Growing any type of apple trees at home is both fun and rewarding. Braeburn apples are very popular throughout the world, with their sweet yet tangy flavor that makes excellent pies, cakes, jams and jellies. Braeburn apples are easily distinguished by their light green color and reddish-yellow blush. Originating from New Zealand in the 1950’s, these apples are now grown throughout the world, and are available in the United Stated from October to July. Braeburn trees are prolific producers that will provide you plenty of fruit during the season.
Select a planting site in your backyard or garden that has well drained soil. Keep in mind that Braeburn trees grow to become 30 feet tall and 15 feet wide. Strip any grass or weeds growing around the planting area in a circle with a 3 to 4 foot diameter. Make sure the area gets plenty of direct sunlight--at least 6 to 8 hours daily--and does not have taller trees or plantings surrounding it.
Purchase a young Braeburn apple tree from your local nursery. Remove it gently from its nursery container to check the size of the root ball. Use a shovel to dig a hole twice as large as the diameter of the root ball and 2-feet deep into the ground.
Lift the Braeburn tree from its container, spread its roots and lower it into its hole. Backfill the hole, and water the site so the soil is evenly moist. Apply a layer of mulch around the tree that will enhance its appearance, prevent weeds from growing there and retain moisture.
Insert three or four wooden stakes, a foot or two taller than the young apple tree around it. Extend twine or garden wire through all the stakes and tie it loosely around the tree as well. This will support the young tree the first year, and encourage it to grow upright.
Fertilize the tree in late winter or early spring, just before growth begins. You can place a sample of the soil in a container and send it to your local garden center or nursery to have it tested for the pH level. Once that is determined, you can amend the soil accordingly, adding essential nutrients and soil conditioners, including fertilizer. Or you can purchase a commercial fertilizer specifically designed for fruiting trees and follow manufacturer’s instructions to apply a pound of it the first year, two pounds the second year and so on, adding a pound every successive year until you reach 5 to 6 pounds.
Prune the tree in the winter when it is dormant, to invigorate it and boost growth the next season. Use sharp shears to remove old or dried branches and leaves. Cut back growth on each branch so light reaches all parts of the tree equally.
Remove any dried or dying branches promptly, and collect old apples, plant or leaf debris from the ground. Disinfect shears prior to using. Spray the tree with fungicide every two weeks all through the summer.