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Early Harvest AppleMalus x domestica

As its name suggests, this high-yielding apple tree is of the first to be ready for harvest. The golden apples are ready to be picked as early as July in some locations, with the latest harvest in September. The creamy white flesh is juicy and tart when ripe.

Early harvest apples are great for baking when picked early. If you want to enjoy them fresh, pick when ripe.

Hardiness Zones

The early harvest apple can be expected to grow in Hardiness Zones 3–8. View Map

Tree Type

This is a fruit tree, grown primarily for the edible fruit it produces.

Mature Size

The standard early harvest apple tree grows to a height of 20–25' and a spread of around 25' at maturity. The semi-dwarf variety grows to a height of 12–15' with a spread of 12–15'. The dwarf variety grows to a height of about 10' with a spread of about 10'.

Growth Speed Fast Growth Rate

This tree grows at a fast rate, with height increases of more than 24" per year.

Sun Preference

Full sun is the ideal condition for this tree, meaning it should get at least 6 hours of direct, unfiltered sunlight each day.

Soil Preference

The early harvest apple grows well in moist, well-drained soil. It is not drought-tolerant.

Attributes

This tree:
  • Produces a medium-sized yellow apple with crisp, creamy white flesh that is juicy and tart when ripe--great for baking if picked early, great for fresh eating if picked ripe. The fruit will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
  • Yields ripe fruit typically between July and September, depending on location.
  • Needs a compatible cultivar--growing within 100' of the tree for standard, 50' for semi-dwarf and 20' for dwarf varieties-- to ensure pollination.
  • Can be pollinated with Lodi, red Jonathan, red delicious or a variety from a different apple family.
  • Bears fruit in 6–10 years if standard sized. The semi-dwarf tree bears in 4–6 years, the dwarf in 3–4 years.
  • Blooms early to midseason, with white or pinkish flowers.
  • Is available in standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf sizes. Our standard early harvest seedlings are budded onto whole rootstock; our semi-dwarf seedlings are grafted onto Malling-Merton III; and our dwarf seedlings are grafted onto Malling 7A, Malling 26.
  • Requires regular watering.
  • Has a chill hours (CU) requirement of 800–1000. (Chill hours are the average hours of air temperature between 32° and 45° F in a typical winter season.)
  • Grows in an oval, spreading shape. Sometimes they are horizontal, upright or erect.

Wildlife Value

Apples are eaten by a variety of birds and mammals. The leaves and branches are browsed. The trees can be destroyed by rodents and rabbits girdling the stem or trunk. The nectar and/or pollen provides nutrition for bees in early to late spring.