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Do Apple Trees Have a Lifespan?

Do Apple Trees Have a Lifespan?

There are over 7,000 different types of apple trees found all over the world. With so many types, that means there can be lots of variations in fruit product, tree height, and overall life span when it comes to apple trees.

Yes, apple trees have a life span, just like all living organisms. The life span of an apple tree is about 35 to 45 years. This is what is expected given healthy conditions and other environmental factors. However, with so many varieties of apple trees, the oldest variety can live up to 100 years.

If you’re wondering how long your apple trees might survive, there are a number of factors that contribute to the life span of apple trees. Some of these include climate, pests, and disease. Let’s look into some of these things when considering the life span of an apple tree.

How Long Do Apple Trees Produce Fruit?

Again, depending on the tree’s health and the care it is given, apple trees bear fruit for about 10 to 30 years. Apple trees are deciduous, meaning their leaves fall off, and they go into hibernation during the cold winter months. However, every spring, they come back ready to grow again. Even when a tree is past its time for producing fruit, it can live much longer after that.

When Do Apple Trees Start Producing Fruit?

Do not expect your newly planted apple trees to bear fruit immediately. For many varieties, it can take 4 to 6 years before they start producing. And it may be a few years after that before they begin bearing fruit to their full strength and ability. Dwarf trees take less time, about 2 or 3 years. And if you’re planting apple seeds directly, it can take up to 10 years before you begin to see fruit.

What Factors Affect a Tree’s Life Span?

The health of apple trees depends on the nutrients in the soil, water, sunlight exposure, and pests, to name a few. Diseases can kill off an apple tree early, and environmental factors like storms or natural disasters can end the life span prematurely.

Soil and Watering

Nutrient-rich soil will go a long way in keeping your apple trees happy and strong. You can use compost of your own making or store-bought chemical compost. Regular watering, especially in the beginning, is important to help the tree absorb the nutrients. Beware of overwatering and yellowing of leaves. But keep the tree growing and happy in those early years with nutrients and water.


Six hours a day of direct sunlight will go a long way in extending your apple tree’s life span. The sunlight also provides nutrients like the soil. Generally speaking, the more sunlight the tree receives, the more fruit it will produce.

Pests and Diseases

Pests will eat tree roots as well as eat the fruit right off the tree. Pesticides will be helpful in protecting your tree from this invasion. Diseases can be just as bad, if not worse. Trees might stop growing due to diseases attacking them. You can buy fungicides to control any issues that might arise. Regular pruning can also help to ward off disease early on.

Weather and Climate

Lastly, we’ll look at the effect of weather and climate on an apple tree. In some southern areas of Russia, for instance, you will find trees growing much longer than in the harsher northern regions. The extreme frost and long winters make it hard for trees to stay alive.

Like the cold, storms and other natural disasters might shorten the life of these trees. Limbs or leaves might be torn off, and fruit ripped from the branches. In a few months, these trees can heal again, but they can also cause permanent damage.

What is the Oldest Apple Tree on Record?

In Vancouver, Washington, an apple tree was planted from seed in the year 1826. Just recently, it died in June of 2020. It lived nearly 200 years! Of course, it was suffering from disease and such in its later years. The main trunk is gone, but the roots are still healthy and producing new saplings.


Apple trees have a life span of about 35 to 45 years, with some varieties reaching up to 100 years. Additionally, the years of fruit producing depends on the type of tree, whether standard or dwarf, potted or planted, and the climate it is placed in.

It may produce fruit for about 10 to 30 years of its lifetime. Though these numbers can be impressive, there are many factors to consider in the tree’s health along the way.