Apple trees are recognized by everyone as being the place to start when you want to grow your own fruit. Versatile and easy to grow, cold-hardy and tolerant of many kinds of soil, apples have the additional virtue of keeping well, on and off the tree, so even with a bumper harvest nothing will go to waste. Eaten fresh, baked into pies, used in desserts or made into sauce, apples are also versatile in the kitchen and loved by everyone, young and old.
When it comes to choosing an apple tree variety, the Jonathan apple is a great favorite, firstly for its brilliant red skin and unique aroma, secondly for its crunchy white flesh that is as good fresh as it is cooked, and last but not least because a single Jonathan Apple Tree will give a good crop of apples all by itself. This makes it a great choice for a smaller garden or a small family, where one tree is all you have room for and will certainly give you all the apples you need.
The Jonathan apple is an attractive fruit with a unique flavor that is sweet yet acidic and appeals to everyone with its refreshing, juicy crunch. Fruit ripens in October, depending on your location, and it will store for 3 to 5 months under good conditions. So all through the winter you will have your own, tree-ripened apples on hand to give your family healthy snacks and desserts. Apples should be stored close to freezing, but not below 300F. Keep them in a damp place – Styrofoam boxes in an unheated shed or garage are good and easy ways to store your crop.
Growing Jonathan Apple Trees
If you live anywhere from zone 5 to zone 8 (which covers most of the country) you can grow the Jonathan Apple Tree. It is a tree that grows around 15 feet tall and around 12 feet across, so it is an ideal size for a smaller garden, especially since you only need one tree to harvest a good crop. In spring your tree will be covered with pretty, white apple-blossoms which will develop over the summer from tiny green balls into full-sized apples ready to harvest. Apple trees will grow in any well-drained soil but prefers a loamy soil, so when you prepare the planting area dig in plenty of rich organic material like rotted manure, rotted leaves or garden compost. Peat moss can also be used and even fresh grass clippings are a good addition to the planting area.
Planting and Initial Care
Choose a sunny spot to plant your Jonathan Apple Tree and prepare the soil by digging deeply over an area 6 feet across. Dig a hole in the middle of your prepared area and plant your tree at the same depth as it was in the pot, being careful not to bury the ‘kink’ in the stem where the tree was attached to its roots. After you have put back most of the soil and firmed it down around the roots, fill the hole with water.
When all the water has drained away put back the rest of the soil and cover the root area with rich organic mulch. Make sure the mulch does not touch the trunk of the tree. Water your tree thoroughly once a week during the first growing season and then during dry weather. Always soak the tree thoroughly out beyond the branches and it is better to water thoroughly less often than to sprinkle the soil lightly all the time. Keep grass and weeds away from the area beneath the branches until your tree is fully grown.
Maximizing Your Crop
Although your Jonathan Apple tree will produce a good crop all on its own, it will give you a heavier harvest if you grow another suitable apple tree with it. The Red Delicious Apple Tree, the Golden Delicious Apple Tree and the McIntosh Apple Tree all make great companions and they too will benefit from the pollen of your Jonathan Apple. You will have a great harvest of different types of apples so there will be lots of variety available in your home. Crab Apples make good pollinators too.
Care and Maintenance
Prune your tree in late winter while it is dormant. Remove over-crowded branches and keep one central branch growing up. Cut the ends of the remaining branches just above an outward-facing bud to encourage the side branches to grow out at a good angle. Keep the tree open and shaped like a pyramid and don’t just clip it into a dense shape. If you have a heavy crop of apples, remove some so that the remaining fruits grow to a good size.
History and Origins of the Jonathan Apple Tree
The Jonathan Apple Tree is an All-American heirloom apple. It was first noticed in a garden in Woodstock, NY, in 1826, by a man named Jonathan Hasbrouck, who brought it to the President of Albany Horticultural Society, a certain Judge Buel. Rather than naming it after Philip Rick, the farmer who actually owned the tree, he called it ‘Jonathan’ and was responsible for introducing it so widely that it became the most popular apple in America.
Because the Jonathan Apple Tree is a special, heirloom variety of apple it must be grown the correct way. Our trees are produced in the right way, by attaching stems from correctly-named trees onto strong roots that control the size and health of the tree. Avoid cheaper seedlings trees as this unique variety cannot be grown from seeds and the resulting trees will be of much poorer quality than the original.
Our Jonathan Apple Trees are true to the original form of this heirloom apple and our plants are always of the best quality. However we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.