Picking Ripe Apples
Advice for the Home Gardener from the Help Desk of the
UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County……
Client's Request: How do I know when to pick the ripe apples off my backyard tree?
Using a combination of methods should help you to decide when it's best to pick:
- Monitor the color as it changes. The fruit is ready to pick when it reaches full color, which varies quite a bit by apple variety. Background color on varieties that aren't solid red at maturity will change from greenish to yellowish. Yellow apples will also change from a greenish yellow to a more golden yellow.
- Some varieties will show a whitish, waxy outer coating. This is another sign the apples are ready for picking.
- Watch for apples that begin dropping to the ground. While unhealthy fruit, or fruit that has been damaged by birds, insects or rodents may fall from the tree at anytime, healthy apples typically only begin falling when the fruit is ripe and ready to pick.
- Testing an apple from the tree is the easiest and most obvious way to test for ripeness. Unfortunately, if you have a small tree or a small amount of fruit, picking and testing fruit will cause you to end up with even less to eat or use for cooking. It is important to not pull the fruit from the tree. Lifting the fruit gently up should cause the ripe apples to easily detach from the tree with the stem attached.
- Ripe apples will also have brown seeds instead of the white seeds that appear in immature fruit.
- Flesh will be white instead of tinted green. (for white fleshed apples)
Here is a link to the UC Davis information about harvesting and storing apples.…http://ipm.ucanr.edu/PMG/GARDEN/FRUIT/CULTURAL/harvesting.html
I hope this information is helpful. Please feel free to contact us again if you have more questions or concerns.
Help Desk of the UC Master Gardener Program of Contra Costa County (SMH)
Note: UC Master Gardeners Program of Contra Costa's Help Desk is available almost year-round to answer your gardening questions. Except for a few holidays (e.g., last 2 weeks December), we're open every week, Monday through Thursday for walk-ins from 9:00 am to Noon at 2380 Bisso Lane, Concord, CA 94520. We can also be reached via telephone: (925) 608-6683, email: firstname.lastname@example.org, or on the web at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/Ask_Us/. MGCC Blogs can be found at http://ccmg.ucanr.edu/HortCoCo/ You can also subscribe to the Blog (//ucanr.edu/blogs/CCMGBlog/)