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Do Apple Trees Really Need Full Sun to Thrive?

Do Apple Trees Really Need Full Sun to Thrive?

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Apple trees are some of the most iconic and well-loved trees that you’ll find. You might be interested in planting an apple tree on your property sometime soon.

This is a great idea and you’ll surely love how the apple tree looks in your yard. However, it’s important to learn a bit about these trees before you commit to caring for one.

For example, you need to know how much sunlight these trees need. Do apple trees need full sun or can they do okay in partial shade?

Keep reading to learn all about apple trees and their requirements. You’ll learn about sun requirements as well as other important information that will help you to find success when caring for apple trees.

Apple Trees Need Full Sun

You absolutely need to plant your apple tree in a good spot where it can receive full sunlight. It’s best to find a location for the tree where the sun will shine on it directly for at least eight hours per day.

Sunlight is an important thing for fruit trees. Producing fruit is something that takes a large amount of energy.

The energy that the tree needs is provided by the sunlight. If you plant an apple tree in a spot that’s too shady, it’s not going to produce fruit nearly as well as it should.

Take the time to pick a good spot for the apple tree so you can get the best results. In some situations, you might have to move things around to create a good spot where the tree can receive direct sunlight.

If it’s impractical to do so, you might not want to plant an apple tree in your yard. When you can’t provide the tree with direct sunlight, it’s best not to plant it.

How Long Does It Take Apple Trees to Bear Fruit?

One thing you need to know is that the apple trees that you plant in your yard won’t start producing fruit right away. You’re going to have to exercise some patience before you’ll be able to harvest apples for the first time.

All types of apple trees will take a bit to start producing fruit after being planted. How long it will take will depend on the type of apple tree that you have.

Standard apple trees take a long time to start producing fruit. It’s going to take up to eight years for you to see fruit on these trees for the first time.

If you don’t want to wait that long, it might be more appealing to buy dwarf apple trees. These trees will start producing fruit much faster overall.

A dwarf apple tree will start producing fruit two or three years after being planted. For many, dwarf apple trees will be far more convenient.

When Should You Plant Apple Trees?

Planting apple trees at the right time is crucial when you want to get the best results. The time that you should plant the trees will differ depending on the type of climate that you live in.

If you’re living in a colder region, it’s best to plant apple trees in the early spring. This is going to be the safest time to get the job done.

When you’re planting apple trees in areas that don’t have harsh winters, it’s fine to plant the trees anywhere from early spring to the late days of autumn. So long as you remember this, you should be able to get good results.

You want to get the planting process right so you can help the tree thrive. There’s a good bit more to consider when planting apple trees.

Advice for Planting Apple Trees

To ensure that the apple tree does well on your property, you must put some thought into where you plant it. As mentioned earlier, these trees need eight hours of full sun each day to do well.

It’s best to find a spot in your yard that is away from other trees and structures. This should make it more likely that the sun will shine directly on the tree.

It’s also wise to test the soil before planting the tree. You want to see what the pH balance of the soil is.

Ideally, the pH balance should be between 6 and 7 for these trees. If the pH balance isn’t right, you can amend the soil.

It’s also best to ensure that the soil has proper drainage. If it doesn’t, it might become a bit of a problem.

Apple trees don’t do as well if they’re made to sit in standing water. The best scenario involves planting apple trees in loamy soil with excellent drainage.

It could be worthwhile to amend the soil and make the conditions optimal for apple trees. At the very least, you should confirm that the drainage is decent so the apple tree won’t have to deal with standing water.

Planting apple trees in a low point of the yard or near a depression is a bad idea. This can cause pockets of water and frost to form near the tree, and that has the potential to be harmful.

Ensure that there’s enough space for the apple tree, too. There should be just as much horizontal space for the tree as there is vertical space.

Learn what the maximum height of the tree is and then ensure that the horizontal space matches the maximum height of the tree. You never want to plant trees too close together because it can cause huge problems.

How to Plant the Apple Tree

When you get ready to plant the tree, you want to dig a hole that is just as deep as the root ball. The hole should be roughly twice as wide as the root ball.

To make things simple, it’s best to place the soil from the hole on a tarp. This will make it fast and easy to get the soil back in the hole once the tree is in place.

It might be beneficial to put a bit of compost in with the soil. This can help the apple tree to get more nutrients.

Use the soil from the hole and pack it around the tree once you’re ready. If the soil settles a bit, be sure to add more soil so that the tree is properly planted in the ground.

Staking the tree is likely going to be a good idea for the first few years. A wooden or metal stake can help to keep it upright.

The stake should be roughly the same height as the tree after you’ve pounded it into the ground. You want to pound the stake two feet in the ground to be safe.

Fasten the tree to the stake and everything should go fine. Just don’t use abrasive material to fasten the stake to the tree since that can cut into the bark and cause issues.

Water the Tree

Watering the tree is something that you should do when it doesn’t rain for a while. If the weather has been dry in your area, you must ensure that it receives one inch of water each week.

The growing season of an apple tree lasts from May until the end of October. You’ll need to water the tree on weeks where you don’t get at least one inch of rain.


Weeding is important for the first several years of the tree’s life. You want to weed the area around the tree to ensure that there aren’t any weeds within three feet of it.

You can make things easier by placing mulch around the tree to keep weeds at bay. Just a few inches of mulch will do.

The mulch should be kept a couple of inches away from the tree. This helps to prevent issues with fungal growth.


Pruning the trees will help them to stay healthy. You should take the time to prune dead branches.

You also want to remove any diseased or broken branches that you find. Branches that are growing downward should also be removed.

Whenever you make pruning cuts, ensure that you’re doing it close to the base of the limb. You want to prune apple trees every year.

Do this during the late days of winter when things aren’t quite so cold. You could also wait until the first days of spring to prune the trees.

Final Thoughts

You’ve now learned more about apple trees. This should allow you to have a good experience caring for them.

Apple trees do require full sun to be able to thrive. Producing fruit requires a lot of energy, and direct sunlight will provide apple trees with that energy.

These trees need eight hours of direct sunlight each day. Ensure that you plant the apple tree in an appropriate spot in your yard.

Do your best to take care of the tree. Plant it in soil that drains properly and avoid putting it in a spot where water pools.

Prune the tree each year and you’ll definitely keep it looking nice and healthy. It will take several years for the tree to start producing fruit, but you’ll be able to harvest the fruit when the time is right.


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