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Baldwin apple tree

Baldwin is listed in the RHS Plants for Pollinators
  • Picking season: Late
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 4

Baldwin is an antique American apple which is still popular today. William Kendrick in his book the New American Orchardist (1833) states it is "recommended for extensive cultivation". The Victorian pomologist Robert Hogg stated Baldwin was "considered one of the finest apples in the Northern States of America".

It has the key element of a good apple - a balanced flavor (which is predominantly sweet). Baldwin is crisp to eat fresh, but is primarily an apple for the kitchen, where it keeps its shape when cooked. It also produces a sweet juice, with a fruity flavor.

Baldwin apple trees for sale

You can pre-order now for spring 2025

  • 1Dwarf 1-year bare-root tree $37.95
    Mature height: 6ft-9ft after 10 years
    G.41 rootstock
  • 2Semi-dwarf 1-year bare-root tree $37.95
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    G.210 rootstock
  • 3Semi-standard 1-year bare-root tree $37.95
    Mature height: 10ft-16ft after 10 years
    MM.111 rootstock

How to grow

As you might guess from the size of the apples and the vigor of the tree, Baldwin is a triploid variety - it needs two other (each different) compatible apple varieties nearby to pollinate it (or a single self-fertile variety) and will not pollinate other varieties. It is therefore not a good choice as your only apple tree, but works well as part of a small collection of apple trees.

William Kendrick, cited above, also noted Baldwin's tendency to fall into a cycle of biennial bearing. "The tree bears enormously every other year, and in the interval, occasionally a moderate crop." This is easily remedied by heavily thinning in the "on" year, and you can also prevent it happening by thinning the fruitlets after the blossom has finished if you notice a particularly heavy fruit set.

Baldwin is an apple for the cooler states, and is most at home in the climate of New England and similar areas,

Advice on fruit tree pollination.


This variety was originally known as the Butters Apple, after a farmer, Mr Butters of Wilmington MA in whose field the original tree was discovered - probably in the 1750s. Mr Butters also called it Woodpecker, on account of the woodpecker birds that frequented the tree.

It is thought to have become known as the Baldwin apple after a Colonel Baldwin, who fought in the Revolutionary War. His troops were resting in a field near Wilmington, MA, and he asked the farmer, Mr Butters, if they could pick apples from a nearby tree. Colonel Baldwin was very taken with the flavor of the apples, and after the war he returned to the farm and asked for cuttings from the tree so that he could grow them himself.

Baldwin characteristics

  • Gardening skillExperienced
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group4
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • Picking seasonLate
  • UsesEating freshCulinaryJuice
  • Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
  • General resistanceAverage
  • FireblightSome susceptibility
  • ScabSome susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rustVery resistant
  • MildewSome susceptibility
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)Zone 4 (-34C)
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)Hot (>30C / 86F)
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1750 - 1799
  • Fruit colorOrange flush