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.
Please fill in the details below and we will let you know when Empire apple trees are back in stock.
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.
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.
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.
Developed at the New York Agricultural Experiment station, Geneva. McIntosh x Red Delicious.
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