How to grow Braeburn apples

Wikimedia Commons

The Braeburn apple, likely a cross between a Granny Smith and a Lady Hamilton apple, has a yellow and green background with red and orange streaks. The Braeburn is popular with growers because it lasts for long periods when refrigerated.

This cultivar grows well in all regions of the UK, which includes areas where the lowest temperature of the year is between -29 and - 6.7 degrees Celsius (-20 and 20 degrees Fahrenheit).

Select a planting site that experiences full sun, especially in the early morning. The soil needs to be only moderately fertile, but it should have good drainage. The soil should also be slightly acidic to prevent cotton root rot.

Obtain a Braeburn apple tree from a nursery in early spring while the tree is still dormant. This is typically a 1-year-old sapling that is at least 60 cm (2 feet) tall with a 1.2 cm (1/2 inch) wide trunk. The Braeburn scion is grafted to a dwarf rootstock to ensure the tree is short, making it easier to harvest the apples.

Cultivate the soil around the planting site with a tiller in a 90 cm (3 foot) circle. Soak the roots of the Braeburn tree in water for at least 1/2 hour before planting. Cut off any broken or damaged roots with pruning shears.

Dig a hole that can accommodate the roots of the tree without bending the roots. Place the tree in the hole so the graft union is within 2.5 cm (1 inch) of the soil line and fill in the hole. Soak the soil thoroughly with water to remove air pockets.

Provide the Braeburn apple tree with enough supplemental water to total 2.5 cm (1 inch) of water each week during the growing season.

Apply 208 g (1 cup) of 21-0-0 fertiliser in a 60 cm (2 foot) circle around the tree after it grows 15 cm (6 inches), which usually requires a month. Don't place the fertiliser within 15 cm (6 inches) of the trunk. Spread another cup of 21-0-0 fertiliser in both May and June.

Apply 208 g (1 cup) of 21-0-0 fertiliser in a 3-foot circle around the tree in March, April, May and June of the second year. Apply 416 g (2 cups) of 21-0-0 fertiliser in March, April, May and June of the third year. Increase the fertiliser to 624 g (3 cups) in the fourth year and 832 g (4 cups) after the fourth year.