Freedom Semi-Dwarf

Product Code: adfre

Apple, Semi-Dwarf 'Freedom' (Malus)
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Details

The Freedom apple tree produces large, striking red, juicy apples that are wonderful to eat fresh, cook or bake with. They have a tart flavor that will make you ask for more. They are disease resistant and a good pollinator for 'Liberty' apple trees. These apples also store extremely well, which is an added bonus. This apple tree comes in a dwarf size, which at its maturity will be around 12-15' tall x 12-15' wide. A semi-dwarf apple tree will produce 5-10 bushel of apples in their lifespan.

Planting & Care for Edible Plants – Apples

Preparation

  • Apple trees need well-drained soil that’s not too wet. They like soils that are moderately rich and retain moisture as well as air. Use mulch combined with straw, hay, or some other organic material to keep soil moist and provide nutrients as they decompose. 
  • Be sure to choose a sunny site. For best fruiting, an apple tree needs “full sunlight,” (6-8 hours of direct summer sun daily). The best exposure for apples is a north or east facing areas.
  • Spring planting is recommended in central and northern areas. Where fall and winter weather is generally mild and moist, fall planting is successful.
  • Proper spacing for each size tree is important. Semi dwarf – 12-15’ of space, dwarf – 8-10’ spacing, and standard apple trees 30-35’ of space.
  • Dwarf varieties will need some type of support to grow.

Opening Plant Material

  • Bare Root - Cut open the bundle (top and roots are tied) and separate all the plants. Soak roots in buckets of water until planted (soak for at least 24 hours). Each plant type will be labeled separately for identification. Do not expose the roots to sun. They should never dry out. Keep roots covered. All bare-root plants must be trimmed when planted. 
  • Be aware that when you receive your plant it’s in a state of dormancy and will look very bare, this is normal.

Planting Bare Root

  • Dig a hole at least 6" wider and the same depth as the root mass. The crown or graft of the plant should be slightly higher than ground level where it was grown at the nursery.
  • Trim off the broken roots and branches.
  • Do not use any fertilizer packets as this many “burn” your plant.
  • Spread the roots and fill halfway with soil, then water until soil settles completely saturating the soil and planting pit.
  • Re-adjust plant and fill the hole with the rest of the soil.
  • Back-fill the balance of the soil and water well.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on the orange rectangular box “Handling & Plant Guidelines” to see an illustration on planting bare root plants.    

Pruning – After planting (young tree)

  • Be sure not to heavily prune your plant too soon. Follow the instruction below for how to prune right away.
  • Prune and remove any broken or damaged branches or roots from shipment.
  • Remove branches that may be too low. This will also help promote faster top growth.
  • Additional pruning to help in transplanting can be achieved by selectively removing branches that are too close or otherwise might not be proportionate with the rest of the tree.
  • Scroll to the bottom and click on the orange rectangular box “Handling & Plant Guidelines” to see an illustration on planting bare root plants.
  • All pruning should be done with a sharp pruning shears.    

Pruning - Through-out the Season (mature tree)

  • You’ll know when your tree is mature when it starts bearing fruit.
  • Prune your mature tree when it is dormant. Completely cut away overly vigorous, upright stems. These are commonly higher up in the tree.
  • Remove weak twigs (which often hang from the undersides of limbs).
  • Shorten stems that become too droopy, especially those low in the tree.
  • After about ten years, fruiting spurs (stubby branches that elongate only about a half-inch per year) become overcrowded and decrepit. Cut away some of them and shorten others.
  • When a whole limb of fruiting spurs declines with age, cut it back to make room for a younger replacement.
  • Thin out excess fruit is important for the health of your crop and fruit tree.
  • Soon after fruit-set, remove the smallest fruits or damaged ones, leaving four inches between those that remain.

Harvesting

  • Dwarfs and semi-dwarfs will bear in 3 to 4 years, yielding 1 to 2 bushels per year. Standard-size trees will bear in 5 to 8 years, yielding 4 to 5 bushels of apples per year.
  • Pluck your apples when their background color is no longer green.
  • Different apple varieties mature at different times, so the harvest season can stretch from August to October.
  • You’ll know to harvest when the stem of your apple should part readily from the branch when the fruit is cupped in the palm of your hand and given a slight twist around.
  • If the apple is overripe and soft, use for cooking!
  • Apples keep well for about six months at temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees Fahrenheit.

Watering - After Planting

  • Plants typically take approximately 6 weeks to establish new roots in your soil. During this period, water plants as often as every 2-4 days at the start and at least a minimum of once per week. Beyond the 6 week establishment period, water once per week, unless rains occur.  
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

Watering - Through-out the Season

  • After the first season, plants should only be watered during extended periods without rain.
  • How do you know if your plants need water? The easiest way to tell is to touch the soil around the roots. If it is moist, there is no need to water. If it is dry, give it a good soaking with the hose end (no nozzle) watering the soil only, not the leaves.
  • Stick your finger into the soil around 3” to check soil moisture.

 

Go to our "Plant Features & Video Tab" for more information & tips on caring and maintaining this plant.

Handling & Planting Guidelines

Special Features & Videos for Apple Trees

Special Plant Features & Tips

  • The Freedom apple tree produces large, striking red, juicy apples that are wonderful to eat fresh, cook or bake with.
  • They have a tart flavor that will make you ask for more.
  • They are disease resistant and a good pollinator for 'Liberty' apple trees. 
  • These apples also store extremely well, which is an added bonus.
  • This apple tree comes in a dwarf size, which at its maturity will be around 12-15' tall x 12-15' wide.
  • A semi-dwarf apple tree will produce 5-10 bushel of apples in their lifespan.
  • When growing, remove the leader and train the more horizontal branches to increase sunlight and air circulation to benefit the best fruit production.
  • Apple trees need well-drained soil that’s not too wet. They like soils that are moderately rich and retain moisture as well as air. Use mulch combined with straw, hay, or some other organic material to keep soil moist and provide nutrients as they decompose. 
  • Be sure to choose a sunny site. For best fruiting, an apple tree needs “full sunlight,” (6-8 hours of direct summer sun daily). The best exposure for apples is a north or east facing areas.
  • Spring planting is recommended in central and northern areas. Where fall and winter weather is generally mild and moist, fall planting is successful.
  • Proper spacing for each size tree is important. Semi dwarf – 12-15’ of space, dwarf – 8-10’ spacing, and standard apple trees 30-35’ of space.
  • Dwarf varieties will need some type of support to grow. 

How do we dig our bare root plants?

 

What does a bare root plant look like?

 

How & When to Prune Trees

Popular Sizes
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag 25 10" 15" FedEx
2' - 5' Bare Root 5 - 35 5 - 15" 2 - 5' FedEx
Containers/Grow Bags
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Container  10 8" 10" FedEx
#2 Container 15 12" 12" FedEx
#3 Container/Grow Bag 25 10" 15" FedEx
#5 Container/Grow Bag 40 14" 10" McKay Delivery*
#7 Container/Grow Bag 35 - 50 14 - 16" 1 - 2' McKay Delivery*
#10 Container/Grow Bag 55 - 70 18" 1 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#15 Container/Grow Bag 65 - 80 22" 2 - 3' McKay Delivery*
#20 Container/Grow Bag 100 - 160 24" 7 McKay Delivery*
#25 Container/Grow Bag 130 - 200 24 - 30" 8' McKay Delivery*
Bare Root
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
#1 Bare Root 5 5 - 8" (no soil on roots) 5 - 10" FedEx
12" Bare Root 5 - 10 5" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12" FedEx
15" Bare Root 8 - 10 10 - 12" (no soil on roots) 12 - 15" FedEx
18" Bare Root 10 - 15 10 - 15" (no soil on roots) 15 - 18" FedEx
2' Bare Root 15 12" (no soil on roots) 2' FedEx
3' Bare Root 20 15" (no soil on roots) 3' FedEx
4' Bare Root 25 18" (no soil on roots) 4' FedEx
5' Bare Root 30 20" (no soil on roots) 5' FedEx
6' Bare Root 35 22" (no soil on roots) 6' McKay Delivery*
8' Bare Root 40 22 - 24" (no soil on roots) 8' McKay Delivery*
9' Bare Root 45 24 - 30" (no soil on roots) 9' McKay Delivery*
1 3/4" caliper Bare Root 50 30" (no soil on roots) 5 - 6' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper Bare Root 55 32" (no soil on roots) 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper Bare Root 60 32" (no soil on roots) 10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper Bare Root 65 32 - 35" (no soil on roots) 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
Balled & Burlap (B&B)
ItemApprox. Weight (lbs.)Approx. Base DiameterApprox. HeightShipping Method
2' tall B&B 50 12 - 16" 2'  McKay Delivery*
3' tall B&B 60 - 250 22 - 24" 4' McKay Delivery*
4' tall B&B 250 22 - 24"  5' McKay Delivery*
5' tall B&B 325 16 - 24" 5' McKay Delivery*
6' tall B&B 150 - 325 24 - 30"  6' McKay Delivery*
7' tall B&B 500 - 700 30"  7' McKay Delivery*
8' tall B&B 600 - 700 30 - 32" 8' McKay Delivery*
9' tall B&B 700 30 - 35" 9' McKay Delivery*
1 1/4" caliper B&B 250 - 700 22" - 28" 8 - 11' McKay Delivery*
1 1/2" caliper B&B 350 - 600 24" - 30"  10 - 12' McKay Delivery*
2" caliper B&B 600 - 700 28" - 32"  10 - 14' McKay Delivery*
2 1/2" caliper B&B 700 - 1,000 30" - 36" 10 - 16' McKay Delivery*
3" caliper B&B 850 - 1,200 34" - 38" 12 - 18' McKay Delivery*
3 1/2" caliper B&B 1,000 - 1,200 36"  3' McKay Delivery*

*McKay Delivery - This shipping method can only be used when your delivery address is within 60 miles of Waterloo, Wisconsin. McKay will hand delivery your nursery stock. We can delivey any size, but typically this shipping method is used for oversize items that FedEx cannot ship.

Growing Zones: 4-7

Bloom Time: April
Color: Green, Red, White
Plant Size: 12-15' tall x 12-15' wide
Flower Color: White
Fruit: Red
Sunlight: Full Sun
Soil Conditions: Normal, Sandy, Clay, Acidic, Dry
Low Maintenance: No
Deer Resistant: No
Attracts Butterflies: No
Attracts Bees: Yes
Attracts Birds: No
Edible: Yes
Native: No

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