planting an apple orchard

Asked January 30, 2014, 9:24 AM EST

I'm planting a low density, low-input, cider-apple orchard of 550 semi-standard trees (bud.118) in the Spring of 2015 which I hope to manage organically. I've read the tree fruit production guide. I can't figure out the best way to plant the trees--or more precisely, dig the holes. I've heard that augers are not so great. Are there companies that do this kind of work? If not, what's the best practice for making the holes? Our soil is quite rocky with heavy clay. Thank you very much.

Susquehanna County Pennsylvania

1 Response

Hi:
I can only answer in regards to ornamental trees, though I would think the planting is the same. Trees need a bowl shaped planting hold, not a cylinder that an auger makes. It should be at least twice the width of the root ball. Maybe you are planting bare root trees. You may want to contact Tara Baugher in our Adams County office. I could be wrong and she will know the proper method. Her email is tab36@psu.edu