Apple tree: planting cultivation maintenance and harvesting


The common apple tree (A common evil), of the family of Rosaceae, is one of the most common fruit trees in our gardens. Splendid in the spring when it is in bloomit is just as magical when its branches bend under the weight of apples, green, yellow or red, which make our mouths water. It would be a shame not to be tempted by the culture of the apple tree, especially since it does not pose any particular difficulty, and is therefore suitable for beginner gardeners. Let’s see all the same the few rules to follow to plant it correctly and then maintain it over time in order to enjoy a fruitful harvest and enjoy good apples from the garden with undeniable virtues.

Plant an apple tree

It is preferably in autumn we plant an apple tree, outside frost period. In this way, the shrub has time to take root well before winter. But it is possible to plant it during the spring, when the heat is still moderate and the risk of late frosts is no longer to be feared. We are therefore being cautious in some of our regions.

It is highly recommended to enrich the soil with a manure containing fertilizing algae when planting an apple tree. It is essential to boost its growth. Then remains to:

    • Install the fruit shrub in the planting hole about 90 cm in diameter by 60 cm deep,


    • Place at the bottom of the hole two large handfuls of roasted horn mixed with a little garden soil,


    • Possibly set up a tutor,


    • Fill the hole with the soil previously loosened and fertilized,


    • Tamp down,


    • Form a bowl,


    • Water copiously.


You have to wait between 2 and 4 years to be able to taste your first apples. But be careful, if you plant a self-sterile variety you won’t be able to have apples unless you grow a nearby pollinating variety to enjoy a good harvest. You can also opt for a self-fertile cultivar that is self-sufficient, which is an interesting solution if you only have a very small garden where space is sorely lacking, because after a few years an apple tree can to take up space.

It’s important to choose your location wisely at the time of planting it because the apple tree is like the other fruit trees, it hardly supports being moved whatever its age.

Cultivate the apple tree

The apple tree, like many fruit trees, needs to be established under the sun, sheltered from prevailing winds. In fact, sunshine is crucial both to promote flowering, then the development and finally the ripening of the fruits. He particularly likes rich, well-drained soils but which retain a certain freshness.

Succulent varieties of apple trees

Here are some varieties of apple trees known for the delicious apples they produce in abundance. This table indicates, among other things, the period of maturity of the fruits.





Specificities / Maturity



Flavor / Flesh



transparent by croncels





August September



Tart / fine, melting and juicy






Moderately vigorous


Rapid fruit set


August-September (very good preservation)



Slightly tart / juicy and sweet



World Gala



Rapid fruit set


very productive


From October



No acidity / firm, very juicy and very sweet



Reinette Queen



Great fertility


Pollinator variety


From October-November



Very fragrant, with aromas of honey and quince / fine, sweet



Golden Delicious



Rapid fruit set


very productive





Slightly acid / crunchy, juicy, sweet



Granny Smith



Rapid fruit set


vigorous apple tree





Very tangy / very crunchy, juicy, not very sweet



Belle de Boskoop



Ideal for East and North-East regions





Fragrant / juicy, firm and sweet






Good productivity


Rapid fruit set


From October-November



Fragrant / juicy and sweet


Each variety of apple has great taste and nutritional qualities. It is a fruit to be enjoyed without moderation, at any time of the day, and in all forms. Some apples are distinguished by a taste of quince, honey or even banana (Winter Banana), others by a refreshing acidity or crunchy flesh.

Use of different varieties of apples

Most apples are eaten floodsbut some are more specifically knife apples while others are particularly interesting when they are cooked. All apple-based preparations are delicious: cakes, compotes, pies, baked apples, pan-fried apples then flambéed with Calvados. The recipe ideas are limitless. Grise du Canada, for example, is perfect to accompany guinea fowl with prunes, a pure delight that never fails to delight guests with a delicate palate. Like what the apple also imposes itself in sweet/savory recipes. In any case, whatever the variety chosen, the apple is an extraordinary fruit, which appeals to young and old alike and is good for everyone’s health.

Caring for an apple tree

Outside of the cut who is facultativeit is not very complicated to take care of your apple trees once they are well rooted.


Regular watering of the apple tree is essential during the two years following its planting, especially when it is very hot or during a drought.


Every spring, the soil is enriched with manure.


Like many fruit trees, the apple tree can be pruned so that its production is more abundant. But during the year following its planting, it should be left to grow freely. Thereafter, pruning the apple tree requires some knowledge in the field. It is of course possible to entrust this task to a gardening professional.

However, nothing prevents let an apple tree grow as it pleases throughout his life. Not all gardeners prune this type of fruit tree and that does not prevent them from harvesting apples every year. Besides, there was a time when in our countryside the apple trees were not pruned at all. At best, we were content to eliminate dead or frozen branches because they represented a danger for the children who, after school, liked to play in the family orchard.

These fruit trees, however, produced tons of delicious apples and after a few years became splendid trees in the world. port naturel under which families liked to take advantage of pleasant and beneficial shade and, of course, took the time to taste early, healthy, crisp and juicy apples, bearing no trace of disease or even left by a parasite…

Every gardener therefore has the choice whether or not to prune his apple trees.

Pests and diseases

mealybugs, aphids, carpocapse are among the main pests apple trees. A biological fight can quite allow to get rid of it. Pheromone traps, liming trunks, manure sprays are all natural solutions that avoid major damage if you react in time.

As for the main diseases of the apple tree, they can be a concern. They are, among other things, tavelurefrom chancre and some necklace. Here again, we opt for treatments authorized in organic farming such as Bordeaux mixture, provided that we do not abuse them.

But better to take the lead in order toprevent his apple trees from getting sick. To do this, we only buy healthy subjects and preferably resistant varieties, we do not leave the pruning branches at the foot of the fruit trees, we avoid fertilizing the soil with fertilizers rich in nitrogen and we systematically remove all the apples remaining on the tree and which have mummified. In addition, it is recommended to apply preventive treatments such as sulfur, Bordeaux mixture and horsetail decoctions.

Finally, do not abuse excessive watering because excessive humidity promotes the appearance of cryptogamic diseases in most plants, the apple tree is no exception to the rule.

Harvest apples from the garden

It should be noted that the apple tree, like many fruit trees, particularly with pips, is subject to alternation phenomenon. This means that he produces a lot every other year, so periods of high production are interspersed with periods of low yield. It is possible to limit this phenomenon somewhat by mulching the base of the apple trees in summer, by fertilizing the soil each spring or by making sure to plant a pollinator apple tree next to a self-sterile variety.

With that cleared up, let’s look at apple harvesting. It can start as soon as some fruit falls from the tree. We choose a sunny day. If it rains, the harvest must be postponed. Picking is done by hand, with care not to bruise the fruit. All you have to do is turn the apple so that its peduncle comes off without resistance.

Of course, if we want to take advantage of the good apples from the orchard, it is important that they can to preserve. This involves storing them, if possible, in wooden crates. We place them next to each other, making sure they don’t touch each other, so we don’t overlap them either. Then simply place the apple crates in a dark, dry, well-ventilated roomwhere the temperature is between 5 and 10°C. Under these optimal conditions, apples from the garden can be kept for several weeks (only around twenty days for early apples), or even two months for winter apples harvested from October or November.

Note, however, that the fruits which are spontaneously fell from the apple tree are to consume very quickly, as table fruit or as a dessert. They should therefore not be stored with others. Finally, over time, we monitor the apples during their storage period and take care to remove any that are damaged. It is essential to preserve others.

Leave a Comment