How far apart to plant apple trees depends on the rootstock and the variety of the apple tree. Generally, apple trees should be planted between 10 to 25 feet apart. For example, some dwarf rootstocks may require planting as close as 8 to 10 feet apart while standard apple trees need 20-25 feet apart. Although commercial orchardists calculate this spacing differently because they want to maximize their output, backyard growers can go by the following recommendations.

But first want to solve this jigsaw puzzle and get inspired by this beautiful apple orchard and harvest painting? In fact this painting was painted by Carl Larsson, a Swedish painter who lived from 1853-1919.

How Far Apart to Plant Apple Trees?

Why is Spacing Important?

It is important to space apple trees correctly in order to ensure they develop healthy root systems and have adequate cross pollination. In fact do not plant apple trees that need to cross pollinate one another more than 100 feet apart from another so that it is easier for insects to pollinate them. Additionally, proper spacing allows for good air circulation and sunlight penetration, which can help prevent diseases and improve fruit quality. Plus once the fruit is ripe, it will be much easier for you to pick!

When planting apple trees, it is also important to consider the soil type, drainage, and the amount of sunlight and wind exposure the trees will receive. Therefore, consulting with a local nursery or horticulturist can help you determine the optimal spacing and growing conditions for apple trees in your specific area.

how far apart to plant apple tree

How Far Apart to Plant Standard Apple Trees?

Since standard apple trees grow to about 20-25 feet tall and sometimes wide, it is important to plant them about 20-25 feet apart.

how far apart to plant standard apple tree

How Far Apart to Plant Semi-Dwarf Apple Trees?

Since semi-dwarf trees grow to about 12-15 feet tall, it is important to plant them about 12-15 feet apart. Some of the common dwarf rootstock include EMLA 106, G.890, EMLA 7, and more that are shown in the graphic below.

how far apart to plant semi-dwarf apple tree

How Far Apart to Plant Dwarf Apple Trees?

You can plant dwarf apple trees about 8-10 feet apart depending on how tall the tree will get. Usually dwarf apple trees grow 8-10 feet tall and wide. Some of the common dwarf rootstock include B.9, G.11, G.41, M.9, EMLA 9, and more that are shown in the graphic below.

how far apart to plant dwarf apple tree
Apple Rootstocks

How to Plant Apple Trees?

For more detailed instruction on how to plant an apple tree, follow this article.

  1. Choose a sunny spot in your yard that is sheltered from the wind. Make sure the soil is well-draining.
  2. Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your tree.
  3. Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole. Make sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil.
  4. Backfill the hole with the soil you removed earlier and pat it down firmly.
  5. Water the tree deeply and mulch the area around the trunk in a 3-4 inch layer.
  6. Prune the branches to the desired shape and size.
  7. Feed the tree with a fertilizer designed for fruit trees.
most disease resistant apple trees

When to Plant Apple Trees?

For more detailed instruction on when to plant an apple tree, follow this article.

  • The short answer to the question of when to plant apple trees is early spring for bare root trees. The longer answer is that it depends on your climate/location and also whether the tree is bare root or containerised.
  • For bare root trees in hardiness zones 7 and below, plant when the tree is dormant and when the ground thaws, hence early spring. Depending on your region, this can be anytime between February to May. If you are planting an apple tree in a container and not bare root, you are more flexible since you’ll be planting with the soil that the roots have established themselves in. However even with a container, be careful during the winters since the ground can’t be frozen and it shouldn’t be too wet.
  • However for planting in zones 8 and above which don’t have cold winters, you can plant bare root trees in the winter and fall since the tree is dormant and doesn’t risk damage from the harsh winters. Additionally, it is easier to plant containerised trees in the winter for these zones.
when to plant
when to plant for zones 8 and above

What are some great apple varieties?

  • While there are so many unique and interesting apple trees to choose from this list of best cold hardy apple trees includes disease resistant trees that will make maintenance easy. This list includes, Freedom, Enterprise, Empire, Liberty, Pristine, Honeycrisp, and Dolgo.
freedom apple tree

How to water?

  • Water your tree with a garden hose or a watering can.
  • When you see the soil has dried out, it’s time to water deeply.
  • Moreover, water the tree slowly and evenly all around the root zone.
  • Avoid splashing the leaves with water, as this can cause fungal diseases.
  • Let the soil dry out between waterings.
  • Mulch around the base of the tree to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth.
  • Lastly, provide supplemental water during periods of drought or dry weather.

how to mulch tree
how to mulch a tree so that it doesn’t touch the bark
how to water tree

Where to buy apple trees?

You can purchase a Dolgo crabapple trees from local nurseries and garden centers, as well as online nurseries. My dad inspires me with his love for trees and his conviction that growing them is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and the ecosystem. That’s why he started to provide all types of unique trees so everyone could enjoy them accessibly and have the knowledge to grow them. Feel free to discover these trees by growing them yourself!

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