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Malus domestica

SynonymsMalus sylvestris Miller
Common namesappel, apple, mela
Ecocrop code1407

BRIEF DESCRIPTION A small deciduous tree often trained to a central lead or a delayed open center form reaching a height of 5-10 m. Fruit a pome, globose, ellipsoid to obovoid, usually more than 5 cm in diameter.

USES The fruit can be eaten fresh, or used to make cider, soft drinks, juice, and vinegars. Pectine is a valuable by-product of cider. The wood is hard and strong and used for quality tool handles and firewood.

KILLING T The tree may tolerate -26 to -37.5°C in the winter when fully dormant and -4 to -8°C in late spring, while fruits will be damaged by -2 to -4°C.

GROWING PERIOD Perennial. Begins to fruit in the 3rd year and come into full production from the 11th to 20th year. It may continue to fruit for about 100 years although the fruits may become commercially unprofitable. Growing 180-320 days per year.

COMMON NAMES Apple, Pommier, Apel, Mansanas, Appoen, Pom.

FURTHER INFO Scientific synonym, M. pumila, M. communis, Pyrus malus. Apple cultivars grown today apparently originated as hybrids of several wild species e.g. M. sylvestris, M. dasyphylla and M. pumila native to western Asia and the Mediterranean region. In the tropics apple does not do well below 1200 m in elevation and should preferably be grown between 1400-1800 m, depending on variety. In the tropical highland it can be grown in areas with a prominent change in seasons and a mild growing season with no extremes of sunlight, temperature or humidity. It requires a period of winter dormancy, in general 900-1000 hours or more at less than 7°C, but low chilling varieties only needs 200-300 hours below 7.5°C. It perform best in areas with medium to low humidity, with long daylight hours, high light intensity and relatively warm days and cool nights. Windbreaks are needed for exposed sites. Apples are susceptible to root lesion nematodes. Fruit Yields may be up to 25 t/ha or higher.
SOURCES (Malus domestica Borkh.)
Sims D (pers. comm.)
Dube P 1982 pp 20
Duke J 1979 pp 100
Hartmann T 1981 pp 590-591 [KTMP, PHO, LIG, TEMP, LIMIT]
Hackett C 1982 pp 142 [FER, PHO, DEP, PH, TEXT, TEMP]
Teskey B 1978 pp 1
Van Waveren E 1993 pp 51
Singh R 1969 pp 152-160 [DRA, TEXT, DEP, PH, USE]
Hockings E 1961b pp 105-127 [TEMP, KTMP, TEXT, DRA, DEP, PH, RAIN]
Verheij E 1991 pp 200-203 [USE, LIG, LIMIT, TEMP, RAIN, TEXT]