Ghost Apple Tree (Malus ‘Ghost’)

Ghost Apple Tree

  • Mid-Season
  • Delicious Fruit Features White Skin and Flesh
  • Sweet, Sub Acid Flavor
  • Versatile Apple
  • Use for Fresh Eating, Baking, Drying, Juices, Sauces and Freezing
  • Late Bloomer Resists Late Frosts
  • Prolific Early Harvest
  • Well-Adapted to Hot Climates
  • Low Chill Requirement

Plant collectors and apple lovers, come take a good look at this unusual fruit. Ghost Apple (Malus domestica Ghost’) is a recent introduction from the world-famous Zaiger team. Way more than just a novelty, we predict you’ll start seeing plenty of Ghosts. The taste is outstanding!

This heat resistant variety is great for all apple usages, and features a low chill requirement. It’s also cold hardy! That makes it extremely popular for edible landscaping from Zone 5 all the way down into Zone 9. There are reports of success in Zone 10, too.

Developed in the hot, interior valley of central California, Ghost is a variety that has survived a trial by fire. It’s had to endure typical summer temperatures of 100 to 110 degrees. Most varieties of apples either sunburn, or drop all their fruit under these extreme temperatures, but not Ghost. The pale fruit just shines in the summer sun.

The beautiful white skin actually reflects that hot summer sun, and thereby avoids the typical damaging effect of the heat. But at the same time, the heat contributes to the taste-test approved, sweet flavor.

Ghost is all about the sweetness of the fruit. This sub-acid variety has no tartness. For those that love fruit for dessert, Ghost Apple will be a favorite.

Can you imagine the kids in your life? They’ll go bananas for the funny name, unusual look and sugary-sweet taste of the Ghost!

With pretty white flowers in spring, and delicious white apples that glow in sun or under the moonlight, the Ghost Apple offers a lot of interest. Add one to your backyard orchard today!

How to Use Ghost Apple in the Landscape

While it blooms late, Ghost Apple is actually a mid-season ripening selection. You’ll need a pollinating partner. Try a Dolgo Crabapple, or use any of the mid-season blooming apples, such as Gala, Fuji or McIntosh.

In high desert climates, use either the Anna or Dorsett Golden as a pollinator to ensure a great crop.

Backyard orchards can be kept compact and manageable with summertime pruning each year. Decide how tall and wide you want your tree to be, then keep it there. Trees under 8 feet are easier to harvest.

If you want to keep it smaller, consider growing in a high density planting. Read our blogs or watch our YouTube videos on how to create and care for 3-in-1 or 4-in-1 plantings.

You can also plant them in a hedge row to give you a welcome privacy screen. Simply space them in a row 5 to 7 feet apart on center. Measure from the center of one tree to the center of the next.

Careful selection of varieties can help you with pollination partners. You’ll also extend your harvest period for up to 5 months of fantastic, homegrown apples.

Start picking the Ghost crop as the summer heat comes on. It’s versatile and can be used in many ways.

Ghost is wonderful straight off the tree as a fresh eating variety. Pick a few and put them right into the refrigerator for a cold, crisp, crunchy afternoon treat on a hot summer day.

This variety has good firmness and can be baked into an unexpected summer pie or tarts for breakfast. Don’t discount the reward of adding a Ghost Apple to the blender for a healthy morning smoothie.

Throw slices on the grill in the summer for a minute or two on each side. There is nothing that complements meat like the savory sweetness of a slice of grilled apple.

Add to salads and sandwiches. Try in out-of-this-world prepared chutney, or juice it. And of course, you’ll want to add it to cheese plates as an easy, but very special after-dinner offering.

Tips for Care

Plant your Ghost Apple tree in a full sun location that gets plenty of early morning sun. This is the drying sun and helps to cut down on moisture-related diseases.

Apples can tolerate wet locations, as long as the drainage is good. With soil that holds water long after a rain event, you’ll want to raise up the planting site. Create a raised bed, or bring in additional soil mounded in a heap 12 – 18 inches tall, 3 feet wide. You’ll plant in that mound to improve drainage away from the crown of the root.

In hot, dry climates, apply at least 3 to 4 inches of mulch around the tree. Spread it out 3 feet from the outside of the canopy. This helps to keep roots cool in the hot summer and cut down on surface evaporation, saving you the cost of water.

Give your trees a location with good air drainage. You’ll want to prune in late winter to remove branches growing into the interior of the canopy. The goal is to keep the canopy open to improve air flow and light penetration.

Prune in summer to control the overall height of the tree. It is recommended to keep all fruit trees below 10 feet tall for ease of maintenance and harvest. Summer pruning is the best way to control height and spread.

In hotter climates, when summer pruning always be careful to only allow filtered sunlight into the canopy and don’t overexpose previously unexposed limbs and branches. You’ll also want to use a tree wrap or paint the trunk with a white, interior latex paint diluted by 50% with water. This will avoid sunburn damage on the trunk for the first few years.

Ghost is a cutting-edge variety that is one-of-a-kind. Cold hardy, it’s also possibly the finest hot weather apple varieties.

Ghost Apple Tree (Malus ‘Ghost’) Details

Common name Ghost Apple Tree
Botanical name Malus 'Ghost'
Hardiness zone 5-9
Growth rate Medium
Harvest time Mid-Season
Height 12-15 ft.
Width 12-15 ft.
Sunlight Full Sun
Moisture Low Once Established
Soil condition Widely Adaptable
Pollinator-friendly Yes
Pruning time When Dormant
Flower color White
Leaf color Deciduous