Friday, January 14, 2011

Fuji Apple

What?!  Apples in Tucson?  Yes it's real and I can personally share my experiences about this incredible tree.  I thought most apple trees could only grow in Willcox or in the foothills of our mountain chains.  Turns out that I was wrong!  I put this plant into the ground bareroot and it turned out to be one of the most shocking events this year.  Not only did it grow, but it flourished during the summer heat and survived our extreme freeze! 
I did not get any fruit off the trees this year and probably won't next year as it takes awhile for young apple trees to set fruit.  It did however grow with branches full of leaves.  Apparently, many people have apple trees in their yards here in Tucson, but I haven't seen any.  Again, I think the trees are hidden behind enclosed walls away from the general public. Another thing that you should know about fruit trees is that you can purchase many of these trees in their dwarf or ultra dwarf varieties.  I hear people say that they wish they could grow more fruit trees in their yards. So even if you can't fit a large tree onto your property, you can still have one in a pot or in an area with limited space!  What's better is that you'll still get a great crop of fruit from these trees! Now you have no excuse:)

I give this tree an 8 of out of 10 for the beginning gardener because I think for an apple tree to be successful here, you have to plant it in the right spot.  The tree should be protected from intense afternoon sun during the summer, but it does need sun to do well.  You just need to make sure you put it in the right spot which can be tricky.  Here's what I did, I planted a dwarf fuji apple near a mesquite....not under it or close to it but near it:) The canopy of the mesquite reaches far enough to provide afternoon shade for this smaller tree. The sun then filters through the mesquite's fernlike leaves and doesn't burn the apple leaves.  Here are the cold facts.....
They need 300-400 chill hours.
 Fuji apple trees bloom in mid- to late spring and can be planted with other mid- to late season bloomers, such as Gala and Goldrush varieties, for pollination.
Cultivate the soil to a depth of 15 to 18 inches and add organic material, such as compost. Plant trees with the graft line 2 inches above the soil.

Feed Fuji apple trees in early spring before new growth appears with a 12-12-12 fertilizer after the first year. Apply the fertilizer under the spread of the branches. Avoid high nitrogen fertilizers.

There you have it! It's possible that something from the North can grow here in Tucson!!  There are more fruit trees to talk about so until next time, happy gardening!!!


  1. One last comment about the dwarf and ultra dwarf varieties. The instructions like to state that the tree will get to be 8 feet tall at maximum height, but plan on 12-15....or that's what several of my reputable gardener friends have told me. We'll see what happens with this tree over the next year.

  2. The title brought me here. Sometimes my kids call me by this name. I grow several fruit trees. The ones in flower right now are longan and lemon. I have mango, papaya and dragon fruits too. I would love to grow Fuji Apple but don't think it is possible. With the climate change, who knows what will happen next.


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