Apple – Plant care guides

Grow your own apples and you can enjoy crisp, juicy fruit harvested fresh from the tree.

About This Plant

Apples require a fair amount of patience and planning. If you want a choice crop, you

Site Selection

Choose a site with full sun, moderate fertility, and good air circulation and water drainage. Apples will tolerate a wide range of soil types.

Planting Instructions

Spring planting is recommended in central and northern areas. Where fall and winter weather is generally mild and moist, fall planting is successful. Buy dormant, bare-root, 1-year-old trees, if possible. When planting trees on dwarfing and semi-dwarfing rootstocks, be sure the graft union stays at least 1 inch above ground.

Set bare-root trees atop a small mound of soil in the center of the planting hole, and spread the roots down and away without unduly bending them. Identify original planting depth by finding color change from dark to light as you move down the trunk towards the roots. If the tree is grafted, position the inside of the curve of the graft union away from the afternoon sun.

For container-grown trees, remove the plant from its pot and eliminate circling roots by laying the root ball on its side and cutting through the roots with shears. Don


Water young trees regularly, especially those on semi-dwarfing or dwarfing rootstocks, to ensure that the root system becomes well established. Renew the mulch periodically, but pull it away from the tree in the fall so mice don


The harvest season ranges from midsummer to late fall, depending on the variety. To avoid pulling out the stem when you harvest, cup the apple in your hand, tilt it upward, and twist to separate it from the spur at the point of attachment.