Moultrie Products
Talk to me about Apple trees
Whitetail Deer
Contributors to this thread:
Brian M. 27-Aug-19
JohnMC 27-Aug-19
Mike-TN 27-Aug-19
BullBuster 27-Aug-19
RIT 27-Aug-19
craigmcalvey 27-Aug-19
JSW 27-Aug-19
flyingbrass 27-Aug-19
Jason hunter 28-Aug-19
scentman 28-Aug-19
Habitat 28-Aug-19
Grey Ghost 28-Aug-19
Teeton 28-Aug-19
Copperhead 28-Aug-19
Hancock West 28-Aug-19
Kodiak 28-Aug-19
elkstabber 28-Aug-19
Brian M. 28-Aug-19
Teeton 28-Aug-19
South Farm 29-Aug-19
Will 30-Aug-19
Mike Turner 30-Aug-19
FrigidArrows 30-Aug-19
Diesel 30-Aug-19
Diesel 30-Aug-19
Brian M. 30-Aug-19
BIG BEAR 30-Aug-19
BIG BEAR 30-Aug-19
Grubby 03-Sep-19
Trial153 03-Sep-19
happygolucky 03-Sep-19
FrigidArrows 04-Sep-19
happygolucky 04-Sep-19
From: Brian M.
27-Aug-19
I've thought about planting apple trees over the years, but haven't yet. I realize they take a few years to mature and produce fruit. Will they grow anywhere, or will it take crop field type soil? I'd like to clear a sunny spot in my woods or edge of yard/field, but have a lot of sandy, rocky soil. Then there's the fruit variety, fertilizer, pruning, etc, etc. Not much of a green thumb, but would like to give it a try. Preferably a variety good for the wife and the deer. I'm sure the wife will be a lot more picky than the deer. Thanks for sharing any experience you have.

From: JohnMC
27-Aug-19
May sure you plant the front of the tree facing to the North East.

From: Mike-TN
27-Aug-19
I planted pear trees 4-5 years ago and apple trees this past spring. Based on my very limited experience pear trees are way easier. I have only lost 1 out of 20 so far but the bugs/ worms are much harder on apple tree leaves.

From: BullBuster
27-Aug-19
Beware if you have bear and/or moose in the neighborhood. I have to put 8 foot fences around mine with electric fencing for the first 10 years in Idaho. Agree that pears have much less disease.

From: RIT
27-Aug-19
Plant crabs over regular apples. If you do plant regular apples go with disease resistant type like Enterprise or liberty. Match the rootstock with your soil type. Read a lot about fruit trees before you buy any.

There are a bunch of great crabapples for deer and many of them are much hardier and disease resistant than regular apples.

From: craigmcalvey
27-Aug-19
I planted a bunch of pears and apples 2 years ago and the pears are flourishing. the apples are doing "ok". time will tell.

Craig

From: JSW
27-Aug-19
I think I planted my first apples in 2011. They survived severe drought conditions in Kansas and are now producing fruit. I plant more almost every year. I agree that pears and crab apples are tougher and grow faster but I've not lost very many apple trees. They don't recommend using tree tubes on apple trees. You have to protect the base of the trees because the bark is sweet and rabbits or rodents will chew the bark off. After I lost a few, I wrapped the rest loosely with chicken wire. Some of the newer ones came with a spiral cut PVC type pipe that I put on the base and that seems to work. You have to put wire mesh around them to keep the deer from eating all the leaves and rubbing on them. I do that with all my fruit trees. I use the 4" x 2" utility fencing 6' tall and T posts. As they get taller you will want to prune the lower branches to get them to grow tall instead of wide. If you have about 4" of trunk before the first limb, you can put stove pipe on the trunk to keep varmints from climbing up and eating all the apples. Ideally, you want the apples to mature and fall on the ground about the time you start hunting. I learn a little more each year.

From: flyingbrass
27-Aug-19
www.thewildlifegroup.com and www.nativnurseries.com I planted 250 trees that are mostly pears and persimmons. Pears are easier to grow and drop during the seasons better.

From: Jason hunter
28-Aug-19
Go to habitat-talk.com and click on the Fruit tree forum. Tons of great info there. A great group of guys/gals that will help you almost any question

From: scentman
28-Aug-19
We have a bumper crop of apples this season her in WNY, it is going to be a fun season... Plant them, once you start reaping the benefits, you'll be glad you did.

From: Habitat
28-Aug-19
Check on what trees are recommended for your area,make sure they are resistant to whatever effects your area such as cedar apple rust.Buy from a nursery as close to your area as you can.Protect the trees you plant,staple screen wire to form cage around base for a ft up unless you have alot of snow. Build fence around to stop whatever can cause damage in your area.Don't plant in frost pocket,these will be areas that seem to frost first or hold low lying fog is another way to tell.Make sure you plant far enough apart,they will eventually get big.Learn about pruning and yearly care.Pears are easier but you still have to get fire blight resistant trees.I have far more coyotes eating apples and pears than deer but they are still fun to grow.

From: Grey Ghost
28-Aug-19

Grey Ghost's Link
This article has some good information that is specific to Connecticut.

Matt

From: Teeton
28-Aug-19
I got apples here and there. So I'm planting pear trees. One I love pears and two the deer love them even more.. Just get trees that are good for your area. I always get small trees 3 to 4 foot high, bigger is just to hard to plant.. You got to protect them from small animals at the base and wire from the deer. Tubes work great for both but if you got bear, the bear will grab the tubes and the tree's and rip them out of the ground. Ed

From: Copperhead
28-Aug-19
I have apple and pear trees in my yard and the wildlife love them. I have deer, coyote, opossum, squirrel, armadillo and birds of all types that visit my yard.

From: Hancock West
28-Aug-19
we have apples, pears & persimmons. The apples get tore up by the Japanese beetles. The pears seem to do better in regards to growth but our deer like the apples ALOT more. They don't even go over to the pear tree when apples are on the ground. We bought 4-5 year old dwarf apple trees and they fruited the first year. Beetles & Wind is our biggest enemy.

From: Kodiak
28-Aug-19
Honeycrisp is tough to beat.

From: elkstabber
28-Aug-19
Pears and crabapples have both been more successful for me in VA.

From: Brian M.
28-Aug-19
Thank you all for the quick responses. I was doing some research after I asked the question. Lots to learn. Maybe I will go with the pears until I get the hang of it anyway. With pears, are two different varieties recommended for pollination, like apples? No bears around here in any quantity, nor moose. Lots of deer though. My wife isn't big on pears, but I love them. I'll look for a local nursery to see what's recommended here.

JohnMC "May sure you plant the front of the tree facing to the North East. " What does front of tree mean? And why NE and not south towards the sun?

From: Teeton
28-Aug-19

Teeton's Link
Brain, first dont listen to John, he's,,, well never mind. Just dont listen to him...

I would look into St Lowrence nursery. Call them tell them where your at and what your goals are. They will recommend what species of pears and apples will grow best in your area. Yes most species of pears need a different variety for cross-pollination. I would plant a few crabapple trees to start as they have a very long flowering season that's great for cross-pollinating with others apple trees..

I put a link to st-lawrence nurseries but you can just about call any good reputable Nursery and ask questions. Ed

From: South Farm
29-Aug-19
All I know about apple trees is you're supposed to have at least two, apparently better if they're different types, so they can pollinate each other. Other than that all I know is the deer seem to favor my neighbors crab apples over his regular apple trees, because that's where I always see them hanging out.

From: Will
30-Aug-19
I'm not sure if it impacts young trees or not, but some great hunting areas, if you can find them, here in the north east are old, LONG abandoned cellar holes that were once a home stead... and where someone once planted some apples. It's amazing to find a little bit of woods that suddenly has two or three apple trees that drop fruit - in the middle of the woods. Most of those are "crab" apples, but once a frost or two hits, the deer do NOT care at all :) and chow down on those things.

So, I dont know if you can plant a small apple tree in the woods... But I know they can survive in the woods for a long time.

From: Mike Turner
30-Aug-19
What RIT says, plus, crabapples trees will carry well into December and January in most areas. That's a nice benefit to add some carbs into the winter months.

From: FrigidArrows
30-Aug-19
What species of crabapples do you all have best luck with? Understanding that soil type and zone plays a part.

From: Diesel
30-Aug-19
Crabs are the way to go when planting for wildlife. I have tons of apple trees and enjoy them but if I was starting over and planting for wildlife I would go strictly with crabs. Generally produce better and do better with less maintenance. Dolgo, Wickson, Chestnut and Kerr have been good ones for me. I have a few others that I have just planted so I can't comment on them yet. Apples need sun, they do best in a spot that is full sun. The fruit tree forum on Habitat Talk is a great place to get information and there some guys there who have a ton of knowledge on the subject.

From: Diesel
30-Aug-19
Crabs are the way to go when planting for wildlife. I have tons of apple trees and enjoy them but if I was starting over and planting for wildlife I would go strictly with crabs. Generally produce better and do better with less maintenance. Dolgo, Wickson, Chestnut and Kerr have been good ones for me. I have a few others that I have just planted so I can't comment on them yet. Apples need sun, they do best in a spot that is full sun. The fruit tree forum on Habitat Talk is a great place to get information and there some guys there who have a ton of knowledge on the subject.

From: Brian M.
30-Aug-19
Thanks again guys, still reading up on it. Lots of good info.

From: BIG BEAR
30-Aug-19
I have 2 apple trees that I planted at my house in the city about 7 years ago or so. I have since bought my retirement house in the woods.... but still own both houses until I retire in 2 years. The trees are about as big around as a baseball bat barrel. I want to transplant them to my new house. I’m willing to risk them dying to move them. I cut them way back this year to prepare them to move in the spring.

Maybe I will add a pear tree and another baby apple tree to join them in my clearing by the pond.

From: BIG BEAR
30-Aug-19
Maybe I’ll add a crabapple tree too after reading Diesels post. Good stuff guys !!

From: Grubby
03-Sep-19
I planted dolgo crabs here in extreme northern Minnesota about 3 years ago, so far all are still alive and growing well. No fruit yet but maybe next year. I think tree tubes are important to get them growing up and out of browsing range fast. I got mine from tytyga nursery

From: Trial153
03-Sep-19
Crab apples are not only hardy they also hold onto the fruit later compared to many domesticated strains. The advantage to that is two fold. They drop in more over a longer time frame and later in the season when other foods become more scarce

From: happygolucky
03-Sep-19
I've planted regular apple, crabapple, and pear trees in the 5 years I have owned my land. I have a few trees from St. Lawrence and they are doing well. I bought 3 of their All Winter Hangover crabapple trees. My Dolgo crabapple is doing well and the Thunderchild crabapple I planted this year actually had little apples on it this year already!

I use around a 5' diameter x 5' tall fencing around the trees. Concrete remesh works well. I have window screening around the bottom trunk to protect it from voles, mice, and rabbits in the winter. I put pebbles around the trunk base instead of mulch so those critters don't try to girdle the trees. If you wrap the excessive screening to the south, it helps protect it from the sun.

I lost a Wolf River apple this year due to drought and I once lost a Summer Crisp Pear due to excessive standing water. Otherwise, so far, so good. I'm over a dozen trees now and will continue to add them.

Some of my trees have apples now but I am removing them until I have had the trees 5 years so they put their growth focus on the tree itself. This will also allow the trees to be bigger and stronger for when the bears decide they want the apples. The trees should survive deer rubbing by then too.

From: FrigidArrows
04-Sep-19
Happy,

How does pebbles vs mulch prevent critters from girddling? I would have assumed that would be the screen on the trunk preventing that.

And I was unaware that direct sunlight was a problem for the trunk......new to fruit trees.

From: happygolucky
04-Sep-19
The voles and mice like to borrow under mulch but can't with pebbles/small rock. The pebbles are just insurance around the screen in case a staple opens up on the bottom or the screen gets pushed up.

Some people paint the south facing portion of the fruit tree trunks with a mix or water and white indoor paint to prevent sun scald. I wrap the excess screen in that direction.

I learned what I know from All Things Habitat. That site rocks for fruit trees and any land improvements for that matter.

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