Find a local pick your own farm here!

Are you trying to choose the right variety of apple for your needs? There are many to choose from. There are heirloom varieties that have been around for hundreds of years and apple growers are constantly creating new varieties to meet consumer tastes and 2024 is no exception. Scroll down this page for a table of dozens of apple varieties including photos and their characteristics and best uses. This page has tips about harvesting and storing apples. And if you bring home some apples and want to make applesauce, apple butter,apple juice, apple pie, apple cobbler, apple crisp, even apple cider, just click the links for each to follow directions and recipes or see this page see this page for a master list of simple, reliable, illustrated canning, freezing or preserving directions. There are plenty of other related resources, such as this list of local regional and apple festivals - click on the resources dropdown above.

If you have questions or feedback, please let me know!

What's in season in February 2024, and other timely information:

Notes for February 2024: Summer is almost over and that means apples are here (see this new page for Apple Orchards in your area!), and except in northern areas, peaches and blueberries are finished. Some crops continue until frost, like raspberries, blackberries, figs, corn and tomatoes. Check your area's specific crop calendar (see this page) and call your local farms for seasonal updates.

See these pages to find a local Apple festival, and other festivals. We have a extensive guide to apple varieties and a guide to peach varieties. Also recipes, canning and freezing directions for apples, tomatoes, corn blueberries, peaches, etc.

And don't forget CORN MAZES are open now - find a local maze here.

See our comprehensive list of easy home canning, jam and jelly making, preserving, drying and freezing directions. You can access recipes and other resources from the drop down menus at the top of the page or the site search. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to write me! It is easy to make your own ice cream, even gelato, or low fat or low sugar ice cream - see this page. Also note, there are many copycat website listing U-pick farms now. The worst is the one that stole our name but ends with .farm.  (Yes, I've got lawyers on it)  They have all copied their information from here and usually do not ever update. Since 2002, I've been updating the information every day but Christmas; so if you see anything wrong or outdated, please write me!

Children's Consignment Sales are a great way to save money on clothes, toys, books, etc, They occur in both the Spring and Fall See our companion website to find a local community or church kid's consignment sale!

Master List of American Apple Varieties and Characteristics - Alphabetical Listing!

2024 looks to have apples ripening on their normal schedule. There have been few late frosts in the main apple growing regions, rain and temperatures have been good, so the year is shaping up well for a good apple crop. It's too early for prices, but I expect most areas to see $14 to $30 a bushel, depending on variety! Scroll down the page to see the chart, or click here for a PDF print version. And for an explanation of why apple slices turn brown and how to stop it, see this page! To see how to properly store apples for the winter, see this page!

Varieties which are exceptional for a trait are noted in the chart below (Best, very good, etc.). Varieties which are at least good and well-suited have an "X" in a column. A blank box simply means that they are average for the quality. Ultimately, it is personal preference and cultural traditions. that often determines which varieties of apples are used for which purpose. That said, sweeter and softer apples make the best applesauce (like Gala), harder, drier apples are often used for baking and storing (like Rome and Arkansas Black), and tarter, more crisp and juicier apples are often eaten fresh (like Honeycrisp).

If you would like to print a clean PDF version of this table, click here.

Alphabetical List of American Apple Varieties and Characteristics

Click here for a PDF printable version of this table

If you are looking for the summary table, click here.

ambrosia appleAmbrosia
  • Sweet, crisp, aromatic flavor reminiscent of pear and low acidity.
  • Mostly red coloration, with yellow patches.
  • Flesh is cream-colored, firm meat
  • Medium to large in size
  • Developed in British Columbia in the early 1990s.
  • Believed to be a cross of a Jonagold and Golden Delicious.
  • Ripens mid to late season

Ashmead Kernal appleAshmead Kernal

  • A small heirloom apple, covered with a thick russet,
  • often found in Virginia, originated in England around 1700 and was brought to the United States much later.
  • Very sweet and acidic
  • Ripens from late September into October

Arkansas Black Arkansas Black

  • A medium to large apple
  • dark purple to almost black
  • Very, very hard texture and an excellent keeper.
  • Almost too hard-textured at harvest. Best after some storage time.
  • Great for baking; and terrible for applesauce
  • A Winesap type.
  • Late season

Autumn crispAutumn Crisp

  • Sweet tart flavor
  • flesh resists browning
  • high in Vitamin C
  • late season
  • Good for applesauce

Baldwin

  • good quality large red apple
  • An old variety, subject to cold injury in the winter
  • late mid-season
  • medium sweet

Bevan's favoriteBevan's Favorite

  • Very early season
  • Mostly used for cooking
  • Old variety, from 1859
  • Firm white flesh

Blushing GoldenBlushing Golden

  • Medium-sized waxy coated modern yellow apple with a pink blush
  • Jonathan/Golden Delicious cross.
  • Firm flesh with flavor like Golden Delicious, but tarter.
  • Keeps well
  • Late season

Braeburn appleBraeburn

  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Sweet
  • Best for eating
  • Late season

Cameo appleCameo

  • A large, round sub-acid apple
  • Red blush stripe over yellow.
  • Late ripening
  • Sweet/tart,
  • good all-purpose use apple

Cortland  appleCortland

  • A Ben Davis/McIntosh cross
  • large flat, dull red apple with a purple hue and soft, white flesh
  • Less aromatic than McIntosh
  • Good keeper.
  • Very good in salads.
  • Mid season

Cox's Orange Pippin Cox's Orange Pippin

  • Popular in English markets.
  • Medium sized, golden yellow skin, with brownish orange
  • often russeted.
  • Flesh tender, crisp, semi-tart
  • early

Crimson Crisp

  • Tart and Juicy
  • Fresh Eating
  • Disease Resistant
  • mid to Late Season

 

Cripps - see Pink Lady below

 

Crispin apple, also called MutsuCrispin/Mutsu *

  • Light green to yellowish white
  • Sweet, rich, full flavor, very juicy and super crisp.
  • Firm, dense texture
  • Best for: eating fresh
  • Mid - late season

Empire appleEmpire*

  • A McIntosh type apple
  • Long shelf life
  • Aromatic and crisp with creamy white juicy flesh.
  • Flesh does not brown quickly when sliced
  • Tasty blend of sweet and tart
  • Best for: eating fresh and baking
  • Early - Mid season

Enterprise appleEnterprise

  • Large, red apple
  • Disease resistant
  • Ripens 3 weeks after red delicious
  • Stores well, flavor improves in storage

Fuji appleFuji

  • Very sweet, aromatic flavor
  • Yellow-green with red highlights
  • Originated in Japan.
  • Best for: eating, salads, best applesauce apple
  • Late season

Gala appleGala

  • Developed in New Zealand.
  • Sweet, aromatic flavor
  • Best for: eating, salad, best applesauce apple
  • medium to smaller in size with a distinctive red and yellow striped heart-shaped appearance.
  • Early to mid season

Ginger Gold appleGinger Gold

  • Very slow to turn brown, so it's a great choice for apple slices.
  • Early yellow apple that's sweet and mildly tart.
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • Early ripening

Golden Delicious appleGolden Delicious

  • Firm white flesh which retains its shape
  • Rich mild flavor when baked or cooked.
  • Tender skin
  • Stays white longer when cut;
  • Best for: salads, blend in applesauce
  • Early season

Grimes Golden appleGrimes Golden

  • Firm white flesh which retains its shape
  • Rich mild flavor when baked or cooked.
  • Tender skin, with a "grimy mottled surface";
  • there IS also Mr. Thomas Grimes, who developed the variety, see Wikipedia)
  • Stays white longer when cut;
  • Best for: salads, blend in applesauce
  • Early season
Granny Smith apple Granny Smith
  • Very tart
  • Bright green appearance, crisp bite and tart apple flavor.
  • Best for: people who like tart apples rather than sweet ones :-)
  • Mid to late season
  • Not good for applesauce unless you add sugar (or like a very tart applesauce)

Gravenstein appleGravenstein

  • Greenish-yellow with a lumpy appearance
  • Tart flavor
  • A good, all-purpose apple,
  • Good for applesauce and pies.
  • originated in the 17th century or earlier.
  • Picked in July and August and
  • Does not store well,

Hokuto appleHokuto

  • A Mutsu/Fuji cross
  • crisp texture of Fuji,
  • large size and shape of Mutsu,
  • sweet flavors
  • late mid-season

Honeycrisp appleHoneycrisp

  • Introduced in Minnesota
  • Very sweet and aromatic
  • Great for juice, as it is a very juicy apple
  • Best for: Eating, pies, baking
  • Mid season

Iadred appleIdared

  • Crisp and juicy with a sweet tart flavor.
  • Great for pies and fresh eating.
  • Late season
  • developed at the University of Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station in 1942
  • it is a cross between Jonathan and Wagener
  • white flesh with a firm body,
  • Excellent for apple sauces, pies, and cakes.
  • harvested at the end of September to the middle of October.
  • EXCELLENT keeper, storing apple remains good until the end of January,

Jazz appleJazz

  • Cross between Royal Gala and Braeburn, developed in Australia
  • Very sweet, more flavor than Gala
  • Vewry good fresh eating and applesauce, apple butter
  • A "Club" variety, meaning licensed with limited commercial growing, first appeared on the shelves in 2004.
  • late ripening

Jonathan apple Jonathan

  • One of the first red apples of the fall
  • Sweet-tart taste with firm texture
  • Light red stripes over yellow or deep redd
  • Best for: eating and cooking
  • Good all-purpose apple
  • Early season

JonaliciousJonalicious

  • Flavor like Jonathan but a little less tart and darker red skin.
  • Larger, crisper, and juicier than Jonathan,
  • a better keeper than Jonathan
  • Slightly sour -acid balance.
  • early midseason

Jonamac appleJonamac

  • A medium-sized Jonathan/McIntosh cross
  • Sour flavored, aromatic
  • Tender fleshed like McIntosh.
  • Early season, a few days prior to McIntosh.
  • Poor keeper.

Jonagold appleJonagold *

  • A cross of Jonathan and Golden Delicious.
  • Best for: eating, sauce, pies, salad, baking
  • Mid season
  • A sweet/tart flavor
  • Good all-purpose apple

Jubilee appleJubilee

  • Best for: eating, sauce, pies, salad
  • Mid season
  • developed in British Columbia
  • It is a cross between McIntosh and Grimes Golden.
  • flavor is sweet, but is only crispy when just picked.

keepsake appleKeepsake

  • Best for: baking, sauces or eating raw.
  • Small apple with a red outer skin and a cream colored fine textured flesh.
  • very sweet flavor with a high sugar content
  • best of all winter storage apples, can keep until July in a cold root cellar
  • Flesh is hard, crisp, juicy and sweet.
  • Excellent aromatic flavor improves with a month of cold storage.
  • Try this apple if you need to store apples for a very long time

Liberty appleLiberty

  • A highly disease-resistant introduction from Geneva New York.
  • Liberty has superior dessert quality, similar to one of its parents, Macoun
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • flavor improves in storage
  • late season

Lodi appleLodi

  • Very early apple
  • yellow
  • also called Yellow Transparent
  • hybrid of the 'Yellow Transparent' and 'Montgomery Sweet'
  • originally from the New York Agricultural Experiment Station in 1924
  • commonly grown in the Southern US

Macoun appleMacoun

  • Named after a famous fruit grower in Canada
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad
  • Very good, sweet, all-around apple
  • cross between the 'McIntosh' and 'Jersey Black' cultivars.
  • developed at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva,
  • first introduced in 1923,

McIntosh appleMcIntosh *

  • Popular in America since 1811
  • Best for: eating, sauce, salad, good as part of a blend for applesauce
  • Sweet, tart, mild flavor
  • It is, the national apple of Canada.
  • red and green skin, tender white flesh
  • Ripens in late September.

Melrose appleMelrose

  • The official apple of Ohio
  • Similar to a Jonathan but sweeter.
  • Good for pies: the slices hold together in pies
  • Keeps well

Mutsu

  • Lousy name, but a great apple
  • It is sweet and crisp
  • It is similar to Golden Delicious. but keeps a little bit better
  • Best for eating fresh and it makes a great applesauce

Northern Spy appleNorthern Spy

  • Large, high quality fruit
  • green base color, flushed with red stripes
  • Good for storage
  • Mid-late season
  • originated in East Bloomfield, New York in about 1800
  • juicy, crisp and mildly sweet white flesh with a rich, aromatic subacid flavor, tarter than most popular varieties
  • noted for high vitamin C content.
  • flesh is harder/crunchier than most, with a thin skin.
  • commonly used for desserts and pies, as well as juice and cider.

Paulared applePaulaRed

  • A tart apple
  • bright red with some yellow and tan spots; the skin often has a dusty sheen with light to creamy flesh.
  • Good for eating, in pies and sauces.
  • Paulared arose as a seedling next to an orchard of 'McIntosh' trees
  • ripens late in the summer
  • becomes extremely soft when cooked, which suits them to some dishes (applesauce) and not others (pies).

Pink LadyPink Lady / aka Cripps

  • Rich red/pink color with white flesh
  • Very sweet and crisp
  • Best for eating and makes a naturally sweet, smooth applesauce and it is good in salads and pies.
  • A cross between a Golden Delicious and a Lady William.
  • Late season

Pristine applePristine

  • Very early yellow apple
  • Very sweet and juicy,
  • bruises easily, not a good keeper
  • the tree is known for its resistance to apple scab, but is susceptible to cedar-apple rust

Red Delicious appleRed Delicious

  • WAS the most popular apple variety in the world! for decades (now being replaced by Fuji and Gala)
  • Best for: eating, salad, very good as a base apple for applesauce
  • Thin bright red skin with a mildly flavored fine-grained white flesh.
  • Bruises easily and does not keep well.
  • Early to mid season
  • There are many, many varieties of red delicious, so there is a range of properties. Not all red delicious are the same!

RedfreeRedfree

  • early season, ripening around mid-August.
  • Firm and crunchy flesh
  • Can be stored up to 2 months without loss of quality or firmness.
  • early-season apple
  • The flesh is light cream. medium grained


Rome

  • Best for: baking and cooking - but not applesauce - not sweet enough, and it has a fairly bland flavor
  • Very smooth red apple with a slightly juicy flesh.
  • Very hard flesh
  • Mid to late season

RubyFrost appleRubyFrost

  • tart, all around apple
  • can be compared to Empire and Granny Smith.
  • stores well,
  • Late season, ripens later in the fall

Sansa appleSansa

  • Sweet
  • Early season
  • Good for Fresh Eating
  • Not a great keeper

Shizuka appleShizuka

  • Large, green-yellow apple with a red-orange blush
  • Mid season, mid-October
  • great for salads, eating fresh or juicing
  • Fruit is juicy, firm with and it's slow to brown when cut
  • A sister to Mutsu/Golden Delicious and Indo apples developed in Japan, with milder flavor.
  • Sweeter with less acid than Mutsu, but an excellent flavor and lack of acidity
  • Stores well.

Snowsweet appleSnowsweet

  • from the University of Minnesota, released in 2006
  • sweet taste, with a slight tart balance and rich overtones.
  • white flesh is very slow to oxidize and turn brown after cutting.
  • fresh eating, snack trays, salads, sauces
  • Late, approximately 2 weeks after Honeycrisp

SnapdragonSnapdragon

  • Newer variety, derived from Honeycrisp so it is very crisp and sweet
  • Spicy-sweet flavor
  • Long shelf life.
  • crisp apple
  • juicy, sweet flavor

Spartan appleSpartan

  • A cross between the McIntosh and Pippin apples.
  • Good all-purpose apple.
  • medium size and has a bright red blush, but can have background patches of greens and yellows.
  • introduced in 1936 from the Federal Agriculture Research Station in Summerland, British Columbia, now known as the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre
  • a small sweet apple, like a McIntosh"
  • bright crimson skin and very bright white flesh

Stayman apple Stayman or Stayman-Winesap

  • Juicy, cream-colored to yellowish flesh with a tart wine-like flavor.
  • often also called winesap
  • crisp crunch flesh
  • Good storing apple, bruise resistant, dull red coat.
  • Best for: Cooking, pies and cider

Strawberry apple Strawberry, aka Chenango Strawberry

  • A crunchy, juicy apple
  • a red striped exterior with slight yellow blush
  • sweet-tart flavor.
  • Antique variety, originates from Chenango, New York, circa 1854.

Summer Banana

  • Mid-August
  • A sweet apple for eating or making fried apple pies.
  • Old variety from South Carolina in the 1800s
  • When fully ripe it has the faint smell of banana.

Suncrisp appleSuncrisp

  • A hard tart, long keeping apple.
  • Red over orange color; Golden Delicious-type
  • Ripens late in the season
  • Best for Baking, storing
  • Formerly known as NJ55, SunCrisp was developed at Rutgers University
  • Cross of Golden Delicious, Cortland, and Cox's Orange Pippin apples.

Sundance appleSundance

  • Sweet, tart yellow apple with reddish highlights
  • very firm, very crisp and breaking flesh.
  • Late season
  • Good for eating fresh, applesauce
  • cross between Golden Delicious and 1050 NJ 1,
  • released for sale in 2004

SweeTango appleSweeTango

  • Similar to Honeycrisp
  • Ripens mid August - September
  • Developed at University of Minnesota
  • Tightly licensed

William's Pride apple William's Pride

  • A cross of Jonathan x Melba x Mollie's Delicious, Rome found in 1975 in West Lafayette, Indiana, by the Indiana, New Jersey, and Illinois (PRI) joint apple-breeding program, and released commercially in 1988
  • early-maturing, early July, the very earliest known commercial red apple in the Midwestern United States. It ripens 1 week after 'Lodi' and 7.5 to 8 weeks before 'Delicious'.
  • very attractive entirely dark red/purple apple, medium to large in size, slightly conical, .
  • Slightly tart, with complex sweet and rich flavor
  • attractive, dark red apple

Winesap appleWinesap

  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Crisp texture and juicy
  • Sweet, tangy flavor
  • Best for cooking
  • Winesap is an old apple cultivar of unknown origin, dating at least to American colonial times.
  • used for eating fresh, cooking, and apple cider.

Yates appleYates

  • Mid to late season
  • Rich red color with white flesh
  • Sweet
  • Best for eating
  • Late season
  • Small

York appleYork

  • Crisp and flavorful
  • "lop-sided" shape
  • Deep red with green streaks
  • Best for eating. holds texture during cooking and freezing

Zestar appleZestar

  • Sweet-Tart
    Best for Fresh Eating and Cooking
  • Early-Mid season

Tart or Sweet?

Check the chart below for a comparison

Apple varieties, in order of sweetnesxs or tartness

Images from the U.S. Apple Association (mostly)!


English Apple Varieties

These links take you to photos on GardenAction.co.uk

More about apple varieties can be found:

University of Illinois Apple page

More Apple Varieties

Apple photos and brief descriptions

Credits:

photos:
Jonamac, Macoun, PaulaRed: Courtesy of New York Apple Association, © New York Apple Association

And if you are looking for shipping containers for apples and other fruit, see this page.

Canning Books, Supplies and Accessories

These are my favorite essential canning tools, books and supplies. I've been using many of these for over 50 years of canning! The ones below on this page are just the sampling of. my preferred tools. but you can find much more detailed and extensive selections on the pages that are linked below.

The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving: Over 350 of the Best Canned, Jammed, Pickled, and Preserved Recipes Paperback

This is THE book on canning! My grandmother used this book when I was a child.; It tells you in simple instructions how to can almost anything; complete with recipes for jam, jellies, pickles, sauces, canning vegetables, meats, etc.

If it can be canned, this book likely tells you how! Click on the link below for more information and / or to buy (no obligation to buy)The New Ball Blue Book of Canning and Preserving

Canning and Preserving for Dummies by Karen Ward

This is another popular canning book. Click here for more information, reviews, prices for Canning and Preserving For Dummies

Of course, you do not need to buy ANY canning book as I have about 500 canning, freezing, dehydrating and more recipes all online for free, just see Easy Home Canning Directions.

Home Canning Kits


I have several canners, and my favorite is the stainless steel one at right. It is easy to clean and seems like it will last forever. Mine is 10 years old and looks like new.

The black ones are the same type of standard canner that my grandmother used to make everything from applesauce to jams and jellies to tomato and spaghetti sauce.

This complete kit includes everything you need and lasts for years: the canner, jar rack, Jar grabber tongs, lid lifting wand, a plastic funnel, labels, bubble freer,  It's much cheaper than buying the items separately. It's only missing the bible of canning, the Ball Blue Book.

You will never need anything else except jars & lids (and the jars are reusable)!

The complete list of canners is on these pages:

 

Pressure Canners

If you plan on canning non-acidic foods and low acid foods that are not pickled - this means: meats, seafood, soups, green beans corn, most vegetables, etc., then you ABSOLUTELY must use a Pressure Canner.

Of course, you can use a pressure canner as a water bath canner as well - just don't seal it up, so it does not pressurize. This means a Pressure Canner is a 2-in-1 device. With it, you can can almost ANYTHING.

There are also other supplies, accessories, tools and more canners, of different styles, makes and prices, click here!

Basic Canning Accessories

From left to right:

  1. Jar lifting tongs to pick up hot jars
  2. Lid lifter - to remove lids from the pot of boiling water (sterilizing )
  3. Lids- disposable - you may only use them once
  4. Ring - holds the lids on the jar until after the jars cool - then you remove them, save them and reuse them
  5. Canning Jar funnel - to fill the jars

Strainers

These are very useful for making sauces like applesauce, tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, jellies, etc. Below are my favorites. The complete list is on these pages:

Inexpensive Old School Strainers: hand cranked Foley Food Mills

  • The hand-cranked Foley food mill (see this page or clock the ad box) has been used for well over 100 years in homes all over America (and variants around the world). It is effective and inexpensive, and ideal for small batches.  However, if you need to make many quarts, you will sure end up with tunnel carpel syndrome or some other repetitive strain injury.

Norpro 1951 Manual Food Strainer and other brand stariners, with optional motors; (almost identical to Victorio V250, Villaware and Roma models, all discontinued)

This is The next step up from the Foley food mill. First, it's far more ergonomic, and its handle is easier to use. Next, it works in continuous mode rather than batch mode. So you can do much larger volumes easily. Finally, It has an optional motor, so you can. remove the manual labor.  It also offers many different size strainers to use for different types of berries, vegetables and fruit.

See the seller's website for more information, features, pricing and user reviews!

KitchenAid - Best Large Volume Strainers

If you're going to do large volumes of fruit or vegetables , or do it year after year, then. you really should think about getting a higher end kitchen. utility device. Kitchen aids are the cream of the crop. Once you buy one of these, you keep at the rest of your life and it gets handed down to the next generation. . My sister is using one she inherited from my mother 25 years ago, who got it in the 1940s as a wedding gift. So, although the initial cost is high, they literally last for many lifetime. So the cost on an annual basis is pretty trivial, especially when you consider the cost of therapy and treatment for. the repetitive strain injuries you will get from manual cranking day after day. Add to that of course the cost of therapy for the emotional injuries you'll get from going insane, standing there hand cranking something for hours.

KitchenAid's with a sieve/grinder (with the attachments, costs about $400, but it lasts a lifetime and is fast and easy to use - I can make 100 quart jars of applesauce per day with one of these).

 

FREE Illustrated Canning, Freezing, Jam Instructions and Recipes

Don't spend money on books. that you don't need to. Almost everything you can find in some book sold online or in a store is on my website here for free. Start with theEasy Home Canning Directions below. That is a master list of canning directions which are all based upon the Ball Bblue book, the National Center for Home Food Preservation and other reputable lab tested recipes. Almost every recipe I present in addition to being lab tested com. is in a step by step format with photos for each step and complete. explanations. that tell you how to do it, where to get the supplies and pretty much everything you need to know. In addition, there almost always in a PDF format so you can print them out and use them while you cook.

[ Easy Home Canning Directions]

[FAQs - Answers to common questions and problems]

[Recommended books about home canning, jam making, drying and preserving!]

[Free canning publications to download and print]

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