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Johnafree Apple Trees

Discussion in 'Fruits & Vegetables' started by ducks4you, Mar 30, 2019.

  1. Mar 30, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I bought 2 Johnafree Apple trees and they were delivered earlier this week. My old apple tree needs to be cut down, and it developed blight. They only last so long. The other original apple tree, a Golden Delicious belongs to the horses and I have been pruning it down for a few years. I think it will survive. I lost a Johnathan Apple last year, but it was developing blight and had very few fruits. I am hopeful for these two. They were developed just up the road from me, at the University of IL Ag Dept, as disease resistant.
    https://www.starkbros.com/products/fruit-trees/apple-trees/jonafree-apple?utm_source=Shipment+Confirmation+Notification&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=2019-03-25&utm_content=Product+Image&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=ursa Consumer Ship Confirm&utm_content=ursa Consumer Ship Confirm+ID_7de80b04-f3da-4ee5-8098-c5d7d7ebe28a&utm_source=campaign monitor&utm_term=Jonafree Apple Semi-Dwarf Supreme
    I figure that they can handle the weather in my back yard!
    I read all of the instructions a few days ago. They said to NOT put them into a bucket of water bc the roots would rot. So...I got digging yesterday afternoon and they REread the instructions which said to soak in a bucket of water for 4-6 hours, but not MORE than 24 hours.
    Had to wait to plant until today. I selected two spots in my "inner Sanctum" the fenced in area in front of my barn. My horses graze there during warm weather. I had to protect my new trees from being mowed down. Horses will sometimes get excited and run like a herd and they will break things that are in the way, like tender, little fruit trees. I had a large volunteer tree chopped down last October, and I pulled cut limbs that I thought could both protect each tree and not hurt my horses and I could stake each tree, as well. Here is my tale of the newest tree planting. Just to be sure I added metal supports to the limbs, on the inside so that my horses won't get hurt on them.
    I decided to plant one tree in the spot where a Golden Delicious tree died some 7 years ago. The stump remained until 2018 and then I kicked it over, totally rotten. I was pleased to find almost no evidence of it left except for the grubs breaking things down. I fed 21 big, fat grubs to my greedy chickens to make into more eggs. Then, Eye-triangulated to opposite of the old apple that is dying. When it is gone I will probably replant another peach tree there. Apple tree planting, 03-30-19, #1.jpg I took my reciprocating saw to 5 limbs to use, and cut one of those into 2 pieces, then cleaned them up.
    Apple tree planting, 03-30-19, #4.jpg Apple tree planting, 03-30-19, #5.jpg
    My trees were waiting patiently in their bucket.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  2. Mar 30, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I put each tree into their holes Apple tree planting, 03-30-19, #6.jpg Apple tree planting, 03-30-19, #7.jpg View attachment 31067 Apple tree planting, 03-30-19, #9.jpg Apple tree planting, 03-30-19, #10.jpg , added about 5 shovelfuls (each) of well rotted manure from last Fall's shelter cleanout, then shoveled back in the dirt from the holes. Then, I pulled each tree up so that, according to instructions, the graft was sitting 2-3 inches above soil level. I followed instructions and tamped down the soil, then topped it with compost that I had placed around the old apple tree last Fall. IF either tree is sitting too deep I will pull it up a little so that it sits at soil level. These are the 7th and 8th fruit trees that I have planted and I never took this much care and they still thrived.
     
  3. Mar 30, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I should add that these are semi-dwarf, bare root trees. Never bought any trees before that weren't in a pot, but I didn't have to tease out any roots. It has been POURING all day, so I think I covered "well water your new tree in." I will keep an eye on them to see if they sink and to see when the supports are sturdy enough to cage them in. Not sure if I want to use some cattle fencing left from before we put in the new horse fencing. Since I ordered them last week, they are now almost out of stock. My total, with a 10% coupon was about $80 for two trees, far LESS than our local nursery's sell ornamental trees. I just didn't want to buy from the seasonal gardening centers again, alTHOUGH my two tart cherry trees came from one of them and they produce like crazy every June.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2019
  4. Mar 30, 2019
    PhilaGardener

    PhilaGardener Deeply Rooted

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    Good luck with them!

    Keep in mind they need another variety for good pollination, so you might want to add to your collection (since it sounds like your only other apple is that older Golden Delicious in questionable shape.)
     
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  5. Mar 31, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i can't really see how you staked/tied them up, but if you used thin strips of cloth or twine you may need to redo those to be a wider piece of fabric. you don't want the strips cutting into the bark of the tree and you don't want the tree rubbing up against the stake. so you may want to move the stakes back a bit further from the tree.

    the normal method to stake and reinforce a tree is to use three stakes (at even distances/degrees from each other and the central tree) out a bit from the tree and then use wide strips of cloth to hold it in place.
     
  6. Mar 31, 2019
    Rhodie Ranch

    Rhodie Ranch Garden Addicted

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    Did I miss why you planted these sooooo very close together?
     
  7. Apr 3, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    I agree about strips of cloth, but I had a real conundrum.
    I didn't want my horses to mow down the trees.
    I needed to give more support to the limbs.
    I wanted something to tie the trees to if they needed to straighten.
    I didn't need an unneccesary Vet bill should a horse run into a metal fence post.
    I needed something to attach some fencing to, to surround the baby trees.
    I don't intend to leave these supports in permanently. I used to camp and I know how to take metal fence posts out of the ground. If I cannot remove any of the limbs I can always cut them to the ground and let the rest rot.
    I am thinking of cutting up old shirts to use to tie the trees. Look again and you will see that right now there is nothing tying either tree to the supports.
     
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  8. Apr 3, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    Dunno. Just like where I put them. I guess I can try root pruning them 1/2 way in between in the future to force the roots to grow more north and south. But, FIRST they each need to survive. I may lose one...or both. I have never planted bare root stock before. You are right, on second look yesterday they are only 13 ft apart. Guess we'll see!
     
  9. Apr 3, 2019
    flowerbug

    flowerbug Garden Addicted

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    i think what is confusing me is that i'm seeing the string tied to the supports that are holding each other together or something and i was thinking that was the string holding the apple tree... :)
     
  10. Apr 4, 2019
    ducks4you

    ducks4you Garden Master

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    OH...I will explain. Ya know that when you dig a hole the earth is Very Loose? I wanted the supports to have more support, hence the metal on the insides of the limbs and I tied the limbs to them with strings that will rot so that, as the dirt hardens up they will remain right next to each other. There is no other reason. It's gonna take a good couple of months before the dirt hardens up enough to keep them in place. The horses aren't going to get to graze there unTIL they don't move. After all, 1,000 lbs of flesh will knock down ANY baby tree.
     

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