Beautiful apple and cherry tree blossoms are an exquisite sign of spring. In Canada and the US, Gala, McIntosh, and Honeycrisp apple trees are among the first to bloom in early spring. Other varieties like Northern Spy and Winesap apple trees bloom in summer. Apples are not native to Canada or the US. They were brought to North America by Rev. William Blaxton of Boston in the 17th century.
Although apple trees are documented as existing in Europe in antiquity, the Tian Shan Mountains of Northwest China are thought to be the origin of the apple tree. China is still a leading exporter of apples.
A common icon in many cultures, apples have been characterized in many ways. In the myths of Ancient Greece, Heracles traveled to the Hesperides to pick apples from the Tree of Life. Apples are sometimes depicted as evil like the poisoned apple in the Snow White children’s story, and the apple given to Adam by Eve from the Tree of Knowledge in the Christian Bible. While, in ancient Germany, folklore depicted apples as an aid to fertility. The apple was the food used by the gods to keep them young forever, according to the Norse.
In Michigan and Arkansas, the apple blossom is the state flower. Apple festivals can be found in many areas including Wellesley, Ontario in the Annapolis Valley in Nova Scotia, and in Ellijay, Georgia and Fort Wayne, Indiana.