I bought a Fuji Apple from Sam's the other day. It was a great deal, only $14. The only problem, I don't too much about growing apples. Any advice?
Look for any other apples around your place - crabapples included. If none, you'll need another, of another variety, for cross pollination.
Look at the tag to see if your tree might be a standard or a dwarf, which will govern how tall it will get. You need to know this to develop a pruning strategy. Also consider that the tag, if there is one, could be incorrect.
I assume you are in zone 9 Texas--a very diverse state ecologically--which limits specific advice.
Hopefully, whomever purchased trees for the local Sam's knew what they were doing in the fruit trees they ordered. Probably do not know what rootstock it is on? Dwarfing?
I assume this is a small bareroot tree in a bag? Plant ASAP. I like to soak the roots in water for at least a couple of hours (you can readily soak for up to 24 hours if convenient without problems as plants can readily extract oxygen from water until the oxygen is depleted and it is dormant anyway). If municipal water I usually fill with water (maximum aeration) a adequate sized container (garbage can or bucket) out of the sun (roots can be damaged by prolonged direct sunlight) and let it sit for at least 2 hours to off gas any chlorine before immersing the tree's roots.
If the tree is potted I strongly recommend removing all of the container media (which sucks and can harbor pests) using a gentle pressure stream of water before soaking the tree in a bucket out of the sun awaiting transplant to keep the roots from drying out (small scale fatal). Try to keep as many rootlets from breaking off as possible. One nice thing about a place like Sam's is I doubt they keep inventory around long enough to get "pot bound." edit: Soaking a potted plant is for convenience not hydration---it is to keep the roots and rootlets from drying out while getting the pre-dug hole finalized ready to plant.
Pretty much dig hole, stick in ground, water. Select site where it will get 8 hours of sun daily year round, except in winter when the leaves are gone and it won't matter.
I like the TX guidelines I linked to below. Some comments: If soil is compacted I like to dig out a 4 foot wide hole so the soil is loosened up. Mark the sides of the hole all around with shallow cuts using shovel running up and down. This will trap roots as they grow out and prevent circling.
Fill the hole up with water twice. On the second fill time the drainage. Under 24 hours is great. More than that and you have drainage issues that need to be addressed. More than 48 hours and plant on a raised mound. Less than 45 minutes and you will have a serious water retention problem. Anywhere between 2-24 hours and drainage is good.
At the hole bottom make a small cone of loose dirt and spread the roots out over this, before filling with your soil. Position the graft cut so any flat surface present (if) at the interface is pointed in a north to east direction so the sun doesn't burn it in the summer.
Paint main trunk and any major branches (if) with water based white or light pastel latex paint. Easier to do now before bud break. This protects from sun and supposedly helps with pest and dessication protection too---I doubt it. But it definitely helps the tree adapt to that first summer.
edit 2: A new bareroot tree needs to be watered frequently (and deeply; 3-4 feet in saline soil areas) because it has limited root structure. But the area to be watered is limited since the roots haven't grown out yet. And there is no canopy in need of support. So not that much water needs to be applied. For a container grown plant there may be more canopy than roots (not a problem if ration doesn't exceed 1.5:1) but it still requires frequent watering. You need to read your local Coop. Exchange's watering guidelines for newly planted non-native trees in your soil type (drainage). Water immediately to collapse any hidden air pockets around the roots---add more native soil if needed. Water again the next day. After that you don't need to water until you see the buds swelling up. Then start the recommended watering intervals for this time of year and conditions; though it is ALWAYS best to judge watering by watering depth rather than a schedule. Once buds break a good root establishment should occur within 8 weeks and watering is usually cut back some until summer approaches.
edit 3: kind of nice illustrative link, but not very in depth:
and one that is on water though not necessarily local guidelines for you:
Here is a link that might be useful: Planting a Tree (TX)
This post was edited by Fascist_Nation on Fri, Jan 31, 14 at 12:34
Fuji's are self-fertile, especially in zone 9. Though a x-pollinator would boost yield. But I suspect yield won't be a problem.
Many Thanks Fascist!
It's a dwarf variety. And Yes I live in Texas the deep south. Once I got home, I took it out of its bag and dipped in a bucket full of rain water. I let it soak for about 4 hours, after that I placed it in bucket full of cow manure compost and garden soil. It has been there for a week. The branch are fuzzy but no buds yet. I plan to put in the ground either today or tomorrow. I don't see any apple trees in my neighborhood. Do I need another variety to get fruit on these Fuji tree? Also can I plant it in the front yard ( there is a thick lawn and sprinkler system)? I don't have much room in the backyard, I got many types of fruit.
Of course you can plant it in your front lawn. Just scrape away about a 4 foot zone of lawn around the tree to keep the competing grass out. Organic mulch it. Don't damage the sprinkler lines when digging. Be aware that barring good rains in your area, grass watering will not be enough to sustain a tree, and if it is humid enough in your area sprinklers directed onto a tree or shrub can cause fungal problems.
Cool because the back yard is full already. Haha. Yeah I think I know where the water lines run. I will dig with cautious. They are mist sprinklers. Down here the summer are brutal so I plan to do deep watering cycles as needed with a soaker hose. I found a delicious red tree to cross pollinate with.
PS I will post pics when they are planted.