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Keyword Search Results for:
Apple Tree

6 Found

Question: 611-3711
My apple tree is three years old and started an apple this year but it somehow went. No apples again this year. Can I cut the tips off each branch in the fall? Will that make the tree wider? I put holly bush organic food, magnesium,bone meal and potassium around the tree, and around the holly bushes, rhododendron bushes and my ash tree, which is doing well. The directions said this is good for all trees, and bushes. When can I prune the trees and bushes and how do I prune my butterfly bush?, which had a lot of flowers this year, but some have gone brown. MVO, Warwick, RI

Mort's Answer:
You can go to our library on our website, themagicgarden.com, for instructions on pruning. Briefly, apples need to be pruned in the winter. Wide is better for apples than compact. Clean out any upright shoots and build a scaffolding for flower bearing branches. The butterfly can be cut back to half, if shrub like, in the spring. If your butterfly is older, you can just remove dead flowers. High phosphorus fertilizers are excellent for flower and fruit bearing plants.

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Question: 639-4411
My apple tree did very little in its first year. It is a scrawny six feet tall. How can I get it to flourish? Joel, Eveleth, MN

Mort's Answer:
You will need a spray program, good pruning and some fertilizer to start. Pruning requires a sense of purpose. Apple trees are best left open on the inside. This winter or fall you can start with cutting two feet off the top. You will need three main branches that will grow mostly laterally. In the third or fourth year as the tree gets taller you can have five main branches to become the scaffolding for the fruit bearing branches. Use a home orchard spray. It contains two insecticides and a fungicide. Follow directions on the label. You can also use a dormant oil spray or Neem when the leaves fall. Apply the oil again in the spring before the buds swell. Fertilize with 5-10-10 now. Dig five holes with a crowbar that go down a foot in a circle at the leaf drop. Fill them with the fertilizer.

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Question: 743-1812
I have a small apple tree, three years old, it has white/pink flowers now, but some leaves have holes in them, I found a green worm on one leaf and sprayed the tree with a baking powder, and ammonia recipe, next day I dusted 1/4 cup Morton iodized salt mixed with self rising flour, on all the leaves and flowers to get ants off the tree. I am hoping to get at least one apple this year. I put half a bag of Miracle- Gro at the base of the tree and watered that. I am hoping for the best. Is there something else I can do to keep the tree healthy? Marian, Warwick, RI

Mort's Answer:
Home remedies are hardly as effective as traditional methodology. Liquid fertilizers provide too quick a stimulus. Ants are natural predators and indicators that small insects are present. A good spray program includes oil sprays in the spring and fall and a home orchard spray. Follow directions on the label. Organic products require much more sophistication than most home owners can apply. Roses and fruit trees are natures most attractive lures to insects and disease.

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Question: 961-2613
We have a 35 year old Granny Smith apple tree. We cannot grow grass underneath. It has a lot of moss. How can I grow grass under it? Ric, Norwich, CT

Mort's Answer:
Because your soil is acidic due to too much shade and other factors, you may have to learn to love moss. Moss can be killed by sour milk but it will come back as sure as God made little green apples. You can thin out the tree to allow more sunlight. You can add lime every year. You can aerate the soil. This may not be fruitful for you, especially since the tree gets larger with age.

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Question: 975-2913
I sprayed my apple trees with an oil spray this early spring. I now have little specks on the fruit. What is it? Bill, Tulsa, OK

Mort's Answer:
Oil sprays keep the creepy crawlies away but not the flying insects. Scab is a harmless malady. The apples can be eaten but not stored for long or the baby flies will hatch You can spray with a mild solution of soap now. I often see that film on some of our native apples. I wish I had a dime for all the apples that I ate as a kid in Greenville, Rhode Island. You should wash all fruit before eating.

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Question: 979-3013
I have a big old apple tree. This year the apples are sparse and ugly. My pears are doing well. I have not sprayed or fertilized in the last five years. Is this the problem and can I remedy it? Ellen, Taylorville, IL

Mort's Answer:
You need a spray program for fruit unless you want them to fall to the ground and feed the worms. You need to spray with an oil spray every fall and spring to get the crawling insects. Use a Bordeaux Mix and follow directions on the labels. Home Orchard sprays are a good substitute for Bordeaux, if you do not have fungi. Do not spray anything while the apples and pears are in bloom. You should also use 5-10-10 at the leaf drop. Make a circle of a dozen holes that go down two feet and fill them with the fertilizer. This will be good for five years.

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