Apple Trees By Picking Season

Apple Trees by Seasons

Early-Season Apples

Flowering Group #

Early-season apples, commonly known as summer apples, are apples that are ready to be harvested throughout July and August. They aren’t nearly as common as mid- or late-season varieties. That doesn’t mean you should overlook them, though—there are some delicious ones out there! And since they don’t do well in storage, they’re ideal for picking and eating right off of your very own tree while they’re at their freshest. Below are three of our most popular early-season varieties.

Pristine Apple

Malus domestica ‘Pristine’

Pristine is a lovely yellow apple with a refreshing flavor. As is the case with most summer apples, it is more tart than apples that are harvested in the fall, but it’s still wonderfully flavorful for fresh eating! It is hardiest in zones 5 to 8.

Zestar!® Apple

Malus domestica ‘Minnewasheta’

Get a jumpstart on harvesting with Zestar!®, also known as “Minnewasheta.” Flavor-wise, this relatively new variety is perfectly balanced; it’s both sweet and tart with just a hint of brown sugar. As a bonus, it has an irresistable crunch! It’s hardy in zones 4 to 8.

Yellow Transparent Apple

Malus domestica ‘White Transparent’

Yellow Transparent (or White Transparent) is one of a kind! This cultivar, developed in Russia, is named for its translucent skin. While it ripens in summer, it’s very cold hardy and does well in zones 3 to 8.


Mid-Season Apples

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Mid-season apples are ready to be harvested in the middle of August, typically until the middle of October. These apples, often called fall apples, are the most common and include favorites like Gala and Cortland. They are sweeter than summer apples and they perfectly complement fall with their rich red hues!

Cortland Apple

Malus domestica ‘Cortland’

Cortland is a timeless favorite. Its white flesh is incredibly crisp with a slight tartness to it. While it’s great for eating right off of the tree, it’s also one of the most popular baking apples of all time! It’s hardy in zones 4 to 7.

Empire Apple

Malus domestica ‘Empire’

Empire is a perfect choice for beginners. It’s flavorful, versatile, and it stores well in your fridge. It’s also pleasantly juicy with just the right amount of crispness. Empire does well in zones 4 to 8.

Gala Apple

Malus domestica ‘Gala’

Gala is one of America’s favorite apples, and it isn’t hard to see why. It’s sweet and fragrant, and perfect as a healthy snack. To top it all off, it makes a delicious applesauce! Like many other varieties, Gala is hardy in zones 4 to 8.

Liberty Apple

Malus domestica ‘Liberty’

As far as apples go, Liberty is a no-brainer. This variety has been specifically bred to be disease-resistant, making it perfect for your garden at home. Plant Liberty in zones 5 to 9 to keep it happy!

Honeycrisp Apple

Malus domestica ‘Honeycrisp’

Honeycrisp is like no other apple you’ve ever tasted before. It’s just that good! Incredibly sweet and juicy, this fall favorite has grown in popularity over the years, nearly achieving cult status. It’s a little hardier and can be planted in zones 3 to 7.

Macoun Apple

Malus domestica ‘Macoun’

Macoun is a fall favorite in New England. It is both sweet and tart, with notes of berry and spice coming through. It’s loved in pies and right off the tree! Plant Macoun in zones 4 to 8 for best results.


Late-Season Apples

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These apples are also categorized as fall apples, but they are not ready to be harvested until the end of October through the middle of November. As with summer apples, there are few varieties here, but you shouldn’t overlook them! Each one brings something wonderful to your home garden.

Arkansas Black Apple

Malus domestica ‘Arkansas Black’

As its name might suggest, Arkansas Black is known for its deep purple coloring, giving it more of a plum-like appearance. It’s believed to be a descendant of the well-known Winesap variety. Grow Arkansas Black in zones 5 to 9.

Fuji Apple

Malus domestica ‘Fuji’

Fuji is most popular in Asia, though it’s finally gaining a foothold in the US. It is a bright, lightly speckled red with dull white flesh and it is refreshingly sweet. If you’re in zones 5 to 9, Fuji will do quite well for you!

Mutsu Apple

Malus domestica ‘Mutsu’

Mutsu looks and sounds exotic, but it’s descended from our very own Golden Delicious! Also known as Crispin, this zesty dessert apple is perfect in ciders and pies. It’s revered in Japan, and we see why! Mutsu is hardy in zones 4 to 8.