Hi, when is it okay to plant an apple tree? I don't want it to die because I planted it at the wrong time. Thanks.
if your tree is dormant and your ground isn't frozen....plant it.
Considering your name and that this is the seed forum, are you asking about planting an apple seed? Fresh apple seed will grow easily in planted in a normal household temperature of around 70 degrees, or it may be planted outside or winter planted and will grow with the spring temperature rise. Al
Is it better to order a small tree or just find an apple I like and save the seeds? Do I have to do any of the fermentation stuff like with tomato seeds? How big do I have to wait to transplant the small plant? I thought if I put it in a paper cup in the house it's about 65+ in the winter with the heat on. Does the plant have to be planted outside in the fall? thanks.
If you start with a seed, be ready to wait anywhere from 6 to 10 years before you see any fruit, and that will probably be pretty sparse for the first few years after that.
If you get a seed from a boughten apple, the fruit will, more than likely, not turn out to be anything like the apple the seed originaly came from. It may be something so tiny and tasteless enough that even the deer won't touch it. Then again, it may be wonderful. It's a coin toss - and 10 years is a long time to wait on a gamble.
Apple trees you plant in your yard are trees that have been 'grafted' onto healthy root stock that will do well in your zone. (you don't say what zone you live in).
If you buy a small start from a nursery, it will probably still be a 3 to 4 year wait for the fruit, but you'll know ahead of time what you'll eventually get (and the mature size of the tree).
You'll have to grow more than one if there aren't any already growing in your area and you know the variety.
This from Horticultural Specialist Michael L. Parker:
All apple varieties should be considered self-incompatible, meaning that they cannot pollinate themselves or any flowers of the same apple variety. The highest quality fruit is harvested when cross-pollination occurs with a suitable pollinizer variety. You will need to plant at least two varieties of apple trees together in order to maximize fruit production and quality. Make sure that the varieties you choose have overlapping bloom dates, so that both varieties bloom at the same time. Some varieties, such as Winesap, Mutsu, Jonagold, and Stayman, produce sterile pollen and should never be used as pollinizers. However, pollen from other varieties can be used to pollinate these pollen-sterile varieties. Remember, two trees of the same apple variety cannot be used for cross-pollination. Since the pollen from apple blossoms is transferred primarily by bees, be careful not to spray insecticides during bloom when honey bees are present.
Good luck with the growing - whichever you decide.
If you want the fun of starting an apple tree from seed knowing the drawbacks as expressed by sewobsessed, you can do so in a paper cup on your windowsill. If you start with a fresh seed right out of the apple, germination is usually pretty good but start three or four seeds just in case. If you only have seed that has been allowed to dry if will have developed a dormancy that must be overcome by stratifying for about a month. Al
sewobsesed, does that mean I have to plant two different types of apples? So I'd have to plant pink lady and a winesap? Or do I need three in the case of winesap, so I'd need a pink lady, fuji, and a winesap? Just examples to see if I understand. Thank you again.
Use the chart on Page 2.