FrostbiteTM apple trees

  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Picking season: Late
  • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3
  • Uses: Eating fresh
  • Uses: Juice

Frostbite is an unusual apple, smaller than most modern varieties, and with a very different intense sweet flavor.

It is also one of the most cold-hardy of all apple varieties, and can be grown throughout zone 4 and with care in zone 3 (using cold-hardy rootstocks).

Frostbite apple trees for sale

Mature height*
1-year Frostbite apple trees bare-root
Small (6ft-9ft) mature height
Out of stock
1-year Frostbite apple trees bare-root
G.935 rootstock
Medium (8ft-12ft) mature height
1-year Frostbite apple trees bare-root
Large (10ft-16ft) mature height
Out of stock
1-year Frostbite apple trees bare-root
Full-size (16ft-24ft) mature height
Out of stock

*Find out more about the apple rootstocks we use to control the mature height.

Historical details

Frostbite was developed by the University of Minnesota in 1921, but not trademarked and released until 2008. For most of the intervening period it was relatively unknown outside of the university, where it was referred to simply as MN 447. However it has played a key role in the University of Minnesota's long-term apple breeding program, and contributed its excellent cold-hardiness to several other important varieties - it is a parent of Keepsake and Sweet Sixteen, and grandparent of Honeycrisp.

Frostbite characteristics


  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh Juice
  • Keeping (of fruit): 1-2 months
  • Flavor style (apples): Sweeter Aromatic
  • Juice style: Sweeter


  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3
  • Pollinating others: Average
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly small
  • Bearing regularity: Regular
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer

Disease resistance

  • General resistance: Average


  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (4) -30F / -34C
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F)


  • Country of origin: United States
  • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949
  • Fruit color: Red - dark
  • Fruit size: Small

Similar varieties

  • See also Honeycrisp
    Honeycrisp is a cold-hardy disease-resistant apple - it shows just how good modern apples have become.
  • See also Keepsake
    A high-quality late-season eating apple, keeps well, and at its best in mid-winter.
  • See also Sweet Sixteen
    Sweet Sixteen
    Sweet 16 is a sweet-flavored apple, with good cold hardiness.
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