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Domestic Apple

Plant Type: Dormant, bare-root

Zones:  4-8

Soil Type:  Clay, Loamy & Sandy Soils

Site Selection: Full Sun

Mature Height & Width:  12-20' Height and 12-20' Spread

Growth Rate:  Moderate - 12-24" per year on average

Moisture Requirements: Average soils

Plant Characteristics

Domestic Apple

Malus domestica

Calling all wildlife! Seed grown, this wild apple tree grows to a height and spread of 12' to 20'. Characteristics such as size, color, taste and ripening dates will differ from tree to tree. Apples may fall from some trees in autumn, and others in winter. The Domestic Apple is a great, low cost alternative to the popular cultivars, and the wildlife love them. This is a great time to start your own wildlife orchard.

The Domestic Apple has excellent wildlife value, as many types of birds and mammals love to consume apples. In the spring, fragrant apple blossoms will please local bee populations as they collect nectar and pollen. The insects attracted to the trees will surely bring in a variety of birds. In the fall and winter, deer and other mammals will certainly appreciate the much needed food source.

  • The Domestic Apple will generally begin to bear fruit within 3 to 5 years of planting.
  • This wild apple is grown from seeds collected from canneries after processing .
  • Since these trees are not grafted, they do not exhibit specific qualities that many people are used to seeking out for their own consumption.  Some of these trees may exhibit qualities of a specific cultivated variety, and some will not.
  • Pest and disease resistance will also vary from tree to tree, as these trees have not been specifically cultivated for any specific resistance traits.

Common uses for the Domestic Apple include:

  • Wildlife food plots - whether hunting or harboring, this is a must have
  • Helps support local bee hive production
  • Apple wood is used in some smokers as a flavor additive
  • People do eat these apples - you will have to taste from each tree to find the one(s) you enjoy

The Domestic Apple has excellent wildlife value.  In spring, bees benefit from the nectar and pollen produced by its flowers.  Once apples ripen, many insects are attracted to them which in turn attracts a variety of different birds.  Whether on the tree, or once fallen to the ground, the apple feeds many forms of wildlife.  Deer, turkey, fox, fishers, porcupines, bobcats, coyotes, red squirrels and black bears enjoy eating the apples.  This is an important food source, as many apples will hang on the tree well into winter, when other food sources are otherwise scarce or covered by snow.