Apple Growing

In 2013, 80,822,520 tons of apple were produced in the world and our country ranks 4th with 3.128.450 tons. We have exported 741,740 tons of this production. The number of trees giving fruit in our country is 47,077,491 and the number of trees in fruitless age is 16.305,464. The consumption per capita is 27.3 kg.

Apple has a wide distribution in the world and can be produced in different ecological conditions. Today, 70 million tons of apples were grown worldwide. Turkey is the third leading producer, accounting for 2.600.000 tons of world production (Anonymous, 2012). Pome fruit production in Turkey accounts for 24% per year of total fruit production and apple production is accounted for 84% in pome fruits (Anonymous, 2003). Turkey is a very important fruit producer country and sixth with annually 2,5 million tons apple production in the world. Turkey’s apple production changed after from 1980. Apple orchard plating have increased % 3.71 and apple production have increased % 21.05 since 1990. According to export’s estimates, Turkey’s apple production will be 2.728.000 tons in 2010. But apple export amount is also very low.

1) Apple Garden

Location-Direction and Location Selection

Apple cultivation is an expensive and long-term investment. In this respect, breeders should not make serious mistakes when setting up a garden. Faults in vegetable crops can be removed after a season, but since the commercial life of the apple tree is 30-50 years, the garden should be well planned and avoided.

Future success depends largely on the choice of the appropriate location. The apple garden in the pit or low area surrounded by sloping or hilly terrain is affected negatively by both the late spring frosts and the severe winter colds. Slightly sloping terrain with a base level to allow cold airflow is ideal for gardening.


Apple is a temperate climate, especially, cold-temperate climate fruit. During the winter rest, wood sections resist up to -35, -40°C, blooms resist up to -2.2, -2.3°C and little fruits resist up to –1.1, -2.2°C. Among the fruit varieties, apple is the one that requires the winter rest most. Apple also does not like the summer heat. If the temperature gets higher than 40°C, growth stops and in the higher temperatures, harming begins to occur.


Apple generally gives good results in many soil types. On the other hand, the most suitable soils for apple cultivation are well-drainage, loamy, loamy-sandy or loamy-sandy permeable, calcareous soils with 6.0-6.5 pH scales and with sufficient lime, humus and moisture.

Fruit thinning should be made in the early stage.

Fertilization Biology

Apples are generally self-infertile. Self-infertility means that a flower is not fertilized with its own flower powder. However, good product may be bear by foreign fertilization. 90% of apples are fertilized by bees. Bee is very important in flower time; it works very well in clear, calm, and sunny weather. When the temperature is below 18 ° C the bees hardly work.When setting up an apple garden, you should pay attention to the following characteristics in varieties;

  • Fertilizer should not be more than 12-15 m from the main plant.
  • There should be infertility in the hybrids between varieties.
  • The flowering times of the varieties must match
  • The varieties must have the same age of lying on the fruit
  • Varieties should give regular products every year
  • There should be enough bees in the garden
  • Varieties should be arranged according to the most favorable plan for dusting

Opening of Sapling Pits and Planting

The land should be leveled before planting and the plow should be broken by using dip boiler. Square, rectangle, triangle and chess sewing shapes should be preferred and marking of potholes should be done.

The planting spacing and distances should be determined according to the type of the host to be used as follows

It should be;

  • In the classical high-height rootstocks; 8 m x 8 m,
  • M 9 vaccinated varieties; 1.5 m x 3.5 m, 2 m x 3.5 m, or 1 m x 3 m,
  • Spread varieties exceeding MM 106 are 2.5 m x 4 m or 3 m x 4 m,
  • On MM 106 overexcited varieties; 3 m x 5 m or 3 m x 6 m,
  • Over the sprinkle of the spilled varieties 3 m x 5 m or 4 m x 5 m.

Planting time is December, January, February and March. A planting pad is used to plant all the seedlings at the same depth. The planting board is 120-140 cm long, 5-10 cm wide with two notches and notches in the middle.

Attention should be paid to the following points when potholes are opened.

  • In light soil, the seedlings should be at the depth and width to take root of the seedlings.
  • 50-60 cm in hard soil
  • When the pit is opened, the bottom soil should be put on one side and the top soil on one side.

The seedlings are pruned before they are planted, and the roots that are oppressed, torn and injured by this pruning are cut to their sturdy places. The roots that are on top of each other are removed. It can be removed from some of the branches from the crown to provide balance between the root and the trunk.

One year old seedlings should be used in the garden facility. One year olds seedlings are easy to hold. At the same time, the desired shape can be given.

2) Maintenance of the Apple Garden

Autumn soil cultivation is important for apples because they generally prefer the soils that rich in organic matter and do not have a mild-to-medium drainage problem.

The no-tillage gardens and the gardens with bad weather conditions;

  • The development of tree roots slow down and stop
  • The uptake of soil nutrients by the plant is reduced.
  • Microorganism activity slows down, some organic compounds are formed which act toxic (poisonous) to plants.
  • Carbon dioxide released from decomposition of organic substances and from root respiration prevents oxidation.
  • The entrapment and removal of soil water is reduced.

After the application of the spring fertilizers, surface soil cultivation is carried out to ensure that the manure is mixed with the soil and the death of weeds.

In apple cultivation, it is necessary to keep the physical properties of the soil in good condition. Some countries that confronted with the damage of the over-cultivation developed two different systems in order to ensure that grass and moisture control. First system; the entire field is sprayed with herbicide twice a year. Second system; only the trees’ series surface is sprayed and the interspaces between the trees are reaped continuously.

The soil must be exploded and upheaved at a depth of 40-50 cm at intervals of 80 cm with subsoiler in September, once every 5-6 years to remove the soil squeeze caused by rain, watering, agricultural tools and machines.


Pre-Fertilization and Precautions to be taken before Planting

In fruit trees, it is necessary to break the base stone on the plow base that forms on the fields so that the roots can grow and grow comfortably. 40 cm x 90 cm interval with 40-50 cm deep subsoiler is used and the field is cultivated in warm-dry spell.

The soil must be analyzed before the fruit garden is established.

Apple generally gives good results in many soil types. On the other hand, the most suitable soils for apple cultivation are well-drainage, loamy, loamy-sandy or loamy-sandy permeable, calcareous soils with 6.5-7.5 pH scales and with sufficient lime, humus and moisture.

If the content of organic matter in the soil is less than 2.5-3%, it should be given 3-4 ton / da of burnt farm manure.

In the planting fertilization, 150-200 gram Triple Super Phosphate is mixed around the seedling root region as well as the farmyard fertilizer

If the barnyard manures are given during the planting, there is no need to give artificial nitrogen fertilizer.

Fertilization during Youth

Ammonium Sulfate must be used in soil with a pH above 7. Nitrogen fertilizer is 150 gr for each age from the second year. Ammonium Sulfate (21%) fertilizer is used. Half of this is given in February-March and the other half in May. Nitrogen fertilizer is sprinkled on tree crown and mixed by hoe.

Phosphorus is nearly immobile in most soils, except over many years, so surface applications of P to an established orchard are not as efficient in feeding a plant. According to the soil analysis studies done in Karaman, the potash fertilizers are not used because the soil is rich in potassium.

Fertilization during Crop

If soil cultivation has not done yet, 150 gr. Ammonium Sulphate (21%), and an average of 750 gr. Triple Super Phosphate or DAP should be given  every two to three years, as a general rule,.

Nitrogen fertilizer should not exceed 3 kg regardless of the age of the drought tree. The given phosphorous fertilizer should not be left on the soil surface but buried in the root depth.

Nitrogenous Fertilizers: It is sprinkled one meter away from the tree trunk and mixed by hoe.

Phosphorous Fertilizers: It buried in 15-20 cm. deep.

For fertilization recommendations in the trees that came to the age of fertility, not only the soil but also leaf, even fruit analyze are utilized. For this reason, a leaf sample is taken every 4-5 years from the gardens of the harvest period. Leaf analysis is an important guide to how the tree is fed.


Irrigation is the method in which a controlled amount of water is supplied to plants at regular intervals for agriculture. The aim of the irrigation is to store the water required for plant growth in the easiest and most efficient way.

The most common irrigation methods in apple gardens are furrow and drip irrigation methods. Drip irrigation methods are the most suitable for these plants. The main advantages of drip irrigation;

  • The quantity of water can be adjusted.
  • It is ensured that the chemical fertilizers are delivered directly to the root region of the plant in the most effective manner.
  • 30-50% savings are achieved from irrigation water.
  • Weeds develop less frequently.
  • Maintenance tasks are easier.
  • It does not cause abrasion and migration to the soil.
  • Irrigation efficiency increases significantly.
  • Fungal diseases decrease because the body does not contact with water.
  • In salty soils, salt damages decrease.
  • It prevents unnecessary water loss.

When and how many times should the apple gardens be watered? These periods should be well determined since there will be water in the plants during the periods when precipitation is minimum.

Apple gardens should be watered 4-6 times within 1 year. First irrigation in June; the second irrigation should be done after the nitrogen fertilizer application. The irrigation that follows this should be adjusted according to the precipitation and the structure of the soil. Water should be given every 20 days in July and August. Irrigation should be decreased after 15th of September. This is important for the survival of trees in winter frosts.


Pruning, in horticulture, the removal or reduction of parts of a plant, tree, or vine that are not requisite to growth or production, are no longer visually pleasing, or are injurious to the health or development of the plant. Pruning is common practice in orchard and vineyard management for the improvement of flowering and fruiting.

Reasons for pruning

  1. Encouraging flower and fruit development
  2. Control plant size and shape
  3. Remove unwanted branches, waterspouts, suckers, and undesirable fruiting structures that detract from plant appearance
  4. Remove dead or dying branches injured by disease, severe insect infestation, animals, storms, or other adverse mechanical damage.
  5. Regulate the alternate bearing
  6. Improve the quality of fruit


The late dormant season is best for most pruning. Pruning in late winter, just before spring growth starts, leaves fresh wounds exposed for only a short length of time before new growth begins the wound sealing process. Another advantage of dormant pruning is that it is easier to make pruning decisions without leaves obscuring plant branch structure.

General pruning guidelines;

  • Remove diseased, broken, or dead branches
  • Remove any downward-growing branches
  • If two limbs are crossed, entangled, or otherwise competing, remove one of them completely at its base.
  • Remove any limbs along the trunk that is getting bigger in diameter than the trunk.
  • Remove suckers coming up from the roots or low on the trunk
  • Remove water sprouts, which are vigorous vertical branches
  • Make pruning cuts close to the branch collar at the base of the limb. For larger limbs, start the cut from the underside of the limb to avoid tearing the bark
  • Remove large limbs first, starting with the top of the tree
  • Thinning cuts remove entire branches at the branch collar and are almost always the recommended type of cut. Heading cuts remove only part of a branch and encourage vegetation growth below the cut, and are not as common.

3) Fruit Thinning

Apple crops vary from year to year. In years of plenty, thinning out apples allows the remaining apples to grow larger and healthier. Apple tree thinning removes some of the small apples from the cluster, enabling the tree to expend its energy on the fewer remaining apples. Thinning also gives you an opportunity to inspect the tree to see if there are any diseased or broken limbs or any early signs of insect infestation that can then be effectively treated. Apple tree thinning also reduces the weight of the apple crop on the branches of the tree. This prevents potential breakage of the limbs.

Manual Thinning

Flowers and fruit formation in apples are in the form of spirits. There are 5 flowers in every blues. Under appropriate conditions, 5 of these 5 flowers can turn into fruit. Under normal conditions of manual thinning, all but the "King Fruit" in the center of 5 fruits in one bud are removed. It is still necessary to increase the dose of thinning in many dwarf trees of varieties such as Starking Delicious, Golden Delicious and Granny Smith, which are still on top of the most used and dwarfed parentage of M 9 parents. In such gardens, the development yield relation is effective, and some of the fruiting fruits may be diluted in such a way that a fruit leaves 40 leaves. The same situation has been overcome in MM-106 as a result of Starkrimson Delicious, Starkspur Golden Delicious and so on. Semi-dwarf (spur type) is applicable to varieties that develop.

It should be done in the early stage of thinning with hand and 10-15 days after the flowers are spilled.

Chemical Thinning

Although chemical thinning is superior to manual thinning, it is cheaper, increases fruit quality and intensity more, controls periodicity and reduces fever infection, it can cause excessive thinning in some cases, sometimes causing leaf damage, As well as negative aspects such as being able to give variable results.

Many substances are used for chemical thinning in apples. The most widely known and used is SEVIN (1-naphthyl N methylcarbamate). It is especially effective on standard apple varieties. Application time should be 15-20 days after full bloom and 150 g / 100 lt for starking and 180 g / 100 lt for Golden (50% Wp). High doses of Sevin, which are effective for standard varieties, are not effective in the case of Starkrimson Delicious, Starkspur Golden Delicious varieties, or repeated applications of spir. For this reason, 1-Naphthalene Acetic Acid (NAA) and Naphthalene Acet Amide (NAD, NAAM) have been used for both standard and spur varieties in recent years.

It is stated that 10 to 15 days after full flowering, NAA at 10 ppm dose and NAD at 75 ppm dose are very successful. These applications also provide the product trends of Golden Delicious and Spur Golden varieties every year.

4) Harvest, Classification, Packaging and Storage


Harvest must be done with great care in apple gardens. he highest value of the market value of the fruit and the most important point of this value protection is to determine the harvesting time correctly. Fruits that are harvested at the time have the highest qualities in terms of quality.

If harvest is done early, the strength of endurance of the fruit increases but the quality of food decreases. In addition, these fruits lose water faster and become more susceptible to wrinkles, painful spots, and burns.

If the harvest is done late, the strength of the fruits will decrease and the storage time will be shortened. In these fruits, the damage caused by the disease and the deterioration caused by excessive maturity increase.


In general, summer apples should be gathered on the tree when they reach a certain level in terms of gathering and eating. In this case the summer apples are of high quality.

In winter apples there is a long time interval depending on the characteristics of the tree between the death and the death. If the harvested apple is to be renewed immediately, it is necessary to wait for eating. They will not be consumed immediately and they will be stored and harvested when they come to the tree.

Although there are many technical criteria in determining the harvest time in the apple, these are the measures that should be taken into consideration in practice.

Number of days from full bloom to maturity

Firmness of fruit flesh: A fruit may change in texture during maturation, especially during ripening when it may become rapidly softer. Excessive loss of moisture may also affect the texture of crops. These textural changes are detected by touch, and the harvester may simply be able to gently squeeze the fruit and judge whether the crop can be harvested.

Color: This factor is commonly applied to fruits, since skin colour changes as fruit ripens or matures. Some fruits exhibit no perceptible colour change during maturation, depending on the type

The station of rupture: It is the easiest and most practical method of harvesting apples.

The issues to be considered in harvest;

  • Harvesting should not be done in rainy weather.
  • When the fruit dangle is torn off, the branches should not be warped and should be slowly put into collection containers.
  • Fruit should not be touched with fingers, nails and fangs should be drawn.
  • The collection containers and casings used must be smooth and there should be no protrusions like nail tips that could damage the fruit.
  • Containers and basins should not be overfilled and should be left in the shade.
  • Experienced workers should be employed in the harvesting process.


The harvested apples are brought to the packaging houses in the casks. It is made according to the Turkish Standarts, which allocates the quality classes to apples. According to this standard table appliances are divided into three quality classes, Extra, 1st and 2nd class.


Apples are normally packed in wooden boxes having the capacity to accommodate about 10 kg or 20 kg fruits.

All kinds of materials used in the construction of packages and paper and similar materials to be put in should not be harmful to human health in new, clean, dry and odorless gum, harmless to the product, gum toxic (poisonous) used in adhering ink, paint and labels to be written on them.


Storage conditions vary according to ecological conditions, market conditions, length of storage required and variety characteristics. The harvested fruits should be classified as soon as possible and delivered to the store without any harm. The time between harvest and storage should not exceed a few days. As this period of time increases, maturity and water loss increase rapidly, and the storage life is shortened due to various impairments and diseases.

The purpose of storage is to be able to keep the respiration at the lowest level and prevent the product from deteriorating for a long time considering the product temperature. To achieve this purpose, the temperature and humidity requirements of the apples must be met.

The optimal storage temperature of Starking Delicious, Golden Delicious, Starkrimson Delicious and Starkspur Golden Delicious varieties of apple is 0 ° C and the optimum relative humidity value is 90%. The Granny Smith variety is more susceptible to cold damage, so the temperature requirement is + 3 ° C and the humidity requirement is 85-90%. It is important to note that when the storage temperature is controlled, the apples freeze at -2 ° C.

The above-mentioned varieties depend on their ability to be harvested at the best possible time, except for temperature and humidity requirements, to maintain their quality for long periods.

In normal harvesting, the quality of food decreases because there is more water loss. In Starking Delicious, Starkrimson Delicious and Granny Smith varieties, crust coloration and blackening occur. In addition, some structural deterioration such as bitter specks and warehouse burns will also occur.

In case of the right time harvesting and proper storage conditions, Golden Delicious and Starkspur Golden Delicious varieties can be successfully stored for 5 months, Starking Delicious and Starkrimson Delicious varieties for 7 months and Granny Smith apple varieties can be stored successfully for 9 months.

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