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Major Apple

Major Apple

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History: Major dates back to potentially before the nineteenth century and was commonly grown on farms in Devon and Somerset in England. It remains a traditional English cider variety.

Why We Grow It: Major produces a lovely bittersweet juice that is good both in blends or on its own. It ripens relatively early so it is a nice apple for extending the cider pressing season.

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4

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 with a spreading growth habit, precocious, crops well but tends to produce crops every other year. Susceptible to canker but resistant to scab and brown rot.

Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)

Pollination: Requires a pollinator of a different apple variety that blooms around the same time

Flowering Time: Late

Ripens: Early October

Storage: Does not store well

Recommended Use: Cider

Cider Properties:*
  • Class: Bittersweet
  • Sugar: Medium, SG 1.054
  • Acidity: Low, TA 1.8 g/L
  • Tannins: High, 4.1 g/L
  • Juice Yield: 275 mL/lb
  • Taste: Full and aromatic
  • Recommendations: Good in blends (particularly with Ellis Bitter) but can also be made into an excellent single-variety cider

Size including roots:

  • 1m+ Whip: 100-200cm
  • 1m+ Branched: 100cm+ with at least three branches 30cm+
  • 50-80cm Whip: 50-80cm

*Information based on Claude Jolicouer's The New Cidermaker's Handbook and Washington State University's "Cultivar Performance Gallery"

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