When to plant apple trees

ezzirah011(7a)December 12, 2010

I plan on putting some dwarf apple trees in my yard and what I cannot seem to discern from all the info I am reading is exactly when to plant them.

When is the best time to plant apple trees? Could I get away with planting them in February?

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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

You can plant almost all fruit trees in fall or early spring. I think February would be fine if your ground isn't frozen.

Bare root trees need to be planted as soon as you find them in stores to give the roots a chance to grow before hot weather arrives. Containerized trees can be planted later, but if you wait until late spring/early summer, the heat will be really hard on them.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 5:33PM
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I planted two apple trees today!

    Bookmark   December 12, 2010 at 7:20PM
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Thanks! I was worried about it being too cold and windy for young trees, but I guess Feb. is fine.

Thanks! I am shopping as we speak! :)

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 6:56AM
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Okiedawn OK Zone 7

You're welcome.

The cold won't bother them as much if the soil is moist around the root zone. Dry roots freeze more easily than moist roots. You don't want the soil soggy wet because you don't want for root rot to set in, but you want it moist, and in winter, you won't have to water very often because the soil dries out a lot more slowly than it does in hot weather. Putting a layer of mulch on the ground around the tree, but with the mulch not right up against the tree trunk, will help keep the soil temperatures and moisture from fluctuating too much.

A bigger risk to young fruit trees is that sometimes small animals will gnaw on them in cold weather and damage the bark. If they gnaw away a ring of bark all around the tree, thereby girdling it, the tree will die. To avoid this, when I plant a young fruit tree, I put hardware cloth bent into a round tube about 18-24" tall around the tree trunk to protect it from gnawing. You also can use those plastic trunk protectors they sell to protect young trees from string trimmers. (At our house, these are a must during mowing weather or my spouse will accidentally girdle the tree bark with the string trimmer---not intentionally, of course, but the tree dies regardless.)

I've linked the OSU Fact Sheet on Planting Home Fruit Trees for you in case you haven't read it before.


Here is a link that might be useful: OSYU Home Fruit Tree Planting Guide

    Bookmark   December 13, 2010 at 9:43AM
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