Apples are a greatly popular and versatile fruit which grows amply in pretty much all climates. When planning to plant apples there are hundreds of varieties to choose from. Regardless of which variety is chosen it is important to take care when planting so that the best fruit is obtained over the long life of the tree. The standard apple tree is about 20 feet high and 15 feet wide. The dwarf and semi dwarf trees are between 6 to 8 feet tall and 2 to 3 feet wide. Apple trees are planted according to their size.
Planting Apple Trees
Though apple trees grow well in mostly all temperatures, they do best when the temperature not dip below 20 degree Fahrenheit for long stretches or over 4.44 degrees Celsius for more than 40 days. The average life of the apple tree is about 60 years, but some are productive for much longer than that. They are at their most productive between 10 to 30 years of age.
Apple trees are planted according to their size. The dwarf apple trees need to be planted 8 to 10 feet apart and they bear fruit during the very first year. The semi-dwarf trees need to be planted 18-20 feet apart and they start bearing fruit in three to six years.
The recommended number of apple trees per acre has been significantly revised in recent years. The number of trees per acre is called tree density and it has been increased from before. Though in many European orchards the number of trees per acre is set at 5,000 trees or more, in the US the apple tree density starts at 450-485 trees per acre with a maximum of 1,100 trees/acre. This is a recommended number for the dwarf apple trees. The tree density for normal size apple trees is 60 to 80 per acre.
- "The Tree Book;" Jeff Meyer; 2004
- "The Garden Primer;" Barbara Damrosch; 2008
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension Service: Apple Rootstocks and Tree Spacing