Apple on Tree Branch

Growing Apple Trees

Growing apple trees now will reward you for many years to come.

“Remember an apple a day keeps the doctor away”. This little phrase reminds us of the nutritional value of eating good apples.

Choosing Apple Trees

If you are planting several apple trees, choose a variety. There are a few advantages of having apple trees blossom at different times in the spring.

  1. Coming into blossom a week or two apart can make all the difference when growing apple trees. If you get a late winter frost, only some of your blossoms will be killed. You’ll still have some apples to eat and store.

  2. Grow a Variety of Apples

  3. Some apples mature earlier than others. That’s great. Enjoy fresh apples for several months.
  4. It’s easier to do canning in stages instead of all at once.

The Honey Crisp Apple is my favorite.

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Planting Apple Trees

I recommend getting a good healthy apple tree seed stock that has a trunk that’s at least a 1-inch in diameter and 6 feet tall. If you pay a little extra for a larger tree, you don’t have to wait so long for the smaller tree to grow. But that's a personal choice.

Child Eating Large Apple In Apple Orchard

Plant the rootstock in a hole that’s about 2 feet in diameter. If it’s a bare root tree, spread out the roots. Backfill with this soil combination:

  • Dirt
  • Manure or Peat Moss
  • 16-16-16 Fertilizer

Keep the newly planted tree well watered until the tree has established its root system. Don’t over water the tree.

When the tree is 2-3 years old it should begin to bear fruit.

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Pruning Apple Trees

It’s important to prune your growing apple trees each spring so that you can have healthy trees and optimize the tree's fruit production. Click on the link for simple step-by-step instructions on how to prune your apple trees.

Pruned Apple Tree With Leaves

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Spraying Apple Trees

After the tree begins to flower in the spring, the tree may need to be sprayed for coddling moth worms with a commercial spray of “Imidian” or some other spray recommended by your local county agent specialist.

Some people have been successful in preventing worms from getting into the apples by frequently spraying the trees with a soap solution.

We personally don't like to spray for bugs. The bug spray kills a lot of the helpful insects. Many of our apples don't have any bug spots. If there is a spot, we just cut it out and eat the organic apple. -- Jennifer

A Horticulturist answers some Questions on: Apple Insects.

Thinned Apple Tree

Thinning Apples

If you want to grow large apples, you’ll need to thin them in the spring. Each branch can only support so much apple growth.

A small cluster of apples will begin to grow from the blossoms. Each cluster has 2-7 apples. Choose the largest apple in each cluster, and leave it on the branch. Gently break off the other apples. Leave an apple about every 8”-12” That’s usually about 2-3 apples per branch. YouTube

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Harvesting Apples

Cross Section of an Apple

Watch the apples as they begin to mature. You’ll have to cut one of the apples to determine when the fruit is ready to harvest.

When you cut an apple in half, you’ll find a greenish ring around the outside of the core. When that ring turns from a greenish color to a whitish milky color the apples are ready to pick.

Be careful not to bruise the apples when you pick them and put them the box.

What do you do with all the apples? Check out the following links.

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Canning Applesauce Dehydrating Apples Storing Fresh Apples Pruning Apple Trees Homemade Apple Juice Making Apple Cider

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Growing Fruit from Growing Apple Trees
Storing Fresh Apples
Canning Applesauce
Dehydrating Apples
Homemade Apple Juice
Making Apple Cider

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