Recommended Apple trees for the Northwest

Swansons selects apple tree varieties which perform well in our unique climate. This information sheet provides you with a list of varieties recommended and usually offered by Swansons. Varieties are subject to change, so please call for current availibility. For more detailed information on any apple variety, please refer to individual plant signs or consult one of our nursery professionals.

CHOOSING THE PLANTS

Choose your varieties from our recommended list according to flavor, use, storage capabilities, growth habit, and pollination requirements. In Western Washington, apples ripen from September to November depending on environmental conditions. Apple trees are grafted onto specific rootstocks that affect the growth rate and eventual height the tree will grow to. Each of the tree varieties we carry are on either a semi-dwarfing or dwarfing rootstock. The tree’s tag designates whether or not it is dwarf or semi-dwarf and which rootstock it is grafted to.

POLLINATION

Pollination of apples is mostly performed by bees. All apple varieties require cross-pollination from a different apple variety, and not all apple varieties can be counted on as adequate pollinators. Therefore, it is necessary to either plant two different and compatible kinds of apples in close proximity to each other to cross-pollinate, or to plant an apple tree that has multiple compatible varieties grafted on to the tree (called combo trees). See the following chart illustrating cross-pollination compatibility of the apples varieties we offer

ASHMEAD’S KERNEL
This heirloom dessert apple has it all! The delicious flavor of the fruit is described as sweet, tart, and nutty. It’s resistant to cedar apple rust and apple scab. Discovered as a chance seedling in the 1700s, it is still a taste test winner to this day.

GRAVENSTEIN
Crisp, juicy and tart. Large, yellow-green / red-striped apple. Good fresh or for cooking. Ready to pick in September. Does not store well. Vigorous grower, bears biennially.

HONEYCRISP
The name says it all. Big, sweet apple, mottled to solid red (more sun = more red). Excellent fresh eating. Ready to pick in late September-October. Outstanding storage: 6 months with refrigeration. Vigorous, spreading habit. Exceptional disease-resistance. Mid-late blooming:

PINK LADY
A newer variety from Australia. It is a crisp, juicy, sweet, and tangy apple. Pink blushed over yellow skin with white flesh. Medium-sized fruit. Excellent for fresh eating. Ready to pick in late September. Stores well. Excellent fresh and in salads.

Columnar apples

Columnar apples are varieties that have short growing branches from a straight growing main trunk. Therefore the trees grow narrowly upright. They are perfect for container culture, small yards, and very-good-neighbor-fences.

GOLDEN SENTINEL
Columnar apple tree for small spaces or containers. Sweet and juicy. Large, golden yellow. Ready to pick in mid September. Stores until January. Grows 10-12 ft. high or can be kept at 4-5 ft. with pruning. Exceptional disease-resistance.

NORTHPOLE
Columnar apple tree for small spaces or containers. Crisp and juicy, like ‘Macintosh.’ Large, bright red. Good fresh and cooking. Ready to pick in early September. Grows 10-12 ft. high or can be kept at 4-5 ft. with pruning.

SCARLET SENTINEL
Columnar apple tree for small spaces or containers. Very sweet, crisp and juicy. Jumbo, yellow-green and red. Ready to pick in late September. Stores until January. Grows 10-12 ft. high or can be kept at 4-5 ft. with pruning.

COMBO APPLES

Combo apples are trees that have been both grafted onto semi-dwarf rootstock (mm-106) and have had multiple varieties of apples grafted onto the main trunk. Therefore, they are semi-dwarf growing trees that produce multiple varieties of apples on each tree.

Our combo apples are available either as a common growing upright tree, or already trained in an espalier style. Espalier is a training system that creates a flat growing tree that is perfect up against fences or walls.

Each Common Combo Apple has at least 4 of the following varieties grafted onto it. 
Gravenstein / Jonagold / Liberty / Melrose / Yellow Delicious

Each Espalier Combo Apple has the following varieties grafted onto it. 
Gravenstein / Jonagold / Liberty / Yellow Delicious

GRAVENSTEIN
Crisp, juicy and tart. Large, yellow-green / red-striped apple. Good fresh or for cooking. Ready to pick in September. Does not store well. Vigorous grower, bears biennially

JONAGOLD
One of this region's best eating apples - sweet, crisp, juicy, firm and full of favor! Large, yellow fruits have a red-orange blush when ripe. Excellent for eating fresh, in pies and cooking. Moderate scab resistance, prune to help air circulation and avoid mildew.

LIBERTY
Crisp, juicy, sweet and sprightly. Medium-sized fruit is dark red over greenish-yellow. Good for fresh eating and cooking. Ready to pick mid-September to early October. Stores well. Highly productive, annual bearer.

MELROSE
An apple with excellent sweet and slightly acidic flavor. It stores well and actually gets tastier after it has been stored awhile. It can be eaten fresh, but also is famous as a great baking apple. It ripens in mid-October.

YELLOW DELICIOUS
Bright yellow-green fruit is sweet and delicious. Good fresh or for cooking. It is ready to pick in October. Pollinized by any other apple variety on this list.