Apples

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Botanical name: Malus domestica

Plant type: Fruit

USDA Hardiness Zones: 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8

Sun exposure: Full Sun

Soil type: Loamy

Soil pH: Neutral


Bloom time: Summer, Fall

Ever wish you could have an apple orchard in your backyard? You can—in the space of a single tree—if you plant a hedge of dwarf apple trees or an apple espalier.

To get started, let's talk about selection criteria first:

  • Look for disease-resistant trees that give you the ability to grow organic fruit or to use fewer chemicals. Maintenance is easier, too.
  • You need to choose a rootstock. All apple trees sold have 2 parts: a "rootstock" or foundation and a "scion" or top portion which determines the fruit variety. A rootstock can be a seeding (which produces a full-size tree) or it can be "dwarfing" or "size-controlling" (which produces a smaller tree for easier care and harvest).  
  • For dwarf trees, make sure that the rootstock is specified. A Bud 9 is a common, hardy tree that's easy to train for USDA Climate Zones 3 to 5. The M9 is probably the most widely planted rootstock, though it would die in frigid winters.
  • Buy dormant, bare-root, 1-year-old nursery trees with good root systems. Dwarfs and semidwarfs 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.
  • The variety of apple selected should be based on fruit characteristics, bloom time and pollen compatibility. Consult a local nursery to see which trees are potential cross-pollinators in your area. For best results, include a 'Grimes Golden', 'Golden Delicious', 'Red Delicious', or 'Winter Banana' in your planting. These varieties are known pollinators. Crabapple trees can also be used as pollinizers if they bloom at the same time as the desired variety. Nursery catalogs will provide pollination charts.
  • Most apple varieties do not pollinate themselves or any flowers of the same apple vareity; this requires planting at least two different apple tree varieties close to one another so that the bees can pollinate. (There are actually some self-pollinating apple tree varieties if you are really short on space. See list of self-fertile apples. However, even these apple trees will bear more fruit if cross-pollinated.)

Planting

  • Spring planting is recommended in central and northern areas. Where fall and winter weather is generally mild and moist, fall planting is successful.

Climate Considerations

  • Not every apple grows everywhere. Each variety has a specific number of days needed for fruit maturity.
  • Tree tags don't always tell you where the variety grows best, but many catalogs do. Also, check with your county extension agent for a specific recommendation for your area.
  • As a general rule, if a tree is termed hardy, it grows best in Zones 3 to 5. If termed long-season, apple quality will be best in Zones 5 to 8. Check your zone here.
  • Each variety has a number of chill hours needed to set fruit (i.e., the amount of time temperatures are between 32 and 45 degrees F). The farther north you go, the more chill hours an apple variety needs to avoid late spring freeze problems. Check tree tags for chill hour information or ask the seller.

Site and Soil

  • Take a soil test prior to planting your apple trees. Your local County Extension Center can instruct you in collecting the soil sample, help you interpret the results, and provide valuable information about the soil in your county. Results from the soil test will determine the soil amendments necessary to correct nutrient deficiencies and adjust soil pH. The amendments should be worked into the soil to a depth of 12 to 18 inches where the tree will root, not just the planting hole. 

  • Apple trees need well-drained soil, not too wet. Soil needs to be moderately rich and retain moisture as well as air; mulch with straw, hay, or some other organic material to keep soil moist and provide nutrients as they decompose. 

  • Choose a sunny site. For best fruiting, an apple tree needs "full sunlight," which means six or more hours of direct summer sun daily. The best exposure for apples is a north- or east-facing slope.

  • Tree spacing is influenced by the rootstock, soil fertility, and pruning. A seedling or full-size tree should be planted about 15 to 18 feet in a row. A dwarfing rootstock might be 4 to 8 feet in a row.

  • Dwarf apple trees are notoriously prone to uprooting under the weight of a heavy crop, so you should provide a support system for your hedge. You can grow your trees against a fence, or you can provide free-standing support in the form of a trellis.

  • Make sure the tree will not be planted in a "frost pocket" where cold air settles in low-lying areas. Choose a higher site with a slip if possible so that cold air will flow away from the trees.
     
  • Do not plant trees near wooded areas or trees. 

Planting the Tree in the Ground
 

  • Before planting, remove all weeds and the grass in a 4-foot diameter circle. 
     
  • After you purchase the tree, protect it from injury, drying out, freezing, or overheating. If the roots have dried out, soak them in water about 24 hours before planting.
     
  • Dig a hole approximately twice the diameter of the root system and 2 feet deep. Place some of the loose soil back into the hole and loosen the soil on the walls of the planting hole so the roots can easily penetrate the soil. Spread the tree roots on the loose soil, making sure they are not twisted or crowded in the hole. Continue to replace soil around the roots. As you begin to cover the roots, firm the soil to be sure it surrounds the roots and to remove air pockets.
  • Do not add fertilizer at planting time as the roots can be "burned". Fill the remainder of the hole with the loose soil, and press the soil down well.
     
  • The graft union must be at least 2 inches above the soil line so that roots do not emerge from the scion. When you have finished planting the tree, water well to eliminate air pockets and provide good contact between the roots and the soil.

Care

Minimize Pruning of a Young Tree

Pruning slows a young tree's overall growth and can delay fruiting, so don't be in a hurry to prune, other than removing misplaced, broken, or dead branches. There are several techniques to direct growth without heavy pruning. For example:

  • Rub off misplaced buds before they grow into misplaced branches.
  • Bend a stem down almost horizontally for a few weeks to slow growth and promote branches and fruiting. Tie down with strings to stakes in the ground or to lower branches.

Prune a Mature Tree Annually

Once an apple tree has filled in and is bearing fruit, it requires regular, moderate pruning.

  • Prune your mature tree when it is dormant. Completely cut away overly vigorous, upright stems (most common high 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 Ruthlessly

  • Thin or remove excess fruit. This seems hard but this practice evens out production, prevents a heavy crop from breaking limbs, and ensures better-tasting, larger fruit crop.
  • Soon after fruit-set, remove the smallest fruits or damaged ones,leaving four inches between those that remain.

Pests

Apples are prone to pests. Here are some pointers:

  • Keep deer at bay with repellents or fencing; deter mice and rabbits with wire-mesh cylinders around the base of the tree.
  • Sprays may be needed for insects, although one of the worst culprits, the apple maggot, can be trapped simply enough by hanging one or two round, softball-size balls, painted red and coated with sticky "Tangle-Trap," from a branch in June through the summer. Reapply the sticky goo a time or two, as necessary.
  • Fend off diseases by raking apple leaves, burying them beneath mulch, or grinding them with a lawn mower at season's end.
  • Pruning reduces disease by letting in more light and air.

Harvest/Storage

Harvest Patiently. After all this pruning and caring, be sure to harvest your apples at their peak of perfection.

  • 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.
  • At this point, the stem should part readily from the branch when the fruit is cupped in the palm of your hand and given a slight twist around, then up.
  • If the apple is overripe and soft, use for cooking!
  • Apples keep well for about six months at temperatures between 32 and 45 degrees F.

"Baked apples have an excellent effect upon the whole physical system, feeding the brain as well as adding to the flesh, and keeping the blood pure; also preventing constipation and correcting a tendency to acidity, which produces rheumatism and neuralgia." –A Tip from The 1898 Old Farmer's Almanac

Recommended Varieties

Beyond climate considerations, how will you use your apples? Do you love to bake apple pies? Or, perhaps you just want apples that taste far better than what you could buy in a grocery store.

  • A young dwarf tree produces about 1 1/2 bushels of fruit—and even less when the tree is part of an apple hedge. So, if you're interested in baking lots of 'Cox's Orange Pippin' apple pies, you'll need to plant several trees of that variety to get enough fruit.
  • If you have no particular culinary goal, try planting one each of different varieties that ripen over the entire harvest season. Then you can enjoy regular apple tastings and still have enough fruit on hand for a "mess" of cooked apples.
  • Plant disease-resistant apple varieties such as 'Liberty', 'Jonafree', 'Macfree', and 'Williams Pride'.
  • Seek out the advice of local orchardists about the varieties that will do well in your area. Do the bulk of your planning from an easy chair, with a half-dozen nursery catalogs in your lap!

Recipes

Cooking Notes

See our table on the best baking and cooking apples in North America.

Wit & Wisdom

  • March 11 is Johnny Appleseed Day, celebrating John Chapman, legendary American pioneer and folk hero who planted apple trees across the American Frontier.
  • Did you know that apples and aged cheeses can reduce tooth plaque? (Eat them together!)
  • A bad woman can't make good applesauce.–proverb

 

Comments

I planted two apple trees two

By Nell mewborn on July 10

I planted two apple trees two years ago I have not seen a bloom on them they are growing and doing very well they have leaves on them just not any blooms. Why not and what did I do wrong.

have a gala 4years old blooms

By james r clark jr on June 23

have a gala 4years old blooms on it when purchased .hasn't bloomed since.a wonderful tree big growing great.no other apple trees in area.i want to plant another for pollination but if it doesn't bloom what good would the second tree do thanks

My trees have been around for

By Robert C Wells on June 22

My trees have been around for years. I have a problem with insect and do not know just how to eliminate them. They bore into the very small fruit to the core. I have pulled a lot of the apples and dropped them on the ground but there are many others that have the black spots on them indicating that they have been attacked. The apples are about golf ball size now and looking good except for the worms. What can I do next year season the eliminate these pest? Thanks

Hi Robert, There are several

By Almanac Staff on June 23

Hi Robert,
There are several different apple boring insects. See our pest information at the top of this page and then go to nysipm.cornell.edu/factsheets/treefruit/pests/ab/ab.asp to read more about these insects.
 
 

My trees have apples about

By RoRobert Wells on June 22

My trees have apples about golf ball size now. Most of the apples have been attacked by one insect that bores to the core. The insect attack the apples when the apples are very small. What are these pest and how and when can they be eliminated. Do they start as a flying insect and over winter in the ground? I wonder? Any help would be appreciated.

We have a dwarf fuji apple

By criselda

We have a dwarf fuji apple tree in a wine barrel. This will be the second season. The apples started to get soggy and shrink and fall off the tree. Am I over watering? Plus, I was adding acidic pH4.5 water to the soil. Did this cause it? Plus I gave it a little fertilizer during growing season. Can I save these apples? How should I care from the point on?
Thanks

Containers can be tricky to

By Almanac Staff

Containers can be tricky to keep perfectly watered. They dry out quickly but can also get too soggy. You need to let the soil dry out between waterings and make sure that the wine barrel drains well. Most apple trees prefer slightly acidic soil with a pH range of 5.0 to 6.8. You may want to test the soil to make sure that the soil is not too acidic.

I planted several apple seeds

By paul ponican

I planted several apple seeds from two apples two and a half years ago, out of about 12 seeds I got 4 trees. All 4 trees look different. I planted them in 5 gal buckets and keep them outside,In the winter I burry the buckets so the dirt is at ground level and covered with leaves. This last winter was harsh and 1 of the four died. 1 plant is about six feet tall, one plant is about 3 foot tall and has red trunk. the last one is about 18" tall and is more like a bush than a tree. All three have different leaves. Is this normal?I started these to plant up north for deer feed so as long as they produce some kind of apple I'll be happy.

Interesting! You can grow an

By Almanac Staff

Interesting! You can grow an apple tree from seed but you will not get the apple that grew on the mother tree. Apples do not breed true and that is why seeds are not usually sold. The best way to duplicate an apple tree variety is to graft scions from the mother tree to appropriate rootstock. So, this is normal and the deer should enjoy whatever they get!

so with that said, could I

By paul ponican

so with that said, could I use the tree's I grew as rootstock? Our property has some real old apple trees on it I could take graphs from?

Tell me the tye of soil that

By Samuel Bosomprah

Tell me the tye of soil that is good for planting apple

See soil information above.

By Almanac Staff

See soil information above.

We have planted seeds on Feb.

By Ruth Carlson

We have planted seeds on Feb. 22 from an old apple tree and have nine seedlings up. King Henry and his wives are growing really well(5"-12" high) and we have transplanted them into two inch peat pots. Our question is when should they be planted outdoors and is there anything special we should do with them besides staking them up?

Hi Ruth, It's recommended to

By Almanac Staff

Hi Ruth,
It's recommended to transplant apple seedlings when they are 8 to 10 inches tall. Water the plants once about every 10 days. Continue watering them until they are well-established.

I have started seeds from an

By Robert Nightingale

I have started seeds from an apple tree called a "Yellow Transparent" locally we call them "August Whites" these trees are originally from Russia and not only are they self pollinating but they are an original tree not crossed with any other apple and they will grow true to the parent tree. There is a name for this type of tree that will produce original apples from seed, but I cant remember does anyone know. Also does anyone know any other of these types of apple trees that have not been crossed. I would be happy to trade some of my seeds to someone who can get me equivalent seeds from another of these type of trees. Thanks

Hi Robert, Search for antique

By Almanac Staff

Hi Robert,
Search for antique or heirloom apple varieties online and you will find much information about these amazing trees.

I just planted 3 varieties of

By Steffieshouse

I just planted 3 varieties of apple trees, one dwarf red delicious, one regular size golden delicious and a green apple tree, about 1 and a half months ago. All my other fruit trees that I have planted already have signs of life (green leaves, blossoms etc.) but I haven't seen any change in my three apple trees. How long before I know if they are still good or if I need to replace them? It is now March 23. I have read that apple trees take time to fruit, but I just want to make sure they are still alive I guess.

Spring planted apple trees

By Almanac Staff

Spring planted apple trees are usually dormant when you plant them. It may take them a little time to start showing growth. Make sure to water them and you can also cut a small branch a see if it is green inside.

For grapes, ice water was

By jailani

For grapes, ice water was used on the roots to trick the plant into fruiting and it did. Isnt that great. Could the same technique be used on apple plant. Has anyone tried this method before. May i know how much to purchase 2 varieties (that can cross-polinate) and to have this shipped to Singapore. I sure would love to try the ice water technique. Even if it doesnt work I am still happy to have a sterile apple plant in my garden. Makes very good conversation pieces. Which varieties are more resilient to high humidity and high temperature. Can anyone help.

Am in Uganda (East Africa)

By Gombya K Martin

Am in Uganda (East Africa) and i want to grow Apple trees so where can i find good quality Apple trees for planting.

I recently bought a gala

By Lucia Casique

I recently bought a gala apple and a golden delicious apple. I live in South Texas. My Gala apple has bloomed and it looks good, but the golden delicious just looks like it's budding. It doesn't look different than when we planted it. Does it take a long time to bud and spring? Also, I put a bit of neem oil on both, but will this affect pollination? :( I am a first time planter. Thanks!

Golden delicious apples bloom

By Almanac Staff

Golden delicious apples bloom mid- to late-season. The neem oil should not affect pollination.

I am reading your other

By Lucia Casique

I am reading your other replies, and one of them says that the trick is the trees to bloom at the same time. would I have an issue with Gala and Golden delicious since they will bloom in different times?

Planted Fuji and winesap

By Gene apple

Planted Fuji and winesap Apple trees 3 yrs ago they have not bloomed why not please help

I have same problem with

By Miki on June 17

I have same problem with lemon & orange trees!

Winesap is sterile and

By Almanac Staff

Winesap is sterile and doesn't pollinate, but the Fuji (which is self-fertile) could pollinate it. The trick is that the apple trees must be near each other--AND bloom at the same time.
Also, you need your friends, the bees, to do the pollination. So, avoid insecticides during the blooming period.
Hope this helps.

I live in Singapore (just 80

By jailani

I live in Singapore (just 80 miles north of the Equator). The weather is hot and humid all year round. Can apple tree grow in this climate. just for info, someone working for the Nparks here in Singapore managed to grow from seed (not sure on the variety) and is now about a metre tall.

I' v planted. 10 grafted

By ajam

I' v planted. 10 grafted rootstock. M9 of spur variety 3 yrs back in north east facing well drained lofty soil at altitude of 6600 feet with Average of 1500 chilling hrs/winter, but there seems a problem with growth as they are only grown half a feet in 3 yrs, though i v used cowdung , fertilizer. And area gets proper sumlight , tested d soil. Too with ph 6.5 , prunned it little n watered it regularly though leaves seems good n no pests rodent ao any sign of disease but no results no growth , help me

Your climate may not be ideal

By Almanac Staff

Your climate may not be ideal for the variety of apples that your are growing. The high altitude and maybe cooler nights in the summer may hamper the growth of the trees. We suggest that you contact the nursery where you bought the trees to see if they have any suggestions.

I live in Central Illinois

By Stephen Bannon

I live in Central Illinois (zone 6a) and I am considering converting some of my corn/soybean fields to a small orchard. Are there any precautions to take with the current corn/soy soil and what are some good starter varieties of apple trees?

Hi Stephen, We suggest that

By Almanac Staff

Hi Stephen,
We suggest that you do a little bit of research before starting the orchard. You may also want to test the soil to see what you need to add to it for best apple growing results. Visit your local extension service online to get local apple growing advice.
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/apples/growing.cfm
http://urbanext.illinois.edu/apples/education.cfm
 
 

Just planted a jonathon and

By sherri gruber 60

Just planted a jonathon and granny smith. Wanted to know if next fall I would have apples on my drawf trees

Dwarf apple trees generally

By Almanac Staff

Dwarf apple trees generally take two to four years to grow fruit.

I live in zone 9 on the

By swea

I live in zone 9 on the middle Texas coast, and have bought a Golden Dorsett and an Anna tree that are about five feet high to plant this fall. I also have three smaller Granny Smith trees to plant, but those were grown from seeds. Will the Granny Smiths still be useful pollinators even though the apples might not be edible?

There are several

By Almanac Staff

There are several considerations. Anna and Dorsett Golden are a perfect pair as to pollination, and they are both low-chill varieties. Granny Smith requires a bit more chill hours (about 400 to 500 hours vs. 200 to 300 for the others) to blossom, and is said to grow to Zone 8. We're not sure how it would do in your Zone 9, but it is certainly worth a try. As you stated, too, the seedlings grown from seed from a Granny Smith apple may not come true--so you may not get edible apples, and your trees may not perform the same as a true Granny Smith--as to chill hours, hardiness, bloom time, etc. Granny Smith tends to be a later season variety, ripening in Texas around September, whereas Anna and Dorsett Golden are more early season, ripening in late June/early July. It could be that your Granny Smith offspring might bloom too late to pollinate the others. For more information, you might ask the company where you bought your Anna and Dorsett Golden apple trees about pollination compatibility with Granny Smith. Or, try contacting your county's Cooperative Extension:
 
http://www.almanac.com/content/cooperative-extension-services
 
You might also be interested in:
 
http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/fruit-nut/files/2010/10/apples.pdf

so i live in utah and want to

By krys sulich

so i live in utah and want to try to grow a McIntosh apple tree but i dont even know if you can plant them in our climate, also hard to find some for sale.

Krys, Yes, you can grow

By Almanac Staff

Krys, Yes, you can grow apples, including Macs, in Utah. Here is a helpful list of different apple varieties to consider: http://extension.usu.edu/carbon/htm/fruit/appvar You'd need to research your local tree nurseries to see which varieties they carry or contact your cooperative extension.

I just cleared about 2 acrse

By Gary Thibodeau

I just cleared about 2 acrse in Nova Scotia Canada and I found about 15 big apple trees,Can I cut them down to about 4 feet and graft then they are about 10 to 20 feet tall and a mess with about 3 to 4 bases together.If i can what is the best time of year to do this

Old apple trees are good

By Almanac Staff

Old apple trees are good hosts for new grafts. Leave some healthy branches on the tree. The limbs can be any length but for best results their diameters should be 3/4” to 2” at the points where they’ll be cut off to receive the new scions. Best time to graft is just before the buds open in late winter or in early spring.

 

I live in the middle of

By Tom Jinkerson

I live in the middle of Wisconsin. My Cortland semi dwarf trees have their first apples! 1 on one. And 2 on the other. When should they be picked? Not enough to test. Very nice apples!

Cortland apples are usually

By Almanac Staff

Cortland apples are usually harvested in early fall when they loose their green background color and develop a full, bright red color.

I have 4 dwarf Honeycrisp

By TPatt

I have 4 dwarf Honeycrisp apples trees (I live in PA. poconos area) I planted them at least 5 yrs ago and they were supposed to be 2-3 yrs old when I bought them only 1 tree get flowers but only gets about 5 apples which stay very small. What might be the problem. Area is well drained and gets mostly sun.

Sometimes Honeycrisps take

By Almanac Staff

Sometimes Honeycrisps take even longer to produce and are temperamental. When you say that they get "mostly sun," are they getting at least 6 hours of direct sunlight?  Are you pruning correctly or have you been stubbing back branches when you prune?

My neighbor and I rent

By My Neighbors Never Cease to Amaze Me

My neighbor and I rent separate houses on the same property and share a yard. He took it upon himself and decided to "prune" the apple tree in our mutual yard and completely butchered it. It's no more than a 4 foot stump, now. I'm not sure what type of apple tree it is/was. Will this tree come back or has he killed it? I know some trees grow back from a stump; but will a fruit tree, specifically a species of apple?

Apple trees do not grow back

By Almanac Staff

Apple trees do not grow back from a stump. In addition, any serious pruning should take place in late winter, just before spring, while the tree is dormant. We'd suggest you call a local tree care specialist.

can a 50+ apple tree be

By angela de quattro

can a 50+ apple tree be rejuvenated and produce? We do not know the variety. We are in RI.
Thank you.

Yes! Old apple trees are

By Almanac Staff

Yes! Old apple trees are worth saving--as long as the branches seem healthy and the trunk is not split or rotting. You'll need to prune the old trees in late winter or early spring before the leaves begin to appear.  Up to one-third of the live wood on an apple tree can be removed each year. If a tree has been abandoned for a long time, cut only diseased and damaged branches before removing one-third of the live wood. After pruning, be sure to clear out the area around the trees so that they can get sunlight and air circulation. See more about pruning trees above.

I have a small apple tree I

By James M. Thomas

I have a small apple tree I grew from a seed but now it's leaves seem to have something like powdery mildew on the lower leaves. If it is, can I use a regular fungicide on it? Thank you

To control for apple powdery

By Almanac Staff

To control for apple powdery mildew, a good fungicide
spray program is generally required for control, starting with a pre-bloom spray. Here is more information: http://www.apsnet.org/edcenter/intropp/lessons/fungi/ascomycetes/Pages/ApplePowderyMildew.aspx
At this point, we would advise that you speak to your county cooperative extension experts for on-the-ground advise and sprays that are permitted in your area.

Does Apple grow in tropical

By Josh Beke

Does Apple grow in tropical climates. I am collecting various seeds to try in Africa. Are there any specific species that will thrive well in such climates.

I just ran across a

By Michael Wags

I just ran across a "Tropical" nursery for apple trees that could grow in Africa. They might have some info for you. See link:

    http://www.kuffelcreek.com/tropics.htm

Thanks Michael. I knew it

By Jailani

Thanks Michael. I knew it could be done.

i am thinking of planting a

By denis-keane

i am thinking of planting a few apple trees in my backyard but i dont know where to have the soil tested can i put cow manure in planting the soil there is probabll very poor maybe grimes golden red delicous andapple bud i am in brampton ont

Apple trees grow well in a

By Almanac Staff

Apple trees grow well in a wide range of soil types. The soil needs to drain well, however, and not get soggy. They prefer soils with a texture of sandy loam to a sandy clay loam soil. Ideal soil pH for apple trees is near 6.5. You can usually get a free or low-cost soil test for your county cooperative extension. If your soil doesn't drain well, plant trees higher than they are planted in the nursery (2 to 4 inches higher). All the best!

I still don't know how far

By Adam Guinn

I still don't know how far they away for them to grow.

Hi, Adam, We have added more

By Almanac Staff

Hi, Adam, We have added more information to this page to answer your question. Tree spacing depends on the rootstock you choose and other factors. An M.9 dwarf is 4 to 8 feet and this goes up to a seeding which is 15 to 18 feet. Ask your plant nursery for the tree spacing that fits the rootstock that you purchase.

I have an apple tree, and I

By angelita wade

I have an apple tree, and I have a ruby red greatfruit on one side and an navel orange tree on the other side will I still get apples? My apple tree blumed but I dont see any apples tree looks very healthy.I have seen bees on my treeWhat can I do to make it blum some more?

You may need another apple

By Almanac Staff

You may need another apple tree to cross pollinate your tree. Do you know the variety that you have? If you do, you can look it up online. As a rule at least two varieties of apple trees is needed to maximize fruit production and quality.

I'm using Bonide fruit tree

By tina nickell

I'm using Bonide fruit tree spray concentrate insecticide and fungicide and it says do not spray more than 2 times per year. how often should I spray a dwarf apple tree and when

We advise that you check with

By Almanac Staff

We advise that you check with the Bonide company regarding the latest labeling. However, note that this product contains an insecticide that may harm bees which pollinate apple trees so do not use during bloom time at all; it's for well after the petals have fallen.

i bouth 8 apples trees last

By RICHARD CARON

i bouth 8 apples trees last year and there was son apples in it and this years the leaf are comming but not even 1 flower grows and the leaft are green and it look like there dry out can you tell me why it dont blom and thank you for your time

There are a couple common

By Almanac Staff

There are a couple common reasons why apple trees do not blossom: 1. Not enough sunlight. 2. Not enough "chill hours" as apples need a minimum number of hours with temperatures under 45 degrees. 3. Too much nitrogen fertilizer in the soil around the tree. Your comment about "dried out" leaves concerns us. We suggest sending or taking leaf samples to your county cooperative extension. Dried-out leaves can indicate a serious root problem.

We didn't even realize we had

By michelets

We didn't even realize we had an apple tree and no idea how it got there - been in the house for 30 years and nephew when out back two years ago and picked five big juicy awesome tasting apples of the tree. Nothing last Summer - now it is is full of flowers(BLOSSOMS) Will these turn into apples and when?

In order for those blossoms

By Almanac Staff

In order for those blossoms to become apples, you need 1) two or more apple tree varieties near each other so that they can pollinate and 2) bees which carry the pollen from one flower to another. You'll know if they are pollinated: If apple seeds develop, the petals from the blossoms will fall off. Next the fruit will start developing. So -- there must have been a nearby tree that is was blooming at the same time that yours bloomed last year?

hi i live in nigeria nd i'll

By emman kokwill

hi i live in nigeria nd i'll like to know if my apple can really grow in country?

Here's a link to an article

By Michael Wags

Here's a link to an article that may help with your question.

http://www.kuffelcreek.com/tropics.htm

I think this is weird. We

By Sharon R

I think this is weird. We have an apple tree with an almost totally grown apple on it that is now blossoming.

Hi - We live in Madison, WI

By Apple Tree Fan in Wisconsin

Hi - We live in Madison, WI and this is our 3rd spring in this house. There's a mature, or seems to be a fairly mature, apple tree in our backyard (south-facing) that produced a beautiful crop of large honey-crisp type apples last year. (Even with the drought -- we watered it pretty regularly.) But it appears that there aren't going to be any apples on it this year (as was the case two seasons ago as well.) Is it common for some apple trees to only produce fruit every other year?? There is another apple tree in the back yard that has never produced more than a handful of apples that seems to have a few more apples forming this year. That one is a flowering apple tree whereas the main one that produced the great apples last year does not flower much at all but otherwise has a lot of new growth and looks healthy. (We pruned it a fair amount late late last Fall.) Any thoughts about the lack of apples?

There could be a couple of

By Almanac Staff

There could be a couple of reasons for the lack of fruit this year. Heavy pruning, where you remove a portion of a branch, will stimulate more vegetative growth and delay flowering.
A normal apple tree develops buds for next year at the same time it matures the fruit for the current crop. Last fall your tree may have used most of its energy to mature the many apples and formed less new buds for this years.
Late frosts in the spring can also damage the new flower buds.

We get apples on our trees

By Rebecca Allison

We get apples on our trees but they never get big and they fall off before they have a chance to get bigger. What are we doing wrong?

There are many reasons why

By Almanac Staff

There are many reasons why apples fall off the tree early. Often, it's due to lack of good pollination by bees. Also, apples must have cross-pollination in order to develop fruit; they cannot pollinate themselves or any flowers of the same apple variety. Plant at least two varieties of apple trees together in order to maximize fruit production and quality. Make sure that the varieties you choose have overlapping bloom dates.
Fertility is also influenced by good tree nutrition. Take soil tests and follow fertilization guidelines based on these tests; do not overfertilize. As a general rule, we apply 1 pound of 10-10-10 fertilizer to each tree the first year, 2 pounds the second year, and 3 pounds the third year up to a maximum of 5 to 6 pounds for a mature tree. Apply in late winter or early spring before growth begins--and do not apply to near the tree trunk.

I have a red delicious apple

By Rebecca G.

I have a red delicious apple tree and it is probably about a year old and a half old. I took a seed and refrigerated it with a damp paper towel which worked really well and it has been in a pot ever since. The tree is really thin and the leaves start about one and a half feet from the bottom. It is just over three feet now. I was just wondering how long I can keep my tree in a pot? I was not planning on keeping it in a pot for so long but I moved from OH to SC and now I live in an apartment so I am unable to plant it. Right now it is sitting on the balcony and seems to be doing really well. It dropped off its leaves in the winter and I thought it was dead but then it grew them back and has grown almost two feet since spring started. I won't be living in a house for another 6 to 8 months though. Will my tree survive until then? Also, it is siting in OH dirt right now and I have noticed that the dirt around here is a reddish color. Will the change in soil be a problem? Oh and should I water it in the winter? Sorry for all the questions, I have never grown a tree before but it is pretty exciting because I never expected my seeds to actually sprout in the refrigerator. It was more of an experiment than a plan.

Your tree will be fine in a

By Almanac Staff

Your tree will be fine in a container for another few months. You may have to repot it into a bigger pot. Fall and spring are the best times to transplant into the ground. Make sure the soil is well-drained and not too wet. Soil needs to be moderately rich and retain moisture as well as air. Add lots of compost to the planting hole. The tree goes dormant in the winter so there is no need to water it. Good luck with your "experiment"!

I was lucky enough to plant

By Nicloa

I was lucky enough to plant an apple seed, and it grew. It is a few years old, now (didn't seem to grow past 6inches the first few years), and is about 3-4ft tall. It is quite thin, but is full of leaves and has a few branches. I now know to prune it in Fall. My question is how do I grow more? I have tried several times, since, to grow from seed, with no results. I made sure that I used organic apples, and tried pears. I don't mind what it turns into- in fact it seems like fun to find out in later years. What kind of apple, or pear, is most likely to grow?

Try exposing the seeds to

By Almanac Staff

Try exposing the seeds to cold first. Place the seeds in a plastic bag with a damp paper towel. Put the bag in the refrigerator for about 6 weeks. Then plant in a pot with soil. Only about 30% of the seeds will germinate. Good luck!

Apple Trees

By Anonymous

How do you graft an apple tree scion into a suitable apple rootstock?

no blossoms last year

By Anonymous

I planted 2 young honeycrisp trees a few years ago (the kid at the store said I need 2 trees but left out the all-important words "of different varieties" - big sigh). Last year I got no blossoms at all. This year they look good and have lots of leaves, but no blossoms yet. My next door neighbor has a very large apple tree and he got no blossoms last year either. This year his tree is all leafy, but no blossoms yet. I'm counting on his tree to pollinate mine. When do apples bloom? Sorry, I'm a newbie.

Apples bloom in the spring

By Almanac Staff

Apples bloom in the spring after the leaves first come out. You will see a group of flower buds in the center of the leaves. Here in New Hampshire our trees are in full bloom.

wow apples are nice

By Anonymous

wow ive just grown my own apple tree, and we are loving it. we are justed beginers!!!hoping for the best with are apple tree.

Where to buy

By Anonymous

Where in US I can buy young apple tree ofvariety "Close" with its pollinizer?

Thanks for your question. We

By Almanac Staff

Thanks for your question. We have not heard of a variety of apples called 'Close'. Maybe one of our Almanac.com friends can help.

Is My Tree a phony McIntosh???

By Anonymous

I bought a sale-priced McIntosh-labeled tree about 13 years ago. After about 7 years it finally blossomed and I got 3 little apples. Each year the # of apples increased. I mentioned this to my landscaper (who I trust) and he told me it was a crabapple! It's the only fruit-bearing tree in my yard (whenever I grow something I call it a "science experiment" so that I don't feel too guilty when it dies). This tree began coming full of fruit (about 20 little apples) last year, and this year the flowers are all over the tree! I've looked it up online to see if it's a McIntosh or crabapple, and the flowers look alike. Since I don't eat my science experiments, how do I find out if it's a McIntosh or a crabapple tree? Thank you!!!

crab apples will be a lot

By Anonymous

crab apples will be a lot smaller than mcintosh apples. and they're usually all green, and very sour.

Thank you!

By Anonymous

I hadn't thought of that! Thank you! They are red and have seeds, so I guess they are McIntosh afterall! Maybe I'll eat one this summer. Take care, Becky

I don't grow apples

By Anonymous

...I happened on this doing research for a story but I LOVED it. I love apples and discovered I love reading about them. Very interesting and maybe I'll try a couple of apple trees. I also learned that I should not have so radically pruned my flowering crab when it was so young. :( Any hope it will recover? It's five years old, thin and spindly but healthy.

Your crab apple tree will do

By Almanac Staff

Your crab apple tree will do fine. It will grow back. In the future just prune to open up the branches to let more sun and air into the tree.

Is my tree gonna make it?

By Anonymous

I ate a giant green granny apple and I planted the seed. It was growing fast and good n healthy.I went on vacation and my brother (smh) didn't water the plants so it lost all of its leaves. I changed pots because the pot it was in was too small. The pot is about 12in high and the tree is about 3ft high. The bark is pretty strong but because of the winds I put in a stick so that it doesn't break. It has five small branches and a leaf appeared on it. It's been a couple of months since its had a leaf. But I didn't give up. Do you think that by the time summer comes around it will grow back its leaves? It also has what looks like two smaller apple trees starting to grow on the base of this tree. Should I cut them off or just let them grow? I don't know if telling you I live in California helps.

Let the tree grow another

By Almanac Staff

Let the tree grow another month or so to see if it will have more leaves. Leave one of the smaller trees to grow in case you have to cut the original tree back.

Be aware that apples do not reproduce true from seed so the fruit is unlikely to resemble the granny apple the seed came from.

Thanks you!

By Anonymous

Thanks for the tip. I'm really hopping it continues to grow I'm really proud of my tree. Every time I tell someone I grew it from a seed from an apple i ate they never believe me. Hopefully I don't have to cut off the tall part of the tree.

I've heard about that before. When I was told that most likely the apples grown on the tree wont be like the one i ate I looked it up and was disappointed but none the less I was thrilled that I was even able to grow an apple tree.

Texas apples

By Anonymous

Bought 2 apple trees. Both labels say to zone 8..we live on the border line of zone 8 and zone 9..should I plant them in full sun or filtered sun?

We're happy to hear you

By Almanac Staff

We're happy to hear you bought low-chill apples suited for your zone. Even in your zone, full Sun exposure is required for fruit-producting plants. Make sure your soil is tested and has the right pH before you plant. Often the pH is low and you need to apply lime. Calcium deficiency is common in Texas apples. Also, you'll usually need to supplement with fertilizer, especially nitrogen. Call your county cooperative extension for local advice.

When do I plant?

By Anonymous

The seedling I got from an apple just sprouted about a week ago and already is about an inch tall. My dad and I don't know when to plant my seedling outside or when it will bear fruit. Please reply soon.

Keep the seedling in a pot

By Almanac Staff

Keep the seedling in a pot until it is about 2-3 feet high. You can put the pot outside if the weather is warm. Plant the tree in the ground this fall if it is big enough. It will take years until the tree will bear fruit. You also may need another apple tree for cross pollination.

Young apple trees bought in bags

By Anonymous

Dear Sir or Madam,

I bought two dwarf apple trees at Costco, a Red Gravenstein and another that had several types of apples on it. The roots were in bags with dirt. I was wondering how long it is feasible to keep the trees in the bags before planting?

Greetings and thanks from Christina

You can keep them in the bags

By Almanac Staff

You can keep them in the bags for 2 to 3 weeks but make sure to keep them in a cool location and keep the soil moist. Ideally the trees need to be planted as soon as possible.

Pollentation

By Anonymous

I planted 4 Golden Ginger trees from seeds. Not knowing I had to have other varieties to produce apples. We have old apple trees about 200 feet down a hill. What is the correct distance for trees to cross pollinate?

Pollinators should not be

By Almanac Staff

Pollinators should not be farther than 200 feet away for standard trees. Often 100 feet is recommended. Spacing should be even closer for semi-dwarf and dwarf trees.

apple germination

By Anonymous

while cutting up apple from store found seed it was starting to germinate planted in in potting soil now have apple tree about 2" tall how do i keep it going????

You can keep the seedling in

By Almanac Staff

You can keep the seedling in the pot or plant it in a bigger pot. Place it in a sunny window and keep the soil moist. Plant the tree outdoors this spring. When the tree is about 2 to 3 feet tall tie it to a stake to protect it from damage.

slow growing trees

By Anonymous

Hello, I planted one golden and one red apple tree about 3 years ago. Though they have grown but neither of these trees have shown much height or width growth. Their trunks have also remained small and they don't carry many leaves during spring or summer months. The trees are about 8 ft tall but the branches are thin. What should I do to promote growth and hopefully enjoy the fruits one day. Thanks!!

apple tree vigor

By Almanac Staff

Factors including growth habit (dwarf, semi-dwarf, or standard); cultivar; rootstock; environmental conditions (spacing, light, water, soil nutrients, winter/wind protection, etc.); care (such as proper pruning), pests/diseases, etc., will all affect the vigor and the number of years in which your apple trees will establish themselves fully and start to bear fruit.

Have your soil tested to make sure it is fertile enough for your young trees. Keep the area weeded. Make sure that the trees are getting enough sunlight and are not exposed to constant wind. Keep them watered during drought. It could also be that you have a rootstock or cultivar that encourages slower growth. If that is the case, everything is probably on track, but it may take several more years for the tree to fully establish. Pruning while the tree is dormant can help to stimulate growth in spring (keep in mind, though, that this can delay fruiting); in addition to the advice in the article above, ask a local nursery about how to prune young apple trees to increase vigor. Also, during the growing season, you can try bending a branch or two into a horizontal position for a few weeks, as described in the article above, to encourage branching.

Thanks very much. My tree is

By Anonymous

Thanks very much. My tree is in a well fertilized area, well watered and weed free. It is also pest and disease free. I will follow your advice and hopefully will write back in a couple of years. Thanks very much again, this was very helpful!!

Growing

By Anonymous

I am young, but old enough to start a family, 25, and want to grow an apple tree in hopes that one day my children will be able to pick and eat fruit from it! My grandparents have an apple tree in their yard, and I loved eating fruit from it, I also have 2 peach trees and a pair tree! All the trees have been bought from nurseries, but I want to know how to go about growing my own apple tree from a seed! Where do I find the seeds? It says that 1 from an apple wont produce fruit or may not produce good fruit! So any suggestion on where to find a good seed?

You can grow an apple tree

By Almanac Staff

You can grow an apple tree from seed but you will not get the apple that grew on the mother tree. Apples do not breed true and that is why seeds are not usually sold. The best way to duplicate an apple tree variety is to graft scions from the mother tree to appropriate rootstock.

New to apple trees

By Anonymous

Weve just moved into a new house which has an apple tree in the garden. It's pretty big and needs a good prune in a few weeks (so I've been told). I picked a few apples yesterday but it is quite big so couldn't reach many at all and even with a ladder we only reached the lower branches. Quite a few of the (green) apples had bugs in and on them. Most of the rest don't seem to look all that great - some parts are green on the outside and the rest of the apple is quite dark. What's normal? Which should I avoid eating? Have young children and don't want to make them ill

New to Apple Trees

By Almanac Staff

What's normal? Your first task should be to find out what kind of apple tree it is. Take a few of the apples and a few leaves to a local nursery and ask them for their best guess. Maybe you'll need to have someone come out and look at the tree to be sure. Based on that, you'll have a better idea of what's normal (presuming you mean apple color inside and out, etc.), and should be able to gather a lot more info about the care, pruning, eating, etc. For now, avoid the bug-infested or -bitten apples. Generally, apples are a shade of white inside (the flesh), so avoiding brown flesh seems like the right idea. You—not your children—might try a nibble of the white flesh of an otherwise healthy apple and see how it tastes. (You can spit it out instead of swallowing it, if you are especially concerned.) Even if the taste is—er—unappealing now, it could improve if the tree is given the appropriate care. That's best determined by finding out its type...so we're back to the beginning. Good luck!

Thank you so much, will

By Anonymous

Thank you so much, will definitely do this!!!

No Apples!!!??!!

By Anonymous

my mother has planted an apple tree a couple years back. the tree grew big and looked normal. the only problem is that the tree will not make ONE apple!!!! we have two japan plum trees and two peach trees somewhat by the apple tress and they all bear fruits. why won't our apple tree bear any apples?

Need a pollinator

By Anonymous

Just like people, it takes two to tango. Plant a different apple tree that can pollinate the first one.

Apple tree shock??

By Anonymous

I recently planted 2 apple and 2 peach trees from orchard stock. My Honey Crisp is not looking so good, it is very wilted. Any suggestions? Is there a way to help this tree if it is shock?

If this is transplant shock,

By Almanac Staff

If this is transplant shock, make sure that it is getting enough water. Water deeply so that it reaches the entire root system (which can extend beyond the branches)—but don’t water so that the soil is soggy (an inch per week is usually good, but monitor closely). Water regularly and add mulch to conserve water and prevent weeds. Do not prune the tree at this time, except for damaged branches. As for other causes of wilting, was the plant rootbound (roots dense and circling around each other) when you planted the tree? Was it planted at the recommended depth? In the recommended soil (loose, not compact)? Does it have enough light? Do you see any spots on the leaves, or signs of pests? If you obtained the tree from a nursery, you might ask for their recommendation; if the plant doesn’t make it, it could be that it is under warranty and they can send you a replacement.

Planting crab apples

By Anonymous

I'm looking to plant a few crab apples for deer attraction. My plan us to grow the trees in buckets until large enough to plant in the woods with out fear of animals eating the sapling. How deep to plant the seeds and any pointers to ensure the seed will sprout?

The seed needs cold to

By Almanac Staff

The seed needs cold to germinate; if you are in a cold climate (winter temperatures below 40F), the seed will be OK if you plant in the fall. If your area doesn’t get that cold, then you probably need to stratify the seed before planting; place the seed in a sealed plastic bag filled with a mix of lightly moistened (not wet) peat moss in the refrigerator for 60 to 120 days and then plant. When you are ready to plant, sow the seed at a depth of about 1/2 to 1 inch. Most crabapple cultivars are budded or grafted; you will not get the same plant if you use seed from fruit of these cultivars (however, it could be that the fruit still might be tasty to deer). Crab apples like full sun (at least 8 hours each day), so be sure when you are transplanting them in the woods, that you select a sunny spot.

Crab Apple Tree or Apple Tree

By Anonymous

I have purchased a home which has a great big Apple Tree. The Tree was neglected and overgrown. I pruned it a lot in the Spring and it Blossemed nicely and has started to produce little crab apples. My neighbor seems to think it used to be a Real Apple tree. If I keep up with the Pruning and care is there a chance it could be an apple tree jsut producing crab apples due to neglect?

Crab apples are a type of

By Almanac Staff

Crab apples are a type of tree and there are many varieties (e.g., Bailey's, Monrovia, and Jackson and Perkins). They won't turn into an "Apple" tree. Apples and crabapples will pollinate each other. And you can still use the fruit of a crab apple in cooking (applesauce, jelly)! You prune the tree in early spring before it blooms or leafs out. Follow our instructions above for tree care. You may wish to bring a sample to a nearby tree nursery for identification.

Apple Trees

By Anonymous

Hi! I have 2 apple trees and a pear tree. We have lived here for 5 yrs and never ate an apple because I heard you can't just wash and eat them. I hate that these apples are going to waste. Do you know if you can just pick and eat off established apple trees? or must they be treated with a chemical spray of some sort? Thank you.

An organic apple is perfectly

By Almanac Staff

An organic apple is perfectly fine to eat! It's the apple trees that are sprayed with pesticides which are of concern.

why doesn't my McIntosh apple tree bare full size apples

By Anonymous

I grew a McIntosh from a seed and now the tree is about 30 feet tall but only bares small apples about the size of marbles or a little bigger..can anyone tell me what to do to get them to grow to full size?

We'd suggest that you hand

By Almanac Staff

We'd suggest that you hand thin the tree in late May. There are also fruit-thinning sprays. At this stage, you could take some hand pruners and very gently remove some smaller apples to allow the energy to go into developing bigger apples. It's hard to remove the little apples, but you have to do it!

from seed?

By Anonymous

did you catch the part where it said "grew a mcintosh apple from seed"? never heard of a apple growing true from seed,just saying

If you grew an apple tree

By Anonymous

If you grew an apple tree from a seed out of a McIntosh apple it won't produce McIntosh apples, because the seed is a cross btwn the McIntosh flower (female) and the apple tree that produced the pollen that fertilized the flower (male). Even if the pollen producer is a McIntosh, the seed won't produce a McIntosh due to genetics. To get a McIntosh apple you need to clone it by grafting a McIntosh scion onto an suitable apple rootstock, like the one you grew.

thinning apples

By Anonymous

I just bought a gala & McIntosh tree (fo planting in norther VT), each about 3 to 3-1/2 inch caliper. My supplier said I should thin the apples to only about 12 per tree to help the roots get better established. Is this true? If I thin so no branch gets overloaded and no apples are closer than 4 inches to each other, can I "safely" grow moe than a dozen this season?

Thanks for any advice.

Yes, apples should be thinned

By Almanac Staff

Yes, apples should be thinned for good fruit size and encourage bloom next year. It may seem extreme but it really does produce a higher-quality tree and crop. Cut off enough fruit so that your remaining apples are spaced 4 to 6 inches apart and you leave 1 fruit per bloom cluster (which is generally 5 to 6 blossoms ). You should think the apples when they are about the size of a dime.

Apple Trees

By Anonymous

I heard you should not eat apples from a tree in the first or second year? Is this true? We just planted a couple of Honey Crisp Apple trees and they are getting apples. DARE we NOT eat the fruit?

Hmmm...We haven't heard this.

By Almanac Staff

Hmmm...We haven't heard this. In fact, we'd encourage you to pick the apples in the first year after planting to help the tree produce more fruit next year. However, after the first year, thin fruit so it doesn't get overloaded and produces better quality. Also, Honey Crisps can be a tease! Make sure the fruit is truly ripe (all red) before picking. Taste one and you'll see.

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