Cortland apple trees

  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Keeping (of fruit): 2-3 weeks
  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners
  • 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
G.935 rootstock
Medium (8ft-12ft) mature height
1-year Cortland apple trees bare-root
Full-size (16ft-24ft) mature height

We are between seasons at the moment. You can pre-order trees now for delivery when the new season starts (fall for warmer zones, or next spring), you won't be asked to pay until nearer the time.

*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 style (apples): Sweeter
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening


  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners
  • 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

Similar varieties