History: John McIntosh planted several apple seedlings upon settling in Dundela, Ontario. From these, he discovered the famous McIntosh apple as a seedling in his orchard. The family began selling the fruit and grafted McIntosh trees in 1835 and in 1870 it entered commercial production. By the 1900s it was one of the most popular apples in northeastern North America, although its popularity waned over time as varieties such as the Gala were introduced. Nonetheless, McIntosh apples still remain some of the most popular in North America. The original tree died in 1906 after being damaged by a house fire and a commemorative plaque marks where it stood. The apple has since been named Canada's national fruit. The Macintosh line of Apple computers was also named after this variety.
Why We Grow It: For fans of Canadian heritage apples in particular, this one is hard to beat. To the best of our knowledge, this is the original strain of McIntosh. Aside from its storied past, McIntosh apples boast soft, slightly tart flesh with high Vitamin C content. It is excellent for fresh eating and making applesauce.
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. Drought tolerant.
Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Moderately vigorous with heavy crops. Susceptible to scab and canker but resistant to cedar rust and quince rust and very resistant to mildew and fireblight.
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: Early
Ripens: Mid September
Storage: Keeps until June when stored in cold storage
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking, cider
- Class: Sharp
- Sugar: Medium to very high
- Acidity: Medium to very high
- Tannins: Low
- Juice Yield: Low to medium
- Taste: Rich and complex
- Recommendations: Can be used to make a single-variety cider or in blends
- Notes: Normally these apples have medium sugar and acidity but when heavily infected with scab they create an extremely rich and sweet juice great for cider
Size including roots:
- 1 year grade 100-200 cm whip
- 2 year grade 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more
- B grade less than 100 cm