Apples come in many flavors, and different levels of sweetness. If you like an eating apple that has the perfect balance between a crisp, tangy beginning, and an aromatic, sweet end, then Pink Lady is the apple for you. The idea of growing your own apples may seem difficult, but in fact apples are among the easiest of fruit trees to grow, and they are so popular with everyone that growing one in your own yard just makes sense.
You will harvest delicious tree-ripened fruit for weeks on end, enough to feed your family and your friends, and those you don’t eat fresh can be turned into delicious baked goods and preserves to eat through the rest of the year. As well, Apple Trees are beautiful in bloom, smothered in clusters of white and pink flowers, and the thrill of watching them develop from tiny, green balls to big, red juicy apples is something everyone should experience. Children love to eat produce from home, and the Pink Lady apple will be an instant favorite.
Growing Pink Lady Apple Trees
The Pink Lady Apple is a small tree that grows between 12 and 15 feet tall, and the same wide. It can be grown as a free-standing tree, or trained on a wall or trellis to take up almost no space. So even if you have a very small garden, your own apples can be a reality. In spring the bare branches will be covered in dense clusters of small white and pink flowers. As the petals drop and the new leaves emerge, you will see tiny green apples developing. Over summer these swell and swell, until they begin to turn yellow in fall.
By late fall the apples will be pink, with deeper red areas on the sunny side of the fruit, and ready to pick. This is one of the latest apples to be ready for harvesting, and it stores for an incredible 3 months, so even the biggest crop is easy to use with no waste. The flesh is white, crisp and crunchy, but not hard. The taste is triple-A, starting with a tart acidity, and quickly becoming sweet and aromatic. This is definitely one of the best eating apples available, yet it also holds it shape in pies, and it does not turn brown quickly, so slices remain appetizing on the table or in salads.
When deciding where to plant your tree, choose a sunny location and make sure it has well-drained soil. For the first year make sure you water it regularly, and then during dry periods. You will get the best crops if you follow a suitable fertilizer program and keep the area beneath the tree free of grass or weeds until it is mature. To get a good crop you need to have other Apple Trees in the neighborhood, or plant another variety. We recommend our Red Delicious Apple Tree as an ideal companion, and both trees will produce bumper harvests if they are planted near each other.
Care and Maintenance
Prune your tree in late winter while it is dormant. Remove over-crowded branches and keep one central branch growing up. Cut the ends of the remaining branches just above an outward-facing bud to encourage the side branches to grow out at a good angle. Keep the tree open and shaped like a pyramid and don’t just clip it into a dense shape. If you have a heavy crop of apples, remove some so that the remaining fruits grow to a good size.
Do this when the fruit is about the size of a quarter, and remove all but one apple from each cluster. Allow 6 to 8 inches between each fruit along the branches. This may seem like you are reducing your harvest, but you will get the same amount, just as large, juicy apples, instead of small ones that are all core.
History and Origins of the Pink Lady Apple Tree
The Pink Lady Apple was developed in Western Australia by John Cripps, a breeder in a government fruit-breeding program. It is a cross between the famous Golden Delicious variety and another variety of apple called Lady Williams. Hybrid trees like the Pink Lady must be reproduced carefully, using buds taken from the correct tree and attaching it to roots of special trees developed to control the size and vigor of the tree. They can never be grown from seed, and cheap seedling apples trees can be guaranteed to have no value at all, with inferior fruit produced only after a decade or more of growth. Your Pink Lady Apple will begin to bear fruit within 2 years of planting, and it will have bumper crops within 5 years.