Grown mostly in northern states, apples are among the most popular fruit in the U.S. Known as a stone fruit, for their seeds in the middle, apples require cooler weather, called "chill time," for the fruit to properly set. Most apple trees may be grown in U.S. Department of Agriculture Zones 3 to 8, though there are a handful of varieties that require shorter chill times and may grow in warmer climates. Apple trees usually begin bearing fruit two to three years after bring planted. Besides giving you a harvest of sweet fruit, they provide a profusion of fragrant blossoms.
Developed in New Zealand and introduced to the U.S. market in 1965, the Gala apple is a cross between the Kidd's Orange and Golden Delicious varieties. This apple, which has grown in popularity through the last two decades, has a red skin with yellow highlights and the flesh is firm.
Gala apples are tangy, but sweet. Smaller than many other varieties, the Gala apple is harvested in August and September and is available in the marketplace from September to May.
The Golden Delicious apple, which originated in Clay County, West Virginia, was introduced for sale in 1914. Different from most other apples in that the skin is a golden yellow, this apple has a white flesh that stays fresh when cut longer than most other varieties. The skin of this oblong apple may have a hint of red.
The Golden Delicious apple has a sweet flavor with no bite. This apple is ready for harvest in September in cooler climates, but is available at the marketplace year-round.
Developed in Japan in the 1930s and named after Mount Fuji, these apples are a cross between the Red Delicious and Ralls Janet varieties. Fuji apples were introduced to the U.S. in 1982 and quickly became a big seller. This apple is round and squat in shape.
The skin of a Fuji apple is red with green dots, the flesh is golden with green stripes and the apple is sweeter than a Red Delicious. Fuji apples are ready for a late-season harvest, usually in October, and are available at the marketplace from August to October.