Liberty Apple Tree Overview
If you would like a McIntosh style apple that is not only easy to grow and enjoy fresh, but also a favorite for making cider, then the Liberty apple tree is for you! It matures in late September and has a sweet, juicy, and crisp taste. Moreover, the Liberty apple tree is very resistant to scab, cedar apple rust, mildew, and fireblight which will make your life much easier. In fact, Robert Lamb form the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station (NYSAES) at Geneva (operated by Cornell University) specifically developed Liberty so that it would be free from diseases. He used the parent, Macoun and added pollen from Purdue 54-12.
Although NYSAES developed it in the 1960s, they didn’t introduce it until 1974. Since this station traditionally names its fruit after towns in New York, they named this disease resistant apple Liberty not only because if was free from diseases but also because of the town of Liberty which is about 160 kilometers northwest from New York City. Because of these characteristics and its sharp taste, growers love to grow the Liberty apple tree in the Northeastern Unites States. In fact, many grow it as a replacement to the McIntosh apple tree. For best results, be sure to plant it with its cross pollinators, water regularly in the first year, and prune during the winter.
- Uses: Eating fresh. Also good for cooking, baking, and a favorite for making cider as well.
- Taste: Refreshingly sweet, juicy, and crisp
- Size: Medium to large
- Color: Dark red fruit with a yellowish base and flesh.
- Hardiness Zones: 4-7
- Disease resistance:
- Scab – Very resistant
- Mildew – Some resistance
- Fireblight – Some resistance
- Cedar apple rust – Very resistant
- Harvest period: Late September
- Flowering Group: 2
- Cross pollinates with: Freedom, Sansa, and Pristine to name a few!
- Cultivation: This apple tree is vigorous and upright spreading. Although it produces a lot of fruit, you need to thin it so that the fruit becomes large and doesn’t drop before ripening.
- Storage: Can keep up to two months, and the flavor will improve with time.