There are over 7500 cultivars of the ‘eating apples’ (Malus pumila) known (plus the so called ‘ornamental’ sorts). Some are extremely important economically as commercial products, but the majority (‘heritage sorts’) are not suitable for mass production. Apples are also used to produce juice and cider.
Apple trees can grow in a wide range of soils from medium textured clays to gravelly sands, but the best conditions for them are fertile sandy soils and loams.
The biggest decline in apple harvesting happened in Germany, which lost its third place to Poland, followed by Austria, France and Belgium.