Apple variety Zorka: characteristics, planting and care features
Zorka apple tree is a winter-hardy plant, unpretentious in cultivation and characterized by resistance to disease. About the characteristic features of the variety, planting and growing technology, read below.
Variety selection history
The culture was bred at the Research Institute of Agriculture of the North-East. N.V. Rudnitsky by crossing the Chinese red and Kandil-Chinese. The variety was registered in the state register for the North-Western region. This variety of apple tree is well established in the regions of central Russia and Moscow region. Cultivation is possible in the northern regions of the country.
Did you know? A wild apple tree can have a trunk with a diameter of 40 cm and reach 200 years of age.
Description and characteristic of a tree
In order to appreciate the variety of Zorka, it is necessary to familiarize yourself with its characteristic features, which are presented below.
Description of a tree and apples
The tree is medium-sized, reaches a height of up to 4 m. The crown is wide, of medium density. The leaf plates are rounded, with a sharp point at the end, green. The surface of the sheets is dull, rough. Annual shoots are thin, brown.
The fruits have a spherical shape, slightly elongated to the top. The main shade of the fruit is green, covered with a bright pink blush that covers almost the entire fruit. Weight - up to 180 g. Peel with a wax coating, dense. The pulp has a green tint. The structure is soft, juicy. The taste is sweet, with barely noticeable acidity.
The timing of flowering and fruiting
The plant is precocious. The first crop can be obtained for 3 years after planting. Flowering of apple trees begins in late May and lasts for 7-18 days. The culture is late ripe, the fruits ripen in late September - early October.
The variety is characterized by high yield indicators - up to 90 kg per adult tree. About 33 tons of products are harvested annually from 1 hectare of plantings.
Winter hardiness and drought tolerance
The apple tree variety Zorka is characterized by high winter hardiness. The plant is able to withstand a drop in temperature to -35 ° C. The plant also has high drought tolerance. During a period of drought, an apple tree can exist without watering for up to 1.5 months.
Pros and cons of the Zorka variety
- Among the advantages of the variety Zorka can be identified:
- high winter hardiness;
- resistance to drought;
- good immunity to diseases with fungal infections;
- immunity to scab disease;
- early maturity.
The disadvantages of the plant are its susceptibility to pest invasion. The variety may lose its early maturity when grafted onto another tree, in which case fruiting occurs only after 7 years of growth.
Rules for planting an apple tree
In order to grow a strong apple tree, it is necessary to create the right conditions for growth and development.
One of the fundamental tasks that should be solved at the initial stage of planting an apple tree is to choose a place for planting a plant that should be spacious, well-lit and without drafts (contribute to the development of diseases and the invasion of pests).
The apple tree is not whimsical in choosing the soil, the most important thing is to monitor the pH level, which should be neutral.
Groundwater in the area should lie at a depth below two meters, otherwise there is a risk of flooding of the rhizome and its decay.
Favorable conditions for growing
Planting an apple tree is best done in the spring, especially if planting is carried out in regions with a harsh climate. When planting in spring, seedlings will have time to grow stronger by the winter period and will form a supply of nutrients.
This landing is carried out from mid-April to early May. Autumn landing is carried out in late September. The main condition is to conduct a planting procedure 3 weeks before the start of frost.
For planting, you must have reached the age of 2 years: they must be 1 m in height and their root system about 35 cm long. The plant must necessarily contain a trace from the vaccine, which will confirm the authenticity of the variety, and you must also make sure that the seedling does not there were diaper rash and growths.
The first stage of planting is the preparation of the site, which is carried out 6 months before the planting of the seedling in the ground. It is necessary to dig a site to a depth of 30 cm, making at the same time humus (5 kg per square meter).
You need to make sure that the soil has a neutral acidity, for which a soil sample is made. If the soil is acidic, then it is calcified with dolomite flour - 500 g / m², slightly acidic soil - 400 g / m². The second stage of preparation for landing is digging a hole, which is carried out 2-3 weeks before the start of the landing process.
The resulting mixture of soil with fertilizer is poured into the prepared hole until the middle.
Next, watering is carried out, in an amount of 10 liters of water, the pit is covered with a plastic film and left in this state until the plant is immediately planted. The third stage, the final one is the planting of a seedling in a hole.
Instructions for planting a seedling:
- The soil in the hole must be loosened and a mound in the form of a hill.
- Drive a peg, the length of which is 2 m, into the middle of the knoll.
- Insert the seedling into the pit and carefully level the roots along the embankment.
- To the top of the hole, fill the soil and compact it tightly.
- Form a trunk circle.
- Tie a peg to the seedling.
- Water the plant with 20 liters of water.
- Mulch the soil with peat.
Caring for a plant is not a troublesome task, which every gardener can do. To ensure the active development of the apple tree, you need to make watering in a timely manner, add fertilizing and do crown pruning.
Watering and fertilizing wood
An adult plant needs 40 liters of water - one watering in 3 weeks.
After each watering or rain, you need to loosen the soil near the trunk, which will provide an influx of fresh air to the rhizome, which will prevent the spread of fungal infections.
Fertilizers of apple trees begin to make in the third year of growth; they are carried out 3 times a season, according to the following scheme:
- The first feeding is carried out at the beginning of the spring thaw, from March 10 to April 15, by digging to a depth of 20 cm, 600 g of urea per adult tree are added.
- After flowering, a secondary fertilizer is carried out - they are applied in liquid form. It is necessary to dilute 2 kg of bird droppings in 10 liters of water. An adult plant needs 30 liters of nutrient mixture.
- In late August - early September, you need to carry out the third plant fertilizer procedure - 60 g of superphosphate and 30 g of potassium per 10 liters of water. This composition will require 40 liters per adult tree.
Once every 6 weeks, the near-trunk circle is mulched with peat or wood sawdust to prevent weed from overgrowing and maintain the necessary moisture.
Pruning begins when the seedling is planted in the ground. To begin with, form the zone of the stem. To determine it, you need to measure 50 cm from the soil level. In this zone, all branches are cut, and then another 30 cm are measured upwards, on which the first tier of skeletal branches will be located.
The first formation shoot should be located 50 cm from the soil and two more - at a distance of 15 cm from each other on the opposite side of the first. The central shoot is shortened by 20 cm.
Important! Every year, the tree needs sanitary pruning.Remove damaged, improperly growing shoots, cut branches affected by fungal infections.
In the second year of tree growth, you need to leave 3 skeletal branches located 40 cm higher from the first tier, between them, there should also be a gap of 15 cm. All forming shoots and the central shoots are shortened by 20 cm. All other shoots are removed.
In the third year of culture growth, it is necessary to form the next tier, which will consist of 1 branch, located 40 cm up from the second tier. Skeletal branches and the central shoot are shortened by 20 cm.
Methods of struggle
To prevent invasion of pests and infection with fungal infections, it is necessary to carry out preventive measures:
- loosening the trunk circle;
- collection of fallen fruits and leaves, their disposal;
- whitewashing of the trunk and lower tier of skeletal branches in the spring and autumn;
- sanitary pruning;
- irrigation of a tree with a solution of copper sulfate (100 g per 10 l of water) before flowering and immediately after.
The most dangerous pests for the crop are: aphids, leaf flies, codling moth and apple blossoms.
Aphids - a small insect, green, reaching a length of 5 mm. It feeds on the juice of flower ovaries and leaves. The presence of aphids on a tree can be noticed by twisted leaves, on which a sticky coating forms.
- Removing weed in the area.
- Manual cleaning of damaged leaves and shoots.
- Soap irrigation - 300 g of dust soap in 10 liters of warm water. It is carried out for 5 days in the morning.
- Spraying with the drug "Karbofos" - 90 g per 10 liters of water.
Leaf flies affect the plant during flowering. The pest has a small, up to 3 mm, yellow-green body, with transparent wings. The insect eats the juice of flowers and leaves, which leads to their drying and falling.
Methods of combating leaf cover:
- Pruning crown in spring.
- Irrigation with the drug "Karbofos" - 90 g per 10 liters.
Apple blossoms or weevils are pests of small sizes, up to 5 mm in length, brown. The flower bee hibernates in cracks in the bark, and in spring the female lays offspring in flower buds. Larvae eat out the inside of the buds, which leads to the loss of most of the crop.
Fighting Apple Blossom:
- Whitewashing the trunk in the spring.
- Installation of hunting belts.
- Under the lower tier of branches, you need to wind a burlap soaked in the insecticide "Karbofos" (10 g per 1 liter of water).
Apple moth is a butterfly, with a wingspan of 15 mm, its color is gray-brown. Moth lays offspring in old stumps, deciduous garbage. Caterpillars that came into the world feed on fruits, making moves in them and damaging the core.
Methods of combating the moth:
- Planting on the site of plants that repel the pest: tansy, wormwood.
- Garbage collection, uprooting of old stumps.
- Installation of hunting belts on a tree.
In conditions of high humidity, fungal infections can affect the culture: powdery mildew, fruit rot and cytosporosis.
Powdery mildew - The infection that most often affects the culture. Fungal spores actively reproduce in humid conditions at temperatures from + 20 ° C to + 25 ° C. It appears in the form of a white, powdery coating on leaf plates, branches and flower ovaries. Leaves leaf blades and shoots dry. Fruits infected with the disease have a trace in the form of a circular network of fungal spores.
Powdery Mildew Control:
- Loosening the trunk circle so that the mold does not spread.
- Harvesting fallen fruits.
- Treatment with 1% copper sulfate - 100 g per 10 liters of water. Irrigation is carried out 3 times, with an interval of 10 days.
- Spraying the tree with a soapy solution with soda, followed by a repeat of the procedure after 7 days. The solution is prepared from 100 g of liquid soap and 60 g of baking soda, diluted in 10 l of warm water.
Fruit rot - One of the varieties of fungal infection, the cause of which is the use of poorly crafted tools when caring for a tree, also, spores of the fungus are carried by pests or the wind. The leaf plates of the infected tree are covered with brown spots, after which they dry out and fall off. Fruits rot and crumble, thereby contributing to the spread of spores in the soil.
- Digging a tree trunk in order to destroy the infection that has spread to the soil.
- Harvesting damaged fruits and leaves, followed by destruction.
- Removal of weed grass in the area to prevent the invasion of insects and the spread of fungus along with them.
- Irrigation with 3% Bordeaux liquid before flowering and before fruit ovary. The solution is prepared from 300 g of Bordeaux liquid and 10 l of water.
Cytosporosis hits the trunk and branches of a tree. You can notice the disease by red growths on the bark of the tree, which is progressing every day. Sections of the affected cortex die off along with the shoot, which is located closest to the infected area.
Fight against cytosporosis:
- Removal of damaged branches and their further burning.
- Scraping bark patches. It is made with a knife, and after that - the wound is smeared with garden var.
- The trunk must be whitened in spring and autumn.
- The crown of the tree is irrigated with a 1% solution of copper sulfate before flowering and after. The solution is 100 g of copper sulfate in 10 liters of water.
Did you know? The first apple orchard in Ukraine was founded by Yaroslav the Wise in 1051 on the territory of the Kiev Pechersk Lavra.
Harvesting, storage and transportability of the crop
Removing fruits from a tree is carried out in dry, calm weather. Fruits are placed in wooden boxes lined with paper. Apples are laid in 3-4 layers and placed in a dark, cool room with a temperature of + 2 ° C to + 5 ° C. The shelf life of products is 5 months. During this period, you need to inspect the fruits every 4 weeks for the presence of rot or diaper rash, remove them in time to prevent damage to the entire crop.
The apple tree variety Zorka is excellent for growing in regions with moderate and harsh climatic conditions. Due to early maturity, the culture will please gardeners with its fruits for the third year.