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Duchess of Oldenburg apple tree

Duchess of Oldenburg
Duchess of Oldenburg is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Picking season: Early
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 2

Duchess of Oldenburg is a popular early-season apple, primarily used as a cooking apple although it can be eaten fresh when fully ripe. It is often known simply as "Duchess".

The apples should be ripe in early / mid August.

The key to its success in the kitchen is its tart acidic flavor which holds up well in cooking. Slices usually lose their shape during cooking, making Duchess of Oldenburg best suited for recipes that require apple sauce.

Duchess of Oldenburg apple trees for sale

  • Semi-dwarf 1-year bare-root tree $37.95
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    Semi-dwarf rootstock
    Out of stock
    Sorry we have sold out for this season

How to grow

Duchess of Oldenburg is a reliable variety, easy to grow, and produces apples from a young age. It is very winter-hardy and a great choice for the northern states. Disease-resistance is also excellent - except for fireblight, to which it is susceptible.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


Duchess of Oldenburg originated in Russia in the early 18th century. It was introduced to the USA in the early 19th century, and quickly became popular in the northern states on account of its excellent winter hardiness.

Duchess of Oldenburg has been a mainstay of the University of Minnesota's cold-hardy apple breeding program, and features in the ancestry of many of the university's modern varieties - including Honeycrisp.

Duchess of Oldenburg characteristics

  • Gardening skillBeginner
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group2
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • Picking seasonEarly
  • UsesCulinaryTraditional cooker
  • Keeping (of fruit)1 week
  • General resistanceGood
  • FireblightSome susceptibility
  • ScabSome resistance
  • Cedar apple rustSome resistance
  • MildewSome resistance
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)Zone 3 (-40C)
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)Cold (< 20C / 67F)
  • Country of originRussia
  • Period of origin1750 - 1799

Similar varieties

  • See also Antonovka
    Antonovka is one of the most cold-hardy of all apple varieties.