Spartan apple trees

Spartan
  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners
  • Picking season: Late
  • Keeping (of fruit): 1 week
  • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3
  • Uses: Eating fresh
  • Uses: Juice

Spartan is a deep marroon-colored apple with an excellent refreshing sweet flavor. Apple text books often describe the flavor as "vinous" and it can indeed have a wine-like quality, although this is first and foremost a crisp sweet juicy unpretentious apple.

That flavor, and the crimson skin, are an easy clue that Spartan is related to the famous Canadian McIntosh apple. Spartan is undoubtedly one of the best of the many varieties which trace their ancestry back to McIntosh.

Spartan ripens quite late in the season, usually around early October. The apples will remain on the tree over a 2-3 week period, which means you can pick a few at a time rather than have to deal with a glut. This is also the best way to enjoy them because although they keep fairly well, the flavor and crispness fade in storage.

Spartan is a simple unpretentious apple, and when eaten straight from the tree on a crisp cold morning is a real delight.

Spartan apple trees for sale

Item
Mature height*
Price
Quantity
1-year Spartan apple trees bare-root
Medium (8ft-12ft) mature height
$29.00

You can pre-order trees now for delivery when shipping starts (fall for warmer zones, or next spring), you won't be asked to pay until nearer the time.

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


How to grow

Spartan is very easy to grow in almost any climate. Although the natural home of most McIntosh-style apples is the north-east of North America, Spartan seems happy in most situations. As might be expected from a Canadian variety, it is naturally cold-hardy.

It crops reliably and heavily. The fruit tends to be small but moderate thinning is very effective and the remaining apples will be a good medium/large size.

There are few disease problems, and birds and aphids are not often a problem either.

Spartan also tends to produce a reasonably neat and attractive tree.

Finally, the large quantity of blossom makes it a good pollinator for other apple varieties. The pollen is also viable at lower temperatures (50F rather than the usual 60F-70F required by other varieties) making it a useful variety to include if your orchard is in an area with cold spring weather.

All in all, you won't regret giving it space in your apple tree collection.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

Historical details

Spartan is one of the most widely-grown of the McIntosh family of apples, which are characterised by their deep maroon skinand bright white flesh. Spartan was developed at the Canadian Apple Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, in the 1920s. The female parent is McIntosh, and the male parent is thought to be the popular American variety Newtown Pippin although this is not certain.

Spartan characteristics

Using

  • Picking season: Late
  • Uses: Eating fresh Juice
  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Keeping (of fruit): 1 week
  • Flavor style (apples): Vinous
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening

Growing

  • Gardening skill: Suitable for beginners
  • Self-fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Pollination group: 3
  • Pollinating others: Good
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Average vigour
  • Precocity: Precocious
  • Bearing regularity: Regular
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
  • Organic culture: Suitable

Disease resistance

  • General resistance: Average
  • Canker: Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust: Some resistance
  • Fireblight: Some resistance
  • Mildew: Some resistance
  • Scab: Some susceptibility
  • Bitter pit: Very resistant

Climate

  • Cold hardiness (USDA): (3) -40F / -40C
  • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20C - 24C / 68F - 75F) Warm (25C - 30C / 76F - 85F)
  • Frost resistance of blossom: Good resistance

Identification

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