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Do Apple Trees Bloom or Leaf First?

Updated February 21, 2017

Apple trees go through a specific cycle every year. Even when it looks like nothing is going on, the tree is preparing itself for the next year's harvest.

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The life cycle of the apple tree begins in the summer. Small buds form on the tree's branches. These buds are not a part of the apples for the harvest season that year.

Dormant Season

During fall, the buds grow a fuzzy covering. This coating protects them through the winter dormant season.

Spring Leafing

In the spring, buds shed the protective coating and develop into bunches of leaves. At the centre of each cluster of leaves a small flower bud forms.

Blossoms and Fruit

The flower bud grows and blossoms in late spring. Once the blossoms are pollinated, they develop into apples.


The apples mature and are ready for harvest in late summer to fall. By this time, buds for the next spring have already begun to grow on the branches and the cycle begins again.

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About the Author

A former Army officer, Beth Anderle has been writing professionally for many years and is an experienced freelance reporter. Anderle graduated from the University of Maine with a Bachelor of Arts in international relations and completed a Master of Divinity from Northern Baptist Theological Seminary. Her areas of interest including gardening, genealogy, herbs, literature, travel and spirituality.

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