How to Know When Apples are Ready to Pick

Knowing when apples are ripe may be easier than you think! Follow these simple steps to know when it's time to harvest apples from your fruit tree.

Depending upon where you live and what varieties you grow, apples may ripen from July until November.


The easiest way to check on your apples is to observe their color. Apples tell you they’re ripe by losing the last traces of their green background color and developing full, bright color.

The inside of the apple's color will also give you an indication if it's ready. The flesh should be white or cream - not green. On a mature apple, the seeds will be brown, and not white.


The next easiest way to determine if your apples are ripe is by taste. When they are ready to pick, they will become sweeter and less tart/tangy.

Look Down

Typically when your fruit is ready to pick, you begin to see a few fruits drop. If there are any apples under your tree, be sure to go check on your fruit!

Harvest with Care

Apples are ready to be picked when they easily detach from the tree. Pulling or twisting your apple off the tree could cause damage, and indicates your apple is not ripe. It's best to leave them for harvesting another day.

Work From the Outside In, and Top to Bottom

The apples at the top of your tree and on the outermost parts of the branches will typically ripen first. Their exposure to more sunlight speeds up the ripening process and will give you your first, sweet fruit.

For hard-to-reach apples, we suggest using a fruit picker. For smaller, easier-to-pick apple trees, consider growing dwarf or semi-dwarf varieties.

For more information on growing apple trees, check out our complete growing guide.