Apr 25, 2017
Apple tree planting underway in West Michigan

There is a rush in West Michigan to get trees in the ground before the area gets doused by rain again later this week. Phil Schwallier, a Michigan State University Extension (MSU) educator and owner of Schwallier’s Country Basket in Sparta, shares a few reminders about apple tree planting.

  • Keep the graft union at least 6 inches above the soil level. These 6 inches above the soil allow for the 2 inches or so of “sinking” that is commonly seen as soil settles after planting.
  • Graft unions end up near or below the soil level resulting in too much vigor that you will fight for the life of an orchard.
  • A shallow planted tree can be easily corrected later in tree life, compared to the task of trying to correct a deep planted tree.
  • Be sure you check the work of your planting crew often to be sure planting is done correctly.
  • Use a 2-inch-by-6-inch board on its edge adjacent to the planted tree (perpendicular to the row) to check the depth.
  • While the soil is still loose, pull trees up that are too deep and push those down that are too shallow.

More information can be found in “Planting fruit trees,” a detailed article by MSU Extension’s Ron Perry. This article contains information on planting stone fruits as well as apples and pears.

For more information, visit www.msue.msu.edu.

Amy Irish-Brown, Michigan State University

Source: Michigan State University Extension

75 Applewood Drive, Suite A
P.O. Box 128
Sparta, MI 49345
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