Tell me it can’t be done and I’ll try to prove you wrong. That’s one of the big reasons why I’m so determined to grow apples in Florida. You don’t see many people doing it.. On the other side of the coin, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. Well, maybe I am a bit insane, especially since this is the third tree I’ve had in this spot..The frustrating part is when you put so much time and energy into something in your landscape, only to have it fail to thrive.
This was my second Anna apple, the first one didn’t make it through the summer last year and was replaced by a Tropic Sweet that broke at the graft. Maybe it’s just bad luck, or something about the location in the yard, or the fact that I didn’t plant it right. The tree had a bit of a lean, instead of leaving it alone, I decided to dig it up and straighten it out. In hindsight, that was a mistake and without a doubt caused the tree to go into shock.
The most critical time for any new tree is the first year, and this one hasn’t been in the ground for two months so the roots were no where near established. On top of that, I don’t think it was getting enough water. New trees require regular deep watering, especially in the hot summer and ours has been pretty brutal the last couple of weeks. Fortunately, we’ve had a recent break in the heat and the rains have returned, so that might be my saving grace..
Over the course of the next couple of weeks the tree went from this..
Anna Apple – before
To this..the leaves got scorched and began to wilt and then completely dried up. Clearly the tree was clearly in distress. Hoping to save it, I trimmed all of the leaves and any dead looking branches (to what you see below), and made sure to give it a thorough watering two to three times a week. At this point the tree looks like it might come back. Whether there will be any new growth this summer remains to be seen. For now, all I can do is wait and let nature take it’s course.
So, lessons learned:
It’s better to do your planting in the fall – the cooler weather promotes root growth that continue through the winter months. A fall set fruit tree goes into spring with a vast amount more roots than a winter set plant.
Once the tree is planted, make sure to water regularly, but otherwise leave it alone.
Be patient..growing fruit trees takes time.