Apples grow all over the world. China leads the world in production, with almost half of the global harvest originating within its borders. The United States follows China, producing about 6 percent of the global harvest. Turkey, Poland, India, Italy, Iran, Chile, Russia and France are also large producers of the popular fruit. Australia, Argentina, Germany, Brazil and South Africa also produce apples.
Apples are one of the most cold-hardy fruit producing trees, as they bloom late in the spring, avoiding frost damage. Currently, 7,500 varieties of apple trees are grown worldwide. According to Fruit-Trees, most apple tree varieties are rated for hardiness zones five through eight. However, some varieties are hardy in zone four and zone three. Hardiness zones three and four include the coldest portions of the continental United States. Accordingly, most varieties grow well throughout the continental United States, except for the warmest portions of Florida and Texas.
The ancestor of all modern varieties originated in central Asia. Archaeologists have found evidence of human apple consumption in sites from 6,500 B.C. Apples were grown in Asia and Europe for thousands of years before they were imported into North America.
In 2012, 63 million tons of apples were produced worldwide.