The Lodi apple tree is one of the earliest to produce fruits that are full in size and flavor and easy to grow right in your own backyard. The Lodi is a medium-sized tree that grows to about 20-feet tall and has a 25-foot spread. Semi-dwarf and dwarf varieties reach about 15 feet and 10 feet in height.
Considered to be a cold-hardy tree, the Lodi is hardy to USDA growing Zone 3 which makes it a good choice for growers in more northern climates. Most apple trees are hardy to Zone 5. This variety is a cross between a Yellow Transparent and a Montgomery, with larger fruits but more similar in taste to the Yellow Transparent.
Though they are delicious, Lodi apples have a short shelf life, about 2 weeks, and are not a good storage apple. However, they can be sliced and frozen or canned in order to extend the harvest. The soft, creamy flesh is perfect for pies and applesauce.
The tree is native to Trinidad, Washington, which is home to many of the best apple varieties for producing fruit.
|Botanical Name||Malus lodi|
|Common Name||Lodi apple tree|
|Plant Type||Fruit tree|
|Mature Size||20 feet tall|
|Sun Exposure||Full sun|
|Soil Type||Well-drained, loamy|
|Flower Color||Greenish yellow apples|
Lodi Apple Tree Care
Like most other fruit tree, Lodi seedlings are budded onto rootstock. When planting, be sure the graft remains above the surface of the soil, and that temperatures are cool but with no sustained freezes in the long-term forecast.
You'll want to soak the roots in a bucket of water prior to planting. When digging a hole, keep it about twice as wide and deep as the root spread. Then go ahead and work out the air pockets and water the tree well. A young lodi tree may require some staking and shaping in its first few years.
Standard size trees will take 6 to 10 years to bear fruit. A semi-dwarf variety will take 4 to 6 years and the dwarf variety bears fruit in 3 to 4 years. Lodi apple trees tend to be alternate bearing which means they produce the most fruit every other year. They are considered to be quite prolific apple trees so you can expect a bountiful harvest every 2 years.
Be sure to continue caring for your apple tree, as you'll need a healthy tree with a strong scaffold in order to hold all of the heavy fruits.
Lodi apples are harvested in late June and early July, which is when their large, greenish-yellow fruits are at their peak flavor. Since its skin is on the thinner side and has few pores, they have a tart-sweet flavor.
There are several diseases that can impact apple trees, but the good news is that Lodi apple trees are considered to be both scab and powdery mildew resistant.
The Lodi apple tree will grow best when planted in a full sun location.
When planting a Lodi apple tree, be sure to go with well-draining, loamy soil. Like most apple trees, the soil pH should be between 6 and 7.
The Lodi apple tree should be regularly watered, particularly in the first three years after planting.
Temperature and Humidity
The lodi apple tree is considered to be cold hardy, but it will always bear fruit in the summer.
Early season apples for the Lodi tree will need low-nitrogen fertilizer. The fertilization process can begin two years after planting.
Rake the fertilizer evenly into the soil around the base out to about 2 feet and be sure to keep it about 6 inches away from the trunk.
The process can be repeated after three months and should be applied in a three-foot circle around the tree after it reaches two years of age.
Varieties of Apple Trees
Like many other varieties, these plants will require pollinating partners; some common partners are Starkspur Ultramac, Cortland, Red Jonathan, and Stark Braestar. Some other popular apple tree varieties include:
- Golden Delicious
- Ginger Gold
- Granny Smith
- Northern Spy
- Early Apple Harvest
- State Fair
- Red Free
You'll want to prune most apple trees either late in the winter or early in the spring, so that cuts won't be left unprotected against the coldest winter temperatures.
Pruning is important for apple trees because it helps create a basic structure for the tree as well as a sturdy scaffold to support the weight of the heavy fruits. Generally speaking, pruned apple trees also tend to generate a higher yield of fruit.
National Institute of Food and Agriculture. “Table of Apple Cultivar Susceptibility to Powdery Mildew.” Extension.org. N.p., n.d. Web.