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Top 10 apple varieties suitable for organic growing

These are apple varieties which are suitable for growing organically. They are either strong old-fashioned trouble-free varieties which do not seem to be bothered by the usual apple diseases of scab, canker, or mildew - or modern disease-resistant varieties.

  1. Wolf River

    Late-season  (3)  Cook | Juicing      Stock: Sold out

    Wolf River apple tree
    Utterly reliable, naturally disease-resistant, and exceptionally cold-hardy. However its reputation for disease-resistance is primarily in the northern states.  compare




  2. Priscilla

    Mid-season  (3)  Eat      Stock: Sold out

    Priscilla apple tree
    A modern late-summer apple that is well-regarded for its resistance to all the major apple diseases.  compare




  3. Enterprise

    Very late-season  (4)  Eat | Cook      Stock: Available

    Enterprise apple tree
    One of the most disease-resistant of modern varieties, and its relatively tough skin also helps keep the bugs out.  compare




  4. Liberty

    Late-season  (2)  Eat | Juicing      Stock: Available

    Liberty apple tree
    Liberty has resistance to all the major apple infections - scab, mildew, fireblight, and cedar apple rust. It is also happy to grow in almost any climate.  compare




  5. GoldRush

    Very late-season  (4)  Eat | Cook | Cider     Stock: Available

    GoldRush apple tree
    GoldRush is another variety with almost across-the-board disease-resistance, the only chink in its armor is susceptibility to cedar apple rust. However it has perhaps the best flavor of all the disease-resistant varieties, and can be grown almost anywhere.  compare




  6. Redfree

    Early-season  (3)  Eat      Stock: Sold out

    Redfree apple tree
    A modern summer apple, with resistance to all the major diseases. Can be grown in most areas, but flavor tends to be better in colder zones.  compare




  7. Sweet Sixteen

    Mid-season  (3)  Eat | Cook      Stock: Sold out

    Sweet Sixteen apple tree
    A modern variety, but related to that old stalwart Northern Spy. It has good resistance to all the major problems, and is especially cold-hardy.  compare




  8. Florina

    Late-season  (4)  Eat      Stock: Sold out

    Florina apple tree
    An attractive modern high quality eating apple, with good overall disease resistance, but not a good choice if you are in an area prone to cedar apple rust.  compare




  9. Honeycrisp

    Late-season  (4)  Eat      Stock: Available

    Honeycrisp apple tree
    Honeycrisp balances excellent flavor and crispness with strong disease-resistance, and can be grown almost anywhere. However it is prone to mildew in some climates.  compare




  10. Akane

    Early-season  (4)  Eat | Cook | Juicing      Stock: Sold out

    Akane apple tree
    An attractive early season variety with a nicely-balanced flavor and trouble-free in most climates.  compare






More about Top 10 apple varieties suitable for organic growing

One of the great attractions of growing your own fruit trees is that you can decide exactly how you want the trees to grow. Many gardeners now prefer an organic, or better still, an "un-treated" or "no spray" regime where the trees are grown without the use of any chemical pesticides and herbicides. Most new community orchard projects also adopt organic or no-spray principles.

In a backyard or community orchard situation where outright production is not the main priority, almost any apple variety can be grown organically. You will probably get a slightly reduced crop - but you will have the benefit of knowing that the fruit has been grown entirely free of chemical contamination and is as healthy as possible.

However there are some varieties which are particularly worth considering if you want to grow apple trees without chemicals and sprays. These are generally trouble-free and disease-resistant varieties that do not seem to be bothered by the usual apple diseases of scab, canker, or mildew. Interestingly whilst some of the varieties we recommend are very modern ones which have been specifically developed to incorporate genes for disease resistance, some are older varieties which have a proven track record of being disease-free.

It is worth noting that most crab apples are also suitable for growing without herbicides and pesticides.

Finally remember that disease-resistant does not mean disease-proof - your trees will still benefit from a helping hand. Applying a protective mulch around the base is one of the best ways to help them establish, as it suppresses competing weeds and strong healthy trees are better able to fight of diseases.