Apple Tree Help

Asked October 17, 2019, 9:10 AM EDT

Hi! I promised my three year old an apple tree if she helped with all of the weeding and lawn care throughout the year. I didn't think she was going to come through but she did. Even on days that I didn't want to go outside to do yard work -- she did. So I now have to keep my end of the bargain. I have no idea where to start. I read that you need two apple trees for pollination purposes? I don't know if we have room for two trees. I don't even know what kind of apple trees grow around here. When do you plant apple trees? I am reading conflicting information about this -- some say early spring, others say fall. What kind of species of trees are self-pollinating but sturdy to survive the weather here AND provide soft, juicy apples. They don't have to be gigantic apples either. I need to be directed in the right direction with RELIABLE information because the internet is full of opinions these days and not all of them seem right.

Calvert County Maryland

1 Response

We recommend planting in the early spring. The goal of Extension is to get reliable, research-based information out to the public.

Apple trees rarely fruit well unless there is cross-pollination, however Golden delicious can. Unfortunately, it is susceptible to a lot of diseases and will require spraying with pesticides on a regular spray schedule.

Liberty is a new variety that is self-fertile AND highly disease resistant. That means you may be able to avoid spraying, or at least most of the time. It will fruit better, however, if there is another apple tree nearby, but a crabapple tree that blooms at the same time will also work. Crabapple trees are a lot more common in home landscapes, so there is a better chance that there will be one near you.

Here is our webpage on apples: https://extension.umd.edu/hgic/topics/apples It should answer your questions and get you going on the right path.
(The search box on our website is very helpful.)

Ellen