In gardens, apple trees may be planted from twenty-five to thirty feet apart; in orchards they are usually set forty or more feet apart. The young trees must be well pruned when planted and from one-quarter to one-half of the length of each branch cut off. Pruning is a matter of great importance to fruit growers, as all fruit trees must be pruned yearly, and the novice will find some good book on the subject, of which there are several, to be of great help.
The ground under apple trees should be kept free from weeds and grass, and the soil loose, until the tree is five or six years old. A mulch of litter or leaves over this space during the Winter, will be of benefit, and a good coating of manure with two or three pounds of muriate of potash, stirred into the ground around each tree in the Spring, will stimulate its growth. An apple tree generally begins to bear when five years old, and should have a full crop at ten years. It is a long-lived tree, and whoever plants one may reasonably expect it to live and bear fruit not only during his own lifetime, but that of his children, and possibly his grandchildren.
The care of a few apple trees is not great, but they must be attended to regularly and carefully, if fine fruit or good crops are to be expected. If the codlin moth or the apple worm, which eat the foliage, should attack a tree, they can be destroyed by spraying with Paris green when the blossoms have fallen. To prevent fungus and the various microbe diseases, the trees should be sprayed with Bordeaux mixture, first in March, again when the blossoms have fallen, and sometimes still again when the fruit has formed, and the little apples turn down on the stem. Every year, in March, all fruit trees must be "grubbed," as the farmer calls it, which consists in digging about the base of the tree from one to three inches underground, and taking out the worm and its larvae, which will be discovered by the burrows the creatures have made into the wood. They are removed by running a piece of wire into the small holes made by the borers or cutting them out with a sharp knife.
A friend told me recently, that this year he had gathered from one Baldwin apple tree that had never received any care be-beyond ordinary pruning and spraying, thirteen barrels of fine apples, which were sold to the wholesale dealer for $1.50 per barrel.
Each one may have his preference in the matter of varieties, but six satisfactory apples are: Baldwin, Northern Spy, Rhode Island Greening, King, Seek-no-Further, and the Sutton Beauty or the Russet.