Arizona and General Apple Facts

Arizona apples have some unique qualities that Arizona apple growers can be proud of. Here’s why.

  1. Our apple experts suggest that Arizona apples are sweeter overall than just about any other state because apples love the sun. Our 300+plus days of sun produce some very sweet fruit.
  2. This includes the Granny Smith Apple that most people think is sour and tart. The Arizona Granny Smith apple has a sweet tartness to it that’s like none other.
  3. Because of our climate, our apple harvests get a 3 to 4-week jump on the market.
  4. Arizona grows a variety of apples: Delicious, Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, Sundowner and Granny Smith


The General Apple Facts

  • October is National Apple Month. It’s the only national, generic apple promotion conducted in the United States. Originally founded in 1904 as National Apple Week, it was expanded in 1996 to a three-month promotional window from September through November. So really, we begin to celebrate this wonderful fruit in September!
  • The crabapple is the only apple native to North America.
  • Apples come in all shades of reds, greens, and yellows.
  • The pilgrims planted the first United States apple trees in the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
  • In colonial times, apples were called Winter Banana or Melt-in-the-Mouth.
  • America's longest-lived apple tree was reportedly planted in 1647 by Peter Stuyvesant in his Manhattan orchard and was still bearing fruit when a derailed train struck it in 1866.
  • In 1730, the first apple nursery was opened in Flushing, New York.
  • Newton Pippin apples were the first apples exported from America in 1768, some were sent to Benjamin Franklin in London. 
  • One of George Washington's hobbies was pruning his apple trees. So obviously, the Cherry Tree story really has no comparison.
  • 100 varieties of apples are grown commercially in the United States.
  • 2,500 varieties of apples are grown in the United States.
  • And, 7,500 varieties of apples are grown throughout the world.
  • Apples are grown commercially in 36 states.
  • Apples are grown in all 50 states.
  • Apples are fat, sodium, and cholesterol-free.
  • A medium apple is about 80 calories.
  • Apples are a great source of fiber pectin. 
  • One apple has five grams of fiber.
  • Don't peel your apple. Two-thirds of the fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the peel. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.
  • Apple trees take four to five years to produce their first fruit.
  • Most apples are still picked by hand in the fall.
  • Apple varieties range in size from a little larger than a cherry to as large as a grapefruit.
  • Apples are propagated by two methods: grafting or budding.
  • The apple tree originated in an area between the Caspian and the Black Sea.
  • Archeologists have found evidence that humans have been enjoying apples since at least 6500 B.C.
  • Apples were the favorite fruit of ancient Greeks and Romans.
  • Apples are a member of the rose family.
  • Apples harvested from an average tree can fill 20 boxes that weigh 42 pounds each.
  • The largest apple picked weighed three pounds.
  • Europeans eat about 46 pounds of apples annually.
  • The average size of a United States apple orchard is 50 acres.
  • Many growers use dwarf apple trees.
  • Most apple blossoms are pink when they open but gradually fade to white.
  • Some apple trees will grow over 40 feet high and live over 100 years.
  • Most apples can be grown farther north than most other fruits because they blossom late in spring, minimizing frost damage.
  • It takes the energy from 50 leaves to produce one apple.
  • Apples are the second most valuable fruit grown in the United States. Oranges are first.
  • The world's top apple producers are China, United States, Turkey, Poland and Italy.
  • The Lady apple is one of the oldest varieties in existence.
  • Apples ripen six to ten times faster at room temperature than if they were refrigerated.
  • A peck of apple weighs 10.5 pounds.
  • A bushel of apples weighs about 42 pounds and will yield 20-24 quarts of applesauce.
  • The world's largest apple peel was created by Kathy Wafler Madison on October 16, 1976, in Rochester, NY. It was 172 feet, 4 inches long. (She was 16 years old at the time and grew up to be a sales manager for an apple tree nursery.)
  • It takes about 36 apples to create one gallon of apple cider.
  • Apples account for 50 percent of the world's deciduous fruit tree production.
  • The old saying, “An apple a day, keeps the doctor away.” This saying comes from an old English adage, “To eat an apple before going to bed, will make the doctor beg his bread.”
  • The top apple-producing states are Washington, New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California and Virginia.
  • Almost one out of every four apples harvested in the United States is exported.
  • Many apples after harvesting and cleaning have commercial grade wax applied. Waxes are made from natural ingredients.

The first part of this month, Arizona Farm Bureau and Rosie on the House featured apples as the Arizona agriculture commodity of the month. What follows is our 40-minutes discussion about apples and our featured guest, Apple Annie’s of Willcox, Arizona. 

Sources for bulleted facts: Illinois Cooperative Extension, Arizona Cooperative Extension, USDA and Arizona agriculture.