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Apple

Malus domestica

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The apple is a hardy, deciduous woody perennial tree that grows in cold temperate zones. Apples grow best where there is cold in winter, moderate summer temperatures, and medium to high humidity. Apples are moderately fast growing, but growth slows with age. Apple trees can live for 100 years or more. Apple trees bloom in the spring, set fruit, and take from 100 to 200 days to reach harvest depending upon the variety. An apple a day keeps the docter away!

Planning

Difficulty
Easy
Flowering time
Spring
Fruiting time
Summer, Autumn

Harvesting

An indication of an apple being ready to pick is that is has coloured. The fruit should have swelled up to a good size and crunch with touch. To pick an apple, cup it in your hand, lift gently and if it easily comes off, it is ripe.

Propagation

Cuttings
Grafts from a well-known cultivar is taken during dormant stage and grafted unto a rootstock - often seedlings produce strong roots and can be used as rootstock too! Budding is preferred in nurseries when only an eye is put on a rootstock.
Seed
Seed need cold stratification and will give rise to new characteristics, different than the parent, therefor seldom used. It will take about 7 years from pips to start harvest to evaluate new plant.

Special features

Attracts useful insects
Blossoms need cross pollinating to set as fruit therefor the nectar attrack insects like bees.
Hedge plant
Apple trees can be tree-trained or espaliered into beautiful shapes to make a pretty hedge screen.
Crop rotation
Do not plant an apple tree where an old one was removed - rather plant vegetables or trees from other fruit families.

Geography

Origin
Central to Southwestern Asia.
Natural climate
Cold interior

Environment

Light
Full Sun
Soil moisture
Moist
Soil type
Clay, Loam
Soil PH preference
Acid, Neutral
Frost hardiness
Half-Hardy

Uses

Culinary
Apples are delicious nutritious fruit!
Medicinal
Minerals and vitamins inside the fruit prevent diseases and grated apple is considered a wonderful treat for recovering during and or after illness.

Personality

Family
Rosaceae
Flower colour
White with a pink tinge
Scent
Mild

Problems

Pests that attack apples are scale, codling moths, fruit fly and mites. Powdery mildew results in a dusty white coating on leaves and fruit. Apple scab results in greenish brown spots and fusi result in black spots on the fruit skin.

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