Empire apple tree
- Picking season: Late
- Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
- Pollination group: 3
One of the most widely-planted McIntosh style apples, Empire has the Mac flavor but improves on it.
Empire apple trees for sale
1Small 1-year bare-root tree
Mature height: 6ft-9ft after 10 years
2Medium 1-year bare-root tree
Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
We are now accepting pre-orders for the spring 2024 planting season.
Empire was developed in the 1940s as a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious and soon established itself as one of the top McIntosh-style apples.
As with most McIntosh crosses, the contribution of the other parent remains in the background, and Empire has all the usual McIntosh characteristics - crimson skin, bright white glistening flesh, and "that" flavor, the dessert-wine taste which is the hallmark of the McIntosh line. However Red Delicious can also be quite scented in its own right and many argue that Empire improves on the Mac in this respect.
How to grow
As with many of the McIntosh offspring, Empire is a heavy producer and will readily set a large crop of small apples if you let it - thin the crop just after blossom is over to get fewer but larger apples and better flavor. Apart from that, there are few issues with Empire. Be on your guard for scab, to which it is susceptible, but it is generally problem-free.
Empire likes a climate with warm autumn sunshine and cool autumn nights, and may not achieve the right texture south of zone 7. Even so its range is better than McIntosh.
Advice on fruit tree pollination.
Developed at the New York Agricultural Experiment station, Geneva. McIntosh x Red Delicious.
- Gardening skillBeginner
- Self-fertilityPartially self-fertile
- Pollination group3
- Pollinating othersAverage
- Bearing regularityRegular
- Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
- WildlifeRHS Plants for Pollinators
- Picking seasonLate
- UsesEating freshJuice
- Keeping (of fruit)2-3 weeks - in normal storage, longer in refrigerated storage, but tends to lose flavor
- Flavor style (apples)Vinous
- FireblightSome resistance
- ScabSome susceptibility
- Cedar apple rustSome resistance
- MildewSome resistance
- Cold hardiness (USDA)(4) -30F / -34C
- Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
- Country of originUnited States
- Period of origin1900 - 1949
- Fruit colorCrimson
Developed from McIntosh, Cortland is one of the most widely-grown Mac-style apples.
Enterprise is a modern American disease-resistant apple, good for eating fresh and cooking.
Macoun is one of the best McIntosh-style apples, with the characteristic flowery vinous flavor.