MALUS domestica 'Spartan'
Plant Common Name
Apple, Red Eating Apple, Spartan Apple
The result of a 1926 cross between 'McIntosh' and 'Yellow Newtown Pippin', 'Spartan' produces tasty, late-ripening apples on trees that are resistant to scab, mildew, and fire blight. The medium to large, flattish apples have yellow skin that blushes deep purple-red blush as they ripen in early to mid-fall. The white, crisp, fine-textured flesh of this dessert and cooking apple has a sweet-tart flavor similar to that of 'McIntosh'. Harvested fruits keep until mid-winter. This self-fertile variety typically produces a good crop each year, but will bear most heavily if planted near another apple that blooms midseason (such as 'Golden Delicious'). It makes a good choice for home gardens and commercial orchards.
There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own apple trees. The domestic apple is most commonly a medium-sized tree with a rounded to oval canopy. It originates from southeastern Europe, Siberia, and southwestern Asia and has been in cultivation for thousands of years. In spring, these trees offer sweet, fragrant flowers of light pink, white or rose, and in fall reward us with crisp, juicy apples.
These fruits have a wide variety of colors, textures and flavors and may be eaten out-of-hand, pressed for cider, frozen, canned or baked in a variety of ways. There are thousands of cultivars available, including many interesting heirlooms as well as fresh new varieties. Different selections vary in height and may bear fruit in late summer or fall.
Apple trees do best in full sun and moist well-drained soil, but tolerate light shade and periodic drought. For best fruit production, trees must be vigorously pruned and maintained. Apples are susceptible to many pests and diseases, but resistant varieties are available.
Most apples are grafted onto rootstock that provides a wide range of benefits such as vigor, pest and disease resistance and dwarf stature, depending on the stock.