January 17, 2022

bonsai apple tree

Can An Apple Tree Be A Bonsai Tree?

There is some debate over whether or not an apple tree can be trained into a bonsai tree. The answer is yes, it can, but with some caveats. Apple bonsai trees are probably the most popular to grow amongst all the fruit trees that can be grown as bonsai trees.

An apple tree is a bit more challenging to work with than some other varieties of trees, but it can be done. In this blog post, we’ll take a look at how to turn an apple tree into a bonsai and the best way to care for it. So if you’re up for the challenge, read on!

Can a bonsai apple tree grow a full sized apple?

Yes! If you’re looking to bonsai an apple tree, you won’t have much luck growing a full-sized apple from it. The nature of the trunk and branches that you’ll be pruning during the training process gets in the way of allowing a bonsai apple tree to grow a fully sized apple fruit.

How do I get started with training my apple tree?

pruning bonsai apple tree

At first glance, it may seem like growing your own bonsai fruit tree would be difficult. Fortunately, the apple tree makes for a nice beginner’s project. It’s fast-growing and you can find young trees at most nurseries if you don’t want to start one from seedling stage.

An apple tree bonsai is created by pruning the tree to keep it small. The best time to start pruning your tree will be in late winter. With a sharp, sterile knife, remove any branches that are growing up or out at an angle of 45 degrees or more. This process will allow you to open up space for the tree to produce smaller branches and leaves.

After doing this, you can start wiring the tree in order to train it into a bonsai shape. Be careful not to wire any older wood as this will cause permanent scars on your tree. Also, do not wire when the bark is wet. If you’re unsure of whether or not the tree’s bark is wet, err on the side of caution and wait until it has dried.

How much pruning should I do?

Pruning isn’t just for shaping your apple bonsai. It also encourages your tree to produce fruit bearing branches throughout the growing season! In late winter, cut back any of the lower branches that are growing close to the ground. If you end up trimming them down to two or three buds, that’s okay too. This technique will force all of the energy into creating new branches higher up on the tree.

You should also prune your bonsai apple tree during other times in the year as well. Once spring has sprung, cut back those lower branches that you cut before to show off your tree’s main trunk. This will encourage the flow of sap and make the tree healthier overall.

What is the best way to thin an apple tree?

As your apple tree grows, it will produce more fruit than you can eat! Thinning out the branches of your apple bonsai is one of the simplest ways to promote good growth while increasing the fruit production of each branch.

Here’s how to thin your bonsai:

Before the end of summer, use wire cutters to remove any random branches that are growing in odd directions or away from the rest of the tree. If you want more fruit, be sure only to take out branches that aren’t producing any apples! Leave healthy branches alone while thinning your tree.

How long does it take to grow a bonsai apple tree?

An apple tree bonsai can be grown in one season, though it will take a bit longer if you’re starting from scratch. Thinning out the branches and wiring them to your preferred shape and size does require some time and patience! With that being said, no matter how many times you prune or shape your bonsai apple tree, it will always grow back.

Where should I display my bonsai apple tree?

Your apple bonsai is sure to draw attention anywhere you choose to display it! But if you’re wondering where might be the best place, then take a look at this list:

Entryways – nothing draws more attention than having an attractive and unique bonsai in the front entryway of your home!

In a sunny location – if you want to really show off your tree and enjoy its fruit, then it should be put where it can get plenty of sunlight.

Indoor locations – If you’re looking for an indoor display space, then choose one that is bright and doesn’t get a lot of direct sunlight. This will help to extend your bonsai’s lifespan because it won’t be exposed to too much heat or cold.

What kind of soil should I use for my bonsai apple tree?

Applying the right mixture of soil is one of the most important things you’ll have to do as a bonsai grower. Apple trees are very sensitive to the type of soil they are planted in. If your bonsai is growing in soil that is too low-quality, then it will develop root rot and eventually die.

A good mixture for an apple tree bonsai would be 1 part regular potting soil combined with 1 part coarse sand and 1 part peat moss. This mixture provides the right balance of water retention, drainage and nutrients for your tree to grow healthily.

How often should I water my bonsai apple tree?

Watering is another important aspect to keeping your apple bonsai alive! You don’t want it too dry or too wet – instead, aim for 1/3 of the soil to be moist at all times. If you’re unsure if your bonsai needs water, check the color of the soil. If it’s dark or damp, then don’t water it!

Applying fertilizer will help your apple tree grow faster, but only do this 2-3 times each year.

Can you eat bonsai apples?

Absolutely! All of the apple trees that you see at bonsai exhibits are edible. However, the smaller the tree is, the less fruit it will produce. If you want to eat your apples, make sure they are organic and not sprayed with pesticides.

What variety of apples can I grow as a bonsai apple tree?

While you can grow any variety of apple tree as a bonsai, some trees are known to produce fruit at much smaller sizes than others! Keep in mind that the size of your bonsai apple tree will dictate how large the apples are when they ripen.

Red Delicious – this variety has sweet and juicy flesh, but requires many years to grow into a bonsai.

red delicious bonsai tree

Golden Delicious – this variety is much easier to grow since it takes less time to become a finished product. It also has sweet and juicy flesh, but not quite as delicious as the Red Delicious!

Honeycrisp – This variety is smaller than other kinds, making it ideal for growing in a bonsai. The apples have a slightly tart taste and are extremely juicy!


Can an apple tree be a bonsai apple tree? The answer is yes. With careful pruning, watering and fertilizing you can achieve a bonsai apple tree.

Growing good healthy bonsai apples takes just a few years. They come in a number of varieties and are delicious to eat.

About the author 

Greg Reed

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