Cortland apple trees

  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Keeping (of fruit): 2-3 weeks
  • Gardening skill: Easy
  • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3

Cortland was one of the first varieties to be developed from the popular McIntosh apple. It is a cross between an old southern variety, Ben Davis, pollinated by McIntosh. However as is often the case with McIntosh crosses, Cortland is very much in the McIntosh mould, with the characteristic crimson red skin and glistening sweet white flesh, although it does have a more rustic appeal than some other Mac crosses.

Cortland is a reliable and heavy-cropping variety. The apples are generally larger than McIntosh, but the sweet perfumed flavor is similar. Fruit quality from markets can be quite variable because Cortland does not keep especially well, but this is easily remedied by growing your own. Although primarily an apple for eating fresh, Cortland is also useful in the kitchen, and cut slices don't brown quickly.

Redcort - shown in our main photo - is a sport of Cortland with similar characteristics but a deeper crimson skin.

Cortland apple trees for sale

Mature height*
1-year Cortland apple trees bare-root
Medium (8ft-12ft) mature height
Out of stock
1-year Cortland apple trees bare-root
B.118 rootstock
Full-size (16ft-24ft) mature height

*Find out more about the apple rootstocks we use to control the mature height.

How to grow

Cortland is an easy apple to grow in most cooler climates, with no particular vices.

Historical details

Raised at the New York State Experiment Station, Geneva, 1898. McIntosh x Ben Davis.

Cortland characteristics


  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh Cooking
  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Keeping (of fruit): 2-3 weeks
  • Flavor quality: Good
  • Flavor style (apples): Sweeter
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Discoloring: No discoloration (Good for drying)
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening


  • Gardening skill: Easy
  • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3
  • Pollinating others: Average
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average vigour
  • Bearing regularity: Regular
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer

Disease resistance

  • General resistance: Good
  • Cedar apple rust: Some susceptibility
  • Fireblight: Some susceptibility
  • Scab: Some susceptibility


  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (4) -30F / -34C
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F) Warm (25C - 30C / 76F - 85F) Cold (< 20C / 67F)


  • Country of origin: United States
  • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949
  • Fruit color: Crimson