Have you ever wondered: why do apples grow in cold climates? The answer lies in the apple tree’s natural behavior – it sheds its leaves during winter, making it deciduous. For the tree to bear fruit, it requires a certain number of hours under chilly temperatures.
These hours are called chilling hours and refer to the number of hours below 45°F in a given season.
Apples need around 800-1000 chilling hours to develop properly. The majority of apple trees grow in regions with cool summers and cold winters, offering around 700-900 chilling hours each year. Nonetheless, some apple types like Honeycrisp can grow in colder climates with 600-700 chilling hours.
This fruit has been cultivated for many years and is believed to have originated between the Caspian and Black Seas. European settlers brought them to North America in the 1600s, and they now grow best in cold places like New England and Canada. Apples need a period of dormancy in winter to flower beautifully in spring.
With over 7,500 apple varieties grown globally, the most popular ones include Red Delicious, Golden Delicious, Granny Smith, and Macintosh.
Why Do Apple Grow In Cold Climates?
Have you ever noticed that apples grow slower in cold climates than in warm ones? It’s curious, and even scientists aren’t entirely sure why. Some speculate that it may have to do with how apple genes are organized. This article will delve into how these genes function and how the climate affects them. So, let’s explore: Why do apples grow in cold climates?
1. Due to Natural Defense Mechanism
Apple trees grow in cold environments because they possess a built-in protection system. This safeguard is called “cold hardiness,” a genetic characteristic that allows them to tolerate frigid temperatures. When apple trees face sub-zero temperatures, their cells begin to deteriorate.
Yet, if the temperature remains below 15 degrees Fahrenheit for a prolonged period, the cells can regenerate. As a result, apple trees that can survive in low temperatures are classified as being “cold hardy.”
2. Cold Apples Make More Juice
Cold apples create extra juice that assists in carrying the fruit to the branches of the tree. This increased juice flow also stops the freezing of the apples and discourages the growth of harmful germs. In summary, being cold is beneficial for apples because it aids in their growth and preservation.
3. Cold Weather Reduces Apple Pest And Disease Growth
Apples grow in regions with mild temperature ranges but can still develop in chilly environments. The cold weather restrains the proliferation of pests and illnesses that could harm apple trees. For instance, apples are less likely to contract apple scab, a fungal disease that affects the fruit. However, the cold weather may also impede the growth of apple tree roots, resulting in frail trees and plants.
4. Cold Climate Keeps Apple Tree Healthy
Apples grow in cold environments as they require significant water and nutrients to survive low temperatures. In cold climates, apple trees can obtain abundant water from the snow and rainfall, and the soil provides them with essential nutrients.
Temperature Effect on Apples Growth
To grow apples, it’s essential to pay attention to temperature. The best temperature range for apples is between 55-75 degrees Fahrenheit, but they can handle short periods of temperatures as low as 30 degrees and as high as 95 degrees. It’s important to avoid sudden changes in temperature, as it can harm the apple’s growth.
If it’s too hot, the sun can damage the apple’s skin and affect its taste. If you live in a climate that is hot, choose an apple variety that can tolerate heat. On the other hand, cold temperatures are necessary for the apple to develop its color and sweetness.
If the temperature changes too drastically, it can affect the apple’s flavor and texture. A warm summer followed by an early frost can lead to a mealy and bland-tasting apple. Conversely, a late frost after experiencing warm temperatures can make the apple bitter.
Moderate temperatures are best for growing apples, as well as other fruits. Consistent conditions throughout the growing season will result in delicious apples that are full of flavor and nutrients.
The Bottom Line: Why do Apple Grow in Cold Climates
Apples are well-liked fruit worldwide and typically grow in chilly weather. There are several reasons why apples grow in cold climates. Firstly, they need a cold period to produce fruit, and secondly, they require a prolonged growing period. Apples have a high sugar content, which helps them endure cold climates.