Apples are rightly popular as a fruit to eat right from the hand. The Granny Smith apple has a juicy crunch and a tart flavor that makes it one of the very best eating apples available if you prefer an apple that is not so sweet. Granny Smith is also a versatile apple that is perfect for cooking as it keeps it shape and also for salads as slices are slow to turn brown. This is such a good cooking apple that even if you find it a little too tart to eat fresh you should grow a tree just for cooking. It also stores well for at least three months, so no matter how big your crop, nothing will go to waste. If you only grow one apple tree Granny Smith has to be the one. Incredibly, it can be, since this is also one of the very rare types of apples that don’t need a second variety to pollinate its flowers. It will carry a good crop even when grown alone.
Granny Smith is a perfect apple for warmer regions, since it only need 600 chilling hours. This is the amount of time below 450F that is needed to ripen the buds so that spring growth is vigorous and comes at the correct time. This means that the Granny Smith apple is a perfect choice in zones 8 and 9, as well as growing well in zones 6 and 7. If you live in zone 5 you can also grow this apple, but you may find it does not ripen well and so it would be a good cooking apple but not such a good one for eating. We would recommend a Gala Apple tree if you live in cooler areas as it too will produce a good crop even when it is grown without another apple variety nearby.
The Granny Smith apple is late to develop and may not be ready until the leaves fall. This means you will have a great store of apples to use during the winter months. In warm areas like California it can be left on the tree all winter and will gradually become sweeter and sweeter
Always plant your Granny Smith Apple tree in a sunny location. It will grow best in a well-drained soil and prefer a slightly sandy soil to one with a lot of clay. If you have clay soil, add plenty of rich organic material to it and grow your tree on a raised mound to give better drainage. Like all apples this tree may be attacked by several pests and diseases, but there are both organic and traditional methods available to control them so you can choose which method suits you best. You will know exactly what has been done to your trees when you bring in the crop for your family to eat.
The Granny Smith apple has been around for so long it qualifies as an Heirloom variety. The story is that a certain Maria Smith, who was a farmer in Sydney, Australia in the 1860’s, found a seedling apple tree growing in her compost heap. She kept the tree and found it wonderful for eating and cooking. She named her new apple ‘Granny Smith’ and was responsible for encouraging growers to plant it, so that within a hundred years it was one of the most widely grown apples and what came to mind when most people thought ‘apple’. Even the Beatles chose it for the logo of their Apple record label.
Apples trees are grown by grafting a stem of the correct variety onto the root system of a special apple grown only to make the roots of your tree. This is a skilled operation and must be done by experts. It is also very important that the tree used for the grafted stems really is a true Granny Smith Apple and so only specialized nurseries can create these trees. Trees that do not develop strongly are sold-off cheaply, so beware of buying cheap trees which will not become sturdy and healthy apple trees.
When planting you tree, prepare the soil well with rich organic material. Dig a hole three times as wide as the pot. If you are planting in winter shake the soil from the roots and spread them out evenly around the hole. If you are planting a tree in leaf, make a cut an inch deep with a sharp knife from top to bottom of the root-ball at 3 or 4 places around the roots. This will encourage new roots to spread out from the tree. Replace most of the soil, keeping your tree at the same depth it was in the pot. Do not cover the ‘kink’ you will see low down on the trunk which was where the tree was grafted. Fill the hole with water and when it has drained away replace the rest of the soil. Apply mulch over the root-zone, leaving the area against the trunk free of the mulch. Keep your tree well watered especially during the summer months.
Apple trees need pruning and training from the beginning of their life with you. Plan to develop a tree with a central stem and side branches radiating out almost horizontally. Use string tied to stones to pull the branches down while they are young. Upright branches can easily break when the trees are older and your tree will be damaged, so start training early. It only takes a little time. Older trees should be trimmed to control their height.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.