Three- and four-year-old children joined the seniors at Spring Hills Mt. Vernon Assisted Living to plant an apple tree prior to Earth Day on Wednesday, April 20, 2016. There were approximately eight to 10 children from The Capital Kids preschool.
The apple tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. There are more than 7,500 known cultivars of apples, resulting in a range of desired characteristics. About 80 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2013, and China produced almost half of this total. The United States is the second-leading producer, with more than 6% of world production.