How drought tolerant are apple trees?

christie_sw_mo(Z6)September 29, 2012

Yes I know it's dumb but I planted apple seeds. I cut into a Fuji apple this spring(?) and there were some big fat seeds in it that were already sprouting and I happened to have a container of potting soil sitting on my kitchen counter so now I have five little apple trees that have been sitting on my patio in pots all summer.

Do you think they could eventually handle root competition from other trees if I planted them along the south side of a tree line that's next to our hayfield? I know it's not likely that they would produce good quality apples but maybe apples for wildlife such as deer. Bad idea?

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Around here, they would be food for the deer the first winter if you didn't put protective cylinders of fencing around them. After that, there would be no trees left to cause you to worry about root competition. Northwoodswis

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 12:17PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Seedling apple trees are pretty drought tolerant. So if you go to all the trouble of getting them past deer they will compete with other trees. But it will probably take at least 10 years before they are able to compete for water and survive deer scrapes and munching without fencing.

    Bookmark   September 29, 2012 at 3:59PM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

These will be standard sized trees with roots well able to compete, if you can get them above the deer. In this case I would start my scaffolds at least six feet off the ground. Deer will be happy to eat the apples as they fall. With no care they will be a magnet for disease, which may not be the best for fruit trees in your neighborhood. Al

    Bookmark   September 30, 2012 at 9:05AM
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