When it comes to choosing apple cultivars for the home orchard the choices are immense. Apples have different flavors, different textures, different colors, different disease resistance and different climate tolerance. Whew!
When choosing a kind of apple tree to buy, one of the first things you might want to think about is the climate tolerance and disease resistance. That will make growing your apple tree and keeping it healthy easier. Now for the hard part - picking apples for taste and texture. Some of the newer apple varieties have been chosen for certain characteristics, mostly disease resistance. Some of those are very good tasting as well.
More delicious variations in taste and texture can be had by buying heirloom apple trees. Although many of the heirloom apples taste exquisite, you can expect to do more spraying for diseases with many of these trees. Your effort will be worth it. You will have great tasting apples that can't be bought in most grocery stores.
I have written a description of a few apple varieties that I have personal experience with. I also go to the apple tasting events and write descriptions in a notebook about the taste. As time goes on, descriptions of these apples will appear on this website.
And last, if I could only buy one tree, I would get a very nice healthy tree of a kind that grows well in my climate and has resistance to the types of diseases in my area. Then I would graft on new varieties of apples that I like to that tree. You could have a lot of different apples on one tree.
Here are a few cultivar descriptions and also a list of scab resistant ones:
Northern Spy - a great all-around apple for the home garden.
Arkansas Black - A crisp juicy apple that just keeps getting better and better with storage.
A list of some scab resistant apple cultivars here.
Scroll down to the bottom of the page for apple cultivar reviews written by our readers.
Each month I will give a copy of this wonderful book signed by Michael Phillips himself for the best cultivar submission that month. Submit as many essays you wish.
You know better than anyone what your own apple tree is like - how it grows, how the apples taste, etc. Share your knowledge with us. Add a picture, too! I'm looking for a chatty and personal story about your apple tree and what you love about it. Please give us a picture of your apple or apple tree if you have one, and even if it is not in the season you would like, you can always send me a new one later.
Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...
I have a "semi dwarf" Macoun apple tree that is my pride and joy. It's approximately 15' tall and is about 30 years old. The trees origin is from a sucker …
kat northern spy Not rated yet
I have a northern spy that for some reason this year just popped out with tons of apples, of course I have been more watchful of the worm webs in all my …
Liberty Not rated yet
When I moved to Western Oregon my place had four mature semi-dwarf trees that were not so good - and scabby. One trip to a Home Orchard Society event had …
Sandow Not rated yet
A seedling of Northern Spy from Ottowa, 1912, Sandow is a midseason apple medium to large red with some russeting. Some scab resistance. High quality, …
Honeycrisp Not rated yet
Honeycrisp has become a very popular variety at farm markets and grocery stores but it became my favorite before the average person had ever heard of the …