growing and care

Apples have been a staple winter food for 1000s of years, long before potatoes in Ireland and Europe. Having Apples for sustaining fruit food and coppiced crabapple trees for crafts and fruit provides a huge chunk of good sustainable living.

preferred soil conditions?

Needs nutrient rich soild that drains well. Apple trees will not tolerate waterlogged soil. Mulching and manure in spring is essential for slow feed and keeping moisture in the soil consistent.

Actually, mulch through winter is essential too as apple trees do not like consistent frost and ice.

preferred light, shade and water conditions?

Apple trees need good light to blossom and fruit. They also need a lot of air circulation but need to be sheltered from strong winds such as having a buffer of hedging and other trees that are not too close to block light and air. Pollinating insects will not visit apple trees if a lot of wind circulates them.


Buds form from late February until mid March and burst into leaves quite quickly.

If any pruning is needed to be done, do this between leaf fal and before these buds form.


Blossoming time varies from variety to season conditions. Blossoms can come out from mid March until as late as mid June. This creates a pollinating challenge if the aim is to grow apple fruits.

Ideally, at least 3 different varieties of apples need to be planted nearby each other with a hope they all blossom at the same time. One of the varieties should be a wild crab apple as their blossoming time is much longer than cultivated varities. A lot of Apple tree only blossom for a week or tow, but crab Apples can blossom from 3 to 6 weeks which usually includes much or all of April.

The presence of bees is also essential for Apple pollination, so beehives among Apple trees is always a good thing. Without bees present then human hand pollination may be essential. This would be a pity though as Apples and Honey truly go together in mythology, nutrition and through celebration with mead.


Apple trees can be coppiced, though it may only be practical to coppice your crabapple stock. This can be done every 4 to 10 years to provide wood material from crafts and for fuel. Apple trees can usually be coppiced well until the root stock is 30 to 40 years old.

fruit and seeds

Apple fruits can be ready for picking any time from mid August until as late as early November. Fruiting time is varied by varieties and weather conditions. Crab Apples generally fruit from mid September until mid October. Seeds from these apples can be stratified, look up instructions, through the winter to produce new tree plants.

for the healing and nourishment qualities of Apple, please click here