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When Do Apple Trees Bloom? Facts & FAQs

apple tree plantation

If you have an apple tree, you’re probably wondering when it will bloom. The answer is not simple as the time can vary depending on your region, temperature, and outdoor conditions, although most apple trees bloom from mid-April to mid-May.

To know exactly when your apple tree will bloom, you need to understand the conditions and requirements that an apple tree needs to bloom.

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What Are the Conditions an Apple Tree Needs to Bloom?

Like all fruit-bearing trees, apple trees require specific conditions to bloom. Specifically, all apple tree varieties need a different amount of chilling hours during winter dormancy at a temperature between 32°F and 45°F. Without this period, an apple tree wouldn’t be able to produce buds, and therefore, it wouldn’t bloom.

After that period, apple trees also need exposure to temperatures above 40°F for a certain number of hours to begin growth in spring.

apple tree blossoming
Image By: blickpixel, Pixabay

So, When Do Apple Trees Bloom?

Apple trees start to grow in the spring after they have had enough “chill” hours. The leaves are the first to show up, and blooming begins 3 to 4 weeks after. The time of blooming of apple trees can vary from region to region, depending on the duration and time of winter and spring temperatures. This can mean that there can be a 2-week or more difference between the regions, as apples will bloom faster in warmer climates where the winter is short and warm.

USDA Hardiness Zone Average Annual Extreme Minimum Temperatures Apple Tree Blooming Time
1 Below -50°F Mid-May
2a -50°F to – 45°F
2b -45°F to -40°F
3a -40°F to -35°F
3b -35°F to -30°F
4a -30°F to -25°F Late May
4b -25°F to -20°F
5a -20°F to -15°F
5b -15°F to – 10°F
6a -10°F to -5°F
6b -5°F to 0°F
7a 0°F to 5°F
7b 5°F to 10°F  


8a 10°F to 15°F
8b 15°F to 20°F
9a 20°F to 25°F
9b 25°F to 30°F Late April
10a 30°F to 35°F
10b 35°F to 40°F
11 above 40°F

Identifying apple tree buds

Apple trees have two types of buds—fruit and leaf buds. The leaf buds turn into leaves, or they can become shoots for fruit buds in the next season, while fruit buds transform into blowers, bloom, and bear fruits.

You can determine and identify the apple tree bud type in spring when the tree gains hormones. The buds vary in size, so fruit buds will typically be plumper and larger than leaf buds.

man spraying in an apple tree orchard
Image Credit: branislavpudar, Shutterstock

Why Isn’t My Apple Tree Blooming?

Sometimes, an apple tree simply won’t bloom. Although that can be disappointing, it’s not something to worry about, but you should try to figure out why the apple tree is not blooming. Here are some of the most common issues that can prevent the blooming of an apple tree:

Reasons your apple tree isn't blooming

  • Not mature enough: Apple trees need anywhere from 2 to 10+ years to bloom, depending on their species. If your apple tree is too young, you might need to wait a couple of years before it begins blooming.
  • Not enough chill hours: If your apple tree is not getting enough chill hours in its dormant stage, it won’t bloom.
  • Too much pruning: If you prune your apple tree too much, instead of putting its energy into reproductive growth the tree will instead use up all the energy for vegetative growth.
  • Wrong location: Apple trees need full sun to reproduce and grow, so they will likely not bloom if you plant an apple tree in the shade.

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Final Thoughts

Depending on your location and the environmental circumstances in your area, you can expect your apple tree to bloom from mid-May to late April. Try to do regular winter maintenance, and prune your apple tree while the chilling season is still active to allow it to bear healthy, tasty fruits.

Featured Image Credit: Tama66, Pixabay


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