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The flavor of McIntosh with the sweetness of Delicious. This productive tree is disease-resistant to fire blight and cedar apple rust. You can plant it farther south than other McIntosh and expect better color. Cold-hardy. Ripens in mid-September. Best pollinators: Stark® GrandGala™ or Starkrimson® Red Delicious. A licensed variety of Cornell University.


Bloom Color White
Fruit Color Red
Fruit Size Medium
Pollination Pollinator Needed
Ripens/Harvest Mid-sept
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Sweet
Texture Firm
Years to Bear 2 - 5
Zone Range 4 - 7

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 4 - 7
My Hardiness Zone ?
The USDA hardiness zones offer a guide to varieties that will grow well in certain climates. Each zone corresponds to the minimum winter temperatures experienced in a given area. Make sure that your hardiness zone lies within the zone compatability range of this variety before ordering.

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

When your tree matures, it will be approximately 12 - 15' tall x 12 - 15' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these trees 12 - 15' apart to ensure room for growth.

Recommended Pollinators

This variety requires another one for adequate pollination.

Cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. Our experts recommend planting one of the following within 50' for optimum pollination.

Tools & Supplies

Having the proper tools and supplies when growing your own can make the difference between a good harvest and a great harvest! Here's a list that our experts recommend for this variety.

Planting & Care

Learn all about how to grow apple trees in The Growing Guide. An entire section of our website dedicated to your growing success.

Shipping Information

Estimated Delivery Date

You don't pay until it ships.

We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location. That's why we only ship living products during certain times of the year. Order now and your credit card won't be charged until your climate is suitable for planting success and your order is shipped.

Our Promise of Satisfaction

1 Year Warranty

Every order comes with our promise of satisfaction. If you aren't completely satisfied with your order, let us know within one year for a free one-time replacement or refund.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 5 questions Browse 5 questions and 26 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Close to macintosh
Lake M on Oct 21, 2016
Resistant to cider rust disease.
BERTHA S on Jun 3, 2016
Close to macintosh
Lake M on Oct 21, 2016
Disease Resistance
Nathaniel M on Oct 12, 2016
Resistant to cider rust disease.
BERTHA S on Jun 3, 2016
Disease resistant.
Ellory S on May 26, 2016
A great eating apple and I hate paying 99 cents a pound at the grocery store.
Susan M on May 20, 2016
one of our favorite apples
Loretta M M on May 3, 2016
We already have one Empire that we love. We can keep apples in our root cellar for months and they still stay crisp and sweet. This tree is like an insurance policy so we won't be without Empires.
Sarah C on Apr 29, 2016
Love the McIntosh apples but supposedly they are not good for my zone. Hopefully this apple will still give me the taste and texture of a McIntosh apple.
Morris H on Apr 6, 2016
Fire blight resistant variety
Daniel M on Mar 29, 2016
my wife likes this type of apple
Gregg j on Mar 19, 2016
Recommended by a friend
Ruth S on Feb 25, 2016
Disease Resistance
Nathaniel M on Oct 12, 2016
Disease resistant.
Ellory S on May 26, 2016
Will yellow transparent be adequate pollinators for empire?
jim h on May 27, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, Empire and Yellow Transparent varieties will work well together for cross-pollination and fruit production.
will this pollinate with a honey crisp?
michael on May 23, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, Empire and Honeycrisp apple trees have overlapping bloom times and will cross-pollinate one another for fruit production.

Customer Reviews

4.9 / 5.0
7 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Good Keeper
Empire is a large apple and long keeper in the refrigerator retaining crispness and flavor. Great fresh in salads or for baking!
March 11, 2016
1 year ago
Empire Apple
I have been impressed with the Empire apple for its cold tolerance. The winter of 2014-2015 was a particularly butal one killing some of my decades old shade trees, 6 year old peach trees, and greatly damaging most of my apple trees, some dying back to the ground. My Empire regrew at twice the rate or more than all the other varieties and has regained a beautiful semetrical shape. If winter kill is a problem in your area, try Empire.
May 4, 2016
over 2 years ago
Our Empire tree takes care of our Apple need quite well. The apples are a good size and very tasty.
May 19, 2016
1 year ago
excellent buy
this is a must have for any orchard. my tree from stark has a ton of beautiful flowers on it, i hope to have a great harvest this fall
May 16, 2016
over 2 years ago
Stark Brothers products with superior customer service
I purchased an Empire apple tree from Stark Brothers in 2015. It arrived quickly, well packed and nicely pruned. I thought that the small size was an issue. Semi dwarf standard size. It is now growing well with fine shape and very vital. Since then I have ordered another tree from Stark Brothers, with even better results as it was a deluxe semi dwarf tree and it is leafing out just outstandingly. I couldn't be happier. The Stark Brothers difference of outstanding customer service and good pruning put the other southern tree sellers to shame. I won't buy from anyone else and the Stark Brothers stock selection is tremendous. I can't wait for the years required to taste the fruits of our labors

A happy customer
Larry Nelson
June 28, 2016
1 year ago
Healthy Apple trees
Received several types of apple trees last year. The packaging was fresh, roots moist. Put them in the ground immediately. They are healthy trees, and survived our Michigan winter. Totally satisfied.
May 12, 2016
1 year ago
Empire Apple - 2nd Season
While it is too early to reflect on fruit production, the overall strength of the Empire Apple tree and the other apple varieties I purchased are doing very well after a very wet spring last year. They survived the winter and started very good the 2nd season. Strong, sturdy stock!
May 22, 2016
1 year ago
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