Caring for Your Heritage Apple Tree

When buying a bare-root apple tree it is important to re-plant the tree as soon as possible, within 24-48 hours. This keeps the tree roots happy and set the tone for growing a healthy young tree. We have created a step by step guide below to help you plant your bare root whip at home.

*  Dig a hole that is two feet deep and twice the diameter of the tree’s root system.

*  Amend the soil that you have removed from the hole by adding compost or a handful of bone meal. Backfill the hole with ½ of the amended soil.

*   Gently place the tree root into the prepared hole making sure the roots are spread out and not twisted. Carefully fill the hole with the rest of the soil, firming the soil in and around the root system to prevent air pockets.

*  Stake the tree using flexible ties.Dwarf and semi dwarf trees will need to be staked for the entire life of the tree, larger rootstock sizes will not need a stake after a few years.

*  Water the tree thoroughly and cover the area with mulch.

*  Prune in late February/ early March by making an angle cut directly above a bud, 1/3 of the way down the whip from the top. This will encourage the tree to branch.

*  Fertilize in spring with an organic fruit tree fertilizer.

*  Water regularly throughout the summer.