Gravenstein Apple TreeMalus domestica 'Gravenstein'
View more from Apple Trees
30 day - ARRIVE AND THRIVE™ guaranteeLearn more
Malus domestica 'Gravenstein'
Outdoor Growing zone
The Gravenstein Apple Tree is an Heirloom variety of apple with a long history that has continued to be popular with home growers because of its outstanding flavor. It is a dual-purpose apple that will bake delicious pies as well as being a favourite for eating fresh. It is ready to harvest earlier than many other varieties and it will give you a longer season of apples if you are only growing later varieties. This is not an apple you will see in stores so it will be something special that is only available to home growers.
The Gravenstein Apple Tree is a great choice if you live in zones 4 and 5, because it is very cold-resistant. It grows well too in warmer zones up to zone 8. It should be planted in full sun, in any well-drained soil, and apples generally like sandier soils, rather than heavy clay. Use plenty of organic material when planting, and as mulch, for good growth. Some pest control is helpful when growing apples, and regular pruning is needed for the best results, including fruit-thinning for good size apples.
One of the things that make apples so popular is that they are useful not only for eating fresh but for baking. Whether you make pies, apple sauce or apple jelly, cooking with apples is so popular that having your own fruit tree producing great cooking apples is a real plus for you as well as your family. If a single tree could give you apples with outstanding flavor that you could eat fresh and also cook with, wouldn’t you want to have such a tree? With the Gravenstein Apple Tree you can have it. This apple is consistently rated among the very best for flavor, both fresh and when cooked, yet it is never available in stores so to enjoy it you need to grow your own tree.
Choosing an apple variety to grow can be tricky. Some apples do well in warm or hot areas, other need colder conditions. Gravenstein is the ideal apple for in-between regions. It does best if your winters are not too severe and your summers not too hot. If that sounds like where you live, then this is the tree for you. Of course if you live in other regions this tree is still worth growing because of its unique and special flavor and its dual use for eating and cooking. It needs to be near other apple trees for pollination, but many varieties of apple will pollinate Gravenstein. Even crab-apples will do this, so if you have other apples trees nearby you probably will not need to plant a second variety. It is an ideal variety to add to an existing collection of apple trees since it fruits best if there are several other types of apples nearby.
The Gravenstein Apple tree is hardy in zones 5, 6 and 7 which means it is very suitable for areas that are neither too hot nor too cold. Always plant your Gravenstein 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 your harvest.
The Gravenstein apple is an Heirloom variety that originated in the 18th century in Denmark. It was brought to North America by the early settlers and is often found in older gardens in the east. It has remained in cultivation because of its outstanding flavor. It is ready to harvest earlier than many other varieties but like most early apples it does not store well. However the apples ripen over several weeks, so you will have no trouble using your entire crop from this sturdy tree. It is an ideal choice if you like to do a lot of baking and preserving, since you can use all your apples and then store the food you have prepared.
Apples trees are grown by grafting a stem of the correct variety onto the root system of a special apple grown only for this purpose. 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 Gravenstein Apple and so only specialized nurseries can create these trees. Trees that do not develop strongly are sold 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.