Keepsake Apple Tree
From its origins in the United States, the Keepsake Apple Tree has an interesting history. The University of Minnesota’s fruit breeding program developed this apple variety in the 1960s through deliberate cross-pollination. Keepsake apples have an irregular shape and a vivid red and yellow skin, making them visually appealing. The light-yellow flesh of this fruit is dense and juicy, with a harmonious blend of sweetness and spice that makes this fruit truly memorable. The Keepsake Apple is notable for its longevity, offering excellent storage capabilities for up to six months if stored properly. As a fresh snack, it is a crisp and refreshing snack, but it can also be baked, sautéed, or crafted into flavorful sauces and chutneys. The Keepsake Apple is a prized choice among apple enthusiasts and culinary experts for its unique attributes, promising a delightful addition to any fruit basket or culinary masterpiece.
- Hardiness Zones: 4-8
- Pollination: needs another pollinator that blooms mid season
- Harvest Period: mid october
How to Water
- Water your tree with a garden hose or a watering can.
- Water the tree deeply when you see the soil has dried out.
- Additionally, water the tree slowly and evenly all around the root zone.
- In fact, avoid splashing the leaves with water, as this can cause fungal diseases.
- Let the soil dry out between waterings.
- Mulch around the base of the tree in order to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Lastly, provide supplemental water during periods of drought or dry weather.
- Follow this link for more detailed instructions on how to water an apple tree.
Planting and Caring for a Keepsake apple tree
- 1. Choose a sunny spot in your yard that is sheltered from the wind. Make sure the soil is well-draining.
- 2. Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your tree.
- 3. Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole. Make sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil.
- 4. Backfill the hole with the soil you removed earlier and pat it down firmly.
- 5. Water the tree deeply and mulch the area around the trunk in a 3-4 inch layer.
- 6. Prune the branches to the desired shape and size.
- 7. Feed the tree with a fertilizer designed for fruit trees.
- 8. Watch your Keepsake apple tree thrive in its happy home.
- For more detailed instruction on how to plant an apple tree, follow this article.
What is a Rootstock?
A rootstock controls the tree’s size, precocity, cold hardiness, and partly its disease resistance (such as fireblight). In order to grow a reliable and high quality fruit tree, growers graft the scion, which is above the ground and responsible for the fruit’s characteristics and disease resistance, onto the rootstock, which is underground.
How to Choose a Rootstock?
A rootstock that grows well in one location, may not grow well in another. Therefore you must consider your specific site considerations before choosing a rootstock. When choosing a rootstock, some considerations for growers are
- what size tree is optimal for your site
- how well the rootstock adapts to your soil
- the disease pressure on your site
- how well the rootstock anchors
- precocity (bearing fruit at a younger age)
If you are new to rootstock, don’t worry! We aim to grow our trees on reliable and virus free rootstocks. From our experience growing in New York, we have found the Budagovsky, Geneva, and EMLA series to be great options since they are virus free and produce very healthy trees.
How to Prune a Keepsake Apple Tree?
For more detailed instruction on how to prune an apple tree, follow this article.
- First, prune the keepsake apple tree in late winter or early spring, before it begins to flower.
- Cut off any dead, diseased, or damaged branches.
- Remove any crossing branches.
- Prune the central leader (main trunk) and any upright branches, leaving branches that grow outward.
- Cut back branches that are too long or have grown too close to the ground.
- Thin out the branches to allow more air and light to penetrate the center of the tree.
- Prune the sides of the tree to shape it and keep it to a desired size.
- Remove any suckers (new shoots growing from the base of the tree)
- Lastly, prune with a smile on your face and enjoy the beauty of your tree!