Apples may be planted
between November 1 and the end of March, but unless
the soil is badly drained, the earlier the better.
They will then be established before the hard
frosts. The soil should be in a friable condition
to allow for treading it around the roots when
Select a tree with a good head and a strong stem
if planting a standard. But for cordons, bush
and pyramid trees, plant maidens – i.e.
one-year-old trees, which are easily established
and may be trained and pruned to the requirements
of the grower. They are also less expensive to
buy than older trees. Cordons are usually planted
in trenches, made perhaps on either side of a
path; the rows should be 120cm (4ft) apart. The
trees are tied in to strong wires held in place
by strong stakes at intervals of 240-270cm (8-9ft).
After making the hole, which must be of ample
size, plant by spreading out the roots. Shorten
with the pruners any that are too long. This will
encourage them to make more fibrous roots. Before
replacing the soil, which should contain the necessary
humus and plant food, sprinkle some peat over
the roots; tread in the soil as it is replaced.
Fix the stake in place, tie, and water in if the
soil is dry. Before doing any training, select
an efficient pair of pruners which feels comfortable
in the hand; it will have to be in constant use.