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When to plant apple trees?

When to plant apple trees?
Posted by Kim from Ontario on 2002-07-03 15:59:08

Hello! I have a question about an apple tree we bought this weekend. We saw this apple tree on sale at Home Depot and couldn't resist taking it home. I've always wanted an apple tree in my backyard! But since getting it home, I've become worried about it. I know that summer is not the ideal time to plant a tree, and we are having a really hot one. What should I do? Should I plant the tree now and hope that with lots of attention it will be okay? Or should I keep it in it's pot until fall (dormancy) and then plant it? This seems to be the answer from what I've read on the web, but I wanted to get some personal opinions. This apple trees roots are coming out of the bottom of the pot, so I feel compelled to plant it now, but I really don't want it to die as soon as I plant it!

Thanks in advance for your help with this! :)

  • Apple tree planting
    Posted by Kimm from 4a/5b-MI on 2002-07-04 07:40:41

    Okay, you have it. It is probably potted and in full leaf now, but planting it now isn't going to be any less harmful, and probably better, than leaving it in the pot the rest of the summer. When you do plant it be sure to check that root ball to be sure its either not pot bound (the roots wrapping around following the pot) and spread them out some. Fill the planting hole with water before you set the tree and again after your cover the roots about halfway and then again after you fill in the rest and leave a "saucer" around the tree to hold water each time you do water. Mulch that area to aid in conserving soil moisture. Water as necesary the rest of the summer, you cna check the soil moisture by inserting you finger to the first knuckle and if the soil feels warn and dy its time to soak the soil again.
    • I agree
      Posted by Nancy (toomanynancys@yahoo.com) from MI 5a on 2002-07-09 13:39:25

      Hi Border Neighbor! I agree. Plant the tree now. One thing that I would add is not to fertilze right now, it is too hot and could burn the tender roots which will be 'in shock' right after planting, and water, water, water. Check with your local farm bureuas when to fertilze. Generally a fertilizer/bug spray is used on the foliage in the fall and then again in the spring right before blooming. Michigan State University has an excellent, no frills site to all kinds of gardening (from trees to tomatoes). Check it out. Good Luck!!!
      Quoting Kimm: ------------
      -Okay, you have it. It is probably potted and in full leaf now, but planting it now isn't going to be any less harmful, and probably better, than leaving it in the pot the rest of the summer. When you do plant it be sure to check that root ball to be sure its either not pot bound (the roots wrapping around following the pot) and spread them out some. Fill the planting hole with water before you set the tree and again after your cover the roots about halfway and then again after you fill in the rest and leave a "saucer" around the tree to hold water each time you do water. Mulch that area to aid in conserving soil moisture. Water as necesary the rest of the summer, you cna check the soil moisture by inserting you finger to the first knuckle and if the soil feels warn and dy its time to soak the soil again.

      Michigan State Univ Horticulture

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