Apple trees (Malus domestica Borkh.) were grown in a field trial at soil water depletion (SWD) levels of 15% (wet) and 75% (dry). Water extraction depths were divided into 3 or 4 depth increments, and ranged from 700 to 1100 mm, depending on the treatments and rooting depth. Treatments were applied from the end of shoot extension growth until harvest. In a loamy sand and a loam soil, root distribution was affected primarily by the soil water regime. The treatments affected distribution with depth rather than root diameter. Shallower (about 600 mm), but more concentrated, root systems developed under the wet than dry treatment. The effect of soil water regime on root distribution was more pronounced in a loamy sand than in a loam. Treatment effects were probably diminished in the latter by high soil bulk densities.