Apples are the most important tree fruit of the temperate zone. The tree is of medium size, up to 30 to 40 feet in height, but usually held to under 20 feet by pruning. Leaves are entire, up to 4 inches long, pubescent when young, near glabrous later. The fruits are oblate to slightly conic in shape, with depressions at both stem and calyx ends, 2.25 up to 3.5 inches in diameter. They consist of a thin outer peel, a thickened edible flesh and a central core of 5 carpets, in which the small seeds are borne. The peel is pubescent when young, later becoming smooth and waxy. Formerly some russeted varieties were grown. These have disappeared in commercial orchards, but russeted areas may occur on some varieties due to weather or other injury.
Production in U.S.: About 3,000,000 tons commercially.
Use: Fresh eating, canned sauce and slices, juice, dried, frozen, vinegar, culinary.
Part of plant consumed: Mainly fruit flesh, but peel often eaten on fresh fruits. Peels and cores from processing plants may be used in vinegar, or as livestock feed. Pulp and peel from juice processing are used as livestock feed.