Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree Form: Make Your Own

Back in December 2008, just 3-4 months after I began blogging, I created this Colonial Williamsburg style centerpiece for a Christmas party I had coming up.  I also used it for our Christmas table that year.  I make this centerpiece almost every Christmas.   It has to be my all time favorite Christmas table centerpiece.

Christmas Tablescape with Colonial Williamsburg Centerpiece

Sorry about the awful photography.  The camera I was using back in 2008 couldn’t handle low lighting and my photo editing skills were pretty awful.  All the fruit you see in the centerpiece is real, including the pineapple candle holders.  This centerpiece will last around 5-7 days, sometimes longer.  It smells wonderful during that time and makes the whole room smell great.

Christmas Tablescape with Colonial Williamsburg Aple Tree Centerpiece

I usually tie a pretty ribbon around the top of the pineapple to finish it off.  When my holly bush doesn’t have berries, I incorporate berries from my nandina.  Love those!  Magnolia leaves create a nice finishing touch under the base.

Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree

Last year when I made my apple tree, I branched out and made it with lemons and limes.  The limes I found were so big, they almost looked like green apples.   Several folks asked how this centerpiece was made so  I created a full tutorial showing all the steps in detail.  You’ll find the tutorial here: Make a Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree Centerpiece for Christmas

Colonial Williamsburg Lemon, Lime and Clove Studded Orange Centerpiece


The centerpiece starts with this form, given to me 20+ years ago by a friend.  I believe she bought it at a craft type market after going on a Christmas home tour, but I’m not sure.  You can tell that it is hand-made because the round base isn’t completely round.  That makes me love it all the more.

Apple Tree Form for Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree


Each year when I create this apple tree centerpiece, I receive e-mails from folks asking about the form and where to buy one.  I just received one of those emails a few days ago so I thought I’d share all the dimensions of the form, in case you have a crafty woodcutter in your family who can make one for you.

Apple Tree Form for Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree


If you don’t want to make your own, they used to sell similar forms at the Colonial Williamsburg Marketplace online.  I haven’t seen them there in a few years, but there are some similar ones on eBay right now.

Apple Tree Form for Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree

Out of curiosity,  I did a bit of “searching” on eBay and found forms using the following search terms: Apple Tree Form, Apple Form, Apple Cone.  They vary a good bit in price since some are new and some are used.

Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree


Dimensions to Make Your Own Apple Tree Form:

If you would like to make your own form or know someone who can make one for you, here are the dimensions of the one I use:

The form (from top to bottom) is around 10 inches tall, including the base but not counting the nails that stick out the top.

The round base is 9 inches across.

The cone section is around 9 1/2 inches tall, approximately 2 3/4 inches wide at the top and approximately 5 inches wide at the base. It tapers from its 5-inch base to the 2 3/4 inch wide top.

The nails are spaced out about 1 1/2 inches apart where they stick into the base going around the form.  Going from top to bottom, the rows of nails are about 1 1/4 inches apart.  The nails, which appear to be “finishing” nails, stick out 1 1/2 inches all the way around.

To see additional photos of the apple tree form and for a detailed tutorial showing how to make the centerpiece, check out this post: Make a Colonial Williamsburg Apple Tree Centerpiece for Christmas

Christmastime in Colonial Williamsburg

Love all the natural Christmas decorations you find when visiting Colonial Williamsburg?  Check out this previous post for loads of inspiration:  Tour Colonial Williamsburg at Christmastime

Colonial Williamsburg at Christmastime

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  1. Oh, I love this post. Brought back wonderful memories of my mom at Christmas. She always put together an apple centerpiece and had that same form. Thanks for sharing your centerpiece. It’s absolutely beautiful.

  2. This is an informative post ,as well as abosolutely stunning. The centerpiece and the table are just gorgeous. Great job as usual!


  3. Hi Susan! Today’s blog is beautiful as usual! You’re such an inspiration! It’s funny that just this week I started looking for ideas for making a Willilamsburg style pineapple wreath for our front door. Now you’ve inspired me to take it a step further to making a matching centerpiece. Thank you once again! (P.S. I have to tell you, as busy as life is, I always take the time to read your blog. It’s one of the things I love most about my day. Thank you! :D)


  4. I’ve been thinking all day about making a tree with the styrofoam cone that’s been hanging around my laundry room for a while. Now you’ve got me wondering how I could support a similar apple centerpiece using fake fruit instead of real apples. Fascinating post, as always!

  5. Each design is more lovely than the previous. I hope your friend knows how much use you’ve gotten out of that gift!

  6. A beautiful centerpiece!

  7. I marvel at all your lovely posts! Everything is always gorgeous!

  8. This centerpiece is wonderful and so welcoming. I will have to use this with the lemons. My neighbor has such a heavy-laden tree that they break the limbs. Each season she begs us to take some. I have been preserving them, a Moroccan technique; I make curd, and tarts, and freeze for lemonade. Basically I use them in everything I can think of and here is another idea.

  9. Oh, one more thing, even with your so called “awful” photography, they are still wonderful.

  10. I love what you’ve done with this form. The arrangements are all beautiful. I bought the same form at Colonial Williamsburg about twenty five years ago but have never been this successful in making an arrangement. Thats for the tutorial.

  11. I got one of those apple tree forms when I visited Colonial Williamsburg maybe 20 yrs ago. Your trees have been beautiful but then all of your arrangements are beautiful. I know that we all appreciate all of the ideas and “how to’s” that you share with us.

  12. Oh, Susan,
    that (apple tree) form is such a great idea and so versatile… Love it and also love all your fruit “trees”… buuut… something else also caught my eye: your wonderful Christmas dinnerware!
    The first “awful” photography you have posted is a dream!!! I wish every “awful” picture were such a beauty and had such a gorgeous background and motif! πŸ™‚
    ~Hugs to you~

  13. This post was how I originally found your site, quite some time ago now! πŸ™‚

    I love Colonial Williamsburg. Having lunch there tomorrow with my sister, in fact. I will keep an eye out for the forms & report back should I find any locally.

  14. Your tablescape is beautiful as always. You are so talented, I enjoy your post so much and look forward to the next one. I also noticed that beautiful cake stand again. Kathy

  15. Susan, I had one of these forms back in the 70s and made a few of the apple trees back then. Lost the form over the years and wanted another one this spring. Luckily, I found one at the auction that I always go to. Made a lemon tree for a function and everyone loved it. If I can find my form in the storage building, I’m going to make a centerpiece using something very different on it. If I get it made, I’ll send you a link!

  16. Oh gorgeous tablescape, ! Wow, it looks quite easy, I might give it a chance and have a form made, as here things get made if you can’t find them easily. Thank you for sharing dear Susan, you are so generous. Hope you had a wonderful Tksgiving along with your son and new Dil.

  17. I found a form almost identical to this one last spring at Goodwill for a DOLLAR! The people there has no idea what it was – I can’t wait to use it this year on my table πŸ™‚

  18. That is so awesome! Thank you so much! I am so making this for our family Christmas celebration at our house this year. My mother told me years ago that the pineapple symbolized hospitality and it is on my wedding china [embossed in white] Thank you so much!

    • Jenna, I heard that when I was touring around Colonial Williamsburg and fell in love with the pineapple symbolism from that day forward. They use it in so many places there. How wonderful to have it on your wedding china…love that!

  19. I have one of these. It was my mom’s. I be never used it…but might this year as I do like it. Be careful using holly berries they are poisonous. I wouldn’t want Max to eat one. I have a cat that would be in the center of the table eating the berries!

  20. Until you originally posted about this centerpiece, I had never heard about them. It is so beautiful and would suit more than a Christmas occasion. Are you hosting Christmas this year Susan?

  21. Sharon O'Neill says

    A dear friend of mine , who is now deceased, gave me an apple tree form many years ago. The other day I told my oldest daughter I could not find it anywhere. Well, finally, today, I did find it.. Your centerpieces are beautiful and the pictures are gorgeous..

  22. As you probably already know, I love all things pineapple and Williamsburg…I have been to Williamsburg at Christmas time and so truly enjoyed Colonial Williamsburg and the town of Williamsburg…beautiful centerpieces!!!

  23. This really reminded me of the time I lived in Williamsburg.


  24. Cathie Price says

    Hello Susan: I have a friend who is going to try to make me an Apple tree. He would like to ask some questions via email. Is it possible for you to send me your email? Thanks. Cathie

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