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How Fast Do Apple Trees Grow? (Plus Tips to Encourage Growth)

How Fast Do Apple Trees Grow? (Plus Tips to Encourage Growth)

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Having an apple tree on your property could be a great way to add some charm to your yard. Not only do they look fantastic, but they also give you the chance to harvest apples.

If you take care of these trees properly, you’ll be able to enjoy fresh apples each year. Being able to make apple pies using fresh apples will certainly be appealing to those who love to bake.

Of course, you won’t be baking using your own apples too soon after planting an apple tree. It takes trees time to grow, mature, and start fruiting.

How fast do apple trees grow? Keep reading to learn more about what to expect.

Apple Tree Growth Rates

Apple tree growth rates will differ a bit depending on various factors. The first thing that you need to know is that there are different types of apple trees out there.

You’ll be able to purchase many different variations of apple trees depending on what you’re looking for. Each of these trees might have a slightly different growth rate.

This doesn’t mean that you can’t determine an average growth rate for most apple trees. Typically, a young apple tree is going to grow between 12 and 24 inches in one year.

A mature apple tree will only grow between 8 and 12 inches a year. Keep in mind that these are average numbers and that the actual growth rate of your tree could differ slightly.

How Long Does It Take Apple Trees to Bear Fruit?

You might be hoping that it won’t take too long for your new apple tree to start fruiting. No matter what type of apple tree you’ve planted, it’s going to require a little bit of patience.

Dwarf apple trees start fruiting pretty quickly. They’re able to start producing fruit approximately two or three years after being planted.

Standard apple trees are going to be a bit slower. A tree that is standard-sized can take as long as eight years to begin producing fruit.

When planting apple trees, it’s important not to expect that you’ll be able to harvest fruit within the first few years. You might be able to harvest fruit in the second year after planting if you went with a dwarf apple tree, but it’s not always going to happen that fast.

How Big Will Apple Trees Get?

The next thing that you’ll likely want to learn has to do with the maximum size of apple trees. As mentioned earlier, there are different varieties of apple trees out there.

Aside from the fact that there are different variations, you’ll also have the standard tree sizes to consider. Apple trees come in standard, semi-dwarf, and dwarf sizes.

The largest trees are the standard apple trees. Trees such as this can grow as tall as thirty to forty feet, and they’ll have a spread of thirty to forty feet as well.

Semi-dwarf trees will be the next largest and they usually grow as tall as fifteen feet. There are some semi-dwarf apple trees out there that can grow to be twenty feet tall as well.

Dwarf apple trees will be the smallest that you can plant. They usually won’t grow to be taller than ten feet.

It’s important to choose an apple tree that is the right size for your property. If you don’t have enough space in your yard for a mature standard apple tree, going with a semi-dwarf tree might be the most sensible choice.

Can You Make Apple Trees Grow More Quickly?

Is there anything that you can do to help your apple trees grow more quickly? There are things that you can do to encourage them to grow as fast as they can.

One of the most important factors to consider is the hardiness of the tree and the USDA zone that you live in. It’s imperative to pick an apple tree that is going to thrive in your yard.

Picking a tree that isn’t suited for the weather in your area will lead to poor results. Do your best to find one that is meant to grow in your specific USDA zone.

It’s also possible to help the tree out by pruning it and giving it fertilizer. Pruning helps to encourage new growth, and it keeps the apple tree looking its best.

Always take the time to get rid of damaged or dead tree limbs. It’s also wise to remove tree limbs that are growing inward toward the tree.

Experts also say that pruning approximately one-third of the new growth for the year is smart to do once the tree goes dormant. This helps to encourage greater new growth the following year.

Fertilizing helps to give apple trees the nutrients that they need to thrive. You do need to be careful not to go overboard, though.

Buy fertilizer that is specifically meant for apple trees or fruit trees. Also, you want to apply the fertilizer to the ground starting about one foot away from the tree trunk.

You then rake it out to just beyond the canopy spread. Fertilizing should be done three times each season, and you always want to follow the instructions to ensure that you’re not using too much fertilizer at once.

Finally, you should know that protecting the tree from pests will help it to grow strong. Sometimes pests such as aphids can become problematic for apple trees.

You can buy specific apple trees that are more resistant to pets if they’re a problem in your area. Otherwise, it might be best to spray your fruit trees so that pests won’t become an issue.

Buying Apple Trees That Are Already Two Years Old

Have you thought about buying an apple tree that is already two years old? This makes it possible to get to the fruiting stage sooner if that is one of your main concerns.

There are many garden centers and nurseries out there that sell trees that have been growing for a few years. If you plant a tree such as this in your yard, it won’t take quite as many years to get to where you want to be.

Slashing two years off of the time that it takes to get to the fruiting phase is nice. If you’re looking forward to eating homemade apple pie using your own apples, this is the way to go.

Remember that dwarf trees can start producing fruit faster as well. So if you buy a dwarf apple tree that has already been growing for two years, it might start producing fruit very quickly.

Pick a Fast-Growing Tree

Earlier, it was mentioned that some trees simply grow faster than others. The growth rate of apple trees differs depending on the type that you’re buying.

If you’re looking to get a tree that will grow very fast, it’s a good idea to buy one that’s known to have a fast growth rate. You should be able to get specific information about the apple tree that you’re looking into buying.

You can ask the people that work at the local nursery for advice. They might sell certain trees that have been grafted in such a way that they will grow faster and be stronger than most other apple trees.

Getting one that’s going to grow at a fairly fast rate starts before you even make the purchase. Buy a tree that you know is going to grow well so long as it is taken care of properly.

Controlling the Size of Apple Trees

It’s also possible to control the size of apple trees by pruning them. If you’re at all concerned about a standard apple tree getting a bit too wide for your yard, you’ll just need to be proactive about pruning it.

Truly, it’s good for the tree when you take the time to prune it regularly. You can prune them well enough that you can keep them pretty contained.

This doesn’t mean that it’s a good idea to buy a standard apple tree if you have very limited space in your yard, though. You still need to consider the available space before committing to purchasing a tree.

Pruning is just a simple way to keep a tree from getting too wide and encroaching on other parts of your yard. Remember that pruning standard apple trees will require getting on a ladder as they continue to grow taller.

Final Thoughts

After learning more about how fast apple trees grow, it should be easier to make an informed decision. You know that young apple trees will typically grow between 12 and 24 inches in one year.

Mature apple trees usually only grow between 8 and 12 inches in one year. You can help these trees to grow more quickly by caring for them properly, protecting them from pests, and fertilizing them when the time is right.

It takes time for apple trees to start producing fruit. Dwarf apple trees produce fruit the fastest, but they’re also the smallest apple trees that you can get.

Just be sure that you’re buying a tree that you’ll be happy with. Exercise patience because it will take time for your apple tree to start producing fruit no matter what you decide to go with.


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