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Growing Apples


Growing Apples

Bonnie-Best Apple



Long-lived, zone 4 to 7 hardy fruit trees available in a number of fruit colors and flavors. Varieties are grafted onto rootstocks to produce trees with a range of mature heights, from dwarf to tall. Choose the right size tree for your space. Standard trees will reach 20 to 25 feet and begin fruiting 5 to 6 years after planting. Smaller forms produce less fruit than Standards, but begin fruiting earlier, usually in 3 to 5 years. These include Columnar types which grow 8 to 12 feet with an upright, unbranched habit and Dwarf forms that grow just 6 to 10 feet tall. Semi-Dwarf trees are medium height, reaching 12 to 15 feet tall.

How to Plant

Keep bare root trees in a cool place out of direct sunlight until planted. Can soak roots in water for 2 to 3 hours before planting to hydrate trees. Plant outdoors in spring 4 to 8 weeks before the last frost. Prepare a hole at least 18 to 24 inches deep and wide enough to fit all the roots. Incorporate compost into the planting hole and mix well. Plant so that the graft union is at least 2 inches above ground, spreading out roots without bending them. Columnar forms can be planted in large pots.


Needs full sun and requires well-drained soil with good organic matter content. Plant two different varieties which flower at the same time to ensure good pollination and fruit production. Trees may benefit from support, especially in windy areas, while they are becoming established. Requires annual pruning for best growth and fruiting. Remove all pruned wood, dropped fruit, and fallen leaves to reduce pest and disease problems.

Fertilizer Recommendations

Use Gromax Fertilizer Tablets 20-10-5 or full rates of ALGOplus All-Purpose Liquid Fertilizer 6-6-6 or Neptune Fish & Seaweed Fertilizer 2-3-1.

Common Problems

Usually not difficult to grow, but benefits from a spray program for pests including scab and coddling moth. Protect trees from browsing by deer with fencing, cages, or repellents.

Alternative Products

Other hardy fruit trees include Apricot, Cherry, and Plum.

Complimentary Products

Benefits from fertilization annually. Deerbusters Hanging Sachets can repel deer from newly planted trees. Flowering Crab trees are ornamental trees that are good pollinators for apples.

Product Recommendations

Bonide Fung-Onil Fungicide can be used to control disease pests. Use BioCare Apple Maggot Traps as a pesticide free way to manage apple maggots.

Apple Facts

There are over 2,500 different varieties of Apples.


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Growing Tips