The Best Apples to Grow in Ontario


Hey there, fellow gardeners! I’m so excited to share with you my top picks for the best apples to grow in our beautiful province of Ontario. Apple trees are a fantastic addition to any backyard, and there’s nothing quite like picking a fresh, juicy apple straight from the tree. Without further ado, let’s dive into my favorites!

1. McIntosh Apples

  • Origin: The McIntosh apple has a special place in my heart, as it was discovered right here in Ontario back in 1811.
  • Taste: These apples are delightfully tart and sweet, making them perfect for eating fresh or using in your favorite apple recipes.
  • Hardiness: McIntosh trees are hardy to Zone 4, which means they can withstand Ontario’s chilly winters.

2. Honeycrisp Apples

  • Origin: Developed in Minnesota, Honeycrisp apples have quickly become a favorite among apple enthusiasts.
  • Taste: Their sweet, juicy, and slightly tart flavor is downright addictive. Trust me, you won’t be able to eat just one!
  • Hardiness: Honeycrisp trees are hardy to Zone 3, making them an excellent choice for Ontario’s climate.

3. Empire Apples

  • Origin: A cross between the McIntosh and Red Delicious, Empire apples were developed in New York in the 1960s.
  • Taste: I love the sweet-tart flavor and crisp texture of Empire apples. They’re perfect for snacking, baking, or even juicing.
  • Hardiness: Empire trees are hardy to Zone 4, which means they’ll thrive in most parts of Ontario.

4. Northern Spy Apples

  • Origin: The Northern Spy apple is another Ontario-native that has been grown in the province since the early 1800s.
  • Taste: With their rich, aromatic flavor and firm, crisp texture, Northern Spy apples are perfect for making delicious pies and tarts.
  • Hardiness: Northern Spy trees are hardy to Zone 4, so they’re well-suited to Ontario’s climate.

5. Golden Russet Apples

  • Origin: The Golden Russet apple is an heirloom variety that dates back to the 1700s in New York.
  • Taste: The sweet, honeyed flavor and dense flesh of these apples make them a favorite for cider-making and fresh eating.
  • Hardiness: Golden Russet trees are hardy to Zone 4, which means they’ll do well in Ontario’s varying temperatures.

A Few Tips for Growing Apple Trees

Before I wrap up this post, I wanted to share a few tips for growing apple trees in Ontario:

  1. Choose the right rootstock: When selecting your apple trees, pay attention to the rootstock. Dwarf or semi-dwarf rootstocks are great for smaller spaces and make harvesting much easier.
  2. Cross-pollination: Most apple trees require a pollinator, so make sure you plant at least two different varieties in close proximity to ensure a bountiful harvest.
  3. Pruning and care: Regular pruning and proper care are essential for healthy apple trees. Keep an eye out for pests and diseases, and provide the necessary treatments when needed.

I hope you find this information helpful and feel inspired to grow your own apple trees in Ontario.  Happy gardening!

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