Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bare Root Apple Trees


Sunday, March 28, 2010

A typical spring day in many respects but not what the weather folks predicted. The wind was stronger, the clouds thicker and the temperature never warmed things up as we hoped for. 25 mph winds right now in Burlington, a little less in Montpelier, 6 mph here.


Spring is a great time to plant fruit trees and apples are no exception. Bare root trees are often available from Vermont growers and they never seem to get the publicity they should for being an easy, inexpensive way to start a home orchard. Local papers are beginning to have ads for trees and selections are greater than you might think. Honey Crisp, a favorite in our house (pictured in bowl up top and on tree just below) are now commonly available.

There's plenty of advice about planting bare root trees and the only thing I will add is get it done promptly after accepting delivery of your purchase. Do a good job digging a good sized hole at least twice as big as the current root system, free the soil of old grass, roots and stones and plant away. Retailers usually have a hand out to explain planting depth and follow up care.


I'll try to remember to send along some pictures when I plant our trees. It will be years before you'll fill an apple crate like this shot of Macintosh apples but they do grow faster than you think and there are always nearby orchards to carry you through until your orchard can meet your needs. Time planting a tree with a new child, new house, new pet and with an apple tree you'll have a time marker still standing a hundred years later.


Writing from the mountain above Peacham Pond where the anemometer turns slowly and the birds and animals of the daylight hours have tucked themselves into the forest for the night.

George Africa
The Vermont Gardener
Vermont Flower Farm
On Twitter daily as vtflowerfarm
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Galarina apples in second picture

6 comments:

Salix said...

Honey crisp is a great apple. We are planning to plant a tree or two this spring. I really like Cox Orange and will try to find that. Then I also like to plant some kind of "cooking' apple.
Lene

David said...

Why don't my apples look like yours? Is it really impossible to grow organic apples?

George Africa said...

Hello David; There's always a little luck but a good site where there is plenty of air, proper sizing of hole, spreading out roots at planting, subsequent water, patience and pruning so not too many extra shoots. Fruit trees are a great investment but they do take some time.

Unknown said...

Is it feasible to plant peach and pear trees at this time of year (july 3) in southern Vermont?

Unknown said...

Is it feasible to plant peach and pear trees at this time of year (july 3) in southern Vermont?

George Africa said...

No problem planting trees now as there is plenty of time to get them well established before fall. The important part, however, is being certain that the trees you have chosen are matched to our climate. Not only insure that your trees are rated at zone 4 or 3 but be sure you think about the soil, how well it drains and the location relative to wind and sun. Both pears and the latest peaches need sun and they do not make it in soil that holds a lot of water.