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  • ApplesPosted 3 years ago under Health

    Apples, a nutritious fruit, make a great addition to your daily diet. Their nutritional benefits are well-documented and have been linked to a lower risk of a variety of diseases and ailments. (1) Of course, organic apples provide the most nutritional benefits and have even recently been linked to lowering rates of colon cancer because of the pectin in the apple. (2)

    Taxonomy

    The apple tree is called Malus domestica.

    Kingdom (Plantae) → Phylum (Angiosperms) → Class (Eudicots) → Rosids → Order (Rosales) → Family (Rosaceae) → Genus (Malus) → Species (Malus domestica)

    Description

    The apple tree is a deciduous tree that ranges in height from six to fifteen feet high when cultivated. In the wild, it can grow up to almost forty feet high. The flowers can be white or pink and the fruits can be a wide range of colors depending on the variety. (3) The apple tree is not self-pollinating and so needs other apple trees to be able to cross-pollinate. (4)

    Distribution

    The apple tree originated in the Middle East thousands of years ago but is now grown all around the world. (5) China, the United States, Turkey, Italy, India, and Poland are the top producers of apples worldwide. Though different varieties grow in different climates, all apple trees need well-drained soil and full sun if possible. (6)

    Nutritional Information

    Apples are a good source of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients. They are high in fiber, vitamin C, B vitamins, and antioxidants such as beta carotene. The soluble fiber can help regulate blood sugar and cleanse the colon, which can help prevent colon cancer. (7) Regular or daily consumption of apples has also been linked with lower rates of asthma, cancer, and Type 2 diabetes. (8)

    Commercial Cultivation

    Though apple trees will grow taller if cultivated from seed, most cultivation is done by grafting. Smaller varieties will produce fruit within three to four years while larger varieties can take five to eight years to produce fruit. Typically, the flowers on the tree bloom in spring and summer and produce fruit in summer and fall. (9)

    Diseases, Pests, Predators

    Apple trees are prone to a variety of pests and diseases. The biggest problems are the apple maggot and animals like deer. Common diseases include apple canker, apple scab, brown rot, and honey fungus. (10)

    Sources:

    (1) http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/issue/1-an-apple-a-day/
    (2) http://www.naturalnews.com/040361_organic_apples_cancer_prevention_healthy_diet.html
    (3) http://www.botanical-online.com/medicinalsmalusdomesticaangles.htm
    (4) http://www.almanac.com/plant/apples
    (5) http://www.fruitsinfo.com/apples.php
    (6) http://www.almanac.com/plant/apples
    (7) http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/an-apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away/
    (8) http://www.organiclifestylemagazine.com/issue/1-an-apple-a-day/
    (9) http://www.almanac.com/plant/apples
    (10) https://www.rhs.org.uk/advice/profile?PID=769

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