Savoring a fresh, crunchy, sweet and tart apple is truly one of life’s simple yet profound pleasures. Among apple varieties, the Fuji apple trees stand out for their production of impeccably balanced fruits that retain their freshness for an extended period. These apples thrive best in warm climates but display a notable hardiness, growing well in USDA zones 4 to 8.
The Fuji apple trees, with their impressive spread of 15 to 20 feet (4.5-6 m.), generously offer fruits bursting with 10 to 18 percent sugar. These round, medium to large apples, cloaked in a yellowish-green skin often kissed with pink or red hues, are perfect for eating right off the tree or incorporating into pies and sauces. Occasionally, the skin may flaunt attractive stripes. Remarkably, with proper refrigeration, these apples can retain their freshness for up to a year.
Originating from Japan as a hybrid cross of the Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Genet, Fuji apples have garnered a reputation for their crisp texture and prolonged storage life. Having a Fuji apple tree in your backyard can provide you with a ready supply of these sweet, delicious fruits.
Caring for a Fuji apple tree becomes an effortless task once it’s established. An annual thinning of the tree is recommended to avoid overcrowding of the fruit. During its dormancy, prune the tree to remove any vertical branches, crossed limbs, or any broken or diseased wood. After a decade of growth, consider removing some of the fruiting spurs to make room for new productive growth. To conserve moisture, limit weed growth, and nourish the tree, spread mulch around the tree’s root zone.
However, Fuji apples are not without their challenges. They can fall prey to fire blight, apple scab, cedar apple rust, and powdery mildew. Springtime application of copper-based fungicides can mitigate these issues. By mid-October, expect a bounty of ripe fruits ready for harvest. Store these fruits carefully in cool temperatures, refrigerating those not immediately devoured. The effort you put into your Fuji apple tree will reward you with a crisp, sweet, and tart delight straight from your backyard.