Although common apple trees are considered at home in an orchard, there is no reason they can't also be used in the landscape. They offer a pleasing form and colorful flowers, not to mention colorful and edible fruit.
Description of common apple: The apple is a small to medium (l5 to 40 feet tall) round-topped tree with a short, often crooked, trunk and spreading branches. The ovate, tooth-edged, deciduous leaves are green, sometimes offering moderate fall color. Its numerous white spring flowers -- often flushed with pink -- are followed, in the case of the species itself, by small yellow or red fruit. Cultivated varieties, of course, include all the forms and colors of apples we know today.
How to grow common apple: Apples need full sun to light shade to do well. They tolerate most soil conditions except extreme wetness. Prune to develop strong branches and to open the center for better light penetration. Most are strongly susceptible to various diseases and insect pests. Apples need a certain number of cool nights during the winter in order to bloom, so they perform poorly in warm climates. Many apple trees sold today are grown on dwarfing root-stocks.
Uses for common apple: Apples make attractive, ornamental flowering and fruiting trees. They are suited to medium-size yards and larger. Dwarf apples can suit smaller yards. Apples also make good choices for espalier.
Common apple related varieties: There are literally hundreds of varieties to choose from. Check with your local Cooperative Extension office for recommendations as to disease-resistant varieties well adapted to your climate.
Scientific name for common apple: Malus pumila
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