Cortland Apple

cortland apple malus domestica ftimg

Cortland Apple

Malus x domestica ‘Cortland’

Description & Overview

Cortland apple was developed in 1898 at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY. It is a cross of ‘McIntosh’ x ‘Ben Davis’. Cortland Apple is known for producing large sized fruits that are striped red with a yellow background. Often those that ripened in full sun will also have a purple blush on the top side of the fruit. Excellent for fresh eating and cooking. Fruit is juicy, moderately sweet and will store well if refrigerated until around Thanksgiving day.

Core Characteristics

Mature Height: 15′
Mature Spread: 15′
Growth Rate: Moderate
Growth Form: Tree
Light Requirements: Full Sun
Site Requirements: Well drained site
Flower: White
Bloom Period: Early-mid May
Foliage: Green
Fall Color: Yellow
Urban Approved: Site Specific
Fruit Notes: Ripens late September/early October in S.E. Wisconsin.

Suggested Uses:

We offer this variety on M7 rootstock which is semi-dwarf and free-standing.

cortland apple malus domestica

Wildlife Value:

Apple trees are relished by deer, numerous small mammals, and insects.

Maintenance Tips:

Annual pruning needed to promote better light penetration and air flow thru the canopy for best colored and flavored fruits. Find more information on Training & Pruning Fruit Trees.

cortland apple malus domestica


Apples are prone to many insect and disease issues. Preventative spraying or growing the fruit in bags (organic) is suggested to obtain a quality fruit crop. Find a spraying guide and more information on Best Pesticides For The Home Orchardist.

Leaf Lore:

While the original Cortland strain was a red striped apple, numerous sports (mutations) now exist on the market that have a full red skin color. While perhaps debatable, many claim the original strain has the best and sweetest flavor compared to the better colored sports now often grown. At Johnson’s Nursery we offer the original strain of Cortland. Why bother with the rest if the original is best!

Companion Plants:

Cortland Apple must be cross-pollinated with a crabapple or different apple variety to produce fruit.

cortland apple malus domestica benchcard