Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Apple Tree

I’m not one for ‘flogging a dead horse’ when it comes to growing things in the garden. So the time finally arrived for me to admit defeat regarding my Black Doris Plum tree. I’ve been waiting about 7 or 8 years now and still no fruit – that’s long enough in my book.

So I decided it’s finally time to pull it out and try something else. I decided to try a Fuji apple.

My wife wasn’t so convinced that I should give up on the Black Doris so I compromised and told her I’d try it in a different spot – down in the bottom garden.

Most fruit trees like well drained soil so when I tested the hole with a bucket of water I could see that the clay in the bottom was going to be a problem. This is a typical problem with Auckland’s soil.

So I dug a drainage trench in a downhill direction from the hole and put a couple of inches of free draining pebbles in the bottom.

Finally the hole was ready to fill in again and to plant the new tree. I used a good quality garden mix with a bit of compost added to it to give it the best possible start, then I staked it firmly.

One of our neighbours has 2 apple trees growing on his property. They’re both different varieties and very hard to identify so I’m hoping they’ll work OK as pollinators for my new Fuji variety. Only time will tell.


(Update: Jan 2, 2018)

This year my Apple tree has several fruit on, which is not that many so it’s a little disappointing.

I have noticed that when the tree starts putting forth it’s leaves and blossoming in the late spring the branches get this white fluffy stuff growing on them. When you rub it between your fingers it turns a red/brown colour so obviously some kind of very tiny insect infestation. The result of this is a 
dis-figurement of the surface of the branch. 

So far I have not sprayed the tree with any chemicals as I prefer not to if I can help it. The most I ever do is give it a squirt with a high pressure hose to get rid of the insects but they soon come back. So I'm thinking I may have no choice but to start spraying it, which I’ll probably do this year after it’s finished fruiting.