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Uses for Apple Trees

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Apple-tree branch image by Lucy Cherniak from Fotolia.com

Apple trees are a beneficial addition to any landscape, providing shade, a delicious harvest and an aesthetic beauty while flowering. But apple trees have many other uses including cooking, medicine, construction and gardening. With over 6,000 varieties of apple trees, the different fruit, wood and size can offer a wealth of utility.

Culinary

Probably the most common use of apple trees is for eating purposes. Apple tree's fruit, cooked or raw, can be made into dozens of food and beverages, such as apple juice, apple pie, pudding, pastry, dumplings, apple cider, apple wine, butter, apple sauce, preserves and candy. Roasted, spiced apples are a favorite Christmastime treat. Crab apples (a small, sour apple) are popular with jelly and jam makers.

  • Apple trees are a beneficial addition to any landscape, providing shade, a delicious harvest and an aesthetic beauty while flowering.
  • But apple trees have many other uses including cooking, medicine, construction and gardening.

Use apple tree wood to make your own apple wood chips for the barbecue, using the limbs, twigs or stump. These wood chips penetrate meat during grilling to give them a rich, smoky flavor with a hint of sweetness. To prepare the apple wood, run the wood through a wood chipper, and use a chainsaw or an ax for smaller branches. Soak the wood in water for at least an hour before using so the chips produce fragrant smoke and last longer on the grill, rather than just burning up quickly.

Apple chips can also be used in smoking, hot or cold. A handful of smoking methods are popular, but the easiest is probably in a home smoker Apple-wood-smoked bacon (cold-smoked) is probably the most popular meat used with apple trees.

Medicinal

Apples provide a surprisingly large number of health or medicinal benefits, mainly from the malic and tartaric acids present in the fruit and juice. Apple cider vinegar has been recorded to help ease allergies from the high content of quercetin, a compound that slows down the secretion of histamine (the chemical your body releases during an allergic reaction). Apple cider vinegar helps relieve sinus infections, acid reflux, sore throats, acne (because it is a anti-bacterial and an anti-inflammatory), high cholesterol, arthritis, sunburn, eczema, warts and gout. Sometimes apple cider vinegar is used in diet products to assist in breaking down fat. Apples contain a list of phytonutrients that function as antioxidants and support heart health, including catechin, phloridzin and chlorogenic acid (ingest the skin for the ultimate benefit). Apples also have anti-fungal and antiseptic properties.

  • Use apple tree wood to make your own apple wood chips for the barbecue, using the limbs, twigs or stump.
  • Apple cider vinegar has been recorded to help ease allergies from the high content of quercetin, a compound that slows down the secretion of histamine (the chemical your body releases during an allergic reaction).

Gardening

Incorporate wood chips into soil as a nutrient rich feeder for your garden. Apple tree wood chips can be used as a mulch as well. You can line your pathways or garden borders with apple wood chips for an aesthetic value.

Use pruned limbs or branches as support stakes for young garden plants, particularly vining plants and vegetables such as peas, green beans, squash, lilies, young trees or roses. Just insert the twig firmly and securely into the ground next to the plant and loosely tie the plant to the branch.

Cosmetic

Apples are used in cosmetic products such as lotions, clarifying shampoos, and cellulite products. Apple cider vinegar is known to clean hair, specifically oily hair. The vinegar removes soap residue that can cling to and weigh down oily hair. This vinegar works as a skin tonic as well, improving blood circulation. With a combination of enzymes, antioxidants, vitamins A, B and C, beta carotene and a wealth of others, cider vinegar naturally balances the skin's pH.

  • Incorporate wood chips into soil as a nutrient rich feeder for your garden.
  • The vinegar removes soap residue that can cling to and weigh down oily hair.

Carpentry

Use large pieces of wood from the apple tree to create attractive and unique furniture or accents on existing furniture, such as tables, decorative handles, cabinet doors, dishware (apple wood is dense and durable), chairs, bars and mirror frames.

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