Fall 2014 / Spring 2015 seasonWe are now taking provisional orders for fall 2014 shipping (warmer zones only) or spring 2015. 

Empire apple trees

  • Pick: Late-season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Uses: Eat fresh | Juicing 

Empire was developed in the 1940s as a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious and soon established itself as one of the top McIntosh-style apples.

As with most McIntosh crosses, the contribution of the other parent remains in the background, and Empire has all the usual McIntosh characteristics - crimson skin, bright white glistening flesh, and "that" flavor, the dessert-wine taste which is the hallmark of the McIntosh line. However Red Delicious can also be quite scented in its own right and many argue that Empire improves on the Mac in this respect.

Order now for fall 2014 (warm zones) or spring 2015.

Empire apple trees for sale

Mature size* Supplied as Price Quantity
Small  (6ft - 9ft after 5-10 years) 1-year - bare-root - Bud. 9 rootstock  (dwarf) $29.00 Sold outalert me
Large  (9ft - 12ft after 5-10 years) 1-year - bare-root - M7 rootstock  (semi-vigorous) $29.00 Sold outalert me

Delivery discounts. Prices are for individual trees excluding delivery. There is no minimum quantity but it is cost effective to order in multiples of 4 trees.

Delivery period: Trees are delivered in March and April. However it is best to order as soon as you can to ensure items are reserved for you. If you live in a warm zone (e.g. Southern California, Alabama etc.) Fall delivery is possible. More details on our spring shipping schedule by state.

*Mature size: Height shown is the approximate height of the tree when mature (after 5-10 years), not the height when supplied. Actual mature heights may vary considerably dependent on your local conditions and training and pruning regime - see our Tree Height Calculator.

Stock availability: Items showing as 'sold out' will probably be available again next season. Click here to be notified when we get more trees of this variety.

Alternatives to Empire apple trees

Summary features of Empire

    Growing

  • Gardening skill: Easy?
  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile?
  • Flowering group: 3?
  • Pollinating others: Average?
  • Ploidy: Diploid?
  • Vigour: Average growth?
  • Bearing regularity: Regular?
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer?
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening?
  • Scab: Some susceptibility?
  • Mildew: Some resistance?
  • Fireblight: Some resistance?
  • Cedar apple rust: Some resistance?

    Uses

  • Picking season: Late?
  • Use / keeping: 2-3 weeks
    in normal storage, longer in refrigerated storage, but tends to lose flavor?
  • Flavour quality: Very good?
  • Flavour style: Vinous
  • Good for eating fresh
  • Good for juice
  • Drying / Discoloring: No discolor / Good for drying?

    Identification

  • Country of origin: United States
  • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949
  • Fruit colour: Crimson
  • Blossom colour: Pink - light
  • Leaf colour: Green

    Climate

  • Warm climates?
  • Temperate climates
  • Tolerates cold winters
  • USDA Zone 4: Yes
  • USDA Zone 5: Yes
  • USDA Zone 6: Yes
  • USDA Zone 7: Yes
  • USDA Zone 8: Yes
    Cooler areas only
  • Cold hardiness: -30F / -34C?


Pollination guide for Empire

Empire is in flowering group 3. Empire is partially self-fertile, but fruiting will be improved if there is a compatible tree of a different variety nearby. Since it flowers in the middle of the blossom season it can be pollinated by most other apple trees.

How to grow Empire apple trees

As with many of the McIntosh offspring, Empire is a heavy producer and will readily set a large crop of small apples if you let it - thin the crop just after blossom is over to get fewer but larger apples and better flavor. Apart from that, there are few issues with Empire. Be on your guard for scab, to which it is susceptible, but it is generally problem-free.

Empire likes a climate with warm autumn sunshine and cool autumn nights, and may not achieve the right texture south of zone 7. Even so its range is better than McIntosh.



Historical details

Developed at the New York Agricultural Experiment station, Geneva. McIntosh x Red Delicious.


Botanical name

Malus domestica 'Empire'




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