3 Tips for Planting your Own Apple Trees

May 1, 2024 | Farming and Plant Care

If you’re dreaming of fresh, crisp apples from your own backyard, there’s some preparation needed before those first tree seedlings go into the ground. We can offer a few tips to help you get started!


The first tip that we can offer is that sunlight is crucial for apple trees. They flourish in full sun, meaning a minimum of 8 hours of direct sunlight every day. Scout out a spacious spot in your yard with minimal shade. Consider how shadows from buildings or other large plants might change throughout the day and seasons.


Our second tip is to prioritize healthy soil! The soil serves as the foundation for any thriving tree, and this is especially true for apple trees. Before purchasing and planting, it’s crucial to assess your soil’s condition. The most accurate way to determine nutrient levels, pH (apple trees thrive in slightly acidic soil between 6.0-6.8), and overall composition is through laboratory soil testing. 

Your local extension office is an excellent resource; they can provide guidance on how to collect a proper soil sample and submit it for testing. Each state maintains an extension office, so don’t hesitate to contact yours! By testing your soil beforehand, you’ll know if any adjustments are necessary, giving you plenty of time to prepare the perfect environment for your future apple trees.

Once you’ve sent off your sample, you’ll soon receive a report on the condition of your soil! In this report you will also find tips on how to take care of any deficiencies. This is the ideal way to make sure you’re taking the best care of your trees!


Third, remember that apple trees need a partner for pollination!  You’ll need at least two different varieties that bloom around the same time for the best fruit production.  Select compatible varieties and check recommended planting distances.


Some other factors you may want to consider: 

  • Mature Size: Research how big your chosen varieties will get. Semi-dwarf and dwarf apple trees are great for smaller yards.
  • Chill Hours: Each apple variety needs a specific amount of winter cold. Choose trees that match your climate zone.

By taking these steps, you’ll ensure your apple trees get the best possible start, setting the stage for years of delicious, homegrown harvests!