How Good is Apple Fruit?

Travis Schoenborn

December 11, 2022

Apple Fruit

Whether you are looking to grow apple trees as a hobby or as a business, you need to consider the profitability of your apples. Many variables contribute to the cost of producing and selling apples. Among them are soil, time, and the cost of production.

Apple Fruit – Production in the United States

Approximately 26,000 apple farmers produce fruit commercially in the United States. They plant an average of roughly 300 trees per acre. The United States ranks behind China and Poland in apple production.

The U.S. Apple sector is experiencing rapid growth in the demand for new varieties of Apple. Some of the top types produced in the United States are Honeycrisp, Granny Smith, Red Delicious, and Fuji.

The 2022-2023 apple crop in the United States is expected to be 255 million bushels. This is down from last year’s 272.7 million bushels and 3.5% from the five-year average.

The top-producing apple state in the United States is Washington. The state’s apple crop is expected to be down 4% from the previous season. The harvest is also expected to be smaller because of a cold, long spring.

Cost of producing apples for direct markets

During the past few years, the United States has seen a decline in apple production. The industry has faced increasing competition from foreign producers such as Brazil, Chile, and South Africa. Some factors, including the bruised fruit syndrome, have lowered its prices. In addition, the demand for organic apples has grown.

Despite these challenges, the U.S. is the second largest apple producer in the world, behind China. The United States grows 200 different varieties, many of which are unique. They include Gala, Fuji, and Honeycrisp. In terms of volume, Gala and Fuji are the most productive. However, they have a relatively small market share.

For instance, it’s common to find apples in roadside stands or farmer’s markets throughout the northeastern U.S., especially in Pennsylvania. Some states, like California, are known for their extensive commercial apple acreage. The state’s apple crop is worth over $433 million.

Apple Fruit – Soil affects apple tree growth

Choosing the best soil for your apple tree can significantly affect its growth and fruit production. Some of the best soil types for growing apples are sandy or loam. These soils allow good drainage and allow the roots to breathe.

You will need to amend the soil before you plant your apple tree. You will need to add a small amount of organic material such as compost, aged wood chips, peat moss, or manure. These materials will work to increase the number of bacteria and microorganisms in the soil. They will also help the apple tree retain water and moisture.

The best time to fertilize your apple tree is in the spring. You will need to work the amendments into the top 6 inches of soil. It would help if you also spread these amendments at least 2 feet from the trunk. Then you can mulch the tree with wood chips or straw. This will help keep weeds down and prevent moisture from evaporating in the summer.

Common pests and diseases of apples

Various pests and diseases of apples are known to affect apple trees. They may damage the leaves, fruit, or limbs of the tree. Some problems, such as nematodes, can also spread viruses that affect the fruit. These diseases may be prevented by using resistant cultivars, preventing nematodes from spreading, choosing moderately resistant rootstock, and removing infected soil.

One of the most common pests and diseases of apples is cedar-apple rust. This fungus produces bright-orange spore horns on the leaves and branches of the apple tree. It is a fungus that requires two hosts to complete its life cycle.

Another common apple disease is fire blight, caused by the bacteria Erwinia amylovora. The fungus attacks young shoots and fruits. It can be controlled with a sulfur spray or a fungicide such as phosmet (Indian).

Another fungus is powdery mildew. It causes satisfactory white growth on leaves, blossom buds, and immature twigs. It overwinters as mycelium in dormant buds.

The time it takes to produce an apple

Having your apple tree in your backyard is a boon for the local foodie and economy, but how long will it take before you start eating your produce? You will likely not have to wait that long. A thriving apple tree can churn out a few pounds of fruit each year, with a yield that can be used to stock your fridge. It is well worth the effort if you have the space and the inclination. Buying a tree from a local nursery is an easy way to go about it. Purchasing a tree that has been grown from seed is more time-consuming. It will take up to 10 years before you start seeing your fruit, but in the end, you will be rewarded with fresh-tasting tasting apples from start to finish.