Apple Tree Climate Requirements
Most of commercial apple tree varieties thrive in cold and wet climate, where a cold winter is followed by cool spring and summer. Abundant sunlight is necessary, as it significantly affects the color of the fruit. Generally, the apple tree has greater needs in cold than most of other deciduous fruit trees. Most popular apple tree varieties thrive in regions where the temperature rarely increases above 90°F (32 oC). Many apple farmers also make use of big fans in order to cool the apple orchard, when the temperature exceeds a certain point.
Old farmers claimed that the apple tree could only produce good yields when cultivated at a certain altitude (above 1600 ft. or 487m.) and only if the tree had experienced annually some hundreds of hours of cold (cold is defined as the temperature below 42 oF or 5,5 oC). This was partially true for the varieties that were popular at that time. However, nowadays, the resiliency and adaptability of apple tree in general combined with careful variety creation and selection have enabled growers to cultivate commercially apple trees even in Africa. Especially when cultivated in tropical climates, apple trees often produce low yields, but not because of the climate and the lack of cold. The frequent rainfalls often deteriorate the critical stage of pollination. Nonetheless, cultivating apple trees commercially in tropical climates is not easy. It requires extensive experimentation (selecting and cultivating at least 10 different varieties a year) and of course continuous optimization of pollination, irrigation, fertilization and harvesting methods.
Consequently, a prospective apple farmer shall make an extensive research regarding the variety that most closely matches the climate conditions of his/her region. An apple tree variety that thrives in Canada is definitely not suitable for Southern California and vice versa. It is still true that the most popular varieties need certain hours of cold in order to produce fruits for the next 30-40 years. You may need to discuss with other apple growers in your area about varieties that can be easily adapted to your climate.
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5.) Apple Tree Climate Conditions
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