It's unusual these days to have enough land to plant an orchard, but there remains in all of us the urge to grow and pick our own fruit. Columnar Apples are the perfect solution. Tasty Red™ produces a bounty of full-sized, bright red Apples starting in its first year. These sturdy trees have proven disease resistance and possess a slim, elegant form for the small garden or patio.
Please note: Two varieties are required for cross pollination. Columnar Apple trees will sometimes fruit the first year after planting, but usually start fruiting best in their third year and beyond.
Growing Columnar Apple Trees in containers.
Planting. When you're ready to plant, the first thing you should do is soak the roots of your fruit plants for an hour or so before they go in the ground. Use a 5-gallon bucket or equivalent and fill with water. Unwrap your plants, remove the packing material, and place their roots in the water. Don't let the roots dry out as you're planting.
Plant in a container that is 16-20" in diameter using good-quality potting soil. The tree should be planted so that the graft union (the swollen-looking bump in the trunk near the base of the tree) will be no more than 1" above the surface. Place the container outdoors in full sun for the growing season.
Watering. Plants in containers dry out more quickly than plants in the ground, so it’s important to water your plants regularly.
Fertilizing. We recommend against fertilizing at planting time because fertilizer can injure roots and your tree needs time to settle before being pushed to grow. The year after planting (and every year thereafter), fertilize your plants with a light application of 5-10-10 fertilizer once each month from April through August.
Pruning. In mid- to late summer, cut branches back by 1/3 to 1/2 to encourage branching. Do not prune off any fruit that is already set on the tree.
Wintering over. In colder climates (Zone 5), you can overwinter plants in their containers by storing them in a sheltered, unheated area such as a garage or shed once the leaves drop in fall. In warmer climates where freeze-thaw cycles occur, store plants on a protected porch. Where freezing is not a concern, plants can remain outdoors in containers and enjoyed year-round.