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Orange Pippin Trees USA logoSpecialist fruit trees for your orchard or back-yard

Top disease-resistant apple trees

Apples are susceptible to a range of diseases, the main ones being fireblight, scab, and cedar apple rust.

No one variety is immune to all these diseases, but the varieties we list here have good resistance to many of them. Note however that "resistant" does not mean "immune".

It is also important to research the disease pressures in your local area - fireblight is perhaps the most widespread problem in North America, but if you are surrounded by cedar trees then cedar apple rust (CAR) should be your first priority when choosing apple trees.

  • 1st Liberty

    See also Liberty

    In a closely fought contest, Liberty is our top recommendation for disease-resistant apples. It has excellent resistance to cedar apple rust and scab, and good resistance to fireblight and powdery mildew. It just pulls ahead of GoldRush because of its better resistance to cedar apple rust.

    Liberty is very much a McIntosh-style apple, with its red-skin and sweet / tart flavor. It is easy to grow (including down to zone 4) and a great choice for a no-spray orchard.

    Buy Liberty apple trees here
  • 2nd GoldRush

    See also GoldRush

    GoldRush is a foolproof modern apple with an excellent texture and flavor.

    It has reasonable resistance to fireblight and is highly resistant to powdery mildew and scab. It is susceptible to cedar apple rust though.

    The only drawback is it needs a long growing season to ripen properly, meaning it is not suitable for growers in zone 4. That aside, it has arguably a better flavor than Liberty.

    Buy GoldRush apple trees here
  • 3rd Enterprise

    See also Enterprise

    Enterprise is modern American apple developed specifically for disease-restance. It is effectively immune to scab, and has good resistance to fireblight and cedar apple rust, as well as powdery mildew.

    Enterprise has an excellent flavor, but we rank it in third spot simply because it is not quite as good as Liberty or GoldRush, but for every day eating you definitely won't be disappointed. The skin is particularly thick - this helps reduce damage from insect pests, but also makes it harder to eat, and you may prefer to peel it.

    Buy Enterprise apple trees here
  • 4th Williams' Pride

    See also Williams' Pride

    Williams Pride has excellent resistance to fireblight, scab, cedar apple rust, and mildew - as you would expect given it comes from the highly-regarded disease-resistant apple program of Purdue, Rutgers and Illinois Universities.

    It could arguably be placed even higher except we think it does not quite match GoldRush for flavor - but even so its disease-resistance does not compromise the flavor, this is a very attractive apple for the early-season.


    Buy Williams' Pride apple trees here
  • 5th Roxbury Russet

    See also Roxbury Russet

    All the other varieties in this list are modern developments, relying on the latest research into disease-resistance. In contrast Roxbury Russet is one of the oldest apple varieties to originate in the USA - and it has remained popular on account of its reliability and disease-resistance. Like many old survivors from the eastern states, it seems to be able to cope with fireblight, which probably originated in this area.

    It has to be said its disease resistance is not consistent, and it performs differently in different climates, but this is a triploid variety and it is this inherent vigour which seems to help it throw-off infections.

    Roxbury Russet is a multi-purpose apple, popular with cider makers, cooks (it is good for baking) and can be eaten fresh once it has mellowed in storage.

    Buy Roxbury Russet apple trees here

Click here to see all the disease-resistant apple varieties in our catalog..