The Q&A Archives: Trees - Apple

Question: Had apple tree for many years, but never ate them. They are pretty big, about as big as the apples in the grocery store. What do I need to do to care from the trees so as to be apple to pick and eat the apples this Fall? What sort of insectide, fertilizer, etc. do I need and when do I apply it? Thank you.

Answer: Apple tree care includes preventative sprays to reduce disease and insect damage. Here's what needs to be done, and you will find appropriate products in the fruit tree section of your garden center:
Dormant Oil should be applied in February or March to prevent scale insects and other problems.

When flower buds are visible but still in tight clusters, apply a fungicide.

A second fungicide application should be made just before the buds open. This is usually 10-14 days after the first application.

After 90% of the petals have fallen off the tree, a combination spray should be applied to control both diseases and insects. Do not spray before the majority of petals have fallen since the spray will kill bees and other insects that are pollinating the flowers, which reduces the tree?s yield.

One week later, a second application of combination spray should be made. Be sure to cover both surfaces of the leaves as well as leaves in the center of the canopy. This is known as a ?cover spray?.

Continue to apply cover sprays every ten days through the summer. Stop applying chemicals two weeks before harvest begins. Always be certain to wash all fruit harvested from trees that have been treated with pesticides.

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