How to Care for Fuji Apple Trees

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Biting into the sweet, slightly tangy Fuji apple is one of life's simple pleasures. While caring for a Fuji apple tree takes some know-how, the taste of your orchard-fresh Fuji apples represents an ample reward for your toil. Here's how to care for your own Fuji apple trees.

Selecting and Planting a Fuji Apple Tree

  • Buy your Fuji apple trees from a reputable grower. These trees can be grown from seed, but are difficult to train in the early years and are best handled by the experts. Expect to pay less for a standard-size 1-year-old tree and more for a dwarf tree or a standard 2-year-old tree.

  • Select your location. Fuji apple trees need full sun and well-drained soil. They do best in zones 5 through 8, which have a mild winter. Fuji apples need a relatively long growing season since they take 160 days to ripen. The fruit also needs about 100 to 400 cold "chill" hours to establish dormancy.

  • Plant your trees in spring at a spacing of about 20 feet. You will need more than one Fuji apple tree since they're not self-fertile. Fuji apple trees bloom in mid- to late spring and can be planted with other mid- to late season bloomers, such as Gala and Goldrush varieties, for pollination.

  • Cultivate the soil to a depth of 15 to 18 inches and add organic material, such as compost. Plant trees with the graft line 2 inches above the soil.

  • Mulch with straw two feet around the bottom of each trunk. Water when you plant and when the weather is dry.

Pruning, Feeding and Harvesting a Fuji Apple Tree

  • Feed Fuji apple trees in early spring before new growth appears with a 12-12-12 fertilizer after the first year. Apply the fertilizer under the spread of the branches. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers.

  • Thin each cluster of fruits to two per cluster with sharp pointed scissors after Fuji's pink-white blossoms fall and the fruit is visible. This will keep the fruit from crowding when it fully matures.

  • Apply insect control. There are organic options of insect control available from seedsofchange.com.

  • Harvest when the seeds of the Fuji apple turn from white to brown. Expect a yield of 8 to 12 bushels from an averaged-sized mature tree. Dwarfs will yield less and standards will yield more, but the standard tree will be taller and harder to harvest than the dwarf.

  • Prune your trees in late fall to winter to establish tree growth in the early years. The pruning in the first 2 to 3 years should focus on developing a strong framework. Prune the subsequent years in late summer to encourage fruit buds.

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