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Interesting Facts

Fruits produced by some species of Malus, including the Crabapples, are too sour to eat raw and work best in ciders. Smoking food on Apple wood gives the food a good flavor.

Granny Smith Apples originated in Australia in 1868, when Maria Ann Smith started using the apples to make apple pie that were from a tree growing from a garbage heap on her property.  Granny Smith Apples were not introduced to America until the early 1970's.  They do well being cooked or eaten fresh.  The Granny Smith Apple was adopted by Apple Records as their symbol. 

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Granny Smith Apple   Granny Smith (Malus x domestica)

Apples are deciduous trees and shrubs with simple leaves and white, pink or red flowers with five petals.  Apples are thought to be an American fruit, but they are not.  The ancestors of the modern Apple is native to Asia and the Middle East.  Modern Apples are highly hybridized and the fruit share little resemblance with the ancestral Apple.

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Plant Types: Fruit, Perennial, Tree
Light: Full Sun
Height: 20 feet
Width: 20 feet to 25 feet
Zones: 4a to 10b
Leaf Color: Green
Special Features: Edible, Not North American native, Pet Friendly
Shape: Rounded
Fertilizer: Miracle-Gro® Water Soluble All Purpose Plant Food
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Plant Care

Sow seeds in fall in a seedbed. Can also propagate by budding in summer. Grafting is also possible and should be completed during the winter.


Apples generally take 3-5 years of growth after being planted before they will have a full harvest.  Fruits will be ripe within 70-180 days after bloom.  Ripe apples are easily removed from the fruiting spur and are firm to the touch.  Harvesting apples by hand is best to prevent bruising.

Plant Growth:

Deciduous trees and shrubs, including the orchard trees that produce apples, and ornamental crabapples trees, whose fruit is also edible, but usually too tart to consume. Species grow best in full sun, but tolerate partial shade.


Clustered five-petaled blossoms with 15-20 stamens in center. Blooms generally before leaves unfold. Pink to red buds that fade as they bloom followed by red, yellow fruits.

Soil and Irrigation:

Well-drained, acid or alkaline, loamy or clay soil.


Most apples suffer from excessive salts in the soil.  Avoid using mineral salts in the soil as a fertilizer.  Use foliar fertilizer sprays to correct any nutrient deficiencies.


Remove crossing shoots, annually, in late winter or early spring, to maintain a healthy framework.


Modern-day cultivars are less disease prone than older varieties. Malus plants are most vulnerable to cedar-apple rust, apple scab, and fireblight. Other problems include crown and fruit rot, brown fruit rot, heart rot, mushroom root rot, and cankers. Common pests are fruit worms, Japanese beetle, caterpillars, scale insects, aphids, wood boreres, skeletonizers, and leaf rollers.