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What Are Akane Apples And Why You Should Grow Them

Akane apples, also known as Tokyo Rose apple, are one of the best early season fresh eating apples. Sweet and sharp, the Akane is an excellent semi-dwarf fruit tree with a prolific yield. I hope you will find lots of great apple information in this article.

Akane Apples Growing on a Tree
Sweet and Tart Akane Apples Growing on the Tree, Ripe and Ready to Pick and Eat Uncooked, Drink as Cider, or Cook in Recipes

Characteristics Of The Akane Apple Tree

A mid to late season flowering tree, the Akane apple tree is a robust and voluminous apple tree that is a welcome addition to any home garden or orchard. With an early to mid season harvest in August, the Akane apple tree rounds out your late season apple varieties with a red beauty.

This apple tree is a prolific producer and grows a heavy crop of smallish apples. However, with a regular thinning practice, the fruit size can be improved tremendously. A fast and vigorous grower, the Akane apple tree will become one of your favorite producers in a very short time.

This lovely Akane apple is sweet and firm. The fruit is a bright red with a white flesh, perfect for fresh eating straight off the limb.

Where You Can Grow Akane Apples

The Japanese Akane apple tree (Malus domestica) performs best in warmer climates, but it will also tolerate some colder weather. They are cold hardy to -30 degrees Fahrenheit and need a bit of a cold snap to set the buds.

These semi dwarf, early season trees will reach a height of between 12 to 16 feet when mature. They are hardy in USDA Zone 4

How To Plant Your Akane Apple Tree

The Akane is a self-sterile tree grafted on a semi dwarf root stock. They need to be cross pollinated with a nearby apple varietal. The best method of cross pollination is with a variety that has the same mid season bloom period. Apple varieties like the Elstar Apple, another sweet dessert apple variety, or the richly flavored Macoun Apple make perfect companions for the Akane. Additionally, these varieties are delicious on their own and will round out your apple flavor profile production.

The Akane typically produces fruit within three years of planting. Affording you the opportunity to harvest within a very short time.

They love a full day of sun, but will tolerate a half day, although that can affect production. The harvest begins in late summer, so be ready for all those bushels of bright red fruit.

Pruning Your Akane Apple Tree

The Akane apple tree needs consistent thinning to achieve a good size apple. Left to it’s on devices, the Akane fruit trees will become dense and unwieldly producing a small, compact apple. While beautiful in it is full wild growth, the apple tree will perform best with some selective pruning.

First rule of thumb, prune in a frost-free period. Also, search for and remove vertical and cross branches. Additionally, shorten side branches. Finally, leave the fruiting branches on a horizontal to 45 degree angle for optimum fruit production. The best tools will do the best job, and the best tool for this job is a good sharp pair of Bypass Pruning Shears.

For all the great tips on pruning and more, check out Pruning Apple Trees: The Home Grower’s Complete Guide. A final tip, be sure to clean you pruning shears between each tree. This will help avoid spreading an unseen disease from one tree to another.

Pests and Diseases That Affect Akane Apples

The Akane apple tree is very accommodating for the organic and non-toxic gardener. It has a high level of disease resistance and allows you to reduce the amount of pesticides and fungicides needed to grow beautiful fruit trees. Make sure you add some of these non toxic, organic alternatives to your cart so you will be ready when called to action.

Apple Scab

The Akane apple tree is very resistant to Apple Scab. This eliminates the need for using a fungicide which will give you a healthier apple crop.

Powdery Mildew, Cedar Apple Rust, And Fire Blight

The variety is moderately disease resistant to powdery mildew, cedar apple rust, and fire blight. While it is moderately resistant, you may find there are times you need to treat one of these pesky plant diseases.

If you indeed have an outbreak that you want to treat; you have the option to take organic measures. By using Bonide’s Organic approved Copper Fungicide you can reduce and control the damage and protect your plants knowing that the product is organically suitable. The organically approved fungicide is the perfect addition to your gardening arsenal, you must add this one to your cart.

Codling Moth, Aphids, and Apple Maggots

No one wants to deal with pests, but they are here to stay and treating them in non toxic, safe way that doesn’t damage the fruit is the goal of all gardeners. Organic is best, isn’t that why we grow our own food!

A dreaded outbreak of Codling Moth may infest your apples with worms. For a non toxic treatment to eliminate Codling Moths, use the VivaGrow VivaTrap, thereby eliminating the need for spraying.

Aphids are always a possibility when you are a prolific gardener. Treating them with a sticky hanging trap will allow you to reduce the use of chemical insecticides on your fruit trees. Traps like the ones from Best Trap last for the entire growing season.

Apple Maggots, just saying the word will make gardeners shudder. Ugh! The Bug Ball has a Apple Maggot Trap that, when placed on the tree just before blooming will offer you maggot relief. These eco-friendly, disposable traps will have you jumping in organic glee, a must add to your shopping cart.

The History Of The Akane Apple Tree

Organic Red Akane Apples
Organic Red Akane Apples, Sweet and Tart Fresh Picked from the Tree on White Wood Boards for a Background with Room or Space for copy or your words or text.

The Akane apple tree is a Japanese variety, Malus domestica. The Akane was developed by crossing a Jonathan apple, an American heritage apple, with a Worcester Pearmain, a classic English variety. The resulting fruit is the product of the work at the Morika Experimental Station (also spelled Morioka Experimental Station) in Japan during the early 1900’s. By combining two hearty apple varieties like the Jonathan and Worcester Pearmain, the designers at the experimental station were able to bring the strength of an American and English apple variety into a perfect union.

The tree was brought to the United States in 1937 where it became a welcome addition to USDA zone 4 American gardens.

Enjoying Akane Apples

Holding A Red Apple
Akane apple with hand on brown back ground

Take the Akane apple in hand and enjoy to the best part of growing apples, eating them! That first juicy bite of the season is your reward for all your work coddling and caring for your fruit trees.

This beautiful bright red apple is perfect for fresh eating. You need to gobble them up as they come off the branch because they have a short shelf life and will stay fresh in the crisper for about one week.

You will be a hit with friends and family when you share these beauties.

Eating Akane Apples

Apple Treats
Autumn apples slices dipped with chocolate and caramel, scene on a rustic white wood

Akane apples are one of the best for eating, so a fresh, easy, and sweet snack treat is a perfect way to enjoy them.

As an alternative to eating the fruit whole, try a few simple preparations to preserve the crunch and juiciness of the Akane.

Caramel apples are a seasonal favorite. Who can resist biting into a sweet, crunchy apple bathed in sticky caramel.

Another quick and easy preparation is to cut the apples into wedges and slide them on a stick. Next dip the fruit in chocolate, peanut butter, or caramel. Finally, roll the dipped slices in nuts or chocolate pieces for an easy treat. You will be crowned the neighborhood snack king or queen.

Baking Akane Apples

Baking with Akane Apples
Washed apples with drops of water in a bowl. Peel ripe juicy apples. Ingredients for apple strudel. Pie process. Apple pie at home Peel red apples

Used in baking, the Akane flavor is delightful as a dessert apple. It keeps it shape during cooking making it perfect for pies, chunky apple sauces, apple cakes, and any fruity dessert treat you can dream up.

Drying Akane Apples

Dehydrated Apples
Homemade dried organic apple sliced on wood background

Dehydrated apples make delicious and nutritious snacks that will store well. Thinly slice your apple and use this highly rated Cosori Food Dehydrator to make your own healthy apple treats. Once your fruits are dehydrated, they have a wonderfully long shelf life, extending the season well into winter.

Check out our post on the best apples for dehydrating.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Cedar Apple Rust?

According to the US Forest Service, “This fungus is wide spread in Eastern North America. It is usually associated with rural areas that alternate between farmland and forest or thicket.” It looks like rust spots on the apple tree leaves. You can check out their article on Cedar Apple Rust for more information.

What Is Worcester Pearmain?

The Worcester Pearmain is an early season English apple. It is best know for it’s strawberry like flavor and can be found at select orchards stands in late September.

Who Was Tokyo Rose

During World War II, the Allied troops dubbed the English speaking female radio broadcasters who were proliferating Japanese propaganda Tokyo Rose. Somewhere in the Akane apple history she became known as Tokyo Rose, however, why may forever remain a mystery. Maybe she was a favorite of one of the horticulturist at the Morioka Experimental Station?

Ordering Your Akane Apple Trees

Ordering Akane Apple Trees need to be timed perfectly, they are usually available to order just before the shipping season starts. The shipping season is late June, early July so you can get your fruit trees in the ground at the correct planting time.

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Most vendors will open up tree ordering just before the shipping season begins.

Very few vendors will allow you to pre-order your apple trees, since they don’t know how much stock they will have. Check back often for updated information on when the trees will become available.

I hope you enjoyed this article on Akane Apples and will give them a try.

Excited for more apple content? Visit my apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!