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Planting Apple Trees – 3 Great Backyard Varieties To Plant This Fall!

Fall is the perfect time for planting, especially when it comes to planting apple trees!

planting apple trees
When it comes to planting apple trees, the Gala is one of our favorites!

Apple trees really are the ultimate tree for the backyard. Not only do they look beautiful and provide shade, they can also provide 25 years or more of fruit for you and your family. Fruit that can make some pretty amazing homemade goods, like applesauce, apple butter, apple pie. (See : OWG Easy Apple Butter Recipe)

And that’s not even counting the simple pleasure of biting into a crisp ripe apple plucked straight from the tree!

A lot of folks shy away from planting apple trees in their yards, thinking they grow too big or take too much care. But with many dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties, you can fit a few apple trees in the tightest of spaces.

Planting apple trees in the fall allows just enough time for their roots to become established before winter. The cool fall air lets trees become accustomed to the soil, without the sweltering heat and stress of summer.

By next spring, they will be ready to take off and be on their way!  We have listed 3 incredible varieties below that are tops among our backyard favorites. For more info on planting, be sure to see our article : How To Plant Apple Trees In The Fall 

Planting Apple Trees – 3 Great Backyard Varieties!

Arkansas Black  

planting apple trees
Our Arkansas Black apples are just starting to turn

To be completely honest, we had never heard of this variety until planting it in our own backyard 6 years ago. But what an apple tree! The tree has a very tight and compact nature, and the limbs stay in a near perfect upright position. The smaller size of both the dwarf and semi-dwarf varieties make them great for smaller sized yards.

And then there are the apples, which turn to a gorgeous deep reddish-crimson color. The Arkansas Black gets is name because the apples take on a near black-like appearance as they mature.

They are great for baking, and also good for juice, cider and apple butter. Even better, they store extremely well. The Arkansas Black is considered a self-pollinating tree, meaning they do not have to have other apple trees around to pollinate. With that said, they do perform even better when there is a second pollinator. They work well with Jonathon or Golden Delicious.

Semi dwarf varieties grow about 15′ tall and wide, while the dwarf varieties grow about 10′ tall and wide. The Arkansas Black is hardy in Growing Zones 4-8.

The Gala 

When it comes to baking apple pies, apple crisp and apple turnovers, you simply can’t beat the Gala.

The Gala, much like the Arkansas Black, is a beautiful addition to the landscape with it’s full foliage and fast growing nature. The tree is a renowned heavy producer of large, crisp apples that also are also perfect for snacking.

Gala apples also store well, and in the right conditions can be kept for up to 6 months. 

The Gala is another variety that is partially self-pollinating. But for better production they do well when planted near white crab apple or McIntosh.

The Gala Apple tree is hardy in Growing Zones 5 through 8. Semi dwarf varieties grow 12 to 15′ wide and high, while dwarf gala trees grow 8 to 10′ wide and tall.  Gala Apple Tree Product Link

Honeycrisp Apple

When it comes to planting apple trees, the Honeycrisp variety is one of the hottest sellers! This apple has quickly become everyone’s favorite, and with great reason. The apples are sweet, firm, juicy, and simply delicious!

planting apple trees
The beauty of the Honeycrisp apple

The tree itself is a beauty, growing quickly into a shade provider that tops out around 15 to 20′ wide and tall. The tree prefers full sun, making it an excellent choice for those wide open areas of your yard.

Honeycrisp apples ripen to a yellowish color with faint reddish hues in September. They are simply one of the best eating apples around.  

The Honeycrisp is another partially self pollinating tree like the Black Arkansas and Gala, but will perform best when planted near a pollinating partner such as the Gala, McIntosh or Granny Smith.

The Honeycrisp tree is hardy in Growing Zones 3 through 8. Semi dwarf varieties grow 15 to 20′ wide and high. Honeycrisp Tree Product Link

So get those trees ready and get planting this fall so you can enjoy home-grown apples for years to come!

Happy Apple Tree Planting – Jim and Mary  If you would like to receive our DIY, Gardening and Recipe articles each week, you can sign up via email at the very bottom of this post. You can also like and follow us on FacebookTwitter or Instagram to receive all of our latest tips and articles. This article may contain affiliate links.