March 03, 2010

Growing Your First Apple Tree

Research Triangle Park, N.C. – According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, each American eats about 120 apples a year.

“Apples are fat, sodium and cholesterol free and a great source of fiber,” says Bayer Advanced™ Garden Expert Lance Walheim, who has written or contributed to more than 30 gardening books.

But, apples can be expensive. One way to save money is to grow your own. The Garden Writers Association reports that more than 16 million households grow fruits, including apples.

While it can take a few years for a single apple tree to produce its first fruit, once it gets going it can provide enough apples for your family and your neighbors. In fact, the University of Illinois Extension Service says an average tree can produce 840 pounds of apples.

Here are some tips to help you grow your first apple tree:

  • Start small: Don’t plant an orchard your first time out. However, many apple trees need to cross-pollinate with another variety in order to produce fruit. Consult with your garden center or county extension service for best practices and to determine the best varieties for your area.
  • Sunny side gets the thumbs up: Apple trees require full sun and well-drained soil.
  • Dig the right size hole: Dig a hole at least twice the diameter of the rootball and just deep enough so the top of the rootball sits about an inch above the surrounding soil level.
  • Mulch around the tree root: About an inch or two of mulch helps keep the weeds out and the moisture in.
  • Protect against insects: Aphids and leafhoppers can damage apple trees. Since apple trees can get tall and wide, using sprays while on a ladder can be difficult. One option: the new Bayer Advanced Fruit, Citrus & Vegetable Insect Control. It kills destructive insects and prevents new infestations for a season. Just mix in a watering can and pour it around the base of the tree. It’s formulated for use on more than 100 fruit, vegetable and citrus plants. Be sure to read and follow the instructions on the label.

Visit for more gardening information and how-to videos or call 1-877-BAYERAG.

About Bayer Advanced™

Bayer Advanced is one of the leading consumer lawn and garden brands in the United States. Driven by innovative thinking and category-leading research, Bayer Advanced provides innovative and effective solutions that help consumers grow beautiful lawns and gardens and protect their landscapes from pests, weeds and diseases.

Always read and follow label directions before using Bayer Advanced products. Visit for more information and to view how-to videos, or call 1-877-BAYERAG.

Bayer Advanced is a business group of Bayer CropScience LP, the U.S. affiliate of Bayer CropScience AG. Bayer Advanced, Bayer CropScience LP, and Bayer CropScience AG are part of the Bayer AG family, a FORTUNE Global 500 company.

About Bayer CropScience

Bayer is a global enterprise with core competencies in the fields of health care, nutrition and high-tech materials. Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary of Bayer AG with annual sales of about EUR 6.5 billion (2009), is one of the world’s leading innovative crop science companies in the areas of crop protection, non-agricultural pest control, seeds and plant biotechnology. The company offers an outstanding range of products and extensive service backup for modern, sustainable agriculture and for non-agricultural applications. Bayer CropScience has a global work force of more than 18,000 and is represented in more than 120 countries. Visit for more details.