Spindly Zestar Apple Tree

Asked July 9, 2020, 5:53 PM EDT

My Zestar apple tree seems very spindly after 3 years. We have not done any pruning yet, but it is very small compared to our State Fair apple tree. It has had some small apples, but does not seem to be 'thriving.' Any suggestions? Our 2 trees are about 20-30 feet apart and the State Fair is doing extremely well, but not the Zestar. Wondering what your advice would be?

Douglas County Minnesota

1 Response

They are a new introduction so there is not abundant information about their resilience.

It could have started out with a very small root system or some of the roots dried out and transplant shock was severe and the poor thing has a lot of catching up to do. They do like abundant moisture so I would increase the diameter of the mulch under the tree, use 3-4 inches of mulch, keep the mulch away from trunk. It’s new growth looks good so I think it was short on water last year. The slow start isn’t always a predictor of of what it will look like in 2 more years.