Isaac Newton's Apple

Isaac Newton’s Apple

Common Name Apple Tree

Botanical Name Malus pumila

Family Rosaceae

Natural range Central Asia

Mature Height 3-12m

Form Round, spreading

Likes Full sun, well-draining soil

Dislikes Wet feet, poor soil

Where to plant In an area with good air circulation and plenty of space

Known for Producing delicious and versatile fruit

The legend of the apple that inspired Newton

Isaac Newton’s Apple. The story goes that in 1666, a young Isaac Newton was sitting under an apple tree in his family’s orchard when an apple fell on his head. This seemingly innocuous event led to one of the most significant scientific discoveries in history: the theory of gravity.

The truth behind the myth

While it’s true that Newton was inspired by an apple falling from a tree, the story has been romanticized over time. In reality, the apple tree in question was likely a Flower of Kent variety, which produces large, flavorful apples that are excellent for cooking and baking.

The science behind the story

As Newton observed the apple falling, he began to wonder why it always fell straight down to the ground. He realized that this must be due to a force, which he later called gravity. This simple observation would eventually lead to the development of the laws of motion, which form the basis of modern physics.

The legacy of the apple tree

While the original apple tree is no longer standing, a cutting from it was propagated and has since grown into a mature tree. Today, the tree stands outside of Newton’s former home, Woolsthorpe Manor, in Lincolnshire, England, where visitors can see it and reflect on the important role it played in scientific history.

Planting your own apple tree

If you’re inspired by Newton’s story and want to plant your own apple tree, there are a few things to keep in mind. Apple trees prefer full sun and well-draining soil, so choose a site with good air circulation and plenty of space. Be sure to choose a variety that is well-suited to your climate and soil conditions.

Caring for your apple tree

Once your tree is planted, it will need regular care to ensure healthy growth and fruit production. Water your tree deeply once a week during dry periods, and fertilize it in the spring with a balanced fertilizer. Prune your tree in the winter to remove any dead or diseased branches and to shape the tree.

Harvesting and using your apples

Most apple varieties ripen in the fall, and can be harvested by gently twisting the fruit until it comes off the tree. Apples can be eaten fresh, cooked into pies and other baked goods, or made into cider or juice. They can also be stored for several months in a cool, dark place.

The story of Newton’s apple tree is a reminder of the power of observation and curiosity, and the profound impact that a single moment can have on the course of history. Whether you’re planting an apple tree in your own backyard or simply enjoying a juicy apple, the legacy of the apple tree lives on.

Interesting facts:
  • The apple is one of the most widely cultivated fruit trees in the world, with over 7,500 varieties.
  • The crabapple, a wild ancestor of the modern apple, is native to Central Asia and has been cultivated for thousands of years.
  • Apples are a good source of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants, and have been linked to a lower risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes.
Links to associated facts or information:
  1. History of the apple
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