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Liberty Apple Growing – Caring For A Liberty Apple Tree

Liberty Apple Growing – Caring For A Liberty Apple Tree


By: Becca Badgett, Co-author of How to Grow an EMERGENCY Garden

Easy to grow, caring for a Liberty apple tree starts with locating it in the right spot. Plant your young tree in loamy, well-drained soil in full sun. Hardy in USDA zones 4-7, Liberty apple information calls this tree a prolific producer.

About Liberty Apple Trees

A semi-dwarf hybrid, Liberty apple trees produce substantial crops in the home orchard or landscape. Resistant to apple scab and other diseases, Liberty apple growing provides big, red fruits that generally are ready for harvest in September. Many grow it as a replacement for the McIntosh apple tree.

Caring for a Liberty Apple Tree

Learning how to grow Liberty apples is not difficult. Once you plant your apple tree, keep it watered in well until it develops a good root system.

Prune the young tree to a single trunk for best long-term growth. Head it back each year. Prune branches and thin out those that are damaged or growing in the wrong direction. Remove narrow-angle branches, any upright branches, and those that are growing toward the center of the tree. Unpruned trees do not grow as well as those with proper pruning, and in the event of drought, they might not grow at all.

Cutting back apple trees stimulates growth and directs energy to the root system that likely was damaged during digging and replanting. Pruning helps shape the tree for maximum production in a few years. You’ll want to keep a balance between the root system and the tree for the best growth. Late winter is the appropriate time for pruning, during the tree’s dormant period. Depending on where you purchased your Liberty apple tree, it may have been pre-pruned. If so, wait until the following winter to prune again.

Other care for the Liberty apple tree includes planting another apple tree nearby for purposes of pollination. Existing apple trees in the area will likely work. When planting young trees, cover the planting area with shade cloth in spring to keep roots cool and hold down weeds.

Take a soil test to determine which nutrients your newly planted trees need. Fertilize accordingly and enjoy your apples.

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If only life was that simple with apple trees! Unfortunately there are complications with this process. The first complication is that most apple trees, but not all, are self-sterile. This means that they cannot use their own pollen to fertilise themselves. They need the pollen from a different apple tree variety to be transferred onto the stigma of their flowers. In most circumstances this is not a problem because bees fly from one tree to another all day long and they do this over several hundred yards, a mile or two in some cases. This ensures in most cases that any given apple tree is pollinated by other nearby apple trees.

So when one apple tree is beginning to flower and another one is at the end of its flowering period the bees can still do their job of pollinating successfully.

However, if an apple tree has finished flowering before a nearby apple tree has begun flowering the two cannot pollinate each other. In order for you and me to know which apple trees can pollinate each other an informal system of "pollination partners" has developed over the years which allows us to reasonably accurately predict which apple tree varieties can pollinate each other. This system is not set in stone and is not regulated by any organisation but it works in almost all cases.

In fact there are two systems commonly used. One involves numbering apple tree flowering periods from 1 to 6 (with 1 being the earliest and 6 being the latest in the year), the other uses the alphabet from A to F to achieve the same result. Luckily enough letter A corresponds to number 1, letter B to number 2 and so on making it easy to understand both systems.

Our pollination partner form at the top of this page allows you to select an apple variety and then it shows you all the other apple varieties which can be used for successful pollination. You will see when you use it that it lists not only many the varieties in the same pollination group but also those one pollination group to either side. This is because flowering time between adjacent groups overlap and this allows pollination.

The form not only takes into account which group is suitable to pollinate another group but it also takes into account triploid varieties (see last paragraph) and genetic incompatibilities.

Another factor which greatly helps the pollination process between different varieties is that a large majority of popular apple trees are either in group 3 / C or group 4 / D allowing pollination to occur between a very large number of common apple trees - not all but definitely the majority.

Two more specific types of apple tree exist as far as pollination is concerned. The first, and most helpful of these are the apple tree which are self-fertile to some degree or other. These varieties, such as Braeburn and Falstaff can not only fertilise themselves without other varieties being present but also fertilise other apple trees. Having said that, even self-fertile varieties produce a larger crop if a suitable pollination partner is nearby.

The final paragraph on pollination groups goes to apple trees which are called "triploid. Our page here describes these in detail. In summary, a triploid variety is self sterile and therefore cannot pollinate itself. In addition it cannot pollinate other apple trees.


Your product review

Apple Liberty

By Carole from New Plymouth, 6 years ago

Biting into these apples is a real treat. Very juicy & crisp, & sweet - a contrast to the more floury supermarkets types. Will need netting from the birds - they love them too. Also wasps can eat them -as in leaving the skin only, ( I put a wasp trap in the tree that year). My Liberty is a dual tree with 'Initial' & hasn't had any problems with disease or apple aphid in it's 8yrs. This would be my personal top choice for an eating apple ( but it's better again as a dual tree!).

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DISCLAIMER While every care is taken to ensure varieties perform as described, variation in performance can be affected by a number of factors.


Liberty Apple Tree

  • SKU
  • Option
  • Ships in
  • Price
  • 12958
  • Standard 2-4' tree
  • Spring
  • Out of Stock
  • 62528
  • Standard Deluxe
  • Spring
  • Out of Stock
  • 62529
  • Reachables ® 2-4' tree
  • Spring
  • Out of Stock
  • 62530
  • Reachables ® Deluxe
  • Spring
  • Out of Stock
  • First true low-spray apple
  • Resistant to scab, fire blight and cedar apple rust
  • Fabulous for fresh eating, juice and sauce
  • Crunchy flesh with mildly tart and sprightly flavor
  • Heavy producer
  • Ripens early October
  • Available in Reachables ® size
Fabulous for fresh eating, juice and sauce, this crunchy, mildly tart apple is much like an easy-to-grow version of McIntosh. Resists scab, fire blight and cedar apple rust—the name actually refers to the breeder's quest to free the grower from endless spraying! Ripens early Oct. Zones 5-8.

Now available in Reachables size! A Reachables tree produces full-sized fruits, but on a smaller tree. That makes it easier to fit into your garden, orchard—or even a container. Thanks to state-of-the-art rootstock technology, these trees stay manageable allowing one person to prune, spray, net and harvest the tree—all while standing on the ground. No ladders required! Note: Because their full-sized fruits grow on smaller trees, Reachables require a tree support.

Why buy a Deluxe package - Deluxe fruit trees include 2 oz. of Fruit-Boost™ Pelletized Calcium to enhance fruit quality, 12 oz. bag of Fruit Tree Food Starter Formula, easy-to-use tree ties (see video below), a premium tree guard to protect the trunk from gnawing pests, mowers and weed trimmers, and a copy of Backyard Horticulture for Fun and Profit—How to Make $10,000 in Your Spare Time.

NOTE: We are unable to ship our trees to PO Boxes at this time.

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Product Details

Product Details

  • Botanical Name: Malus domestica 'Liberty'
  • Height: Standard: 20-25 feet. Reachables: 6-8 feet. Reachables tree heights will vary some based on location, soil, light, temperature, and other environmental factors.
  • Spacing: Standard: 15-18 feet. Reachables: 6-10 feet.
  • Depth: Locate the planting depth indicator, the marked line above the tree's root system. The graft should be about 2 inches above the soil surface.
  • Spread: Standard: 15-20 feet.
  • Light Required: Full Sun
  • Pollinator: Freedom, Golden Delicious, McIntosh will pollinate Liberty. Liberty is a good pollinator for other varieties.
  • Yield: Standard: Approximately 6-9 bushels -- Reachables: 3/4 - 1 bushel. Bearing age: 3-4 years.
  • Color: White.
  • Size: Standard 2-4 Ft
  • Blooms: Early Spring, Mid Spring
  • Fruit: Medium to large, bright, shiny fruit with red blush. Stores up to 3 months.
  • Zone: 5-8
  • Form: Fruit Tree, Fruit, Tree, Apple, Standard Apple Tree, Reachables Apple Tree
  • Flower Form: Resembles a small open rose
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, moist soil with organic matter.
  • Growth Rate: Medium growth rate.
  • Pruning: Prune in late winter/early spring, while trees are still dormant. There are normally two goals when pruning an apple tree: 1. Initially, on young trees, to encourage a strong, solid framework. 2. On mature trees to maintain shape, maximize sun exposure and encourage fruit production. You will also want to remove any suckers coming from the rootstock. Unwanted shoots and suckers can be removed at any time. Also remove any crossed, crowded or inward-growing limbs in late winter or very early sprin
  • Foliage: Deep green foliage.
  • Botanical Name: Malus domestica 'Liberty'
  • Height: Standard: 20-25 feet. Reachables: 6-8 feet. Reachables tree heights will vary some based on location, soil, light, temperature, and other environmental factors.
  • Spacing: Standard: 15-18 feet. Reachables: 6-10 feet.
  • Depth: Locate the planting depth indicator, the marked line above the tree's root system. The graft should be about 2 inches above the soil surface.
  • Spread: Standard: 15-20 feet.
  • Light Required: Full Sun
  • Pollinator: Freedom, Golden Delicious, McIntosh will pollinate Liberty. Liberty is a good pollinator for other varieties.
  • Yield: Standard: Approximately 6-9 bushels -- Reachables: 3/4 - 1 bushel. Bearing age: 3-4 years.
  • Color: White.
  • Size: Standard Deluxe
  • Blooms: Early Spring, Mid Spring
  • Fruit: Medium to large, bright, shiny fruit with red blush. Stores up to 3 months.
  • Zone: 5-8
  • Form: Fruit Tree, Fruit, Tree, Apple, Standard Apple Tree, Reachables Apple Tree
  • Flower Form: Resembles a small open rose
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, moist soil with organic matter.
  • Growth Rate: Medium growth rate.
  • Pruning: Prune in late winter/early spring, while trees are still dormant. There are normally two goals when pruning an apple tree: 1. Initially, on young trees, to encourage a strong, solid framework. 2. On mature trees to maintain shape, maximize sun exposure and encourage fruit production. You will also want to remove any suckers coming from the rootstock. Unwanted shoots and suckers can be removed at any time. Also remove any crossed, crowded or inward-growing limbs in late winter or very early sprin
  • Foliage: Deep green foliage.
  • Botanical Name: Malus domestica 'Liberty'
  • Height: Standard: 20-25 feet. Reachables: 6-8 feet. Reachables tree heights will vary some based on location, soil, light, temperature, and other environmental factors.
  • Spacing: Standard: 15-18 feet. Reachables: 6-10 feet.
  • Depth: Locate the planting depth indicator, the marked line above the tree's root system. The graft should be about 2 inches above the soil surface.
  • Spread: Standard: 15-20 feet.
  • Light Required: Full Sun
  • Pollinator: Freedom, Golden Delicious, McIntosh will pollinate Liberty. Liberty is a good pollinator for other varieties.
  • Yield: Standard: Approximately 6-9 bushels -- Reachables: 3/4 - 1 bushel. Bearing age: 3-4 years.
  • Color: White.
  • Size: Reachables [R] 2-4 Ft
  • Blooms: Early Spring, Mid Spring
  • Fruit: Medium to large, bright, shiny fruit with red blush. Stores up to 3 months.
  • Zone: 5-8
  • Form: Fruit Tree, Fruit, Tree, Apple, Standard Apple Tree, Reachables Apple Tree
  • Flower Form: Resembles a small open rose
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, moist soil with organic matter.
  • Growth Rate: Medium growth rate.
  • Pruning: Prune in late winter/early spring, while trees are still dormant. There are normally two goals when pruning an apple tree: 1. Initially, on young trees, to encourage a strong, solid framework. 2. On mature trees to maintain shape, maximize sun exposure and encourage fruit production. You will also want to remove any suckers coming from the rootstock. Unwanted shoots and suckers can be removed at any time. Also remove any crossed, crowded or inward-growing limbs in late winter or very early sprin
  • Foliage: Deep green foliage.
  • Botanical Name: Malus domestica 'Liberty'
  • Height: Standard: 20-25 feet. Reachables: 6-8 feet. Reachables tree heights will vary some based on location, soil, light, temperature, and other environmental factors.
  • Spacing: Standard: 15-18 feet. Reachables: 6-10 feet.
  • Depth: Locate the planting depth indicator, the marked line above the tree's root system. The graft should be about 2 inches above the soil surface.
  • Spread: Standard: 15-20 feet.
  • Light Required: Full Sun
  • Pollinator: Freedom, Golden Delicious, McIntosh will pollinate Liberty. Liberty is a good pollinator for other varieties.
  • Yield: Standard: Approximately 6-9 bushels -- Reachables: 3/4 - 1 bushel. Bearing age: 3-4 years.
  • Color: White.
  • Size: Reachables [R] Deluxe
  • Blooms: Early Spring, Mid Spring
  • Fruit: Medium to large, bright, shiny fruit with red blush. Stores up to 3 months.
  • Zone: 5-8
  • Form: Fruit Tree, Fruit, Tree, Apple, Standard Apple Tree, Reachables Apple Tree
  • Flower Form: Resembles a small open rose
  • Soil Requirements: Well-drained, moist soil with organic matter.
  • Growth Rate: Medium growth rate.
  • Pruning: Prune in late winter/early spring, while trees are still dormant. There are normally two goals when pruning an apple tree: 1. Initially, on young trees, to encourage a strong, solid framework. 2. On mature trees to maintain shape, maximize sun exposure and encourage fruit production. You will also want to remove any suckers coming from the rootstock. Unwanted shoots and suckers can be removed at any time. Also remove any crossed, crowded or inward-growing limbs in late winter or very early sprin
  • Foliage: Deep green foliage.

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Question & Answers

Question & Answers

Most times, orders having items with different shipping schedules are held in full until the entire order is ready to ship based on your grow zone.

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August.

Spring 2021 Shipping Schedule
ZONE Fruit Trees
1A-4A 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
4B 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
5A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
5B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
7A 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
7B 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
8A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
9A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
10A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
Last Order Date 1A-7B: 5/31/21
8A-10B: 5/10/21

The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending.

Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.

In all cases, we choose the fastest, most efficient way to send your orders via the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx. Large orders or large items may be shipped to you in multiple packages.

Sorry, we cannot ship products to Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO or outside the contiguous United States. Please provide a street address as some products are unable to be delivered to Post Office boxes.

Most times, orders having items with different shipping schedules are held in full until the entire order is ready to ship based on your grow zone.

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August.

Spring 2021 Shipping Schedule
ZONE Fruit Trees
1A-4A 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
4B 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
5A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
5B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
7A 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
7B 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
8A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
9A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
10A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
Last Order Date 1A-7B: 5/31/21
8A-10B: 5/10/21

The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending.

Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.

In all cases, we choose the fastest, most efficient way to send your orders via the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx. Large orders or large items may be shipped to you in multiple packages.

Sorry, we cannot ship products to Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO or outside the contiguous United States. Please provide a street address as some products are unable to be delivered to Post Office boxes.

Most times, orders having items with different shipping schedules are held in full until the entire order is ready to ship based on your grow zone.

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August.

Spring 2021 Shipping Schedule
ZONE Fruit Trees
1A-4A 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
4B 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
5A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
5B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
7A 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
7B 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
8A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
9A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
10A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
Last Order Date 1A-7B: 5/31/21
8A-10B: 5/10/21

The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending.

Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.

In all cases, we choose the fastest, most efficient way to send your orders via the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx. Large orders or large items may be shipped to you in multiple packages.

Sorry, we cannot ship products to Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO or outside the contiguous United States. Please provide a street address as some products are unable to be delivered to Post Office boxes.

Most times, orders having items with different shipping schedules are held in full until the entire order is ready to ship based on your grow zone.

Plants will be shipped at the proper planting time for your area of the country using the shipping timeframes outlined below. We continually monitor weather conditions for extreme hot or cold and adjust shipping schedules as needed. Due to hot weather conditions, we are unable to ship most plant items in July and August.

Spring 2021 Shipping Schedule
ZONE Fruit Trees
1A-4A 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
4B 3/29/21 - 6/4/21
5A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
5B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6A 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
6B 3/1/21 - 6/4/21
7A 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
7B 2/8/21 - 6/4/21
8A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
9A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
10A & B 2/8/21 - 5/14/21
Last Order Date 1A-7B: 5/31/21
8A-10B: 5/10/21

The type of product you order or the weather in our area to yours may affect the anticipated shipping schedule, shifting earlier or later, depending.

Trees and shrubs are kept in the nursery row until full dormant for optimum stress protection.

In all cases, we choose the fastest, most efficient way to send your orders via the U.S. Postal Service or FedEx. Large orders or large items may be shipped to you in multiple packages.

Sorry, we cannot ship products to Hawaii, Alaska, APO/FPO or outside the contiguous United States. Please provide a street address as some products are unable to be delivered to Post Office boxes.


The Best Apple Trees to Grow in Your Home Garden

Try growing honeycrisp, Chehalis, Granny Smith, and more apple tree varieties that thrive in Pacific Northwestern climates

It’s hard to think of fruit trees in the Pacific Northwest without thinking of apples (Malus domestica)—certainly Washington State claims them as their state fruit, and they are one of the state’s largest industries as well. Descended from wild apple trees in the mountains of Kazakhstan, today’s apples come in a wide variety. The USDA Plant Genetics Resource Unit in New York State has an orchard with 2,500 different apples, though it’s said that there are more than 8,000 varieties of apples grown worldwide, with more being introduced every year.

With such diversity, it may be hard to pick a single apple variety to grow. If you don’t already have a favorite, consider attending one of the harvest festivals put on by tree fruit societies in the fall that offer tastings of different apple varieties. Or organize your own tasting by purchasing a selection of fruit from a local farmers’ market, to make sure you find your perfect apple. Just remember to pick a tree that is suitable to the specifics of your climate in the Pacific Northwest there are many to choose from.

‘AKANE’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Akane’)

A medium-size apple with juicy, crisp flesh and red-streaked skin, ‘Akane’ was developed in Japan, a cross between the American ‘Jonathan’ apple and the English ‘Worcester Pearmain’ it is sometimes called ‘Tokyo Rose’. An early harvest variety, ‘Akane’ comes ripe in late August and early September, with gradual ripening so that the harvest can be picked over a number of weeks. ‘Akane’ is a reliable producer and begins bearing fruit after only a few years, but the fruit size may be small. Be sure to thin the blossoms in late spring to encourage larger fruit and better flavor. ‘Akane’ blooms in mid- to late spring, but it is self-fertile and does not require a pollination partner. Like most early crop apple trees, ‘Akane’ does not store well, but the sweet, sharp flavor makes for an apple that is excellent for eating fresh, juicing, and drying. Hardy for Zones 5 to 9 requires 800 chill hours.

‘CHEHALIS’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Chehalis’)

Discovered in Oakville, north of Chehalis in Washington State, this is a true Northwest apple. Descended from ‘Golden Delicious’, ‘Chehalis’ has green-yellow skin that blushes pink, and juicy flesh that is crisper than its ‘Golden Delicious’ parent. Good for eating fresh, cooking, drying, or juicing, ‘Chehalis’ has a slight honey flavor. These late-harvest apples are tart early in the season, quickly ripening to sweet in mid- to late September (it’s recommended to harvest slightly underripe). ‘Chehalis’ is a medium storage apple and will last about 3 months if refrigerated. It has strong disease and scab resistance and is also self-fertile, so it does not require a pollinator. If you like the sweet honey flavor of ‘Golden Delicious’ but want a crunchier apple, ‘Chehalis’ would be an excellent pick. Hardy for Zones 5 to 9 requires 800 to 1,000 chill hours.

‘GRANNY SMITH’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Granny Smith’)

One of the most widely recognized apples, ‘Granny Smith’ is also self-fertile and does not require a pollinator (though it will bear more fruit if one is nearby). It hails from Australia, where it was discovered in the 1860s sprouting from the compost heap of Maria Ann “Granny” Smith. Known for its thick, glossy green skin and juicy, tart flesh, ‘Granny Smith’ is excellent for fresh eating, cooking, drying, and also for making cider. With impressive storage capacity, ‘Granny Smith’ can last up to a year, which makes it a reliable presence in the produce section at the supermarket. The tartness of ‘Granny Smith’ helps its reputation as a baking apple—they are ideal for pies, where they hold their shape well. Requiring only 600 chill hours, ‘Granny Smith’ does well with long summers and is suitable for warmer areas of the Pacific Northwest. Hardy for Zones 6 to 9.

‘HONEYCRISP’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’)

Though a relative newcomer to the apple world, ‘Honeycrisp’ has won fans far and wide with its remarkably sweet flavor and trademark crunch, which it maintains even in storage. The medium- to large-size fruit is streaked with red and light green, and the tree sets a large crop, so thinning will be required. Developed by the University of Minnesota and released in 1991, it has quickly become a favorite of backyard growers and market shoppers (commercial growers have mixed feelings, as the juicy apples are hard to harvest and ship without bruising). Excellent for fresh eating, ‘Honeycrisp’ is a late-season apple, ripening in early September, with medium storage life (3 months or more). ‘Honeycrisp’ needs another apple nearby for pollination—almost any other late bloomer will do. ‘Honeycrisp’ is a good choice for colder climates, as it was developed to be cold hardy (Zones 3 to 8), but can thrive in warmer climates requires 800 to 1,000 chill hours.

‘LIBERTY’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Liberty’)

Developed in the 1960s, ‘Liberty’ is a McIntosh-like apple with white flesh and dark red skin. Favored for its disease resistance, ‘Liberty’ pro- duces heavy crops of fresh-tasting fruit that stores well, is good for both baking and eating fresh, and makes a lovely pink applesauce if you don’t remove the peels. ‘Liberty’ is such a heavy producer that the apples generally need to be thinned (see page 111) to avoid producing a large crop of rather small apples. ‘Liberty’ is considered a foolproof apple and often recommended as an ideal first tree for novice growers. ‘Liberty’ needs another tree for proper pollination, but since it blooms in the middle of the season it can be pollinated by many other varieties—‘Granny Smith’, ‘Cortland’, ‘Spartan’, or ‘Jonathan’. Hardy for Zones 4 to 8 requires 800 chill hours.

‘MACOUN’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Macoun’)

‘Macoun’ is another apple cultivar that descends from ‘McIntosh’ and features many of its good qualities—sweet, juicy, with a good crunch. Developed in the 1920s at the New York State Agriculture Experiment Station, ‘Macoun’ is considered a dessert apple, but makes excellent fresh eating or can be used raw in salads or simmered down for sauce. ‘Macoun’ is an ideal apple for pies, as the flesh is firm and flavorful and the slices retain their shape. The skin is green, ripening to red and maroon. A midseason bloomer, ‘Macoun’ needs a pollinator, though any other midseason apple will work—‘Akane’, ‘Fuji’, ‘Gala’, ‘Granny Smith’, ‘Honeycrisp’, and more. ‘Macoun’ ripens late in the season, but it does not store well. Hardy for Zones 4 to 8 requires 600 chill hours.

PINK LADY APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Cripps Pink’)

‘Cripps Pink’, which is generally sold under the trademark name Pink Lady, hails from Western Australia and features creamy white flesh and yellow skin that blushes to pink. A good storage apple, ‘Cripps Pink’ has crisp, firm flesh with a tangy-sweet flavor and is favored for fresh eating and fruit salads, as the flesh resists browning. ‘Cripps Pink’ is self-fertile and doesn’t need a pollinator, but 300 to 400 chill hours are required. This is a late-season ripener suitable for areas of the Northwest with milder climates. Hardy for Zones 6 to 9.

‘SPARTAN’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Spartan’)

With the ‘McIntosh’ apple as a parent, ‘Spartan’ features crisp white flesh and streaked dark-red skin. ‘Spartan’ produces heavy crops and may need to be thinned in order to produce larger fruit. Though it does store well, its crispness fades over time. ‘Spartan’ ripens midseason, usually in early October, and can be harvested gradually over a few weeks. ‘Spartan’ is good for fresh eating and cider it is partially self-fertile, though it will produce better with another mid- to late-blooming apple nearby (‘Liberty’ is a good match). ‘Spartan’ serves as an excel- lent pollinator for other cultivars, such as ‘Jonagold’. Hardy for Zones 4 to 8 requires 800 to 1,000 chill hours.

‘WYNOOCHEE EARLY’ APPLE (Malus domestica ‘Wynoochee Early’)

A favorite early bearer, ‘Wynoochee Early’ produces yellow-skinned fruit that blushes red and ripens in late July and early August. Featuring firm flesh with excellent sweet-tart balance, ‘Wynoochee Early’ is good for fresh eating and beloved as a cooking apple—its thin skin almost disappears when baked or cooked down into applesauce, so there is no need for peeling. Remarkably scab resistant, ‘Wynoochee Early’ does well in coastal regions and features impressive storage capabilities for such an early apple (if stored well it will last until January). Another early blooming pollinator is required, such as ‘Chehalis’, ‘Liberty’, or ‘Spartan’. Of all the early ripening apples, ‘Wynoochee Early’ is considered the best. Hardy to Zone 4 chill hours unavailable.

*(c)2018 by Tara Austen Weaver. All rights reserved. Excerpted from Growing Berries and Fruit Trees in the Pacific Northwest by permission of Sasquatch Books.