Apple orchards are located in most areas of Maryland with a concentration of orchards in Washington, Frederick, and adjoining counties.
Autumn is for apples, and there are 205 apple orchards in Maryland, with many that offer pick-your-own. There are over 15 varieties grown in the state, and they are harvested between August and November each year.
However, growing apples is a year-round process. Growers plant the trees in the spring, and it takes 6-8 years for a tree to produce enough apples for the grower to start selling. The summer is all about harvesting. Apples are picked individually by hand and are checked for color, taste, sugar and starch levels, and firmness. No bruises allowed! The apples are put in large bins that can hold 20-25 bushels and are loaded onto trucks for transport to a packing facility, processing plant, or cold storage. During the winter, growers spend their time pruning. Pruning removes excess fruiting wood which controls crop load and increases fruit size.
Interested in visiting Maryland apple country? Download this printable map from the Maryland Apple Promotion Board that tells you where to pick in 8 counties.
Do you have a fun fact to share about your county? If so, please send it to Allison Valliant to be featured in MACo’s weekly Fun Fact on Conduit Street.