History: The creation and selection of Empire apples was a lot more intense compared to the chance origins of some of our older varieties. In 1945, scientists from the Cornell University New York State Agricultural Experiment Station collected thousands of seeds from the orchard of fruit nutritionist Lester C. Anderson. For years these seeds were grown and tested until Empire emerged as the best apple from amongst its siblings. It was released to the public in 1966 and has since become one of the top ten most popular apples in North America.
Why We Grow It: Empire is an excellent general-purpose apple for the Great Lakes area. The attractive green and red fruit is crisp and sweet and keeps well into the winter. The trees crop heavily and reliably, and the fruit is resistant to bruising, making life easier for the grower. They are also resistant to fireblight and cedar apple rust.
Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4b
Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam.Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Moderately vigorous and precocious with heavy crops. Susceptible to mildew and very susceptible to scab and quince rust but resistant to cedar rust and fireblight. Spur bearing.
Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)
Pollination:Partially self-pollinating, this variety will produce some fruit without an apple tree of a different variety but will produce more and better fruit if one is present
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Early October
Storage: Keeps until March when stored in cold storage
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking
Size including roots:
100-200 cm whip, 1 year grade
100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more, 2 year grade