Growing Apple Trees: Tips at a Glance
Apple trees can delight onlookers as much with their snowy spring flowers as with fruit. Thousands of varieties are grown, for ornamental value or their fruit; read our curated guide to pick the right tree for your garden.
- Type Fruit tree
- Lifespan 100 years
- USDA Zones 3-9
- Light Full sun
- Crown Spreading canopy
- Location Avoid frost pockets
- Design Tip Easy to espalier
- Other Uses Container plant
- Peak Bloom Spring
Apple Trees: A Field Guide
Their gnarly shape makes apple trees a beautiful landscape element, and their snowy flowers are some of spring’s prettiest. Plant in a warm spot to prevent frost from killing the blossoms.
Thousands of varieties of apple trees are grown worldwide, some for their ornamental value and others for fruit. Orchard apple trees (Malus x domestica) range in size from dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties well suited to home gardens to rare 45-foot-tall specimens (recorded in both Europe and the United States). Their hardiness varies by cultivar, enabling apple trees to thrive in USDA zones 3 to 9.
Flowering crabapple trees also belong to the Malus genus. With dozens of species and hundreds of hybrids and cultivars, crabapple trees in full flower are a breathtaking sight in spring. “Unlike their rival, the fussy ornamental cherry, crabapple’s spring petals are given a framing boost by emerging foliage,” writes our contributor Marie Viljoen. See more in our curated guide to Crabapple Trees: A Field Guide to Planting, Care & Design.