How to plant an apple tree in spring: step-by-step instructions
Vaccination is a very simple manipulation for the growth, development and productivity of fruit trees. This is a natural step in caring for an apple tree to improve its varietal properties. Those who have not done this before, often mistakenly believe that it is too complicated and incomprehensible. But it’s not so! We have already prepared step-by-step instructions for you on how to plant an apple tree in spring!
When is an apple tree vaccine needed?
In fact, vaccination is not necessary, because the tree is growing already. But there are situations when you should not neglect it if you want to get a good result. For example, vaccination is indispensable if the quantity and quality of the fruit falls every year.
If you want to save space and grow together several varieties - they will have to be planted. If you need to improve the general condition of the apple tree, restore it after rodents - you again need a vaccination. It will be needed when growing from seeds, not seedlings, because such trees do not retain varietal characteristics.
There are different methods, depending on the region, weather and season outside the window. There is no unambiguous recommendation for all cases, because everywhere has its own nuances. We share options and step-by-step instructions, and you already choose!
This is the most common technique, which is suitable even for the northern regions. It can also be used at almost any time of the year until mid-autumn, depending on the weather. Make a small neat incision in the cortex and insert the swollen kidney there.
When the branches ideally coincide in diameter, on each make an identical oblique cut in different directions. Connect one branch to exactly match all layers, and tie it up. This method is used for very young trees up to two years old. To make the stock and scion better grow together, make small longitudinal cuts - something like a groove-ridged system.
This method is not applicable for year-round use, but in the early spring it shows almost one hundred percent results. The main thing is that the tree is more than three years old. The sharpened graft of the scion is set in a cross-shaped or direct split of the stock. You can install several branches on one base.
Vaccination in the lateral incision
The technology resembles a graft in a split, but instead of a split, make a small cut in the top layer of wood. It passes through the bark at an angle of up to 30 degrees. Place the stalk so that the layers match, if possible, at least partially.
How to plant an apple tree in spring - step by step
Spring is considered the best season for grafting an apple tree, although technically it can always be done. Wait until the snow falls - somewhere in April, depending on the region. The active vegetation process is just beginning and everything will definitely take root. But even if something goes wrong, you still have a margin to rectify the situation.
Cuttings are harvested in the winter, immediately after the first frost, when the tree hibernates. Choose healthy annual sprouts up to 3.5 cm long. Be sure to cut the cut so that its final diameter is about three times the original.
Until spring, cuttings are stored in the basement or any other dark, cool place so that they rest. Immerse them in damp sawdust or wrap them in cloth. By spring, bring them into the room so that they warm up a couple of days before vaccination. You can cut branches in the spring, but at the very beginning, while the buds are not yet swollen.
It is very important to properly handle the knife and saw that you will use. They must be freshly ground and thoroughly washed. Wash tools with soap and treat with an antiseptic to prevent any infection in the scion.
A stock is a foundation tree to which cuttings are grafted. It can be adult cultivated apple trees, but other cultures can be used. The result is not so predictable and reliable, but on the other hand, individual characteristics can be significantly improved.
Rowan rootstock increases the frost resistance of the fruit tree. It is better to take aronia, because cuttings take root worse than aronia. Keep in mind that the apple tree will be fruitful, but the fruits are smaller.
Very often, the apple tree is spliced with a pear or quince, but there is a fundamentally important nuance. The cuttings of the apple tree will not take root on the stock of the pear, but on the contrary, there are no problems. A pear feels great on an apple tree in most cases.
After vaccination, a fresh wound must be treated with a garden var, which protects against bacteria, infections, fungus and external influences. It can be prepared independently from rosin and beeswax. They add fat, linseed oil and ash.
After grafting the apple tree, you need to protect the fresh wound with a bandage. Make sure that it is well fixed, but pull it too tightly. After the spring vaccination, enough tissue, but use polyethylene with electrical tape according to the situation.
Due to the black electrical tape, the place warms up and recovers faster. The blue electrical tape is considered stronger, so the connection will hold tight. If you use film, do not block the handle itself in case it blooms. On top you can process the tying with paint on a linseed basis or pure linseed oil.
Caring for an apple after vaccination
Be sure to remove new shoots that are formed under the vaccine, because they drag juices and nutrients onto themselves. Water the tree regularly and mulch the soil to maintain moisture. All supplements also apply according to the standard schedule - there are no contraindications.
Two weeks later, remove the harness and check if the wound is healed. While everything is in order, renew the bandage and let it stay in place for a couple of weeks. But when the cut does not begin to tighten, remove the scion, again disinfect the wound with a var and leave it to heal.
During the first summer, be sure to protect the tree from direct sunlight. Closer to autumn, take care of the weather protection, because strong winds are dangerous. Before wintering, hilling will be required to retain useful components and moisture in the soil.
When the spring vaccination takes root, you will need pruning - leave only the strongest shoot. And be sure to tie up the grafted apple tree as it grows, because the wound has completely healed for more than one year. This place remains very sensitive and delicate.