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Winter apple varieties

Winter apple varieties are late-season varieties that include some of the most recognizable types such as Golden Delicious, Idared, and others.


“Jonathan” is a high-quality winter apple variety originating from the USA. Today, its mutants such as Idared, Jonared, Jonadel, and Jonathan Dobelred are increasingly used in production. The variety ripens from September 15 to 30 and blooms moderately late. Good pollinators for it are Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Delicious. It bears abundantly and early. The tree is of medium vigorous growth with very slender, drooping branches. A drawback of this variety is its high susceptibility to powdery mildew. It performs well on the M 9 vegetative rootstock. The fruit is medium to large-sized, weighing 100 to 245 g, wider than long, with a short and thick stem. The fruit skin is smooth, greenish-yellow base transitioning to red, and dark red on the sun-exposed side. The flesh is moderately firm, tart, juicy, with a specific aroma. Until recently, it was a leading variety in production both domestically and in Europe, but is increasingly being abandoned due to its high susceptibility to powdery mildew. It can be stored for up to 5 months.

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A triploid variety that ripens from September 15 to 30. It blooms moderately early and has vigorous tree growth. It grows very fast, bears abundantly and early, but irregularly. The fruits are very large and irregular in shape. The fruit skin is thick and rough, pale yellow in color with shiny red to rusty uneven stripes on the sunny side. The flesh is firm, yellowish, sweet, aromatic, and has a refreshing wine-like flavor. It is sensitive to late spring frosts, bark canker, and fruit “worminess,” but very resistant to scab and powdery mildew. It can be stored for up to 7 months after harvest.


The diploid variety, arising as a chance seedling, supposedly from the Grimes Golden variety in the USA. It has been in production since 1916. It is the most widespread apple variety in all countries where apples are grown. It belongs to the winter varieties and ripens from the second decade to the end of September. It blooms moderately late. Good pollinators are Delicious, Gloster, Idared, Jonathan, James Grieve varieties. This variety is a good pollinator for other varieties. It grows vigorously in the first few years, but growth becomes moderate after a few harvests. It bears early and abundantly and is now considered a standard for high-yielding varieties. The fruits are medium to large, weighing from 130 to as much as 280 g. They are conical in shape and symmetrical, with weakly defined ribs at the calyx end. The skin is thin and smooth. The basic color is greenish-yellow at harvest time, becoming lemon-yellow or quince-yellow when ripe. The flesh is light yellow, firm, of medium fine texture, juicy, sweet-tart in flavor with a specific pleasant aroma. It is susceptible to scab and rust, and to a lesser extent, powdery mildew. Rust spots can be caused by a virus, so a virus-free clone B of Golden Delicious has been selected for this purpose. It is more productive than Golden Delicious and is increasingly preferred in orchards. It can be stored for up to 7 months after harvest, but storage is somewhat demanding. It is characteristic for storage in cold storage. Apart from clone B, clone A has also been selected, both in the Netherlands. Known spur mutants of the standard growth type include Smoothee (USA) and Belgolden (Belgium). From spur mutants of the G. Delicious variety, Goldspur, Yellowspur Delicious, Fraizer Goldenspur, Elliot Spur Golden, Morrison, and others have been distinguished.


The diploid variety originated from the cross of Jonathan × Red Delicious in 1937 in the USA. It has been in production since 1944. It ripens from September 25th to October 5th. The tree has vigorous growth, so better results are achieved on weakly vigorous vegetative rootstocks such as M 9 and M 27. It blooms late. Good pollinators are Golden Delicious and Idared, while Jonathan and Red Delicious (its parents) cannot pollinate it. It bears regularly, early, and abundantly. The fruits are large, weighing from 170 to 300 g, and have a conical round shape. They have a long stem and are easily blushed. The skin is thick, with a basic yellow-green color covered with red. The flesh is pale yellow, firm, juicy, sweet-tart in taste, aromatic, and very tasty. It is relatively resistant to scab and powdery mildew. It can be stored for 6 months after harvest.

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The diploid American variety originated in 1935 from a cross of Jonathan × Wagner. It has been in production since 1942. It is a highly productive variety and undoubtedly the most popular apple in our region. It is a weakly vigorous variety that ripens from October 1st to 10th and is suitable for dense planting. On fertile soils, it should be grafted onto weakly vigorous rootstocks like M 9 or M 27, while on poorer soils, it should be grafted onto moderately vigorous rootstocks like M 26 or MM 106. It blooms moderately early. Good pollinators are Golden Delicious, Spartan, James Grieve, and McIntosh. It enters bearing early and bears regularly. The fruits are large to very large, weighing from 150 to 350 g, round to slightly flattened in shape. The base color is yellow-green, turning to greenish-yellow upon ripening, with an average of 80% of the surface covered in wine-red color. The flesh of the fruit is almost white, of medium fine texture, moderately juicy, moderately acidic in taste due to stronger acids and lower sugar content, resulting in a less full and harmonious flavor, with a moderately pronounced and unobtrusive aroma. It can be stored for up to 7 months in controlled atmosphere storage without special requirements.


The diploid variety originated in Germany in 1969 through a cross of Glockenapfel × Richared. It ripens in the first decade of October. The tree is very vigorous with a narrow pyramidal crown. The main branches grow at sharp angles, which creates certain difficulties in forming the desired growth shape. It performs well on weakly vigorous rootstocks like M9 or M27. It blooms moderately early to moderately late, with flowering lasting for a long period, 20 to 25 days. Good pollinators are Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Granny Smith, James Grieve, and Melrose. It bears late, good, and regular crops. It produces very large fruits weighing 150 to 250 g. The fruits are elongated-conical in shape and slightly ribbed. The skin is smooth, thick, with a base color of light green covered in red, the intensity of which depends on the light exposure. The flesh of the fruit is pale yellow, juicy, sweet, or slightly tart, without any particular aroma. It is resistant to powdery mildew but sensitive to scab. It can be stored in cold storage for up to 6 months.


The variety created in Japan in 1930, a cross between Golden Delicious × Indo, has been in production since 1948. The tree is characterized by strong vigor and a wide pyramidal crown. It is a triploid variety with poor pollen viability, making it a poor pollinator for other varieties. Fruits ripen from October 10 to 20. It blooms moderately late and is sensitive to late spring frosts. Good pollinators include Jonathan, Gloster, James Grieve, Idared, Granny Smith, and Fuji. It will not pollinate if Golden Delicious is the pollinator since it is one of the parents. It bears early and regularly. It produces very large fruits weighing from 180 to 350 g that hold well on the tree. The fruits are round, with skin of basic greenish-yellow color with or without russet coating. The flesh is firm, juicy, fine-grained, sweet with a distinctly pronounced aroma. It is relatively resistant to powdery mildew but shows sensitivity to scab. It can be stored very well in cold storage for up to 7 months.


The Granny Smith apple is an old diploid variety originating from Australia. It was discovered as a chance seedling by Mrs. Mary Smith in 1868 on a waste dump. Today, it is the most recognizable and famous apple variety, and one of Australia’s most renowned export products since it began being propagated under the name Granny Smith in 1952. This somewhat unusual variety captivates with its grass-green color and its versatility, which consumers appreciate. It belongs to the late winter varieties, ripening from mid to late October. The tree is vigorous, and it performs well when grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks such as M 9 and M 27. It blooms moderately late and is relatively resistant to late spring frosts. Good pollinators for Granny Smith apples include Jonathan, Golden Delicious, Idared, Gloster, and Spartan. It also serves as a good pollinator for other apple varieties. It bears fruit very well with early and regular yields. The apples are large, weighing around 200 to 250 g each. They are round-topped cone-shaped with a basic dark green skin color that turns lighter green as they ripen. Towards the end of the harvest, the color changes to yellow, and the skin becomes greasy. The flesh is greenish-white, medium to coarse-textured, crunchy, very firm, juicy, distinctly acidic, very sharp in taste, and with excellent aroma. Served slightly chilled, it can be very refreshing. It is excellent for fresh consumption, in pies, and as a key ingredient in fruit salads, particularly because sliced apples retain their color. Granny Smith apples are sensitive to powdery mildew and moderately susceptible to scab. They can be stored in cold storage for up to 8 months. However, they are highly susceptible to physiological disorders such as bitter pit, requiring special treatment to manage.


The apple variety you’re describing is likely the “Pacific Rose,” a diploid variety originating from New Zealand. It is believed to be a cross between Lady Hamilton and an unknown parent, with speculation that Granny Smith might be involved due to the location and timing of its discovery in 1952. However, there is no scientific confirmation of this theory yet. The Pacific Rose is undoubtedly a premium dessert apple, known for its flavor reminiscent of classic old varieties. It is also one of the first bi-colored varieties, which is a criterion for commercial success today. The tree grows with moderate vigor, flowering from moderately early to moderately late. Good pollinators for Pacific Rose apples include Fuji, Gala, Golden Delicious, and Granny Smith. It ripens in the second half of October, bearing fruit very early with good yields, although it tends towards alternate bearing. The apples are conical to round-conical in shape, medium to large in size, weighing between 150 to 200 g. The skin is primarily greenish-yellow with orange-red stripes that can cover a significant portion of the fruit. It is very attractive with visible lenticels, thin, and seems to melt in the mouth. It is sensitive to sunburn. The flesh is creamy in color, not hard, crisp, very juicy, sharp in taste, and does not brown quickly when cut. It is sensitive to scab, bacterial canker, and powdery mildew. It stores well after harvest but can be sensitive to bitter pit. Overall, the Pacific Rose is highly valued for its exceptional flavor and attractive appearance, making it a sought-after variety in the apple market.


Fuji apples are a cultivar originating in Japan, but developed in the United States. They are a cross between the lesser-known variety Ralls Janet and Red Delicious. Originally selected in 1939 under the name Tohoku 7, they were officially named Fuji in 1962. This variety is known for its attractive appearance, featuring a pinkish blush over a yellow-green skin. Fuji apples ripen from early to mid-November and bloom moderately early. They are diploid and benefit from cross-pollination with varieties like Gala, Granny Smith, and Golden Delicious. Fuji trees are vigorous growers, best grafted onto dwarfing rootstocks like M9 for optimal results. They produce medium to large, round-conical fruits weighing 150 to 180 g. The skin is predominantly pale yellow-green with orange-red blush and a pinkish blush. The flesh is yellowish, crisp, firm, very juicy, finely textured, aromatic, sweet, and mildly flavored. Fuji apples have high sugar content and low acidity. They are highly susceptible to scab and bacterial canker, moderately susceptible to powdery mildew, and prone to physiological disorders like bitter pit, glassiness, and internal browning. Among “sweet” varieties, Fuji apples store exceptionally well, retaining their firmness for extended periods. In controlled atmosphere (CA) storage, they can be kept for up to 7 months with special handling.

CRIPPS PINK = PINK LADY® is an Australian apple variety created by Mr. John Cripps in 1973 through a cross of Golden Delicious and Lady Williams varieties. It is renowned for its unique flavor profile, combining both tartness and sweetness. The tree is very vigorous, with branches growing at wide angles, making it suitable for grafting onto dwarfing rootstocks like M 9. It blooms from moderately early to moderately late, and its good pollinators include varieties such as Fuji, Granny Smith, Gala, Red Delicious, Jonathan, Braeburn, Gloster, Idared, and James Grieve. Cripps Pink apples ripen in early November, typically 1 to 2 weeks after Granny Smith apples. They bear fruit early and consistently, yielding large to very large apples weighing 200 to 250 g, with a round to conical shape. The skin is thin and delicate with light lenticels, starting off yellow and developing a secondary pinkish-red blush later. They are not prone to sunburn, russeting, cracking, bitter pit, or internal disorders. The flesh is crisp, firm, juicy, finely textured, and white in color. The taste is mild, pleasant, sweet, and intensifies after short-term storage. Cripps Pink apples are sensitive to scab and bacterial canker, particularly susceptible to powdery mildew. They can be stored for up to 4 months. Only those Cripps Pink apples of the highest quality can bear the Pink Lady® brand label and are sold exclusively under this protected brand. Therefore, whenever you purchase this club variety, you are assured of buying the best of the best.

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