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Apple Tree, ‘Cortland’

Grow Your Own Fresh Fruit Trees!
The ‘Cortland’ Apple tree is rated as an excellent dessert and processing apple. It is sweet with a hint of tartness. It has a tender snow-white flesh. ‘Cortland’ apples are wonderful for kabobs, fruit plates and garnishes because they don’t turn brown quickly when cut. The ‘Cortland’ apple makes a wonderful presentation whether on salads, fruit trays, or fresh out of your lunch box. It is also a prized cooking apple, most often used in pies, breads, and applesauce. The ‘Cortland’ apple is an attractive large red-striped apple that can be best described as juicy. It is a heavy annual bearer.

‘Cortland’ is a typical McIntosh style apple variety. ‘Cortland’ is also widely grown across the border in Quebec and Ontario, and it has proven itself to be well suited to the freezing temperatures experienced around the Great Lakes. As with all McIntosh varieties, ‘Cortland’ is at its best when eaten soon after being picked. The sweet flavor fades quickly, as does the crispness. An interesting characteristic of ‘Cortland’ is that the flesh does not go brown very rapidly after being cut. The ‘Courtland’ requires 800-1,000 chill hours.

Apple trees are the most popular and widely grown fruit trees in America. If the proper variety is selected, one may grow apples in any one of the lower 48 states. Apples have long been considered a fruit for northern states only. However, there are several apple varieties that will produce delicious apples in the South as well. Most apple trees require cross-pollination or the presence of a crabapple tree to bear fruit. There are literally hundreds of apple varieties, so we have selected the top choices for home gardening. Also, many of our selections are well known commercial varieties that most Americans have come across in their local grocery.

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Plant Details +

Height 15-20' or as pruned
Spacing 10-14'
Hardiness Zones 5-9, -10º to -20ºF
Exposure Full sun
Foliage Green
Fruit Red
Harvest Mid-September

General Information +

Botanical: Malus domestica 'Cortland'

Cultivator Type: Apple 'Cortland'

Tip: Water regularly during first growing season to establish deep root system. Well-suited to the freezing temperatures experienced around the Great Lakes.

Use: Ideal for salads, pies and baking. Fruits, Landscape, Trees.

Planting/Care Instructions +

Pollinator: Anna, Fiji, Gala, McIntosh, Red Delicious or Golden Delicious

Moisture: Water regularly as needed

Planting Instructions: May be planted in any well-drained soil. 1. Dig a hole large enough to encompass the roots without bending or circling. 2. Set the tree in place so the crown (part of the tree where the root meets the stem) is about 1-2 inches below the soil surface. 3. Cover with soil to the original soil surface and water thoroughly.

Fruit Tree Production: Planting Conditions: When choosing a site to plant your fruit tree(s), there are several factors to consider. 1. Consider the MATURE SIZE of the tree when picking a location and provide adequate space for the tree to mature. A good rule of thumb is to space trees ½ of their mature spread, i.e., if a tree has a mature spread of 20', plant each tree no closer than 10'. Also keep this in mind when planting near structures. 2. Fruit trees prefer full sun. Do not plant trees under other shade trees or near tall structures that will cast shade upon the tree. 3. Plant in well drained soil. Fruit trees do not like to have "wet-feet", in other words, they do not like to be in soils that drain slowly or hold water. Pollination When fruit trees produce a large spring bloom, it does not guarantee a plentiful harvest. Successful pollination must occur to produce viable seed, which leads to the development of fruit. There are several ways in which pollination can occur: some fruit trees are "self-pollinating", others are partially self-fertile and require another tree to provide pollen, usually from the same type of tree but a different variety. Pollination Tips: 1. Plant two or more varieties of the same tree. This is the most reliable way of ensuring successful fruit. This is a good idea even with trees that are self-fertile as more fruit set is likely when they are cross-pollinated. 2. Attract bees to your yard. Bees are the number one source for pollination in all fruits. 3. Avoid using insecticides. Although insecticides can benefit by killing harmful garden pests, they also can kill beneficial insects (bees) and therefore should be used only when absolutely necessary. It is NEVER recommended to use insecticides near your fruit trees when they are in bloom. Growing 1. Thin Fruit. After fruit set, if the tree has produced a large amount of fruit and when the fruits are still small, remove 20-35% of the fruits. This will allow the plant to put all of its energy into the remaining fruits, which will in turn produce larger and healthier fruit. If thinning is not done and the plant produces an over-abundance of fruit, it sometimes will throw the tree into a biennial (every other year) producer. Therefore, it is important to thin fruit when the tree produces a large amount of fruit. 2. Rake Leaves. Do not allow fruit tree leaves to fall and remain on the ground under your trees. They can produce spores that can be harmful to the fruit tree. It is important to remove the leaves in the fall before winter. 3. Pruning. Prune during late winter or early spring before the tree breaks dormancy. It is recommended to prune trees on a yearly basis. 4. Cultural Practices. In areas that mice and rabbits are a problem, wrap the trunk of the tree with a quality tree wrap. Also, avoid mechanical injury with weed-eaters and lawn mowers as damaging the bark near the base of the tree can limit fruit production, stunt growth, and in some cases lead to the death of the tree.