Apple Farming: How to Propagate and Prune

Apples, the most common and popular fruit all over the world are biologically known as Malus Pumila. The most famous fruit of the world, apples are considered a temperate fruit. Apples, the healthiest fruit available can be eaten fresh or processed or canned or in various forms. Apples, excellent in nutrients and taste are the most widely preferred fruit.

The most preferred fruit is also one of the top commercial fruits of the world. It is grown all over the world for its economic and health benefits. China ranks as the topmost producer of apples in the world. In India, Jammu and Kashmir are very famous for the production of apples. However, Apple still ranks as one of the most highly consumed fruit in the world. 

Apple farming
Apple farming

Health Benefits of Apple

Apples are not only tasty but are also filled with a ton of nutrients. An apple a day keeps the doctor away, the very famous saying, proves that apples hold is the healthiest source of fruit. Apples are known to improve the health and the functioning capacity of the brain. Apples are also very useful in preventing strokes. Apples tend to protect the heart and keep it healthy, thereby preventing the risks of a stroke.

Apples also hurt type 2 diabetes; thus, apples are the healthiest choice in a diet. Apples also tend to act against carcinogens. Apples consumed on a regular is proven to prevent cancer and protect a person from the risks of cancer. There are numerous health benefits from consuming an apple and thus it is recommended to consume an apple regularly, preferably every day. This ultimately makes apple farming a very attractive economic endeavor. 

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Climate required in apple farming

Apples require a certain types of climatic conditions to grow. Apples are temperate fruits. This nature of the apples makes it a necessity for the need of a temperate environment to grow and thrive. Thus, apple farming must be carried on in temperate areas. The climatic temperature preferred for apple farming is around 21 degrees Celsius. The temperature must be ensured that it does not exceed 24 degrees calcium.
Apples require an abundant amount of sunlight for their development. Sunlight at a good rate is essential for the coloration of the apples. Apples require rainfall of around 1000 to 1250 mm per year. An annual range of at least 1000 mm of rain is a must for their proper growth and development. Apples can thrive better in areas of higher altitudes. Apple farming is preferred to be done at an altitude of around 1500 to 2700 m above sea level. These are the climatic need for apple farming which has to be fulfilled to ensure a good yield. 

Soil required in apple farming

Apple farming must be done in soil suitable for apple trees. The soil has to be prepared and made suitable for the growth of the apples. All the conditions required have to be fulfilled before carrying on apple farming. The soil type preferred by the apples is loamy soil. Thus, the area of land must be chosen in such a way that the soil is loamy.

The pH value of the soil is preferred at around 5 to 6. This is acidic. Thus, the soil must be loamy and slightly acidic. The soil must be able to hold in moisture, but must not cause the problems of stagnant waters. The soil must be well drained and there must be no issue of water clogging. These are the criteria that ought to be followed while preparing the soil for the apples. 

Propagation in apple farming

Apples can be propagated in several ways. This is a vital part of the process of apple farming and cannot be ignored. Knowledge regarding apple farming is essential. These types of propagation are grafting, budding and rootstocks. 

Grafting is one of the most common ways of propagating apples. Grafting can be further done in several ways. These several methods are whip, tongue, cleft, and root grating. Gratings are usually done during the end of winter, that is around February or early March. In the case of cleft, grafting is done roughly 10 cm above the collar. The same method is also followed in the case of tongue grafting. This method is the most common method of propagation that is followed over the world.

Budding, is another method of propagation that has a very success rate. The method of shield budding is the most effective type of propagation. In this case, a single bud, along with a shield piece of stem is being cut. This cut is done along the scion. As the next step, it is inserted beneath the rind of the rootstocks. This is done by making a T-shaped incision during the growth period. Grafting is mostly done in winter, while budding is preferred in summer. Budding is usually done in the months of mid-June and September. Budding has a high rate of success.

Rootstocks are another method that can be used for the propagation of apples. While this method is not as famous as budding and grafting, it is still practiced in any area. Very often the apples that are grafted or budded are done on seedlings of wild crab apples. However, the seedlings for rootstocks are obtained from the seeds of diploid cultivators. A few examples are Golden Delicious, Yellow Newton, and Granny Smith. 

These are the three methods of propagation used. While grafting is very common, budding is very successful. The method of propagation is chosen according to various external factors such as the variety of apples, the size of the farmland, the scale of agriculture, etc.

Planting in apple farming

Planting the apples is the first stage in the case of apple farming. Certain factors have to be observed before and while the process of planting. Planting is usually done in January or February. This serves as the best month to start the process of cultivation. The ground is dug and holes are made for planting. The hole has to be around a depth of at least 60 cm.

in such holes, organic matter and humus is being added before the plants are planted. This will result in better growth and development of the plant. The apple saplings are planted in such holes and the plants are covered and held in place with mud. The saplings are immediately to be irrigated and they have to be watered regularly so that they thrive. Saplings tend to wilt very soon thus, watering them regularly is vital. 

The other important factor to be considered in the case of planting is the availability of pollinators. There must be sufficient pollinators available to ensure that pollination occurs, which could result in blooming and ultimately the bearing of fruits. Thus, the presence of pollinators is vital. There is a need for one pollinator for every 3 large trees. One pollinator ought to be planted every 3 or 6 large apple trees. This factor is very important when it comes to the planting of apple trees.

In the case of hilly areas apples, and trees are recommended to be planted on the ridges to prevent any occurrence of soil erosion. This is followed if apple farming is done in hilly areas. Thus, some factors ought to be remembered and followed while planting. As this is the major step of apple farming, it would not hold well to commit any mistakes.

Irrigation in apple farming

Apples require water to a great extent. They would not thrive without water. Thus, it is of utmost importance that moisture must be provided to the soil to promote the growth of the apples. Apples are largely stressed out by the lack of water. Hence, in case the rains fail, irrigation is a must and has to be done at all costs.

Irrigation prevents the fruit from drooping and also ensures that the fruit’s quality is good and even increases the coloration of the fruit. The most vital period in the time of apple farming is the months of August to April. Thus, irrigation cannot be avoided at this time of the month. Regular and necessary irrigation will ensure in high yield of apples.


Organic materials, compost, natural manure, and fertilizers ought to be used to improve the yield of the apples. The use of zinc, boron, calcium, and manganese must be applied in the form of fertilizers to increase the yield of apples. Organic materials also increase the productivity of the fruit. This material must be added based on the nature of the soil


Pruning is the most important stage in the growth of apple trees. This is the most care that ought to be shown and has to be done with great care. Several types of pruning can be done. 

These may be done in three methods. They are the spur system, regulated system, and renewal system. The established spur system is mainly used for the production of for development of fruit spurs. For this purpose, the laterals and central are to be pruned. They are cut back regularly, around every year. These cause vigorous laterals. A regulated system is another type of pruning that is flowed in apple farming.

This method of pruning is followed in the case of dwarfing and vigorous rootstocks. Before planting, the central leader of the three is cut back by around 75 cm. the growth of the leaders and strong laterals are thus encouraged to grow. This is done by pruning the weak and crowded branches. In the case of a renewal system, pruning is done in such a way that new and healthier branches are motivated to grow. This will result in the formation of new and healthier apples.


The apples are usually ready for harvest around September. The apples mature within 150 days after the trees have bloomed. The flowers mature at around 12o days and by 150 days the apples are ripe and ready to be picked. The fruit can be known it is ready and ripe for harvest by the change in its color, texture, and flavor. The color would be yellowish red and this is the sign that the apples are ready to pluck.

The apples all over the field must be uniform and thus harvesting process can begin. The quality of the apples depends on their storage and the way they are processed. Thus, this has to be paid great attention to. Handpicking the apples is the most preferable way to be followed. This is because it reduces the damage to the fruit. Since apples are very delicate, they would not be able to withstand the pressure of machines. Thus, hand plucking is the most preferred method of harvesting. These are the steps that ought to be followed during harvesting to ensure an effective yield. 


Apple farming is very famous, as apples are highly demanded and have great economic value. This makes apple farming an appealing type of occupation. Apple farming can bring about immense success and a good source of income if it is done with planning and care. This makes apple farming one of the growing and most popular types of farming available. Apple farming has a great scope in the future. 

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