Apple Picking In PA: Answering Your Top Questions

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Northhill Orchard & Supply is an apple picking and fresh fruit orchard located near Winfield PA. We do have more than just apples in our orchard and you can see what other fresh fruits we offer on our orchard page.

Apples are the main draw of the orchard and our guests enjoy the experience of getting out in nature and picking fruit right off the trees. 

There are a lot of good things to know about apple picking before you visit our orchard or any other so we have put together a list of the Top 10 Apple Picking Questions for you so that you can make the most of your apple picking in PA adventure with us or anywhere else. Enjoy! 

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What Is Apple Picking? 

What is apple picking? That’s a great question to start with! Apple picking is the activity of visiting an apple orchard and literally picking apples right off the tree. You can typically choose the size container to fill with apples so you can pick as many or as few as you desire. Apple picking in PA is a wonderful activity to enjoy with your children/family, your significant other, or your friends. You can’t beat getting out in nature and picking your own apples right from the tree! 

What To Wear Apple Picking In PA?

What to wear apple picking is an important question to answer. In summer months and even through September you can expect warm weather for apple picking in PA. This means you can wear shorts and a tee shirt to go apple picking.

Closed-toed shoes are a good idea because you will be in an orchard and not in your local grocery store. This will help to protect your feet.

Towards the end of apple picking season in October and November you may want to bring along a jacket or sweatshirt and trade your shorts for long pants to keep you warm while apple picking.

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When Does Apple Picking Season Start In Pennsylvania?

Generally speaking apple picking season starts in Pennsylvania middle to end of July. This may vary slightly from region to region but a good rule of thumb is that you will be able to find an apple orchard with apple picking starting in the middle of July.

When Is A Good Time to Go Apple Picking?

Summer and fall are the best times to go apple picking in Pennsylvania (and the rest of the country as well). Seasonal preference is a good consideration when choosing when a good for you is to go apple picking.

If you love the heat of summer then July and August are the right time to plan your apple orchard visit. If the cool, crisp air of fall is what you love then choosing to go apple picking in September, October, or November will be the best time for you.

If you have young children then you may want to strongly consider those cooler, fall days. It will be easier for your children to enjoy apple picking when it is not so hot in the middle of summer. 

If children and their apple picking experience are not a concern for you or if your children love summertime heat then July and August will be great times to go apple picking. A stroll through a vibrant apple orchard in the heat of an August Saturday may be a great date idea for you and your significant other. And all the better if you have a pool to relax and cool off in afterwards while enjoying your fresh picked apples. 

 

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When To Pick Apple Varieties In Pennsylvania?

Different apple varieties are available in different times of the apple picking season. So, knowing when apple varieties that you are partial to are available for picking is important. There happen to be over 7,500 worldwide and easily 2,500 apple varieties in the United States, according to this article from select health.org

There may be some variation throughout the State of PA when it comes to what apples are ripe for picking when, below you will find a list of what apple varieties are available at Northhill Orchard & Supply throughout the apple picking season.

To help we created a the graphic below to help show which apples in PA are pickable broken down month by month. 

best apples to eat for each month of the fall

What Apples Can You Pick In June In PA?

It’s common to think that once the warm weather of June rolls around that there must be some apples on the trees but that is a misconception about apple picking seasons.
You cannot pick apples in June in the State of Pennsylvania, as they have not ripened enough yet. 
Cherries though are a pickable fruit crop that starts in June in PA!
If you are close to us in Winfield PA and Northhill Orchard,  Give uscall us about our cherry crop availability in June

What Apples Can be Picked In July In PA?

Lodi apples are the first apple variety that become ripe for picking at Northhill Orchard & Supply. You can anticipate these apples being ready to pick around the middle of July. These Lodi Yellow-ish green apples have a sweet-tart flavor. They are known for being great in pies and for applesauce. They are also known for freezing well since they do not keep as long as other apple varieties.

What Apples Can be picked In August In PA?

In the month of August at Northhill Orchard 4 more apple varieties become available for picking! You can find Zestar apples, Gala apples, Paula Red apples, and Red Free apples.
Zestar apples: Nicely balanced with a bright white insides, making them very pleasant for eating and making them a favorite.
Gala Apples: Smaller on average, but pack plenty of sweetness and flavor into its size. This is one of the most well know and favorited type of apples. Great for applesauce, pies, and just eating plain. You can’t go wrong with this variety.
Paula red’s: Described as an early type of macintosh apple. Sharing plenty of similar characteristics to the McIntosh. It is know for making excellent applesauce. 
Red free: A sweet, well balanced apple with good firmness. its is also know to last in a fridge for about a month and a half. 

What Apples Can You Pick In September In PA?

September apple picking at Northhill Orchard really kicks into high gear with 6 more apple varieties becoming available! These varieties include your most well known and classic favorites: You’ll be able to choose from Honey Crisp apples, Summer Rambo apples, Cortland apples, McIntosh apples, Ginger Gold apples, and Fuji apples.
Honey Crip: Characterized as exceptionally crisp and Juicy apple. They are favorites for apple pies and making applesauce since they stay firm when baking.
Summer Rambo: Known for being exceptionally juicy and very aromatic. These apples are used most in ciders and for sauces, jellies, and for drying.
Cortland: Know for being juicy, but being slightly tart with bright red skin while being clean white inside. Most used in pies cobblers and apple crips. They hold up well against browning and are favorites for charcuterie boards or other food presentations.
McIntosh: Known for being good in just about anything. This apple are juicy, sweet, with just a bit of tartness. 
Ginger Gold: These bright light green-golden apples are very pretty, aromatic, mild tasting apples. These fine textured creamy apples and great for applesauce, apple butter, and features well in salads, and pies.
Fuji: These lightly pink are known for being sweet and refreshing. Commonly eaten on their own. They are a great addition to any salad, or being added to a dish as a sauce.   

What Apples Can You Pick In October In PA?

October at Northhill Orchard welcomes 9 more apple varieties for you to hunt down! September may be the most popular time for apple picking. but here at the orchard you can find Yellow Delicious apples, Red Delicious apples, JonaGold apples, Smokehouse apples, Ida Red apples, Mutsu apples, Winesap apples, Rome apples and Empire apples
Yellow Delicious: These large golden apples are known for their fine sweet flavor. This is another apple known for easy fresh eating. These apples keep for as long as three to six months when refrigerated. Additionally refereed to as Golden Delicious, these are also good for pies, sauces, and fresh salads.    
Red Delicious: Known best for being the apple with the highest levels of antioxidants. These apples are best to be eaten or prepared fresh, as they do not hold up as long from browning comparatively.
JonaGold: Known to be a favorite for bakers. These large apples are sweet and tart in flavor perfect for apple crisps and plenty of other apple treats!
Smokehouse: These red-yellow apple is crisp with sweet caramel flavors making it an outstanding apple for fresh eating, baking, and juicing for ciders. These apples are also know for storing well for up a few months when refrigerated.
Ida Red: A Classic for bakers anywhere. These apples hold their shape when baking making them great for any kind of pies, cakes or apple sauces.
Mutsu: These green sweet, tart, and crisp apples are best known for being eaten fresh and or being added to salad or used on charcuterie boards.
Winesap: Best known for being tangy and tart, these delicious and firm apples are known for baking great pies and paring well with wine as the name suggests. Winesaps store very well, lasting for up to 6 months or more in the refrigerator.
Rome: Known for becoming sweeter and richer in flavor when cooked. these apples are another known favorite for bakers. These apples are known for being firm and holding up, making them perfect for pies, cookies, and cakes. additional Rome apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C.  
Empire: These apples are a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious. Combining to form a firm textured and sweetly tart all around apple. These apples are another favorite due to its stability against bruising. Lasting for a month or two these apples are best fresh.

What Apples Can You Pick In November In PA?

November marks the end of the apple picking season at Northhill orchard & Supply, there are usually 4 apple varieties still hanging around at the end of the season for you to pick from. Winesap apples, Rome apples, JonaGold apples, and Mutsu apples are the apple varieties you can expect to find in November at the Northhill Orchard.

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How Long Is Apple Picking Season In Pennsylvania?

How long is apple picking season in Pennsylvania? Apple picking season may vary in different parts of America but in PA, apple picking season is about four months long. Typically apple picking season in Pennsylvania will go from middle of July to middle of November. There may be some slight variation from year to year but that 4 month range of mid-July to mid-November for PA apple picking is pretty reliable.

What To Do With Apples After Apple Picking?

You have a lot of options when it comes to answering the question of what to do with apples after apple picking! You can cook delicious recipes with them, you can turn them into yummy apple cider, you can share them with your friends and family, and of course you can eat your apples after you go apple picking. We found this really great article with 31 things you can do with apples after you pick them, check it out if you need some “apple inspiration”. 

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Do Apples Ripen After You Pick Them?

Yes! Apples are one fruit that do continue to ripen after you pick them. Their flavor will not noticeably sweeten after you pick your apples but they will ripen. You will notice texture and color changes as your apples continue to ripen after you pick them. 

Do Apples Get Sweeter After Picking?

This is a common question people ask about apples, do they get sweeter after you pick them? The answer is no, apples do not get sweeter after you pick them. They will continue to ripen and their texture and color may change through this process but their flavor and sweetness will stay the same. 

How Long Do Fresh Picked Apples Last?

Answering the question how long do fresh picked apples last has some nuance to it. If you pick your apples fresh and simply leave them on yourcounter or table they may last up to several weeks before they rot beyond the point of consumption. If you store your apples in your refrigerator that can prolong the life of your freshly picked apples. It isn’t an exact science so we suggest you keep an eye on your apples and enjoy them sooner than later. 

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Ready To Pick Apples At Northhill Orchard?

Well hopefully all of your apple picking questions have been answered and you’re ready to plan your apple picking adventure.

If you’re in PA and near Winfield or find yourself in the surrounding areas close to Lewisburg or maybe Williamsport or even Bloomsburg, you are invited to come visit us and enjoy all our apple orchard and farm have to offer! You can get directions to Northhill Orchard or contact us if you have more questions. 

We also offer a number of other fun orchard activities like our corn maze, wagon rides, sunflower and wildflower fields, fresh fruit market, and more. We would love for you to visit us and if you’re not in our area we hope that you can create lasting memories with your loved ones picking apples and enjoying time together in God’s creation! 

7 Steps For Planting An Apple Tree

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Is it simple to grow an apple tree? What steps do you take to plant and look after a new tree? Let’s delve into this topic with a bit more detail.

When it comes to growing apple trees, it’s definitely doable for the average person, but it does require some attention and care.

  1. You need to choose the right type of apple tree for your area and climate. Some varieties thrive better in certain regions, so it’s important to do a bit of research or ask at your local nursery for advice.
  2. To properly plant an apple tree, begin by soaking its roots in a bucket or a large tub filled with water. Let it soak for a good one to two hours to ensure the roots are well-hydrated and ready for planting.
  3. Once you’ve got your tree, planting it properly is key. You’ll want to pick a spot in your yard that gets plenty of sunlight and has well-drained soil. Dig a hole that’s about twice as wide as the tree’s root ball and just as deep. Then gently place the tree in the hole, making sure the roots are spread out and not cramped. Hold onto the trunk to keep the tree steady as you backfill the hole with soil.
  4. Fill in the hole with soil, making sure to pack it down gently as you go to remove any air pockets.
  5. After planting, create a raised ring of soil around the base of the tree, about two inches above ground level. This raised area, known as a berm, helps to collect water and prevents it from running off, allowing it to soak into the soil instead. This helps to avoid soil erosion and ensures the tree gets the water it needs.

  6. Finally, add a layer of mulch around the base of the tree, spreading it out to cover the area where the roots meet the soil. Mulch helps to retain moisture in the soil, regulates temperature, and suppresses weeds, which all contribute to the health and growth of the apple tree.
  7. After planting, you can water the tree regularly, especially during dry spells, but be careful not to overdo it as apple trees don’t like to sit in waterlogged soil.

As your tree grows, you’ll also need to keep an eye out for pests and diseases. Regular inspections of the leaves and fruit can help you catch any issues early on.

Following these steps will give your apple tree the best start in its new home, setting it up for healthy growth and fruitful harvests in the future.

 
 
 
 
 

How To Properly Start A New Apple Tree

how to properly start an apple tree

If you want your tree to flourish for many years the best practice is to nip off new buds and keep your tree from bearing fruit for 2-3 years. Nipping the buds will give your tree energy to grow upwards, as well as grow a better, more sturdy root system. If you do not trim the buds off for the first few years, your tree will be very low to the ground, resulting in a short crooked tree. 

How Do You Prune A New Apple Tree?

pruning an apple tree and how often to do it

Pruning is super important when you’re taking care of a new tree. It’s like giving it a good haircut to help it grow better. When you prune a tree, you trim its branches so they’re more horizontal or angled slightly upwards. This might sound like a small thing, but it’s actually really important for the tree’s health.

When the branches are upward, it helps the tree send energy up into the fruit more effectively. It’s kind of like creating a clear path for the tree’s nutrients to reach the fruit. If the branches are hanging down, it’s harder for the tree’s sap to flow upwards. It’s like trying to swim against the current.

Trim Rubbing Branches

To ensure healthy growth and prevent disease, it’s essential to regularly trim branches that come into contact with each other. Keeping the branches open and airy is vital, as rubbing branches can create wounds that serve as entry points for pathogens. By maintaining proper spacing between branches, you can minimize the risk of such wounds.

How Hard Should You Prune An Apple Tree?

Pruning is a task that requires diligence and thoroughness. Even if you think you’ve pruned extensively, there’s a good chance you haven’t pruned enough. As the tree begins to leaf out, it often becomes fuller than anticipated, highlighting the need for ongoing pruning efforts. Consistent and timely pruning is key to promoting optimal growth and fruit production in your apple tree.

Why Is It Necessary To Prune An Apple Tree?

If you see a lot of buds on your tree, you may have a bumper crop of apples this year. However, a tree that is overfull of fruit has no room to start growing spurs for next year’s crop. Pruning 50% of the buds off the tree allows you to have consistent harvests yearly instead of a bumper crop one year and barely any the next.

 

What Are Spurs On An Apple Tree? 

Before apples can be grown, the spurs, which are small but identifiable growths on the tree, need to be established a year in advance. These spurs are crucial for bearing fruit in the following year. Unlike new growth, known as suckers, which sprout leaves but not apples, spurs are distinct markers indicating fruit production.

 

Should You Thin Your Apple When They’re Small

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Yes, if you do not thin your apples when they are small every year you will get a bumper crop one year, and a poor crop the next. When your apples are small you should trim every 6 inches as a good rule. This will provide you with a consistent crop every single year. 

How Long Until An Apple Tree Produces Fruit?

What apple trees produce twice a year?

The small trees in the orchard, known as dwarf trees, typically have a lifespan of about 15 to 25 years. They begin to bear some fruit after about 3 years, but it’s only a small amount. It takes them around 5 to 6 years to start producing a full crop of fruit. So, these trees take a few years to get going, but once they do, they can provide a good harvest for several years before reaching the end of their lifespan.

What Apple Trees Produce Twice A Year?

what apple trees produce twice a year?

Apple trees produce fruit semi-annually, which means they bear fruit twice a year. Here’s a list of common apple varieties that typically produce fruit twice a year:

  1. Fuji Apples
  2. Granny Smith Apples
  3. Gala Apples
  4. Honeycrisp Apples
  5. Red Delicious Apples
  6. Golden Delicious Apples
  7. McIntosh Apples
  8. Jonagold Apples

These varieties of apple trees are known for their ability to yield fruit in both the spring and fall seasons. This biannual fruit production cycle makes them popular choices for home orchards and commercial apple growers alike.

What Is The Hardest Thing About Growing Apple Trees?

what is the hardest thing about growing apples

Dealing with pests in agriculture can be a real challenge, especially since their presence often depends on the weather. This means that farmers have to stay on top of things with regular maintenance and proactive measures to keep their crops safe. One common practice is spraying pesticides during the bloom season. It’s crucial because if you skip this step, you’re inviting about 90% of potential problems with pests. So, it’s not just about reacting when you see pests; it’s about taking action before they become a major issue.

What Are The Best Apples For Snacking?

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What’s the best apple to munch on when you’re feeling snacky? Well, let’s break it down a bit.

First off, there’s August the Zestar. It’s a crisp, sweet, and tart apple that makes for a delightful snack. But if you’re into something a tad sweeter, you might want to consider Gala apples. They’re known for their sweetness. Then there’s Honeycrisp, Jonagold, and Ginger Gold apples, all of which offer a nice balance of sweet and tart flavors that make them perfect for snacking.

Don’t forget about the Green apple Mutsu! They’re also great for snacking, with their sweet and tart taste. And if you’ve got a real sweet tooth, Yellow apples might be your best bet. They’re deliciously sweet and satisfying.

So, when it comes to snacking apples, you’ve got quite a few tasty options to choose from!

Is Fruit From The Orchard Better Than Buying It In A Store?

are apples better fresh or from the store?

Is fruit picked directly from a tree tastier than the one bought in stores?

Yes! It often boasts a superior flavor, and this applies to peaches too! When you purchase fruit from a store, it lacks the fresh taste of tree-picked ones. Fruits harvested from trees are typically allowed to ripen fully before picking, resulting in a richer flavor compared to those picked prematurely and ripened artificially in stores.

Moreover, when selecting peaches, it’s crucial to pick them when they’re firm to avoid bruising and spoilage. For the best experience, consider visiting Northhill orchard and picking fresh apples and peaches straight from the tree. This way, you’ll savor the authentic taste and quality of tree-ripened fruit.