Gravenstein apple trees

  • Pick: Early-season
  • Flowering group: 1
  • Uses: Eat fresh | Cookery 

Gravenstein is a high-quality dual-purpose apple variety, originally from Europe, but well-established in North America. It can be grown in most US climate zones.

Gravenstein has never achieved great commercial success, but "Gravs" remain extremely popular with apple enthusiasts around the world. The flavor, both for eating fresh and (especially) for cooking is unusually good for such an early-season variety.

Like most early-season apples Gravenstein does not keep that well but, usefully, the apples tend to ripen individually over the course of a couple of weeks so you are not necessarily faced with a sudden glut. (This lengthy ripening time is one of the reasons Gravenstein is not successful as a commercial variety, but is a plus for the home orchardist).

Gravensteins have a distinctive flushed coloring, which begins in mid-August as a few streaks of red, and spreads to cover the whole apple by the end of the picking season in mid-September.

Last orders for delivery to reach us by 30th April

Gravenstein apple trees for sale

Mature size* Supplied as Price Quantity
Small  (6ft - 9ft after 5-10 years) 1-year - bare-root - G.11 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.

Summary features of Gravenstein


  • Gardening skill: Some needed?
  • Cropping: Good
  • Fertility: Not self-fertile?
  • Flowering group: 1?
  • Pollinating others: Poor?
  • Ploidy: Triploid?
  • Vigour: Large?
  • Precocity: Slow to start bearing?
  • Bearing regularity: Biennial tendency?
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening?
  • Overall disease resistance: Poor?
  • Canker: Some susceptibility?
  • Scab: Some susceptibility?
  • Mildew: Some susceptibility?
  • Fireblight: Very susceptible?
  • Woolly aphid: Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust: Very resistant?


  • Picking season: Early?
  • Use / keeping: 1 week?
  • Flavour quality: Very good?
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Good for eating fresh
  • Good for cooking
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Drying / Discoloring: Very oxidising?


  • Country of origin: Denmark
  • Period of origin: 1750 - 1799
  • Fruit colour: Red striped
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Popularity: Best sellers?


  • Temperate climates
  • Mild / damp climates?
  • Low-chill requirement
    A borderline case - only needs about 700 hours
  • USDA Zone 5: Yes
  • USDA Zone 6: Yes
  • USDA Zone 7: Yes
  • Cold hardiness: -20F / -29C?

Pollination guide for Gravenstein

Gravenstein is in flowering group 1. Gravenstein is a triploid variety and cannot pollinate other varieties. It needs to be pollinated by another tree of a different variety nearby. You can either plant a self-fertile variety (which will pollinate itself and the Gravenstein) or you can plant two pollination partners which must each be of different varieties and able to cross-pollinate each other as well as the Gravenstein. If you need further advice on this just get in touch.

How to grow Gravenstein apple trees

Gravenstein is sometimes regarded as an unreliable or difficult variety - but part of this is likely to be caused by poor pollination. There are two pollination-related issues to be aware of when growing Gravenstein. Firstly it is a triploid variety, so it will not pollinate other apple varieties. Secondly it flowers very early in the season, when not many other apple varieties are in flower to pollinate it. Therefore most of the reliability problems with Gravenstein can be resolved by making sure you have some other early-flowering apple trees (of different varieties) nearby. See our pollination checker for suggestions. Whilst we put Gravenstein in flowering group 1 to help ensure that other early-blooming varieties are listed against it in our pollination checker, it is worth noting that Gravenstein can flower over a long period and sometimes appears to have a second flush of blossoms later in the flowering season. Therefore perhaps the best advice is to plant a couple of good early/mid-season pollinators nearby - a crab-apple would be ideal.

Reflecting its triploid nature, Gravenstein trees tend to be quite large and long-lived.

Gravenstein can be susceptible to various apple diseases, although there is no obvious pattern and it does seem to be down to local conditions and climate. It appears to prefer cooler climates. It can be very susceptible to fireblight in those areas where it is prevalent.

In short Gravenstein is not the easiest apple to grow, but a lot of apple enthusiasts are prepared to keep trying because the flavor is so good! It is therefore not the best choice if it is to be your only source of garden apples, but if you already have other apple trees then Gravenstein is well worth taking a chance on.

Historical details

Thought to have originated in Denmark where it is the national apple, or possibly northern Italy. Undoubtedly a very old variety - 18th century or earlier.

Cooking with Gravensteins

Preparing Gravs for apple jelly

Here are some freshly-prepared "Gravs" ready for your favourite apple recipe. Head over to Figs with Bri where you can learn how to make Classic Apple Jelly with them.

Botanical name

Malus domestica 'Gravenstein'