History: Spartan apples are a Canadian variety that was developed at the Pacific Agri-Food Research Centre in Summerland, BC in 1936 by Dr. R.C. Palmer. Of particular interest is the fact that Spartan apples are the first apple variety created by a formal scientific breeding program. They have been popular in North America ever since and are even commonly found in gardens in the UK.
Why We Grow It: This variety is known for its sweet/acid flavour and pleasant crunch, especially when eaten fresh off the tree. They tend to soften rather quickly after they are picked but luckily the fruit hangs on the tree 2-3 weeks after its ripe which helps to extend the optimal time to enjoy this variety. Spartan apples are also known for being relatively easy to grow, having decent disease resistance, heavy crops, and an ability to keep all winter.
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 and precocious with an upright and spreading growth pattern, has heavy crops. Very susceptible to canker but resistant to scab and very resistant to mildew, fireblight, cedar rust, and quince rust.
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. Good pollinator due to large number of flowers.
Flowering Time: Middle
Ripens: Mid October
Storage: Keeps until February when stored in cold storage, although flavour and crispness is quick to fade
Recommended Use: Fresh eating
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