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Column-shaped apple trees differ from their counterparts in that they do not have side shoots. In addition to this fact, no serious shortcomings have been identified. The size of the apples is more than offset by the characteristic, rich taste. The pulp is white, juicy. And the yield from trees of this variety is beyond praise. Therefore, the trees of the columnar apple of the Ostankino variety are welcome guests in garden plots, dachas.
The history of the appearance of the Ostankino apple tree
The variety appeared almost by accident. The circumstances of its breeding are as follows: in the mid-60s of the last century, a Canadian gardener named Macintosh (by an amazing coincidence, this is the name of a common apple variety) noticed an old tree, literally dotted with fruits. The branch on which they grew was devoid of lateral branches.
The observant breeder had to cut the cuttings from the “wrong” apple tree in order to graft them later. The new species was named columnar. And the Ostankino hybrid was independently bred in the USSR after crossing the existing varieties Obilnoe and Vozhak.
Advantages and disadvantages
The Ostankinskaya apple tree is distinguished by productivity, drought resistance, moderately needs lighting, watering, is not afraid of windy, open spaces. If we summarize the main advantages of the variety, we get the following list:
- Excellent taste.
- Exceptional frost resistance.
In addition, when choosing seedlings of a columnar apple tree, gardeners can rely on protection from pests, yield, early maturity, and also suitability for transportation. Ostankino fruits are juicy, strong, tasty. And there are practically no obvious shortcomings.
The variety is cultivated without problems in the Moscow region, Samara, Perm regions. Recommended for both chernozem and non-chernozem zones. In Ukraine, with its milder climate, it grows almost everywhere. It can grow even in the Urals and Siberia, where frosts often drop significantly below zero.
The apple tree is practically devoid of lateral branches, hence its name - columnar. It has a single barrel with a vertical orientation. For the first time, the variety was bred by specialists from the Institute of Horticulture (the author of the selection is V.V. Kichina) in 1974. It has been registered in the State Register since 2002. The yield is high. Fruit weight reaches 200 grams. These are, in brief, the main characteristics of the species.
When describing an apple tree, attention is paid to 2 points: the height of the tree and fruiting. Despite its compact, literally dwarf size, Ostankino brings harvest on a par with "adult" varieties. Fruits on the trunk are densely packed, starting at a distance of 30-40 cm from ground level.
Sizes of an adult apple tree
When the tree grows up, its height reaches 2 meters, rarely exceeding this mark. The appearance of the apple tree, its compact size from a disadvantage becomes an advantage in the conditions of small personal plots.
On average, the growth of a tree is 5-10 centimeters long when the plant bears fruit intensively. On the columnar trunk, specific annular and lance-shaped thickenings are formed, from which kidneys later develop.
Within a couple of years, the apple tree reaches its greatest growth. The trunk of the Ostankino is straight, strong enough to withstand sharp gusts of wind in open areas. Fruiting and life expectancy persist up to 14 years. During this time, gardeners will be able to collect a lot of sweet, juicy apples. For the 15th year, the planting of apple trees will have to be updated.
Resilience of the tree
No wonder they say: small, but smart. The apple tree not only successfully resists gusts of wind, but also has other advantages. The Ostankino variety is not in vain popular with summer residents. The species is unpretentious, almost not susceptible to diseases, attacks of garden pests.
Breeding a new variety, breeders did not even suspect what advantages are hidden in it. Ostankino very successfully withstands cold weather, is not afraid of severe Siberian frosts. Although they created it for the Moscow region.
The columnar apple tree is resistant to insufficient watering, even short-term droughts. Rather, it will react negatively to waterlogged soil.
This apple variety does not like waterlogging of the soil. In combination with frost, this factor will damage the shoots, especially the young ones. Stagnation of liquid in the soil for Ostankino is more dangerous than its lack.
Diseases and insects
The species has satisfactory resistance to typical diseases such as brown spot. But from powdery mildew, scab will need protection. Of the pests of the plant, the apple blossom beetle, weevil are dangerous. In general, the variety has high resistance to external threats.
Features of ripening and fruiting
Ostankino has characteristic features of the vegetative period. They include:
- The varieties with which the apple tree is pollinated.
- Timing of fruiting young animals.
- Harvest time.
Knowing these criteria for the cultivation of garden trees, it will become easier to achieve the desired result.
It is considered a self-pollinating species. When planted next to the Abundant variety, a stable, high-quality hybrid is obtained.
What year does a young tree bear fruit
The grown apple tree planted in early spring will begin to bear crops in the very first year. But experienced gardeners recommend not to rush to the tasting, but to collect the inflorescences. But after such a procedure, the tree will bear fruit steadily.
The timing of flowering and ripening of the crop
The formation of inflorescences of a columnar apple occurs in the spring. In terms of fruiting dates, the variety belongs to September. At the end of the month, fragrant, juicy apples ripen.
Gardeners positively evaluate the taste of the Ostankino variety, highlighting the sweetness and moderate hardness of the white pulp. Strong, bright red, sometimes with a transition to a lilac tone of the peel, in general, does not affect the tasting properties. But it ensures the safety of apples during transportation.
Collection and application of apples
The fruits of the columnar apple are harvested in the fall, using mainly in their natural, raw form. For preservation, preserves, marmalades, jams, other varieties are suitable.
How to plant and grow a columnar apple tree
According to the existing agricultural technology, the Ostankino variety is bred with seedlings. The optimal time for the process is autumn - September or October. Experienced gardeners advise planting an apple tree no later than 15-20 days before the first frost. The result is influenced by many little things, including the choice of location, a seedling (must be from a trusted seller), with a well-developed, undamaged root system. After planting, do not forget about feeding.
In which areas is it possible to land
Non-chernozem zones are suitable, as well as places more favorable for growing apple trees. These are Moscow and the region, Siberia, the Urals, the North-East. Samara, Perm and adjacent regions are also suitable for the Ostankino variety.
Required soil composition
Depleted, sandy soils are not suitable for Ostankino. In this case, feeding is necessary. This is humus, humus, compost. Complex fertilizers are also suitable. In black earth regions, seedlings will take root better.
Dates and scheme of disembarkation
Most gardeners recommend autumn for planting. In order for the trees in the garden to fully develop without interfering with each other, they are planted according to the following scheme: the distance between the rows is 90-110 centimeters, the step is from 40 to 60.
Competent tree care includes full watering. In dry periods, it is more frequent, when the humidity of the air rises - less often. On average, this is 5 times a season. Fruiting plants require more water. Moisture-saturated soils require adjustment of the parameter.
The first time the tree is fertilized when planting. Then the apple tree is regularly fed with nitrogenous complexes. For 1 year - in May, then - in a month. It is important not to overdo it: an excess of fertilizer is just as harmful as a lack.
Loosening the soil
Loosening, mulching are good for the tree. We carry out these procedures regularly, ensuring the permeability of the soil, enriching it with oxygen.
Pruning and shaping the crown
As such, Ostankino does not have a crown. But pruning is still necessary. It is carried out before the start of the movement of juices. Dry or damaged shoots must be removed. In the process of pruning, they try to maintain the columnar shape of the plant.
Seasonal preventive treatments
The Ostankino apple tree needs regulatory treatment against garden pests. Specific dates are tied to the periods of insect activation. Both complex and targeted drugs are used. Tentatively, this is early spring, when the buds begin to bloom.
Preparing for winter
Before hibernation, the leaves are removed from the apple tree, pruning is performed (if necessary). In cold regions, it is allowed to mulch the plant, even cover the stem, protect the columnar apple tree from freezing.