How Long Do Apple Trees Live?
Most apple trees live for 35 years and produce the best fruit between 10 and 30 years. Some varieties have been known to live 100 years or more.
Plan to prune your mature apple trees in the late dormant season, generally February to April. Cut off all branches that cross or rub together. Spurs grow only about 1/2 inch per year, and their production lessens after one decade. Direct the growth of each young apple tree by bending its branches horizontally for several weeks. Continue to do this task throughout the year to prevent pest problems. Faster-growing apple trees probably don't need nitrogen; so when their new growth appears in early spring, supply each of them with 1 pound of sulfate of potash per every 5 bushels of apples you harvested the past year. Apply most fertilizers by sprinkling them evenly on the ground at the base of the tree trunks, and then water that ground well. The application method may differ among fertilizer brands. Spray the apple trees with an application of dormant oil before buds appear in spring. The wire cylinders protect against vole and mouse damage. Embed the bottom of each cylinder about 1 inch into the soil. Leave about 4 inches between fruits.
- Most apple trees live for 35 years and produce the best fruit between 10 and 30 years.
- Apply most fertilizers by sprinkling them evenly on the ground at the base of the tree trunks, and then water that ground well.
- Orchard's Edge
- North Carolina Cooperative Extension
- University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension: Care of Mature Backyard Apple Trees
- National Gardening Association: Food Gardening Guide -- Apple Tree Care
- University of Nebraska-Lincoln Extension: Early Spring Care for Fruit Trees
- The Old Farmer's Almanac: Apples -- How to Grow Apple Trees
Nannette Richford is an avid gardener, teacher and nature enthusiast with more than four years' experience in online writing. Richford holds a Bachelor of Science in secondary education from the University of Maine Orono and certifications in teaching 7-12 English, K-8 General Elementary and Birth to age 5.