Starting an Apple Orchard
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Growing Apple Trees for profit – How to grow commercially apple trees
Growing apple trees commercially can be a good source for income, provided is done rationally and at a medium to large scale. As is the case for the majority of fruit trees, you need to achieve economies of scale. This means that you cannot make money by growing 50 or 100 apple trees, because fixed costs will surely reach (if not exceed) earnings. A minimum base to start is a small apple orchard of 1 hectare (10.000 square meters) with 600-800 trees or more. The average apple tree is able to produce notable quantity of fruits from the 3rd to 6th year of its age and can continue to do so until the 35th-50th year of its age. The things you have to consider are the following: You have to carefully select the orchard’s location according to your apple tree variety climate, soil requirements and of course according to your market. Then, you have to decide on choosing standard, semi dwarf or dwarf trees. The majority of commercial apple growers choose semi dwarf varieties. Planting distances, pollination, fertilization, irrigation, pruning and thinning are extremely important for achieving good yields in the long term. Finally, you have to be able to hire a small group of experienced workers in order to harvest your apples at the right time of harvesting. This can also be a problem, because the apple tree normally gives us a small time window of 10 days on average. If you are unable to harvest your apples during this time, fruit’s quality may severely deteriorate.
Apple tree growers must also have a good understanding of Alternate Bearing, because it may affect their production. Alternate bearing is the tendency of some fruit trees to yield much more than average production in one year and much less than average production in the following year. Some apple varieties have an inherent tendency towards biennial bearing, which can be exacerbated most often by lack of thinning, by Nitrogen deficiency, water stress or other reasons.
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4.) Growing Apple Trees professionally
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