How to Manage Pests

Pests in Gardens and Landscapes

Harvesting and storing apples

Harvest apples when the fruit is at full maturity and has good color. For most apples, the ground color (or the part of the apple that doesn't turn red on red varieties) changes from a bright to a lighter green color. Color does not always indicate maturity, especially in warm climates. Tasting the fruit may be the best method of determining ripeness. It should be sweet and juicy, yet somewhat firm. Apples that are not mature will taste sour and have a coarse texture. In some varieties, seeds may turn brown when the fruit is mature.

Mature fruit can be picked or left on the tree for a few more days. However, do not leave mature fruit on the tree too long or it will not store well. To harvest, lift fruit with a slight upward motion to see if the fruit is ready to be picked. Fruit should snap off easily. Do not pull the stem from the apple.

Put apples under refrigeration quickly after harvesting for best storage life. Check your variety to see how long, apples can be stored. Follow recommended harvest and storage procedures for each variety of apple. Keep fallen fruit cleaned up to avoid overwintering pests.

Mature apples
Mature apples

Statewide IPM Program, Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of California
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