Known for its distinct, delicious fruit, the apple is a deciduous tree in the rose family cultivated the world over. Originating in Central Asia, the apple has been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe and was brought to North America in the 17th century. It can be grown from seed or grafted; the former produces a larger tree but the latter is the more common mode of cultivation. More than 7,500 known cultivars exist today, and 69 million tons of apples were grown worldwide in 2010. It is quite likely the earliest tree to be cultivated.