When Is The Best Time To Pick Apples?

Timing when you harvest your apples is really important. The last thing you want to do is to pick your apple too early. Otherwise, they will be bitter and not very enjoyable to eat.

However, you also don’t want to wait too long, or the apples will be overripe and could start or turn. 

When Is The Best Time To Pick Apples?

Usually picking seasons start in July to September. However, picking time can vary from year to year. This is due to what the weather was like during spring and the variety of apple that is being grown.

You can get varieties that are ready to be picked in October or November.

To make everything easier, in this article, I will talk about the best time you should be picking your apples. 

When Is Apple Season?

September often marks the beginning of apple season. While the majority of the apples we see in grocery stores reach their optimum harvest in September, some cultivars are available as early as late July.

While other varieties aren’t, others aren’t ripe until October or November.

From late July through November, fresh apples are readily available. Each apple variety has unique developing requirements, and some simply take a lot longer than others to ripen.

Also, if you are thinking of planting a new apple tree, it is best to plant them in the fall. 

Early Apple Picking

When I say early apples, I am talking about apples that ripen during the summer. These apples are usually ready to be picked from July to the beginning of September.

However, these varieties don’t always store for very long. Thus, you may not always come across them in a grocery store.

Early apple varieties include:

  • Vista Bella Apple,
  • Gravenstein Apple,
  • Ozark Gold Apple,
  • Lodi Apple.

Mid-Season Apple Picking

Apples that are picked between September and Fall are known as mid-season apples. These varieties of apples are a lot more well-known, and you can store them for much longer.

When people think of apple picking, they will often think about these classic apples, which are available around fall time. 

Some mid-season/fall apple varieties out there are:

  • Ambrosia Apple,
  • Cox’s Orange Pippin Apple,
  • Honeycrisp Apple,
  • Golden Delicious Apple.

Late Apple Picking

Late apple picking is all about winter varieties of apples. These are the apples that are picked right at the end of the apple-picking season. You will find that these cultivars are frequently quite big, and you can store them for a couple of months. 

Some of the more popular late or end-of-season apples you may come across include:

  • Pink Lady Apple,
  • Gold Rush Apple,
  • Wolf River Apple,
  • Fuji Apple.

How Do You Know Your Apples Are Ready To Be Picked?

When Is The Best Time To Pick Apples?

The species of the apple and the climate during the growing season are just two of the numerous variables that affect how quickly apples ripen.

Early-picked apples are tiny, sour, and have pale peels. Late-picked apples may be mushy, mealy, and vulnerable to early storage deterioration.

The best way to know if your apples are ready to be picked is by picking one off the tree. The apple should pull away from the tree with ease. Then cut it open to have a look inside.

When you cut the apple in half, the apple ought to have white flesh and brown seeds. If your apples are ready, then they will have a sweet flavor, and they won’t be bitter. 

How Often Will You Need To Pick An Apple Tree?

At times, the apples on a single tree will all begin to ripen around the same time. Picking them all at once is acceptable if this is the case.

However, some apple trees allow a few weeks for their yield to ripen. It will be necessary to harvest these trees several times.

The position of each apple on the tree along with how well the tree has been pruned both for sunlight and airflow has an impact on how quickly apples ripen.

Fruit that grows high in the sunny part of the tree can ripen before fruit that grows deep inside the shaded leaf canopy by a week or two.

Furthermore, it’s better to harvest all the apples from a tree towards the end of October in regions with harsh winters. Ripe apples may stay on the tree between August to December in warmer areas.


When it comes to picking apples the best time will depend on the variety of apples in question. It is best to pick apples when they are easy to pluck off the tree, and slightly sweet when bitten into.

The apple-picking season can start in July and last until November at the latest. I hope this article has been helpful and given you a better idea of when it is the best time to pick apples.

Frequently Asked Questions

Will Apples Ripen If They Are Picked Too Early?

Apples are described as a “climacteric” fruit. Thus, after they are picked, the apples continue to mature. If you do pick the fruit too early, let it sit for some time to see if it gets sweeter before using it.

Should You Remove All The Fruit From An Apple Tree?

It’s recommended to remove all apples from a tree fruit that develops during the first three growing seasons. Fruit removal maximizes plant development and boosts crops in the years that follow.

On young trees, getting rid of the fruit might also stop limbs from breaking.

What Happens If You Don’t Pick Apples From A Tree?

Unpicked apples on trees can lead to hormonal abnormalities in the tree that reduce fruit production the following season. Apples left to decay on the floor can serve as a breeding ground for fungi that spread disease.

Valentina Hernandez
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