Malus domestica (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)

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Maesa lanceolata
Bekele-Tesemma, Useful trees and shrubs for Ethiopia, 2007
Malus domestica (Bekele-Tesemma, 2007)
Mangifera indica


Malus domestica Rosaceae


Common names

  • English: Apple
  • Amargna: Pom

Ecology

Although a fruit tree for temperate regions, apples are grown above 1,300 m in many tropical and subtropical regions. In Ethiopia, apples are grown in Moist and Wet Weyna Dega and Dega agroclimatic zones in Debre-sina, Chencha, Addis Ababa and Fiche areas.

Uses

Food (fresh fruit), drink (apple juice), ingredient in jams, jellies, cakes and deserts in western cuisine (fruit).

Description

Apples are deciduous fruit trees which grow up to 3—4 m. Certain types grow upright whereas others are more spreading. The root system usually consists of a relatively short tapering taproot and several large, spreading lateral roots which branch into a network of smaller, thread-like roots.

  • BARK: Smooth when young, grey-green.
  • LEAVES: Simple, alternate and toothed or lobed, vary in size, shape, colour, thickness, hairyness and texture.
  • FLOWERS: Perfect with a fivelobed calyx, five moderately large petals, numerous distinct stamens and a five-celled, five-styled ovary.
  • FRUIT: Spherical with cavities at the basal and apical ends. Skin is green, yellow or red or may develop two or all three of these pigments.

Propagation

Use grafted seedlings.

Seed

Normally not used since the rootstock also is propagated vegetatively from specifically bred lines with particular characteristics. Apple can also be grafted onto seedlings of another species, for example Malus baccata.

Management

Under tropical conditions, it is necessary to periodically remove the leaves to initiate dormancy and stimulate extensive flowering then after. If less than 2 years old, remove both fruits and leaves periodically to initiate massive fruiting. Two harvests annually can be achieved.

Remark

It needs plenty of sunshine and thrives best in rich well-drained soil. Apple is the fourth most important fruit species globally and by far the most important in temperate zones. One of its assets is that the fruit stores well and can withstand long-distance transportation, making it an important fruit in international trade. Apple canning produces pectin as a by-product.