McIntosh Apple Tree Overview
The McIntosh apple tree is well known not only for being a delicious eating variety, but also for being a versatile apple with many uses due to crisp, mildly tart, sweet and spicy flavor. In fact, it is commonly used for making juice and cider. McIntosh is medium to large in size and has green base color covered in dark red. John McIntosh discovered this apple variety as a chance seedling when he fled from New York to Ontario, Canada in the 1770s. In 1796, when working on his land he discovered apple trees growing in the wild. When bringing these apples closer to his home, all died except for one, which became the McIntosh apple variety that we know today. Until 1935, the apple went by the name of Gem, a cross between Farmeuse and Detroit Red. Today, McIntosh apples are one of the most popular and influential cultivars.
Just like any other apple tree, the McIntosh apple tree grows best when it’s planted in full sun in well-drained soil. While the tree can grow well in hardiness zones 4 to 7, it ripens better in full sun and in environments with cool nights. The tree is moderately vigorous upright spreading tree. Begins to produce when young, but produces heavy cropping every other year. After picking can keep well in cold storage for three months, but the flavor can become mealy over time. McIntosh apple trees are susceptible to scab, canker, blight, but resistant to rust and mildew. It’s partially self-fertile, but produces fruit better when close to good pollinators.
- Uses: making pie, apple sauce, dessert, cider, juice
- Taste: Crisp, mildly tart, sweet, spicy
- Size: Medium to Large
- Color: Green base color covered with dark red blush. Flesh is bright white.
- Hardiness Zones: 4 – 7
- Disease resistance
- Scab – susceptible
- Rust – very resistant
- Canker – susceptible
- Blight – moderately susceptible
- Mildew – somewhat resistant
- Harvest period: 4
- Flowering Group: 2
- Cross Pollinates with: Dolgo, Galarina™, Newtown Pippin, Granny Smith and Zestar to name a few!
- Cultivation: This apple tree is moderately vigorous, upright spreading spur bearer. Produces when young, but produces heavy cropping every other year. Very hardy. Needs pruning. Ripens better in full sun and cool nights.
- Storage: Keeps well in cold storage for three months. Can meaiy if temperature is either too cold or too warm. Can lose tartness over time.