Apple Tree Lifespan – How Old Do Apple Trees Live?

Apple trees live for 30-50 years on average. Some of them survive more than that and live up to 80 years or so.

Apple Tree Lifespan


If you are thinking of planting apple trees in your home garden or farm, this one is for you. Are you not sure about how to care for apples or basically how long do apple trees live? No matter what your concerns are, in this article you will learn all about the lifespan of different apple tree types.


You will be able to learn how many years you can enjoy the apple tree shade and luscious fruits.


In general, most apple tree cultivars have a long lifespan of three to five decades when they are well cared for. Basically, there are many factors that contribute to the healthy growth of any tree. It includes direct sunlight, proper nutrients, regular watering, type of soil, pruning, suitable climate and much more.


Apple Tree Lifespan – How Old Does It Get?

Apple Tree Lifespan
On average, apple tree varieties can have a long and healthy lifespan varying from 30 to 50 years. Sometimes, but only sometimes it can go up to 80 years. However, it can change based on how healthy and well-cared your apple tree is.


The apple trees that are well-established, healthy and have a sturdy root structure can thrive for a few more decades as stated above.


On the other hand, smaller varieties of apple trees are spindly with a weak root system. Thus, the dwarf and decorative cultivars of apple trees are not able to survive for many years.


How Long Do Dwarf Apple Trees Live?

Dwarf Apple Trees Live


Normally, dwarf apple trees can thrive for about 1/3rd to 1/2 the longevity of apple trees.

The standard longevity of dwarf apple trees depends on the type you are planning to grow in your garden or yard.


In comparison to larger varieties of apple trees, most dwarf species are only able to live for 15 years. This is prominent because unlike taller species, dwarf trees and decorative apple trees like cordons, do not have a much wider and deeply spread root system.

Apple Varieties: How Long Do Apple Trees Live From Different Types?

Apple Varieties


There are multiple varieties of apple trees with different lifespans. So, it’s true that planting apple trees in your backyard can be really rewarding. But it is only possible if you have good knowledge about how long different apple tree species live. Check it out.


Variety Lifespan
Honeycrisp 35 to 45 years
Red Delicious 35 to 50 years
Anna 15 to 50 years
Red Jonathan 25 to 50 years
Granny smith 25 to 50 years
Lodi 15 to 50 years
Gala 35 to 100 years
Fuji 35 to 50 years
Arkansas Black 25 to 50 years
Empire 20 to 30 years
Pink Lady 25 to 50 years
Rome 35 to 45 years
McIntosh 30 to 45 years
Golden Delicious 40 to 50 years
Braeburn 35 to 45 years
Crabapple 15 to 30 years

Note* These are just average approximations, and how long can apple trees live actually may slightly vary from this.

How Can You Tell How Old An Apple Tree Is?

You can tell the approx. age of an apple tree if you know what variety it is and at what age does it starts to bear fruits.


For example, full-size apple trees can start bearing sweet fruits within four to eight years after being planted. Dwarf apple trees produce fruit as early as two years of being planted.

However, if you plant an apple tree from seed, it will take 5 to 10 years to produce fruits.


Once you see fruit production, you can have an idea that the tree is at least these many years old.


What Is The Oldest Living Apple Tree?

The oldest living apple tree is found in the pacific northwest. It was first planted there in 1827. On Januray, 2021, the offspring of this apple tree has been planted again.


This includes eight trees rootstock using the original apple tree. Additionally, there were nine suckers taken directly from the old apple tree to produce delicious fruits.


What Is The Lifespan Of An Apple Fruit?

Lifespan Of An Apple Fruit


The average apple tree life expectancy is about 30 years but the fruit can remain good to eat over the counter for about a week only. However, you can store the fruit in the refrigerator and freezer for a longer duration.

Do Old Apple Trees Stop Producing Fruits?

Apple trees can produce fruits for up to 40 years or so, provided the apple tree gets good care. If you stop caring for your old apple tree it will certainly stop bearing fruits. However, the good news is that you can revive an old apple tree and encourage it to produce sweet and delicious fruits by regular care and pruning.
Most house owners know this method as renovation. Take care that your tree is timely pruned and fed with plentiful sunlight, ample amount of water and high-quality fertilizer suited for apple fruit tree. This enhances apple tree lifespan and fruit production capacity.
Related: When to Fertilize Apple Trees


How Long Do Apple Trees Produce Fruit?

After you plant a full-size or a standard apple tree it will start bearing fruit after 4 to 8 years. It can continue to do so till it reaches an age of 40-50 years depending on the variety and its lifespan. Basically, the time taken by apple trees to mature and produce fruits is also based on the growing conditions you provide.


In addition to this, the kind of apple tree you want to grow and the method of growing it also help in determining the duration in which it will bear fruits. J


Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of An Apple Tree

Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of An Apple Tree


There are innumerable factors that influence apple tree lifespan and growth pattern. Here, check out the ways to make apple trees grow faster.


A. Too little water

Water is a vital element when it comes to growing healthy trees and resulting in longer life. If you fail to water your tree regularly, it will ultimately have a negative impact on its growth. It is best to pour at least 2-inch of water every week on young apple trees.


Whereas, for mature apple trees it is recommended to pour at least 1-inch water every seven to ten days.


Just be careful while watering your apple tree so you don’t end up adding excessive water. It will only result in soggy and decayed roots which will ultimately lead to your tree’s death.


B. Unfavorable climate

How old do apple trees live under improper growing conditions – not much, right! So, choosing the right location is highly significant if you want to enjoy fruitful apple trees.


So, the climate of your area is another essential factor that can have a positive or negative influence on the lifespan of your tree. The apple trees are hardy to USDA zones 4 to 7.


So, if you plant them in unsuitable climate conditions such as excessive heat, insufficient water, lack of sunlight, or too much cold, they will have a hard time surviving.


C. Wrong kind of soil

Planting your tree in the right type of soil is another important factor that affects the lifespan of an apple tree. Apple trees need suitable soil to grow well, that is rich in nutrients, well-drained, organic, and loamy.


Ideally, the required pH level of soil should lie between 5.8 to 7.0. This type of soil provides necessary nutrients to the soil and promotes faster growth of apple trees. It also regulates water drainage at the right pace, allowing air circulation through the soil.


D. Insufficient sunlight

When apple trees get insufficient soil, they may fail to reach the stage of maturity. So, it is really important to plant your tree in a spot that gets the right amount of sunlight regularly. To have a healthy apple tree, you must provide it with at least 6 to 8 hours of direct and full sunlight every day.


On the other hand, if your tree remains covered with shade and gets insufficient sunlight, it will affect the apple tree life expectancy adversely. The tree will also grow shorter and produce bad quality fruits.


E. Wrong spacing

When apple trees are stacked together with less space in between, they are more likely to have a shorter lifespan. This is common because they have to fight to get ample amounts of sunlight and water.


When these trees receive less sunlight, it ultimately results in damp soil and soggy roots. This can further attract several pests and cause diseases. So, when you plant multiple varieties of apple trees make sure to calculate the correct spacing between them.


F. Pest attacks and diseases

There are several pests that can affect the lifespan of your apple trees and lead them to deterioration. Some of the common pest problems include apple scab, apple sawfly, canker and powdery mildew. If a tree gets infested with pests, it’s more likely to die even before reaching the expected lifespan.