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Several factors have been identified that affect the growth, flowering and fruiting of an apple tree. Before asking the question: why the apple tree does not grow, it is necessary to study the features of the planted variety. If a two-year-old winter seedling was planted, it will begin to bear fruit only after 7-8 years. Summer plants begin to delight summer residents with their fruits a little earlier - in the 5-6th year. And columnar trees - for the 2-3rd year. If the apple tree was planted on a dwarf rootstock, it will harvest after 2 years.
The main causes of poor growth
There are other reasons for the slow growth of the tree. Among them:
- the variety is not suitable for climatic conditions;
- the seedling was planted incorrectly;
- the crown formation process was disrupted;
- the soil is not suitable for growing an apple tree;
- there is a deficiency or excess of nutrients in the soil;
- groundwater is high;
- the plant has not received the necessary care.
The tree is planted too deep in the ground
This is one of the main reasons for poor tree growth. Its root collar is required to be positioned slightly elevating above the soil. Otherwise, the bark will begin to rot due to the fact that the trunk is not adapted to be located in the soil. In the presence of such a problem, the plant will not form buds, fruits.
Vertical position of branches
Basically, the apple tree begins to set fruits on horizontal branches. If the summer resident formed the crown incorrectly, the branches will tend to the top. To remedy this situation, a load must be hung on the edge of the branch.
Lack of any element
The development of a tree is affected by a deficiency of nutrients. This is especially true for potassium, iron, zinc.
Potassium deficiency can be recognized by the pallor of the leaves. At the same time, their color becomes dull, green-blue. The foliage then begins to curl and wrinkle. Gradually, the foliage turns yellow, acquires a purple-red hue.
Iron deficiency can manifest itself in the absence of buds, yellowing of the foliage. To eliminate the problem, it is recommended to dig a few rusty things under the tree, spray the trunk with a 0.1% solution of iron sulfate.
Zinc deficiency is mainly observed when the seedling is planted in chernozem with a high content of phosphorus compounds. You can recognize the problem by small leaves, slow growth of branches, small apples. Gradually, the fruits begin to change their taste, the branches dry up, and the leaves turn white in the veins.
Excess or deficiency of a trace element
Not only a deficiency of a nutrient or trace element can affect the growth of a tree, but also its excess.
An excess of nitrogenous compounds can be found if the foliage of the plant acquires a dark green tint, the branches are distinguished by active growth, but a softened structure. At the same time, there are few flowers on the plant.
Lack of nitrogen can be recognized by the weak branching of the plant. Shoots become short and apples are small. Young leaves are distinguished by their small size, the arrangement of the petioles at an acute angle relative to the branch.
With a small amount of phosphorus compounds in the soil, the shoots are characterized by slow growth and curvature. The leaves take on a dull, dark green color with a reddish, purple tint.
With an excess of phosphorus, small foliage appears. In this case, the leaves are curled, covered with growths.
Insect infestations and tree diseases
The growth and development of an apple tree can be negatively affected by damage to the tree by pests or diseases. It is worth considering that the tree should be regularly inspected for the presence of their vital activity.
On what soil do apple trees grow poorly?
In some cases, the soil affects the slow growth of the apple tree. Therefore, when such a problem arises, it is necessary to find out what kind of soil is located on the site. Apple trees grow poorly on sandstones, sandstones, loams. This is due to the lack of nutrients in them.
On putrid soil
When a plant is planted on putrefactive soil, it is more often exposed to diseases, it grows worse. This is due to the fact that such a soil does not provide a full flow of oxygen to the roots. Also, it does not contain the required amount of nutrients, water stagnation forms.
Peat soil differs in that it is deficient in copper, potassium, phosphorus compounds, and magnesium. Peat is also characterized by high acidity, which is why the apple tree cannot fully develop in it.
Why don't apple trees grow?
Apple trees can be slow growing in other cases. Sometimes they stop growing after the pruning procedure.
When carrying out a hard pruning that captures several skeletal branches, the apple tree will take time to recover, because of which it will become stunted. You can cope with this situation by feeding the plant with complex fertilizer.
On a dwarf rootstock
Dwarf apple trees can stop growing for any of the above reasons. This is due to the fact that they require the same care as tall plants. The main reason for the poor development of such trees is that they are planted in the wrong soil.
Dwarf trees are distinguished by the fact that their root system does not go deep into the soil and is able to draw nutrients only from its upper layers.
If a columnar apple tree does not grow in height, you need to pay attention to the area on which it is planted. If it is in a draft, in the shade, the plant will not develop well. Also, the apple tree will grow slowly if a damaged seedling was used for planting.
Reasons for poor growth of apple seedlings
When buying seedlings, you need to ask the seller where they were supplied from. For cultivation, it is necessary to take seedlings that were grown in the region where planting is planned. In this case, the plant will be resistant to regional climatic conditions.
The best option is to buy a seedling that is 1-3 years old. In this case, the plant must have well-developed roots.
If the seedling does not grow for the first year, you need to check: whether an apple tree that died earlier grew in this place. If other adult plantings are located nearby, they should be freed from dry branches, old bark, and then whitewashed. After planting the seedlings, their trunks should also be whitewashed.
When the planting does not grow for the second year, it is necessary to check the soil on the site. Particular attention must be paid to the depth of groundwater. Another reason is the damage to the tree by diseases or pests.
When the apple tree does not grow even for the third year after planting, it means that the soil or climatic conditions are not suitable for it. Also, this situation can arise if there are remnants of an old tree in the soil.
What to do to resume growth
What if the planting has stopped growing? First of all, it is necessary to find a factor that slows down its growth. Next, the summer resident needs to eliminate it. It is worth considering that after eliminating the cause of the slow growth of the plant, it will take time to recover.