Commercial apple growers plant a variety of cultivars in their orchards. Many of these, including Melrose apple trees, produce tasty fruit suitable for use in cooking. Melrose trees supply orchardists and home growers with large, firm fruits with dark, red peels. Closely related to Jonathan and Delicious apples, Melrose apples mature late in the season. Like many other varieties of apple trees, Melrose trees thrive in the state of Washington. Plant this tree in a temperate climate and enjoy fresh apples late in the summer.
Select the best site for your Melrose tree. Choose an open area with exposure to full sunlight. Avoid planting Melrose apple trees beneath large trees or close to structures that block the sunlight. Pick an area halfway up a slight slope. Avoid planting your tree at the bottom of a hill or in a valley because low areas experience cooler air temperatures, which may damage the tree. Avoid planting your tree in a location prone to high winds, or in wet or soggy soil.
Plant your Melrose tree in the early spring, once the soil thaws. Keep the tree's roots slightly moist until ready to plant. Remove existing vegetation, such as weeds and shrubs, from your selected planting site. Loosen the soil with your garden shovel. Add some compost to heavy, clay soils to increase porosity and drainage.
Dig a hole for your Melrose tree. Make the width of the hole at least a foot wider than the width of the rootball. Set the rootball in the hole, keeping the graft union about two inches above the surface of the soil--the graft union on your Melrose tree appears as a lump or thickening near the lower portion of the trunk. Gently tamp down the soil after filling in the hole. Slowly apply 3 or 4 gallons of water over the roots of your new tree.
Keep the soil slightly moist after planting and for the first few weeks. Young Melrose trees require approximately 5 gallons of water each week. Avoid watering more than once or twice a week. Frequent, shallow watering encourages the formation of surface roots.
Fertilize your Melrose tree if it displays signs of nutrient deficiency--yellow leaves and poor growth. Increase the amount of nitrogen in the soil by applying a little nitrogen fertilizer. Follow the manufacturer's directions to determine the correct amount of fertilizer for your size tree. Many types of apple trees, including Melrose trees, require annual applications of fertilizer.