A dwarf apple tree offers the same level of fruit production as a full-sized apple tree, but grows at a shorter height to make maintenance and picking the fruit much easier. Just like with regular apple varieties, pick the fruit off dwarf apple trees only when the fruit is ripe to enjoy the fullest apple flavor and the best-quality fruit.
Track your dwarf apple tree's bloom date. All apple varieties have a set number of days from bloom until ripeness. For example, Granny Smith apples are ready after 170 to 210 days and the Gala variety is typically ready 140 to 160 days from the initial blooming. If you're unsure about your apple variety, consult the nursery from which you purchased the tree or call your local university's cooperative extension service.
Test the dwarf apple for ripeness. The apple fruit should be firm to the touch but give slightly when pressed hard with your thumb.
Pull the apple fruit away from the dwarf apple tree. Ripe apples should come off the tree easily, while unripe apples will require a slight struggle and pull before breaking off the fruit stem.
Pile the fruit gently into a basket or bucket and store it in your refrigerator. Don't wash the fruit until you're about to eat it.