How to grow dwarf apple trees
Stepover apples are grown from dwarf apple trees and include favourites such as Cripps Pink, Granny Smith, Jonathan, Snow Apple, Fuji and Royal Gala. It will take about 2-3 years for trees to fruit, but they can be grown near your vegie plot or in an ornamental bed.
Run high-tensile wire between garden posts, then plant your trees 1.2-1.5m apart. Select the two branches on each tree that will naturally grow into the top of a T-shape and cut off the others. Gently bend the two branches to follow the wire and secure with soft tree ties.
Plant one-year-old bare-root trees in late winter in a climate with cold winters and warm summers. Give them shelter, such as a wall or shrub, as you don’t want your spring blossoms blowing away before they’re pollinated.
Water regularly for at least six weeks after planting. Once the trees are mature, water regularly during spring and summer as fruit forms.
Encourage more fruiting spurs by cutting back the length of each arm by a third in winter, and by cutting back new shoots that appear on the stem so just one bud remains. For a damage-free tree, trim it with the Cyclone Heavy Duty Bypass Pruner which you can pick up from Bunnings.
In summer, spread organic mulch. Use a balanced fertiliser each spring to improve fruit yield.
Plant your stepover in well-drained soil and where it will get at least eight hours of sun each day.
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