Apple Tree Facts: Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Dina Albert
We all know the saying: ~'An apple a day keeps the doctor away~'. That's because apples are not only delicious, but they are the best fruits to keep your tummy full, your brain focused, and your heart healthy. In this lesson we will learn all about where apples come from: apple trees.

Deciduous Trees

Every fall there are many kinds of trees whose leaves turn color and eventually fall to the ground. These are called deciduous trees, which means they lose their leaves in the fall. An apple tree is a kind of deciduous tree.

Apple Tree Characteristics and Relatives

If you've ever eaten raspberries, strawberries or cherries, you are eating plants that are a relative of apple trees. There are 7,500 types of apple trees around the world, and these include the popular varieties you might see at the store, such as golden delicious, red delicious, pink lady and Fuji apples.

If you decide you want to grow an apple tree, just keep in mind that it takes between 5 and 7 years for a planted apple seed to grow into a tree that produces apples. How will you know when an apple tree is ready to produce apples? When the tree blooms beautiful flowers. The height of apple trees ranges from 8 feet - what people call 'dwarf' trees - to 30 feet tall.

How Do Apple Trees Grow Apples?

You know those insects that buzz and sometimes sting you? They're around more in the summertime, and are usually black and yellow. If you're thinking of bees, you're right. They may be annoying, but they have a very important job to do when it comes to helping apples trees grow.

When a bee lands on an apple tree blossom to collect the nectar or juice from the flower, pollen from the flower lands on the bee also. Pollen is a small powder that sometimes makes people sneeze. Well, this same pollen is what the bee carries unknowingly to the next blossom it lands on on a different tree. This is called cross-pollination, because the pollen goes from one type of apple tree to another type. The bee then leaves a little bit of the old pollen on this new blossom, and it takes some of the new pollen to the next blossom it goes to. The pollen that is left behind goes into the apple tree and starts up the growing of the apples.

Another important factor for growing apple trees is the environment, and particularly the temperature. If you live in the United States, you can grow apples in any state. However, apples tend to grow better in slightly colder temperatures, so most apples in the U.S. grow in the Northern states (Illinois, Michigan, Washington, etc.). Meanwhile, the largest portion of the 7,500 types of apple trees are grown in China.

Apple trees vary in size and type of apple grown, and they grow better in places where weather can be slightly cold

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