Answer: It's a fact of nature that in order to grow tree fruits, you need to commit the time and energy required to protect them. Another sad fact is that apple trees are among the most pest- and disease-ridden of all cultivated fruit! A third fact is that if you're really interested in fruit production, plant named varieties that available from a reputable nursery. If your main objective is to nurture your childrens' prize seedling stock and their interest in nature and gardening, then more power to you!
Gardener's Supply Company (www.gardeners.com; ph# 800/863-1700) offers a Better Gardening Bulleting called "Organic Care of Fruit Trees" ($1.00 ppd) that explains all the ins and outs of tree care, including good descriptions of the life cycles of pests/diseases and control measures used. Another supplier of effective, cutting-edge organic pest/disease control is Gardens Alive (5100 Schenely Rd., Lawrencburg, IN 47025; ph# 812/537-8650; e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org/
Best of luck with your apple adventures!
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