Origins of Apples

The Origins of Apples

Apples are not native to North America.  They originated in Kazakhstan, in central Asia east of the Caspian Sea.  The capital of Kazakhstan, Alma Ata, means “full of apples.”  By 1500 BC apple seeds had been carried throughout Europe.  The Greeks, Etruscans, and Romans cultivated apples. To the latter goes the credit, during the early centuries of the Christian era, for having carried apple seeds and trees to the British Isles.   Many varieties of apples thrived in England.


Approximately 750,000 years ago: early Paleolithic food gatherers in (modern) Kazakhstan, central Asia, discovered sour crab apples growing wild in the forest.

Approximately 8,000 years ago: Neolithic farmers in (modern) Asia cultivated wild apples.

c. 1300 BC: Egyptians began planting orchards along the Nile Delta.

c. 800 BC: Ancient Greeks learned grafting techniques.

c. 200 BC: Ancient Romans planted apple orchards in Britain.

1500s-1600s: Spaniards brought apples to Mexico and South America.