How fast do apple trees grow?

Updated November 21, 2016

Apple trees are one of the most commonly grown fruit trees. Available from most nurseries and garden supply stores, they are very easy to grow.

Growth rates

The Arbor Day Foundation categorises trees as either fast growing (60 cm (24 inches) or more a year), medium growing (between 30 and 60 cm (12 and 24 inches) a year) or slow growing (less than 30 cm a year). Different apple tree varieties grow at different rates. For example, Red Delicious apple trees grow at a fast rate, but Stayman Winesap apple trees grow slowly.


The type of tree is not the only consideration. Proper fertilisation, water and sunlight, and even the type of soil the tree is planted in can affect how quickly an apple tree grows.

Caring for an apple tree

How an apple tree is cared for also determines how quickly a tree grows. Proper pruning and protecting the tree from disease, animals and insects will assure the apple tree grows at a steady rate.


The weather can determine how quickly an apple tree grows. Too little, or too much, water can affect growth. Extreme cold, or a late frost, can slow the rate of a tree's growth as well.

Overall Growth

Apple trees don't get nearly as large as many other trees, normally only reaching seven to nine metres (25 to 30 feet if they) are properly pruned. This is considerably shorter than most other trees, which can reach a height of 30 m (100 feet) or more.

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