Grow Apple Trees

How to Grow Apple Trees

The first thing you need to grow apples is a long-term commitment. Growing apples takes considerable time and quite a bit of work. Still, if one of your fondest childhood memories is the apple tree in your backyard, producing your own apples is a satisfying part of gardening.

Site Selection to Grow

Before you begin growing apples, make sure you have room for at least two trees. Typically, two apple trees bear enough fruit to keep a family of four in good supply. Apple trees need to grow in full sun, which means they need at least six hours of sunlight each day. Even dwarf varieties need to be spaced at least 8-feet apart, and you should prune the apple trees annually after the first year.. It is also essential to provide your trees with good drainage. Although apple trees tolerate a variety of soil types, they prefer sandy loam to sandy clay loam with a pH of about 6.5.

Choosing cultivars - Choose Two Apple Trees of different Types

You probably wonder why you need two trees to grow apples. Apple trees are self-incompatible. Simply put, this means that even the most industrious bee (bees are the chief pollinators of apple trees) can't persuade two trees of the same variety to bear fruit. So, to grow apples you usually need two trees of different varieties. Some nurseries offer apple trees that have two or more compatible cultivars grafted on the same tree; but to be on the safe side (and to get enough apples for a family of four) you still need two trees. A flowering crab will also pollinate your fruit-bearing apple tree and is useful in pest deterrence, as you'll see later in this article.

Although apples trees grow from seed, it takes several years and a significant amount of nurturing to produce an apple harvest from seed. The easiest way to begin growing apples is to purchase either bare root or container grown trees from your favorite garden nursery.

In addition to fruit size, taste, and color, your nursery professional can recommend trees that are cold hardy for your area, bloom at approximately the same time, are pollination compatible, and are disease resistant. You'll find that purchasing disease resistant cultivars makes a generous cut in your apple tree maintenance time!

When selecting trees from a catalog or Internet site, you need to make these comparisons between cultivars. Look for catalogs and sites that list compatible cultivars for you.

How high your tree grows also depends on the type of tree you plant. Dwarf varieties reach 8 to 10-feet in height, semi-dwarf trees grow 10 to 15-feet tall, and standard trees may reach heights of 20-feet or more.

Although their yield is less, dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstock typically bears the same size fruit as standard size trees and is overall easier to manage.

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" how long beffore a cave apple tree bears fruit"

mrs kings

"I want to grow apple,watermelon , and pumpkin seeds together to make a garden. So this really helps!I hope it will work. Really helpful."

Alexandria Christmas

"some good information i planted an apple tree 3 years ago 1st. year it blossomed 2nd year blossomed then about 8 small apples ,3rd year blossomed then only 2 apples, was going 2 dig it up ,but have decided 2 wait another year "

sandy rolland

"i have a cooking appl tree bout 30yr old but in very bad shape the crops r poor and the tree looking bad any tips to bring it back to life"


"thanks good info"

j brooke

"very helpful information! no other site that i've looked at has helped me as much as this. thanks!"


"Fantastic advice, really useful and I am now going to follow link for further advice. We have just inherited a allotment and are looking at planting fruit trees on one half of it. many thanks"


"Just about to buy a couple of Apple trees, found this site a gig help. Many Thanks. Darren."


"can i plant apple trees in normal soil only"

"This is awesome"


"great stuff! very informative. thanks"

sara aziz

"Remember, it can take 6-10 years for an apple tree to bear fruit, so if your's doesn't have fruit after a year, that's normal. You grew it this far, you only have to wait another 5 years to start seeing the apples!"


"i planted a dwarf apple tree 3 years ago it blossemd last year but no fruit this year not any thing what can i do please help"


"Excellent article!"

john lane

"If you are not a very comitted person do not grow apple trees. Also if you have kids like me they are great to have as snacks and fun. Remember time and patients can give you a great time!!!!!!!"

Rebecca Cala