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Malus domestica 'Empire'
- Hardiness Zone & More
The original Empire is one of the best eating apples you will find. Only medium in size, it is a steady bearer on grower friendly trees. The red fruit has a McIntosh-Jonathan like look. The flavor is excellent with white flesh. The fruit can be used for all purposes. We usually offer an improved redder strain, listed as Red Empire, but occasionally also offer the original or heirloom strain, which doesn't color as well but is unchanged from the original New York introduction.
Empire was bred at the Geneva Station in New York in 1945 as a cross of McIntosh and Delicious. It took a while to "catch on", but Grandpa sold many trees of it in the 1970's when it became very popular.
Empire is a grower friendly apple. Early blooming. Produces well. Easy to train and maintain. It is susceptible to fire blight, so don't push it too hard.