Spartan is a deep marroon-colored apple with an excellent refreshing sweet flavor. Apple text books often describe the flavor as "vinous" and it can indeed have a wine-like quality, although this is first and foremost a crisp sweet juicy unpretentious apple.
That flavor, and the crimson skin, are an easy clue that Spartan is related to the famous Canadian McIntosh apple. Spartan is undoubtedly one of the best of the many varieties which trace their ancestry back to McIntosh.
Spartan ripens quite late in the season, usually around early October. The apples will remain on the tree over a 2-3 week period, which means you can pick a few at a time rather than have to deal with a glut. This is also the best way to enjoy them because although they keep fairly well, the flavor and crispness fade in storage.
Spartan is a simple unpretentious apple, and when eaten straight from the tree on a crisp cold morning is a real delight.
Sorry we have not been able to produce any trees of this variety this season.
We may still be able to propagate it to order for you. Please contact us for more details.
Spartan is in flowering group 3. Spartan 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.
Spartan is very easy to grow in almost any climate. Although the natural home of most McIntosh-style apples is the north-east of North America, Spartan seems happy in most situations. As might be expected from a Canadian variety, it is naturally cold-hardy.
It crops reliably and heavily. The fruit tends to be small but moderate thinning is very effective and the remaining apples will be a good medium/large size.
There are few disease problems, and birds and aphids are not often a problem either.
Spartan also tends to produce a reasonably neat and attractive tree.
Finally, the large quantity of blossom makes it a good pollinator for other apple varieties. The pollen is also viable at lower temperatures (50F rather than the usual 60F-70F required by other varieties) making it a useful variety to include if your orchard is in an area with cold spring weather.
All in all, you won't regret giving it space in your apple tree collection.
Spartan is one of the most widely-grown of the McIntosh family of apples, which are characterised by their deep maroon skinand bright white flesh. Spartan was developed at the Canadian Apple Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, in the 1920s. The female parent is McIntosh, and the male parent is thought to be the popular American variety Newtown Pippin although this is not certain.