Growing Apples in San Diego’s Coastal Zone

We had always believed apple trees needed winter chill hours to be successful. Imagine our surprise when we met Anna!

In 2006, Anna lived in our front yard in Linda Vista, San Diego, CA. We inherited her when we bought the property. She was, at the time, a tree without a name, bare, uncared for, and looked half-dead. 

So, we dug around her base, fed and watered her. 

Anna in 2006

Within a couple of weeks, she thanked us with blossoms! But she wouldn’t actually produce apples, right? WRONG!

A couple of months later we got our first little batch of apples, about 15 in all. We did not know the variety we had, but we were already quite impressed with this little tree… The apples were tart, yet sweet. Finally, we learned that we had a variety of apple that grows well in San Diego – the Semi-Dwarf Anna Apple Tree. I have seen healthy ones for sale at City Farmers Nursery

Moving Anna
About a year after meeting Anna, we were redesigning our front yard to plant a lawn (we eventually scrapped the lawn to plant a salsa garden). She had to be moved. We had never moved a tree before. We researched how to move a tree, and successfully relocated Anna to the backyard on top of 3 yellowtail fish carcasses. How long until we should expect fruit? Incredibly – less than 6 months later. My father, Bill Cartwright, an avid organic gardener in Northern California, calls her the miracle tree.

After Move 1
After Move 1

Mud Soup
We had to move Anna again in 2010… This time, however, she didn’t even lose any leaves! We think it is because of the mud soup we placed her in. I will write about mud soup later. We are getting more confident about relocating our plants :)


It is now 2011. By the end of July, she had produced at least a hundred apples.

5-Minute Applesauce

Excellent! See you again next year, Anna.

But WAIT! A month later I went out to check the backyard garden and Anna was full of blossoms again!! This tree is amazing.

I counted the apples on Anna last week, and there were at least 82 apples of varying sizes, as well as new blossoms coming forth. 

Below are photos I took today…

Picture taken Sept 29, 2011

Picture taken Sept 29, 2011

Looking for a good variety of apple tree to grow in Southern California? On, there are 47 posts in the topic of what is the “Best apple tree in So. Cal.

If you would like to learn more about low chill apple varieties, you can learn more: 


Anya @MyGardenHaven

Growing Apples in San Diego’s Coastal Zone

3 thoughts on “Growing Apples in San Diego’s Coastal Zone

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