Cortland apple trees

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

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.

How to grow

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

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

Historical details

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

Cortland characteristics

Using

  • 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

Growing

  • 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

Climate

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

Identification

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

Similar varieties

  • See also Empire
    Empire
    One of the most widely-planted McIntosh style apples, Empire has the Mac flavor but improves on it.
  • See also Enterprise
    Enterprise
    Enterprise is a modern American disease-resistant apple, good for eating fresh and cooking.
  • See also Macoun
    Macoun
    Macoun is one of the best McIntosh-style apples, with the characteristic flowery vinous flavor.
  • See also McIntosh
    McIntosh
    A traditional versatile apple popular in the northern states of the USA. Also known as Macintosh.
  • See also Snow Apple / Fameuse
    Snow Apple / Fameuse
    A very hardy north country apple, known both as the Snow Apple and Fameuse, and the probable parent of McIntosh.