Colonid-shaped apple trees careAll grafted young trees became an exact replica of an unusual branch, the apples were located on short fruit branches and even on an erect stem.
Already in the 80s, the first compact varieties were created, giving rich harvests of apple trees that instantly interested domestic gardeners. However, due to the unusual structure of the columnar apple trees, planting and caring for plants has its own characteristics.
The main difference between the columnar and habitual fruit trees is that the plants grow much more slowly as a result of the mutation, which is especially true for lateral shoots and the root system.
The benefits of this feature become obvious:
- when planting on a small plot of land, you can create a full-fledged apple orchard;
- when caring for columnar apple trees, since it is easier to harvest from low compact crowns, it is easier to prune and treat trees from pests.
Yes, and the number of flower buds formed on the tiny side branches is amazing.
How to plant an apple tree?
For the formation of a crown, such a tree requires only a central shoot, therefore, when planting a pit, it can be brought as close as possible to 0.5 meters. And for the convenience of plant care, it is better to plant apple trees at a distance of 0.9–1.0 meters from each other.
Requirements for arranging planting pits for apple-shaped apple trees and planting dates are the same as for ordinary fruit trees. Therefore, wondering how to plant an apple tree, you can safely refer to the recommendations regarding the traditional short-growing varieties. It is important that:
- root system is not crowded or damaged, and the root neck is located slightly above the ground level;
- the pit itself was prepared no less than two weeks before the plant was planted in the ground, because it was during this time that the soil would have time to settle and the root collar would not be under the soil.
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If the columnar seedling is obtained by means of grafting, deepening of the rootstock joint and the scion threatens to lose grade.
The following is added to the dug hole:
- 50–100 grams of superphosphate;
- 50–80 grams of potash fertilizer or up to 400 grams of ash;
- 3-5 kg of rotten compost or humus.
Since the root system of the columnar apple trees is often very vulnerable, after filling the pit with soil it is compacted very carefully, and then it is abundantly mulched with peat, cut grass or sawdust.
If the planting is done correctly, the apple tree will pick up color already at the age of 2-3 years. And the quality and quantity of fruits will depend on the subsequent care of apples in the summer and in other periods of the year.
Scheme for pruning apple trees
Pruning apple trees is done not only to maintain the appearance of the crown and remove old or damaged branches, the regularity of fruiting and the quality of ripening apples largely depends on this procedure.
The role of a kind of core of the whole tree is played by the escape-conductor, which sets the vertical growth of the whole apple tree. This shoot is not subject to pruning, and tied to a strong support. If the apical bud is damaged, or the main shoot gives an annual growth of less than 10–15 cm and two or three side branches, it is cut, leaving 2-3 healthy buds for renewal. Although the growth of the lateral branches of the columnar apple trees is greatly slowed down, the trees are capable of forming rather powerful shoots.
If you look at the crown of such a tree, you will notice:
- the closer the position of the branch to the vertical, the stronger its growth;
- horizontal small twigs give a minimal increase, and the bulk of flower buds are laid on them.
The most powerful vertically growing shoots-competitors are either cut into a ring, or based on them with the help of competent pruning, form fruiting zones. Moreover, the formation of the crown of an apple begins in the early spring of the first year of the tree’s life.
The scheme for pruning an apple tree is quite simple:
- In the spring, before the juices begin to move, the lateral shoot is trimmed so that only two active buds remain, which over the summer will give strong branches.
- The next year, the annual shoot, located closer to the horizontal, will lay flower buds, and then the ovary. And the young branch, which is directed upwards, is again trimmed into two buds.
- On the third spring, the branches, bearing fruit in the past year, are removed, and the rest of the procedure is repeated, as before.
Fruiting zones formed on the basis of lateral shoots yield 3–5 years yield, after which they are cut into a ring, thereby forming a stem of a slowly growing tree.
By demonstrating the subtleties of pruning apple-shaped video trees, you can examine in detail all the steps of this mandatory measure of plant care. Sometimes gardeners are confronted with a situation where flower buds formed on the trunk itself, after pruning, are reborn into lateral shoots. In this case, it is better not to wait until lignification begins, and to include the removal of still green buds of the branches in regular care of the apple trees in summer and spring.
Read also: How to plant an apple tree without making mistakes
Avoiding columnar apple trees
Growing columnar apple trees requires constant attention to planting and painstaking care. Moreover, the care of columnar apple trees is required already at the stage when the plant is blooming. The fact is that a compact tree with a small crown literally becomes covered with flowers, therefore, especially in the first years of life, it is necessary to rationally fix the next crop:
- If the seedling has bloomed in the first spring, it is better to remove all the buds, since fruiting is a serious test for nothad time to properly acclimatize plants.
- In the second year on the tree can ripen to five fruits.
- Gradually increase the load, making sure that apples do not shrink from year to year, which can be a sign of tree overload.
Rationing consists in careful removal of excess peduncles.
Twice as many buds are left on each fruit-bearing branch and trunk than should ripen apples. On average, two inflorescences are left on the fruit-bearing branch, and repeated thinning is carried out as part of summer care of the apple tree, when a walnut-sized ovary forms.
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Kolonovidnye apple need to be watered twice or three times a week. After the procedure, the area under the crown is mulched with straw or mowed grass. If the plantation is laid on the basis of clonal rootstocks with a root system of the surface type, then it is dangerous to loosen the soil because of the risk of damaging the roots. In this case, within a radius of at least 25 cm from the trunk of a tree, green manure is sown, which is regularly mown.
It is good if a drip system with a dosed supply of moisture to the root system is organized for the plantation, however, twice a month they carry out abundant basal circles so that the soil is wetted to the depth of the roots.
Top dressing of columnar apple trees and frost protection
Considering the question of how to care for apple trees, it is impossible to overlook the dressing that is mandatory for this crop, careful loosening of the soil, weed control and mulching.
At least three times during the season, columnar apple trees should receive foliar nutrition with a solution of urea with a concentration of about 0.1%:
- In the spring, organic is added to trees.
- In the first half of June, when the growing season is in full swing, the plants receive a complex fertilizer containing nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium.
- Since August, nitrogen and organic matter from fertilizing are excluded, but potassium is essential for trees. This element will help ripen sprouts, and the columnar apple trees are well prepared for the upcoming winter.
In order to accelerate the ripening of the apical parts of the shoots, in the middle of August, at the apple trees, two-thirds of the leaves are shortened at the top leaves.
As a measure for the care of columnar apple trees, young plants up to the age of 3–4 years must be protected from possible freezing. For this, the materials at hand insulate not only the root zone, but also the entire escape-conductor so that the wood does not warm up and is not at risk of being attacked by rodents. When the snow cover is established on the site, the apple trees are covered with snow.
Columnar Apple - Video