Features of the cultivation of apple and banana apple care
One of the most unpretentious species of apple trees is the Banana variety, which has high yields. Small trees annually delight with a generous harvest of sweet fruits and can be grown in any climate. A detailed description of the Banana variety, its pros and cons, as well as the rules for planting and growing trees are given later in the article.
Botanical description and characteristics of the apple tree
The apple-tree Banana was received by Belarusian breeders as a result of crossing varieties Babushkino and Banana winter. In 1967, it was added to the state register of varieties of fruit trees in Belarus, and since then it has been actively cultivated in large and small garden plots.
Characteristics of fruits and tree
The described variety got its name due to the fact that the color of its ripe fruit is very similar to the yellow peel of a banana. Adult trees are not very large, so they look compact on the site, and their branches are densely covered with large fruits.
Did you know? Earlier in Germany it was customary to decorate the New Year tree with real apples. But in 1848 a crop failure occurred, so fresh fruit was replaced with glass balls.
The main characteristics of the apple tree and fruits are listed below:
- The variety belongs to the autumn. Harvest ripe fruits harvested from September to October.
- The average height of an adult tree is about 4 m. The crown has a round shape and medium density.
- Small leaves are dark green in color and are located on long petioles. Their upper side has a glossy surface, and the bottom is painted in a bluish tint.
- The flowering period of the tree falls in late April or early May. Inflorescences consist of small flowers with white and pink petals.
- Large apples have a rounded shape, slightly flattened on top and bottom. The mass of each of them is 135-200 g.
- Outside, the fruit is covered with smooth skin of a light yellow hue. Under the influence of sunlight, a pink blush may form on it.
- The pulp of the fruit has a dense structure and cream color. It is very juicy, has a sweet taste with a slight acidity. In terms of taste, the variety received a rating of 4.6 points out of 5 possible.
- The apple tree has a strong immunity to scab and other diseases, is rarely attacked by pests and tolerates frosts well.
The taste rating is high. On a five-point scale, 4.6 points
Pros and cons of the variety
The Banana variety has gained considerable popularity among gardeners due to its many positive qualities that distinguish it from other varieties of apple trees.
- The main advantages of this culture are:
- high productivity;
- excellent presentation and taste of apples;
- good keeping and transportability of fruits;
- universality of fruit use;
- good winter hardiness of the tree;
- early onset of fruiting;
- unpretentiousness to the conditions of cultivation and care;
- good drought tolerance;
- immunity to common diseases and pests.
- Among the few disadvantages of the variety, experienced gardeners attribute such qualities:
- a relatively short fruiting period;
- the need for manual fruit collection;
- interruptions in fruiting during overloading the apple tree with fruit.
One of the important characteristics of the variety is that for abundant fruiting, the tree does not need pollinators. During flowering, the apple tree exudes a delicate aroma that attracts insects. It is with their help that the pollination of flowers and the further formation of ovaries occurs, therefore, other varieties of apple trees are not required to be planted next to the Banana variety.
This apple variety is characterized by high winter hardiness and frost resistance.
The banana apple tree is characterized by high productivity and early onset of fruiting. Sometimes, under the weight of large fruits, tree branches can bend down - in this case, it is recommended to put props under them. Fertilizers and proper pruning of branches help increase the number of ripe fruits.
Did you know? About 70 million are cultivated annually worldwide tons of apples of various varieties.
The main characteristics of fruiting and yield of the variety in question are listed below:
- The first fruits appear 3 years after planting a seedling.
- Fruiting is regular and plentiful, but can become periodic with an excessive amount of fruit.
- With proper care from one tree, you can collect 30-50 kg of large apples.
- The peak yield falls on the 6-7 year of apple growing.
- Abundant fruiting lasts for 15 years, and then the yield of the tree decreases markedly.
Features of planting and care for the apple tree
Even a novice gardener will be able to grow a Banana apple tree on his plot. The trees are unpretentious to climate conditions and need minimal maintenance, which does not take much time. In order to successfully cultivate the indicated variety, it is enough to find a suitable place for apple trees, select high-quality seedlings and plant them correctly according to the recommended scheme. You can vaccinate a Banana shoot to another fruit tree. As a rootstock, it is recommended to use a Chinese variety - saponifolia apple tree, characterized by high frost resistance.
Further care of the trees consists in regular watering, timely feeding, annual pruning and proper preparation of apple trees for wintering.
Video: Apple tree planting instructions
Banana apple tree is unpretentious to climate conditions, tolerates low temperatures and drought, so this variety can be grown throughout Russia, Ukraine and Belarus.
The timing of planting seedlings of the Banana variety in open ground depends on the territorial location of the growing region. In southern regions with not very harsh winters, they are recommended to be planted between the end of September and mid-October, so that they can take root before spring. In the rest of the territory, planting is carried out from the second half of April until mid-May, so that the trees do not suffer from winter cold.
The success of growing fruit trees of this variety depends on the quality of planting material, the characteristics of the plot for planting an apple orchard and the exact observance of the technology of planting seedlings.
Choosing the best seedlings for planting
Buying banana apple seedlings is recommended in specialized stores or from trusted sellers - this will minimize the risk of acquiring a tree of another variety or a poor-quality specimen that cannot be rooted in the soil.
When buying a seedling, you must pay attention to its appearance, giving preference to trees with the following characteristics:
- the age of the selected specimen should be 1-2 years - such seedlings have a maximum of 2-3 side branches and are best rooted in the ground;
- there should be no leaves on the tree - they will draw moisture from the trunk, which may complicate the adaptation of the apple tree to open ground conditions;
- the roots of the tree must be elastic and moist - growths, dried areas or mechanical damage indicate a poor quality specimen;
- the trunk of a young apple tree should be smooth and elastic - with easy bending, healthy seedlings emit a small crack;
- in quality trees, the wood under a layer of bark has a bright green color - to check this, you can pry off the bark of a seedling with a fingernail.
Important! When buying a seedling with open roots, it is recommended to wrap them with a damp cloth before planting, and then wrap them with a layer of film - this will protect the root system of the apple tree from drying out.
Choosing a place to land
To planted young trees safely rooted in the soil and began to bear fruit abundantly, you need to provide them with the most comfortable conditions for growth. In the presence of adverse external factors, the Banana apple tree may produce a lower yield, and the likelihood of damage to trees by diseases and pests increases.
Soil should be enriched with nutrients. For this, preliminary preparation of the site is carried out before landing of planting material
A place for planting a plant is chosen taking into account such signs:
- Apple trees need a lot of sunlight - this stimulates the growth of seedlings, ensures even ripening of fruits and protects the tree from freezing in winter.
- It is recommended to place seedlings of this variety on the south side from buildings and other trees - this will protect the apple trees from cold winter winds and help provide them with a sufficient amount of heat.
- You can’t plant a Banana apple tree in a draft - this weakens its immunity and increases the risk of diseases, and can also cause flowers and ovaries to fall in the spring.
- The roots of the tree need loose and light soil with a neutral level of acidity - loamy soil, enriched with the necessary nutrients, or chernozem is best suited.
To provide the Banana apple with enough free space for growth, you need to place seedlings on the site in accordance with the recommended planting scheme. Usually trees are planted in rows with an interval of at least 5 m, and it is recommended to leave about 4 m between adjacent apple trees in a row.
Step-by-step instructions for planting a seedling of the Banana variety are presented below:
- Dig the soil in the autumn to a depth of at least 30 cm.
- Dig out planting pits with a depth of about 60 cm and a diameter of 1 m. The root system of the seedling should completely fit in the pit.
- Divide the soil obtained by digging the hole into 2 equal parts. In one of them add 3 kg of compost, 100 g of superphosphate and 70 g of potassium chloride.
- Lay pieces of broken bricks or nutshells at the bottom of the landing pit to create a drainage layer.
- Put prepared nutrient soil mixture in the form of a knoll on the drainage. Drive a wooden support 1.5–2 m high at a short distance from the center of the pit.
- Place the roots of the seedling in the pit and gently spread them on the surface of the mound from the soil. The root neck should be 3-4 cm above the surface of the soil.
- Sprinkle the seedling roots with the remaining soil and ram it around the trunk, forming a near-stem circle with a diameter of about 1 m.
- Water the apple tree using 15–20 L of water, and after completely absorbing the liquid, mulch the surface of the trunk circle with humus.
Important! During autumn planting, holes for apple trees are prepared in 1 month, and if this procedure is planned for spring, then planting holes are dug from the autumn or 2 weeks before planting seedlings.
Watering and feeding
Banana apples can grow in an arid climate, but to maintain high yields, they need to be watered at certain stages of growth. And timely enrichment of the soil with nutrients will not only help to obtain large and sweet fruits, but also increase the resistance of the tree to diseases and pests.
The basic rules for watering and feeding trees of the described variety are listed below:
- In the first summer after planting, young seedlings are watered every 20–25 days, accompanying this procedure by loosening the soil around the trunk.
- In the absence of rain, the apple tree is recommended to be watered 3 times per season - during the swelling of the buds, during the formation of fruits and in the fall after harvest.
- Water is recommended to be poured in small portions into the region of the trunk circle, so that moisture gets directly to the roots of the apple tree.
- To reduce the evaporation of moisture from the soil, after each watering, you need to cover the near-trunk circle with a layer of sawdust, peat or rotted manure.
- It is recommended to spend 60–90 liters of water for irrigation of one tree.
- Fertilizing for the first time is recommended 2-3 years after planting a seedling.
- In the first half of April, the soil in the near-stem circle is dug up with the addition of organic fertilizers - about 10 kg of bird droppings, humus or bone meal are applied per 1 m².
- The second time the apple tree is fed during flowering - each tree is watered with a nutrient solution of 30 l of water, 150 g of superphosphate, 120 g of potassium and 250 ml of bird droppings.
- At the stage of fruit ripening, a mullein solution is applied under the trees (1 kg of product per 10 liters of water) - about 30 liters of liquid fertilizer will be needed per apple tree.
- In order for the apple tree to regain its strength, in the fall after harvesting it is watered with a solution of 10 l of water and 50 g of nitrophoska - approximately 30 l of liquid fertilizer is required for each tree.
Another mandatory procedure that must be performed annually with the Banana Apple is pruning. It is carried out for sanitary purposes, as well as to form the crown of the correct form.
Pruning an apple tree can be done in several ways:
- thinning - consists in removing excess branches and leaves that too thicken the crown of the tree and cover the apples from sunlight;
- shoot shortening - carried out in order to stimulate further growth of the tree and the formation of new fruit branches on it;
- sanitary pruning - Its purpose is to remove old and dried branches.
Did you know? The most expensive apple variety is Sekai-Ichi., bred in 1974 in Japan. The average weight of one ripe fruit is about 1 kg.
The basic rules for pruning a banana apple are listed below:
- Formative pruning is carried out in late March or early April, before the start of active sap flow.
- The first time the seedling is cut immediately after planting, shortening the main conductor and side branches by a third of the length.
- Over the next 3 years, the procedure is repeated, forming from the strongest side shoots 1, 2 and 3 tiers of skeletal branches.
- In the future, every spring, thinning of the crown is carried out and frozen shoots are removed.
- Sanitary pruning is carried out in October or early November before the onset of frost.
- The branches are removed with a sharp knife or pruner so that the cut is as even as possible.
- The surface of the slices is immediately treated with garden varieties or drying oil - this helps to prevent diseases and pests from entering the wood.
To protect the trunk of the apple tree from sunburn, pests and diseases, it is recommended to whitewash it with a solution of lime. The procedure is performed on a dry and warm day in early spring and late autumn after harvesting. You can use the ready-made solution for whitewashing, bought in a specialized store, or prepare it yourself from the following ingredients:
- 2.5 kg of lime;
- 0.5 kg of copper sulfate;
- 0.2 kg of wood glue;
- 10 liters of water.
Important! A similar solution is prepared for processing young seedlings, but the dosage of the listed ingredients is reduced exactly by 2 times.
The Banana Apple-tree is characterized by good frost resistance and can withstand temperature drops of up to –25 ° С. But in regions with very severe winters, trees are recommended to be additionally covered to prevent damage to roots and branches. It is especially important to take care of the winter shelter for young seedlings sensitive to the bright winter sun and cold winds.The basic rules for preparing a Banana apple tree for winter are listed below:
- Young trees are recommended to be spudded with a layer of earth about 30 cm high.
- The soil in the near-stem circle needs to be loosened and covered with peat, sawdust or pine branches. The thickness of the mulch layer should be at least 10-15 cm.
- The trunk of the apple tree is recommended to be tied with twig branches or tightly wrapped in several layers of thick paper, burlap, roofing felt.
- After snow falls, it is poured around the tree in the form of a high hill, ramming its surface with its feet.
- On annual seedlings, you can put on a bag of thick paper or fabric, fixing it around the trunk with a rope.
Diseases and Pests
Banana apples show good resistance to infections and pests, but in case of violation of planting technology or improper care, tree immunity may decrease.
The following are the main diseases and pests from which the apple trees most often suffer:
- Powdery mildew. The disease belongs to the fungal and affects the crown of the apple tree. At the same time, a characteristic white coating appears on the leaves, bark and buds of the tree, which gradually darkens and causes yellowing of the green mass. The apple tree loses its leaves and stops fruiting. To combat the disease, use 1% Bordeaux fluid or special preparations (for example, "Skor").
- Fruit rot. Infection affects the fruits, causing the formation of brown spots on them, which subsequently decay. Rot spreads rapidly throughout the tree and can affect most fruits, making them unfit for human consumption. Rotten fruits must be removed from the apple tree, as they are a source of infection. You can get rid of the disease by spraying the apple tree with chemicals (for example, “Hom”).
- Black cancer. The disease primarily affects the bark, and then the apples and leaves of the tree. It belongs to one of the most dangerous infections, as it can not only reduce the yield of the apple tree, but also provoke its complete death. The tree bark rises and bursts, and deep cracks are visible on its surface. Leaves and fruits are covered with black spots, and then showered. The affected areas of the apple tree must be cut, and the crown and trunk should be sprayed with a 1% solution of Bordeaux fluid.
- Apple aphid. Insects live on the leaves of the apple tree, feeding on their pulp and juice. Signs of the appearance of the pest are sticky coating on the leaves and yellowing of the crown, which leads to a decrease in yield. To get rid of aphids, the apple tree is sprayed with a decoction of tobacco and soap (400 g of tobacco leaves and 40 g of soap in 1 bucket of water) or with a solution of special chemicals (for example, “Karbofos”).
- Apple moth. Adult insects lay eggs on the leaves of the tree, from which small yellow larvae appear. They feed on the leaves of the apple tree and wrap them in a layer of thin web, forming a kind of nest. As a result of the life of the larvae, the tree is rapidly losing leaves, and the buds, inflorescences and ovaries are crumbling. To destroy the pest, the apple tree is sprayed with infusion of shag (100 g of substance per 10 liters of water) or insecticides (for example, Kinmiks).
To prevent these problems from occurring, it is recommended that you do the following:
- to choose high-quality and healthy seedlings for planting;
- adhere to the schedule of watering and top dressing;
- dig the soil around the apple tree;
- carry out regular pruning;
- remove plant debris and damaged fruits in the near-trunk circle in the fall;
- remove the upper layer of the old bark on the tree trunk;
- to carry out preventive spraying of the crown with a solution of copper sulfate (0.5 kg of substance per 10 l of water) - 5-6 treatments are performed per season with an interval of 2 weeks.
Did you know? China is the leader in apple production - it grows about 44.5 million tons of fruit per year.
Harvesting and storage
Banana apples reach the state of technical maturity at the end of August, but in order for the fruit to acquire a sweet-sour taste, it is recommended to leave them on the tree until mid-September. Unlike other varieties, the fruits do not crumble to the ground after ripening, so you need to collect them manually.
The basic rules for harvesting and storing fruits of this variety are listed below:
- remove apples from the tree is recommended on a clear and warm day, after the dew has completely evaporated - in this case their surface will be dry, which will save the crop from decay;
- first, they pluck fruit from the lower branches of the tree, gradually moving to the top;
- apples are carefully separated from the tree branch along with the peduncle - this helps to increase their shelf life;
- collected fruits are stacked in wooden crates, protecting them from shock and mechanical damage;
- rotten or cracked apples should not be stored; therefore, they are used primarily;
- after harvesting, fruits are recommended to be consumed only at the beginning of December - at this point they accumulate a maximum of sugar in the pulp and become the most delicious;
- in a dark and cool cellar with a temperature of +2 ... + 5 ° С, apples of the Banana variety are well stored until mid-spring, and their flesh remains sweet and juicy.
The apple tree Banana is highly appreciated by many gardeners for its high productivity and unpretentiousness in care, and its large and sweet fruits delight with its taste throughout the winter. Performing simple recommendations for growing the described variety, you can successfully cultivate it in your area.