Empire Apple Tree Overview
Cornell University developed this Empire apple tree in New York state (“The Empire State”) in the 1940s from its parents, Red Delicious and McIntosh. It is a McIntosh type apple with better color and flavor. The fruit is medium size, round shape, and darker color. The flesh is creamy white and crisp. It is high quality dessert apple with long storage life and it can be used for cider as well. Similar to the McIntosh and Cortland apple trees, the natural home of Empire is the north-eastern United States. Moreover it has very beautiful fruit, is easy to grow/maintain, and bears a lot of fruit. If you want an apple that doesn’t bruise easily or discolor, then this one is perfect for you and your lunches. It’s no wonder that it is one of the top ten apple varieties grown in the United States since the empire apple tree bears zesty, sweet-crisp apples that are perfect to bite into. It grows zones 4-7 and hardy to -30 degrees F. Requires 800 chill hours.
For best results, plant this apple tree in full sun and in well-drained soil that is neutral to alkaline. In order to have a good harvest, you should prune these trees yearly. Although they are partially self-fertile, plant them with its cross pollinators in order to have a great crop each year. Additionally they are beautiful in blossom and a great addition to your landscape.
- Uses: Eat fresh. Wonderful in ciders as well.
- Taste: Sweet/crisp with a little bit of tang and notes of melon.
- Size: Medium sized round apple
- Color: Light green base with a dark red blush skin and cream colored flesh
- Hardiness Zones: 4-7
- Disease resistance
- Scab – Some susceptibility
- Mildew – Some resistance
- Fireblight – Some resistance
- Cedar apple rust – Some resistance
- Harvest period: September
- Flowering Group: 4
- Cross Pollinates with: Enterprise, Galarina™, Pink Lady, Pristine, Sansa, to name a few
- Cultivation: This apple tree is precocious and also easy to grow. Additionally, it has medium vigour and sets heavy crops so thinning is essential.
- Storage: You can store the apples for up to 3 months without the apple losing its flavor.