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No, we’re not talking about the computer, although the Apple Macintosh was in fact named after the McIntosh apple. This glossy red apple has a juicy, bright white flesh that offers up the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness. It also has grape-like undertones, which you may not have realized if you’ve only ever had supermarket apples. You’ll be pleased to discover how much more flavorful fresh-picked, tree-ripened McIntosh apples are over those you buy at the store. This variety is ideal for fresh, healthy snacking, and it also cooks up into a delicious applesauce, pie, strudel, cobbler, or crumble as well.
- Hardiness Zone: 4-7
- Spacing: 12-15'
- Exposure: Full Sun
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The story of the McIntosh Apple Tree goes way back to the early 1800s. A young man by the name of John McIntosh, born in New York State to Scottish immigrants, had fled to Ontario to be with the girl he loved, despite his parents’ disapproval. When he got there, John was crushed to learn that his true love had died. He stayed in Canada and later found love again. One day, he found some Apple Tree seedlings growing on his farm, and he transplanted several of them, although only one lived through the winter. In 1835, a traveling handyman happened to stop by the McIntosh farm and taught John and his son Allan how to clone trees by grafting them, and that’s how that one surviving tree—the original McIntosh Apple Tree—was first shared with the world.
The McIntosh Apple Tree is most at home where fall days are cold and crisp. It performs best in New England, where it has been a favorite fruit for generations, and in Canada, where it is the national apple and is known simply as the “Mac.” The McIntosh Apple Tree is often used in breeding work to add cold-hardiness to a tree’s list of attributes.
How to Grow
Canada’s national Apple Tree is naturally very tough when it comes to frigid winter weather, and it will not only perform better in cold climates than in warmer zones, but its fruits will taste better, too. The McIntosh Apple Tree isn’t invincible, however; it is very susceptible to a disease called apple scab, and it is somewhat susceptible to fire blight. Both of these damaging diseases can be controlled with a spray program. Or you can try an organic approach, which might give you a smaller harvest but will expose you and your family to fewer toxins—which is probably why you want to grow your own in the first place. Please don’t hesitate to consult with our growers at firstname.lastname@example.org to develop the plan that’s right for you. You will also need to have another variety of Apple Tree or Crabapple nearby to pollinate your McIntosh and ensure good fruit set.
Questions & Answers
Q: How big will the McIntosh Apple be when mature?
A: We grow McIntosh Apples on a semi-dwarfing rootstock (S-M7). This will give you an apple that will grow 12-15' in height and width before pruning to form. You can expect a substantial harvest in 3 to 5 years using this rootstock, or about 3 years after planted at your home.
Q: Do I need another variety of Apple Tree to get fruit on my McIntosh Apple?
A: Yes - you do need another variety of Apple Tree in order to get fruit on the McIntosh Apple. There are quite a few varieties that will get the job done for you - Yellow Transparent, Zestar, Cortland and Macoun are just a few of the possibilities!
This graphic shows the approximate size and form of the Tree you are viewing.
Size A Trees:
5-6' Tall. Grown and shipped in our #7 fruit tree container. You can expect fruiting in your very first year! Grower pruned for fruit production. The hard work has been done for you, time to enjoy.
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