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Estimate Apple Tree Age?

Estimate Apple Tree Age?

In my new yard there is already an apple tree with an 8inch diameter trunk. Anyone got an estimate from experience how long it would take to get an apple tree to get to that size?
The apple tree is about 14 feet tall.

Also, how long do apple trees live, and stay productive?

The following thread was started by Jonathan in San Francisco on April 18, 2008 at 3:43 pm PST

Count the rings

Chop it down and count the rings :) Of course, then you won't have an apple tree anymore.

8 inch would mean it's probably 7-8 years old.

The above followup was added by Axel on April 18, 2008 at 4:04 pm PST.

He'd still have an apple tree, just decapitated one

It could still grow. Or he can use it to graft a good variety :)

The above followup was added by Tony on April 18, 2008 at 4:48 pm PST.


I wonder how long that tree can live and remain productive?

100 years?

Will fruit keep getting better over time?

8 years? I had my own apple trees for 3 years and it hasn't grown all that much, but is just starting to get more productive. Maybe we don't have enough heat here in SF for rapid growth. So 8 inches in SF might actually be more than 8 years. I haven't lived in San Bruno yet, but I think it is simliar or just a little warmer. I'll find out. And when I do... I'm going nuts with the trees!

The above followup was added by Jonathan in San Francisco on April 19, 2008 at 12:13 am PST.

Apple growth

My oldest apple tree is 3 years old and has a 4-5 inch trunk. So that's where my estimate came from. I don't think the cool San Francisco weather has any impact on the growth of apples, their growing point is somewhere in the 40's, meaning below that point, they would stop growing.

Estimated growing points:

Apples: 45F
Citrus: 53F
Bananas: 59F
Cherimoyas: 56F
White Sapotes: 45F
Avocados: 50F

also, there is a hysteresis, e.g. for example, if a banana hits temperatures below 50F, it shuts down growth, and it takes a good 5-10 days above those temperatures to get growth to resume.

The above followup was added by Axel on April 19, 2008 at 12:30 am PST.


Axel, any citrus with full sun in my yard and rich soil does not grow fast. Put that in a green house, and it'll grow 4 times as fast. The problem with at is that everything grows slow. I add heat, and it grows as fast as you decribe. People with heat don't seem to understand that because they've never had to deal with low heat.

The above followup was added by Jonathan on April 19, 2008 at 7:39 pm PST.

Slow motion

growing in san francisco is like watching in slow motion.
I have seen growth in warmer areas and to me it is fast

The above followup was added by Jonathan in sf on April 19, 2008 at 7:42 pm PST.

Apples grow fast

The fastest growing fruiting trees I have are Cherries followed by Apples both capable of quite a few feet per year in low heat conditions, an inch of trunk per year would be fair. There are apple trees around here that are around 100 years old but they don't fruit much in old age, also the middle of the trunks tend to rot out and leave a hollow tree, but they keep going for a while. However there are some very old abandoned orchards around here where most of the old apple trees are dead just from old age. I'd say left unpruned they would easily live longer than 100 years because my neighbour has one very tall tree with a huge trunk, perhaps over 2 feet wide and it's still in perfect health

The above followup was added by Jason on April 21, 2008 at 10:05 am PST.


Does your neighbors 100 yr tree fruit well?

I wonder how fruit quality is with old age. Assuming the tree has been pampered every year

The above followup was added by Jonathan on April 21, 2008 at 4:57 pm PST.


Jonathan it fruits fine, it's a good tree with some very large red old fashioned cooking apple but it's also good to eat fresh. I don't think it would have been looked after at all. You don't need to where I live, there are commerical apple orchard all around and plenty of seedlings on the roadsides. When you see both those you know you wont have a problem growing that tree :)

The above followup was added by Jason on April 22, 2008 at 9:00 am PST.

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