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The apple tree is a medium-sized tree, which can reach a maximum of 10 meters. It lives in temperate zones and, in the period between April and May, produces white flowers. It is a plant that fears water stagnation, a potential cause of root rot and disease, which is why it must be planted in moist but at the same time draining soils. The quantity and frequency of irrigation must depend on the season: in winter, interventions must be limited as much as possible, while in summer - and especially during periods of prolonged drought - water must be supplied at regular intervals. For this tree, in particular, it is good to use a drip plant and, in periods of intense heat, give the plant about 100 liters of water per surface unit every 10 days.
Care to be provided
Although the apple varieties are all average tolerant to drought, it is good to provide the plant with a modest amount of water, necessary to make the fruits ripen in the most appropriate way. The apple tree also resists even very cold temperatures, and requires many hours of direct sunlight; it is also advisable that the trees are placed in cool areas but not excessively ventilated. It is advisable to make a training pruning after the flowers have bloomed, removing the too bulky branches in order to guarantee a good exposure of all parts of the plant to sunlight and an adequate shape. During the period from August to October it is important to harvest the fruit, verifying their maturity. An apple is ripe if after rotation it detaches from the branch, bringing with it the pendulum.
How much to fertilize
The soil in which the apple tree is found must be very rich in nutrients, so as to guarantee a luxuriant growth of the fruits; moreover, it must not be excessively calcareous or extremely compact, so as not to compromise its drainage. When the tree is planted, it is important to give 3 kilograms of manure to the soil; the fertilizer can be of the slow ternary mature manure. This plant also needs high amounts of nitrogen, so every year it is advisable to add 60 grams of ammonium sulphate to the soil per surface unit; to this compound must be added every two years about compounds very rich in phosphorus and potassium, to avoid a depletion of the soil (and therefore of the tree) of these two important macroelements.
Apple tree: Diseases and pests
The apple tree is subject to attack by a large number of parasites. First of all, aphids are the main cause of plant damage; these tiny insects feed on the vital lymph of the plant, and cause the withering of the leaves and, in the most serious cases, the death of the entire organism. For the elimination of these parasites it is possible to act manually, eliminating them with the use of a cotton swab soaked in ethyl alcohol (if few specimens are present), or with the use of a pesticide. A further threat to the tree is represented by the attack by the red spider. This very small mite also feeds on the lifeblood of the leaf, localizing mainly in the youngest vegetative organs and on the underside of the leaves. Following its attack, the leaves will lose the chlorophyll and will not have the chance to perform photosynthesis, which will cause leaf necrosis. Their presence can be limited both by using specific chemical products and by reducing the amount of nitrogen supplied to the soil.