Apple Varieties

Apple Varieties

Read an introduction to apple varieties here.

All Plants | All Apples | Featured | Dessert | Cooking | Eating & Cooking | Crab

About Apple Varieties

Apples trees can be divided into two main types:

  • Eating apples (sweet)
  • Cooking apples (sharp to taste – but break apart with soft flesh after cooking)

There are some varieties of apple that are recommended for both eating and cooking. In general, early fruiting apples do not store as well as late season apples (store in a cardboard box in a cool environment with paper separating the layers of apples).

There are also crab apples, which are trees that grow small sour tasting apples and often have very attractive blossom in the spring. Crab apple blossom is great to attract bees, and the hardy fruit is loved by birds over the winter months. Crab apples are grown for their ornamental qualities (blossom, leaves, colourful apples), but despite the fruit being bitter when fresh, they can be cooked to create crab apple jelly.

From a grower’s perspective, the advantage of growing a crab apple tree is that they are excellent pollinators for other apples. Cross pollination is helpful, even for trees that are described as self pollinators, as it can increase the harvest size of all trees.

Apple trees blossom at different times, and to be sure of pollination, choose apple trees that are in blossom at the same time. Individual varieties of apple trees have different requirements for pollination, some are self fertile and others require two different types of tree to pollinate them. There are some varieties of apple trees that have little pollen, which means they are not good pollinators for any tree.

However, most likely if you live in a populated area, there will be plenty of apple trees around to cross pollinate your apple tree, as bees travel great distances to find pollen. If you live in a remote area, you may need to pay attention to flowering times and the best cross pollination varieties. Tree stockists will be able to provide further information.