Dwarf apple tree irrigation

I am planting my first apple trees this spring. I’ve ordered five different varieties on Bud 9 fully dwarfing rootstock. I understand I’m going to need permanent staking or a trellis. Will I also need permanent drip irrigation? I’m in NJ, Zone 7b, with predominantly clay soil.

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Welcome back. I have read a lot of trials. And on Superdwarfs; irrigation makes a vast difference in tree health. Where in the UK they wrote off trees as terrible; but over in the Netherlands on irrigation; they got almost M9 sized trees with very good to great production.

Personally a drip system is above my paycheck for now. But my P.2’s will be watered with zealot like regularity. I’m going to support them on posts and wires in bags. So adding water lines should be easy later.

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I’m in PA near Philly with pottery for soil. A thick layer of mulch out to the drip line and watering when it’s 90-100F outside and hasn’t rained much and they should be fine.

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@evilpaul thanks - I’m across the river in Mullica Hill. :slight_smile:

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I never water my dwarf apples, just a thick layer of mulch. It probably would help a bit but I don’t feel like spending $$ and time on drip irrigation. I also don’t stake them until they start leaning. Right now I think 10% of my dwarfs are staked. It depends on your soil and moisture, if it looks like they are all heading that way get stakes in them all.

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Thanks @scottfsmith - that’s good to know. We get some pretty high winds in my area sometimes, so I think I’m going to stake as a precaution, but if I could avoid the drip, that would be great - it would be difficult to run lines to the location I have in mind.

I tomato staked one Anna that had a leaning issue. The rest seem to be ok. But when those go on the pad? Definitely getting affixed to cables.