Apple U-Pick Orchards in Illinois in 2022, by area of state
Click on the resources drop-down above, if you need a county map
These are the areas of the state that have apple orchards to pick apples. Click on the area closet you!
Apple picking tips:
Apples ripen from the outside of the tree towards the center, so the apples out
the outside of the tree will ripen first. Once they are picked, they stop
ripening. Picking apples directly from a
tree is easy. Roll the apple upwards off the branch and give a little twist;
don't pull straight away from the tree. If two apples are joined together at the
top, both will come away at the same time. Don't shake the trees or branches.
If the apple you are trying to pick drops, (or others on the tree) go ahead and
pick it up. They're perfectly fine! But do wash them before you eat them! More info: How to tell
when apples are ripe
Once picked, don't throw the apples into the baskets, place them in
gently, or they will bruise and go bad more quickly.
Don't wash apples until just before using to prevent spoilage.
For an explanation of
why apple slices
turn brown and how to stop it, see this page!
Keep apples cool after picking to increase shelf life. A cool basement is ideal, but the fruit/vegetable drawer of a refrigerator will work, too. A refrigerator is fine for small
quantities of apples. Boxed apples need to be kept in a cool, dark spot
where they won't freeze. Freezing ruptures all of an apple's cells, turning
it into one large bruise overnight. The usual solution is to store apples in
a root cellar. But root cellars often have potatoes in them: apples and
potatoes should never be stored in the same room because, as they age,
potatoes release an otherwise ethylene gas, which makes apples spoil faster.
If you can keep the gas away from your apples, they will keep just fine.
Just don't store them right next to potatoes.
Prevent contact between apples stored for the winter by wrapping them
individually in sheets of newspaper. The easiest way to do this is to unfold
a section of newspaper all the way and tear it into quarters. Then stack the
wrapped apples . See more here: How
to store apples at home
Apples don't improve or "ripen" after being picked - this is an
urban myth - see this page for the truth -
Which apple variety is best?
There are tens of thousands of varieties of apples, developed over centuries. They vary in sugar, acoidity, flavors, storing, crispness and many other
attributes. See our guides to apple varieties:
Canning apples - fully illustrated, with step-by-step instructions
Recipes, illustrated with step by step instructions
- Apple pie recipe and directions and
illustrated! I can say, with, ahem, no bias at all, that this is the
best apple pie recipe in the world! (Alright, I did have an apple strudel in
Vienna once at that place listed in Fodors that was REALLY good, but that
wasn't a pie, was it? And since this was the recipe my grandmother used, it
must be great!)
- How to make applesauce for
a single meal (not canning it) with NO special equipment
- Apple cobbler
Apple crunch - best of all! Moist, low sugar and using oats!
Apple crisp - ever-popular, low sugar and using oats!
Apple, blackberry, cherry, and/or peach cobbler
Apple-blackberry, crumble - a English favorite (or favourite)
Using fresh apples and miscellaneous