There’s something so wholesome about walking into your backyard and plucking a juicy homegrown apple from your own tree! The knowledge you grew this yourself, knowing exactly when went into (and onto) your produce, is unlike anything else, and it will certainly be like nothing you’ve tasted compared to store-bought apples. The sheer variety available to home gardeners these days far surpasses what can be found in the produce aisle too!
All Apple trees have fragrant blossoms, attract pollinators galore and are tasty, healthy and plentiful! However, there are dozens of varieties of Apple Trees you can choose from, and while variety is the spice of life, it can also be overwhelming! So to help narrow down your options, and to keep you up to date with some of the newest available, Nature Hills has put our heads together with our horticulturists and combined with your reviews - created a list of the most popular Apple trees!
Apple trees can be grown for a variety of different reasons - whether you’re looking for an apple that’ll be delicious fresh off the tree or the ideal fruit for use in the kitchen. Maybe you’re looking for a tree that can do both! No matter the size of your garden or the growing zone you live in, Nature Hills offers a wide selection and is sure to carry a tree perfect for your needs!
First a quick refresher course on pollination. Most of these trees will need a partner pollinator in order to maximize productivity. So we’ll start our list with an honorable mention - the Dolgo Crabapple - which offers pollination to a wide variety of other Apple Trees!
With a long bloom period consisting of gorgeous pink buds and white flowers, the sights and smells alone of this tree will create a masterpiece in your backyard. Pair the Dolgo with any of the trees from the following list, and you’ll be set! It’s edible too! The flavor is very tart and bitter but lends itself perfectly for hard cider, pectin, canning and sauces.
To start our list, our #5 choice for Apple trees would be the Zestar Apple tree. The fruit from this tree is tart yet sweet, while the apple skin is a gorgeous deep-red color. You’ll enjoy the slight hints of brown sugar. If you’re in growing zones 3-7, you’ll get the chance to find out that the fruit off of this tree is exceptionally tasty, just pick it right off the tree and take a bite.
Recommended pollinators: Dolgo, McIntosh, Pink Pearl & Yellow Transparent
Our #4 choice for apple trees would be the McIntosh Apple tree. You’re in luck if you’re in growing zones 4-11, since the McIntosh has fruit that is so crisp and sweet, it’ll be amazing in your homemade applesauce or apple butter! This all-purpose apple is sweet-tart and juicy with just a hint of spice. Your garden will be gorgeous and your tummy will be full after you plant this tree!
Recommended Pollinators: Winesap, Arkansas Black Apple, Dolgo Crabapples, Freedom, Fuji, Granny Smith, Wolf River, Zestar
Coming in at #3 is the Pink Lady Apple tree (also known as Cripps Pink). She speaks for herself, but can we take a moment to appreciate her pretty pink blooms and iconically delicious apples? Pink Lady is a sweet-tart apple with high sugar and high acid that produces a crispy, crunchy bite and finish that will tickle the tongue. Best used for fresh eating, sauces and baking.
Recommended Pollinators: Cortland, Empire, Frostbite, Fuji, Honeycrisp, McIntosh, Pixie Crunch, & Yellow Transparent
Equally iconic, equally delectable, the Granny Smith Apple tree produces tart and flavorful fruit, absolutely perfect for your apple pies, apple crisps, tart apple juice, caramel apples; this tree truly speaks for itself! Featuring very crispy and tart flavors with a citrus kick.
Although self-fertile, you can also pair with: Fuji, Ginger Gold, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Cripps Pink, Freedom, Gala, McIntosh, & Wolf River
Without further ado, Nature Hills’ number one Apple Tree on our list is the Honeycrisp! Displaying fruits colored red and yellow, the Honeycrisp tree is able to be pruned to fit in any garden whether suburban or urban! Fantastic multi-use apple that’s incredible for fresh eating and full of flavor! Not to mention the large fruit that’s a fantastic dessert apple! Syrupy sweet-tart and very aromatic, with a mild honey flavor hence its name.
Suggested pollinators: Cripps Pink, Freedom, Fuji, Granny Smith
And there you have it, Nature Hills Top 5 most popular Apple Trees and their pollinating partners. But there are so many others that are as delicious and productive, not to mention easy care. So, head on over to NatureHills.com to see all the varieties available to be shipped right to your doorstep.
Do you have an Apple Tree as part of your landscape? Or have we convinced you to add one? Let us know which down in the comments!
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Want all of these incredible trees but space is tight? Try the Espalier Edible Grafted Apple Tree featuring 6-in-1 Apples, including 3 of the Apples mentioned above, grafted together into one space-saving showpiece!