How Long Do Apple Trees Live? History, Lifespan & Types
As the saying goes, “an apple a day keeps the doctor away.” Apples have been a part of human history for thousands of years. So, what makes them so special? In this article, we will look at apples, specifically how long apple trees live, which is between 15–50 years.
Apples are an incredibly nutritious fruit rich in fiber and antioxidants that are associated with reducing the risk of certain health issues, including heart disease, diabetes, cancer, gut health, weight loss, and brain health.
In this article, we will look at apples and answer the question about their life span, including what increases their longevity. Let’s dig in!
History of the Apple
An apple is a fruit of the apple tree (Malus domestica) and can be cultivated worldwide. It comes in all varieties, shapes, sizes, colors, and flavors and packs a punch in terms of nutrients.
The apple fruit can be traced back to Kazakhstan, Central Asia, and east of the Caspian Sea. By 1500 BC, apple seeds had been taken throughout Europe and the Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans had started cultivating them.
The early centuries of the Christian era can be attributed to transporting apples to the British Isles, and several varieties thrived in England.
By 1300 BC, Egyptians had started cultivating orchards with apples along the Nile Delta, and by 800 BC, ancient Greeks had learned grafting techniques and were cultivating apples. By 200 BC, ancient Romans had started planting apples brought to Mexico and South America by Spaniards in the 1500s–1600s.
The Lifespan of an Apple Tree
A typical apple tree’s average life span is between 25–50 years. Large, healthy trees with excellent root systems may last for as long as 100 years. The smaller, spindly trees mainly grown in overcrowded orchards will be lucky to hit the 15-year mark. These trees are mainly of dwarf varieties. The main difference between dwarf and ornamental trees is the root system of normal trees, which are much larger and stronger.
Average Lifespan for Popular Apple Trees
Apple Tree Variety
Average Life Span
Factors Affecting the Lifespan of an Apple Tree
The lifespan of an apple tree will depend on a couple of factors, which include:
The Type of Soil
Good soil will influence the root system. Coupled with the right climate, you will get a healthy tree that will last a long time.
The best soil for apple trees is rich, loamy, and organic soil. The best climate is in US growing zones 4–7.
Different Varieties of Apple Trees and Their Growth Rate
There are hundreds of different apple tree species around the world and choosing the right type for you may be a challenge. When selecting the type of tree you want to plant, you need to consider a couple of factors. One of the primary factors is the particular environment you want to plant it in.
Another factor is the pace at which the tree will grow. Some trees will produce apples faster than others. Note that apples need cross-pollination to bear fruit, meaning you need a partner plant to work with.
How Long Does It Take for an Apple Tree to Bear Fruit?
On average, most apple trees will take 5–10 years to bear fruit. On the other hand, the dwarf varieties of apple trees will take between 2–3 years to start bearing fruit. However, they also live a third of the time most normal apple trees live.
How Can You Increase Apple Tree Productivity?
As you can see, apple trees can survive for a very long time, provided that all conditions such as the sunlight and watering needs are met. The different varieties will mature at different times, depending on the growing zone. As you choose the ideal variety to plant, note that those that mature faster will also have a shorter lifespan.
Featured Image Credit: Hans, Pixabay