New apple trees - very little root

Jul 3, 2020
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Western Michigan
Hardiness Zone
United States
I just bought and planted 4 new apple trees. These are a little under 2 meters tall and sold in the standard 5 gallon pots. Bought from a local place and are locally grown - benefits of being in a commercial fruit growing area.

One tree had a very small root ball or almost no roots. I have it in the ground now. I went off label and hit it with rooting hormone I had around anyway. It's watered in. I did have to stake it up.

Seasonally around here there is little to no evidence that the trees are breaking dormancy. I am able to see leaf buds visible but no where near opening, and you have to be right up to it to see these. The new trees and my established trees are at the same stage.

Any suggestions to help baby this thing and ensure it's survival?

Should I prune it back hard?

I know I will remove any flowers that it may put out.

Not that it matters but I bought a McIntosh, Cortland, Candy Crisp, and Wolf River. The tree mentioned above is the Wolf River.


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