Apple tree care

6 May

Apple tree care

Now you are a cider maker, your apple trees are now so much more than just trees, they are your friends, your source of crop, your geese that lay golden eggs (too stretch a metaphor beyond all credulity).

So, look after them to ensure good crops of apples.

Firstly a pruning on the 6th Jan is a european tradition. This is when we wassial the tree which is a bit of ancient folk magic that was clearly inspired by the high esteem in which our ancestors held apple trees.

Prune out the dead wood and branches that are crossing. Take off tall branches if the tree is getting too big, but never remove more than a quarter of total wood in any one year.

A grease wrap around the trunk stops climbing insects who will later ruin apples, so reapply some grease annually.

In late spring remove grass from around the base and apply a top dressing of organic fertiliser.

Look out for diseases through the growing season and be prepared to nip anything in the bud, before it can spread.

At harvest time, clear windfalls away if you are not using them for cider and spike the soil to ensure good drainage if you have been walking around the tree a lot.