Royal Empire Apple TreeThe Royal Empire apple tree is an improved Empire variety. It is an excellent choice for growers looking for a hardy, disease resistant, and highly productive tree. This variety has more red on its skin that the Empire variety. In fact, the apples are large and flavorful with crispy and juicy yellow flesh. The tree is a strong and upright grower, with a spreading canopy that can reach up to 15 feet in height (although the height also depends on the rootstock and pruning). It is disease resistant and produces a high yield of fruit, making it an excellent choice for home orchards.
- Hardiness Zones: 4-7
- Pollination: needs another pollinator that blooms mid season
- Harvest Period: mid September
- Recommended Spacing
- We recommend spacing these trees 12 – 15′ apart to ensure room for growth. If selecting a dwarf variety, the spacing can be less.
- Disease Resistance:
- Scab – Susceptible
- Mildew – Susceptible
- Fireblight – Some resistance
- Cedar apple rust – Resistant
How to Water Your Tree
- 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 Royal Empire 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 Royal Empire 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)
How to Prune a Royal Empire Apple Tree?For more detailed instruction on how to prune an apple tree, follow this article.
- First, prune the Royal Empire 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!
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