The Q&A Archives: Tips for Planting Apple Trees in ME

Question: What conditions do you recommend for the soil in which I will plant apple trees? They will be dwarf or "semi-dwarf" and will be planted into the sun. What companion crops and fertilizers do you recommend for these apple trees. I would prefer organicsolutions to any of these questions. These trees will be in central Maine. I thank you in advance for any help you can provide with these trees. Curious Gardener

Answer: Apples trees like a good loam soil, rich in organic matter. Sandy soils tend to dry out quickly, and clay soils can be waterlogged. Apple trees cannot withstand "wet feet" so be sure the area you choose does not remain saturated for a long time after arain. All soils can be improved by the addition of organic matter--compost, well-rotted manure, shredded leaves, grass clippings. You might want to add some bone meal as well for a long-lasting source of phosphorus. I would be wary of planting fullydwarf trees in your area. Be sure to check with your supplier about the hardiness of the rootstock. Also, dwarf trees tend to be brittle and will require staking. You should be fine with semi-dwarf trees. You might want to consider mulching under your trees, rather than letting the grass grow right up to the trunk. You can plant some attractive flowers such as marigolds in this mulch--marigolds have the added feature of repelling some types of harmful nematodes.

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