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

American heirloom apple trees

A collection of antique apple varieties that were in use before the 1850s, a good starting point for a traditional heritage orchard.

Newtown Pippin apple tree
Late-season  (3)  
Eat | Cook | Juicing | Cider |  In stock

In use since the 18th century, Newtown Pippin is a versatile American apple with a good aromatic flavor.
Spitzenburg apple tree
Late-season  (4)  
Eat | Cook | Juicing  |  In stock

Esopus Spitzenberg is one of the best-flavored American heirloom apples, and a favourite of Thomas Jefferson.
Winesap apple tree
Late-season  (3)  
Eat | Cook | Juicing  |  In stock

Winesap is a popular southern heirloom apple, widely grown in Virginia in the 19th century.
Baldwin apple tree
Late-season  (4)  
Eat | Cook | Juicing  |  In stock

Found in Massachusetts in the mid-18th century.
Grimes Golden apple tree
Late-season  (3)  SF  
Eat | Cook | Juicing  |  In stock

Found in West Virginia in the early 19th century.
King of Tompkins County apple tree
Late-season  (3)  
Cook | Juicing  |  Sold out

Late 18th / early 19th century, New York state.
Northern Spy apple tree
Very late-season  (5)  
Eat | Cook | Juicing  |  In stock

A traditional New York variety dating back to the early 19th century.
Rhode Island Greening apple tree
Late-season  (3)  
Cook  |  In stock

From the mid-17th century.
Roxbury Russet apple tree
Late-season  (4)  
Eat | Cook | Juicing | Cider |  In stock

Known in Massachusetts in the early 17th century.



More about American heirloom apple trees

The story of the spread of new apple varieties across North America is a fascinating one. Whilst the settlers brought good European varieties with them, most of these proved unsuited to the climate of the New World. However the seeds of these apples were planted far and wide by Johnny Appleseed and others, and from these some grew and flourished. As the settlements spread westwards the more successful varieties were taken with new settlers and propagated in new orchards. In this way a tradition of apple varieties arose which was uniquely American.

Developed before modern scientific breeding methods were available, these antique apple varieties were nevertheless naturally productive and hardy - they had to be. However whilst many have a certain beauty about them, they could not compete with the new wave of American apples such as Delicious and Golden Delicious which were discovered at the end of the 19th century. The heirloom varieties that had served Americans well until then started to fall out of fashion, being less well-suited to large-scale production, transcontinental shipment, and long-term storage.

In the 21st century there is now a growing recognition that the diversity of the old heritage varieties should be protected - and the best way to do that is to start eating and cooking them! Growing your own heirloom apple trees gives you the chance to experience these old-fashioned flavors.