Apple Tree Planting Distances and Population – Number of Apple Trees per Acre
We start by digging a hole of 25 inches (63cm) diameter and 25 inches (63cm) depth for every young apple tree that we intend to plant. We then place the trees carefully inside the holes and we cover with soil. Keep in mind that the point where the scion is attached must be at least 3 inches (7,5 cm) above the ground level. Adding a fertilizer at that time will most probably hurt the young roots of the trees, so it must be avoided. We can irrigate and start pruning the young trees (in order to give them shape) immediately after planting.
The distance that we leave between the apple trees depends on the apple cultivar, and more specifically on the final size of the mature tree and our preference regarding extensive farming. The distances between rows and between trees in the row range from 22 X 16 feet to 6 X 6 feet (7m X 5m to 1,8m X 1,8 m). 22 X 16 feet pattern results in 124 trees per acre, or 310 trees per hectare. 6 X 6 feet pattern results in 1210 trees per acre, or 3000 trees per hectare, and of course can be achieved only by using dwarf varieties. In the previous years, apple trees were spaced at an average of 20 X 20 feet (6 m x 6 m). This pattern gave 109 trees per acre or 250 trees per hectare and took about 20 years to reach maximum production. However, nowadays -by using dwarf rootstocks- we can have about 2000 trees per hectare or 800 per acre and maximum production can be reached within 6-7 years.
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8.) Planting Apple Trees – Number of Apple Trees per Hectare
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