things to and what to push things off of. I have found that stakes, fences, or simply an upright two by four leaning away can work wonders.
There is no tree grower that couldn't benefit from using a little training in their tree growing escapades. Whether you have decided to give your trees a completely new form, or just optimize the branch placement for healthier fruit, there is surely some way that training can benefit you.
Caring Properly For Your Fruit Tree
If you have just recently planted a new fruit tree, I think it is safe to assume you are not yet an expert on the subject. More fruit trees die in their beginning years due to poor care habits than any disease or pestilence. Therefore it is vital that you understand how to care for trees in a way that will ensure their immediate success as well as future good health.
During the first stages of the tree's life, the roots, trunk, and branches have not yet fully developed to a self supporting strength. Therefore if your tree is growing fruits, occasionally the combined weight is enough to snap off an entire branch. If this is the case, you should provide external support for your branches - prop them up with boards, or tie them to something at a higher altitude. As long as you can provide your tree the support it needs in these early years, it should grow to be independent in no time at all.
Proper nutrition is not only necessary for the production of healthy fruits, but is also necessary for the tree to survive longer than one season. The exact specifications vary with the area, climate, and type of tree, but I've found that there is no better source than a nursery employee. Maybe they're just eager to sell you the right type of fertilizer, but in my experience they are almost never wrong. Just inform them about the conditions your tree is living in and how healthy it is looking, and they should be able to help you find something to improve the state of your tree.
Lots of people think that the only way to ensure a tree's healthiness is to provide it insane amounts of water. This is not the case at all. As a matter of fact, giving too much water to a tree can be more harmful than making it go thirsty. At the best it will have a negative effect on the taste of the fruit. But at worst, your entire tree could die and prevent you from ever growing fruit in the future. So do not ever try to solve your problems by giving it lots of water! Solve your tree's health problems at the root, so to speak. Go to where the problem originates from, and fix that.
If it is too late and you're already starting to see unhealthy branches that look either diseased or damaged, you should always remove them. If the tree is wasting nutrients by sending them out to the branch that cannot be saved, it is practically throwing away all the nutrients that it could use on the other, healthier branches. As soon as you start to see a branch that is deteriorating or becoming unhealthy, chop it off right away. At the very least, trim down the unhealthy part but leave all the segments that still look like they could continue growing.
Once your tree has started to enter the picking stage, never leave any of the fruit on the ground that is bound to fall. Also, be careful to get every piece off of the tree. Even if it is an ugly looking fruit that you don't want to keep, you should still pick it and throw it away. Once these fruits begin to rot, they provide a perfect home for unwanted insects or diseases that can transfer to the tree itself. So always remember to rake up these fallen fruits, and prevent yourself a lot of future grief.
Getting a fruit tree and caring for it throughout its life can be a daunting task. It may even seem impossible sometimes to keep track of all the factors that make a tree healthy. But if you just pay attention to the nutrients that your tree needs, you should be on a good path. In addition to nutrients, figure out the precise amount of watering that you should be doing to keep your tree's thirst quenched without drowning it. Just do all these things, and you will have a great tree that produces delicious fruits.
How To Safely Spray Pesticide
If you want to protect your fruit tree from pests during the summer, this is almost impossible to accomplish without the use of pesticides or chemicals. This might scare some people into thinking that the actual fruits will contain traces of the chemicals. If you do things correctly, you can get rid of all the pests and not infect the actual tree. If you're going to be spraying chemicals, you most likely will be using either a handheld pump or a hose-end sprayer.
If you're using the pump sprayers, you will be able to more accurately determine the mixing of the chemicals. Unfortunately, you won't be able to spray it very far. Usually it won't reach the tops of trees. This can be achieved with the hose end sprayers, but getting the correct mix of chemicals is quite a challenge. It all depends on your water pressure to get the correct mixture of chemicals, but water pressure is not constant. One day it might be lower, in which case your chemical content would be higher. The types of materials you buy for hose application are generally in an extremely strong form. They need to be severely diluted before they are weak enough to apply.
When you are mixing the chemicals for spraying, you need to follow the directions exactly. You are dealing with dangerous chemicals, so its best to do exactly what the professionals recommend and wear the proper protective gear. When you're dealing with chemicals like this, you should always wear rubber gloves. Use the exact portions indicated on the label. Estimation won't work in this case, and you could end up killing your tree or not killing any bugs. You should usually start by putting in the proper amount of pesticide, and then top it off with all the water.
Now comes the spraying. The goal is to spray the same amount over all the areas. You still don't want to spray so much that enough builds up to drip off of the leaves. Usually you will want to get a ladder so that you can get within spraying distance of all the portions of the tree. Apply the pesticide in even, full sweeps as to hit every piece. Never go over the same part twice, because that is when you start to drip.
If you're dealing with a large and well developed tree, you should stand on a ladder under the base of the trunk. Spray all segments from the inside towards the outside. After you are done spraying the outer canopy, you're ready to get out from under there and work on the rest. Once you are done cleaning, be sure to fully and thoroughly clean off every bit of equipment you used, including your clothes. Don't include the clothes you wore while spraying in the rest of your family's laundry.
While you're spraying for pests, the main thing to keep in mind is to avoid dripping onto the ground. When this happens, the pesticides will be absorbed by the roots of the tree and be transported to the actual fruits on the trees. As long as the pesticides stay on the outside and you wash your fruit thoroughly before you eat it, you will have nothing to worry about as far as being poisoned goes.
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