Jonafree Apple

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A carefree Jonathan apple tree. This vigorous variety is disease-resistant to apple scab and less susceptible to diseases like mildew, rust, and blight than other Jonathans. Bears heavy crops of fruit with low-acid Jonathan flavor. Originates from Urbana, Illinois in 1972. Ripens in mid-September.

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Since 1816, Stark Bro’s has promised to provide customers with the very best fruit trees and plants. It’s just that simple. If your trees or plants do not survive, please let us know within one year of delivery. We will issue a one-time merchandise credit to your account equaling 125% of the original product purchase price. Read more about our warranty policy.


Bloom Color White
Bloom Time Mid
Fruit Color Red
Fruit Size Medium
Ripens/Harvest Mid September
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Sweet/tart
Texture Firm/crisp
Years to Bear 2 - 5
Zone Range 5 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 5 - 8
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 8 - 10' tall x 8 - 10' wide.

Recommended Spacing

We recommend spacing these trees 8 - 10' apart to ensure room for growth.


This variety requires another one for adequate pollination.

Cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. Plant one of these varieties within 50' for best 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

This item is currently out of stock.

Arrives when it's time to plant

Your success is our priority. We work hard to make sure that your order arrives at the ideal time for planting in your location based on your local climate conditions.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 18 questions Browse 18 questions and 65 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Dwarf tree for smaller property, disease resistent, and good pollinator for my Gold Rush apple.
Deborah M on Jan 22, 2020
I like Jonathon apples.
Janice S on Oct 11, 2019
Dwarf tree for smaller property, disease resistent, and good pollinator for my Gold Rush apple.
Deborah M on Jan 22, 2020
Disease Resistant to cedar rust
Dietra W on Jan 14, 2020
I like Jonathon apples.
Janice S on Oct 11, 2019
Resistant to disease
Philip J on Jul 15, 2019
So I can pollinate my honeycrisp apple tree. I bought my honeycrisp tree from you this spring and it's taking off very well.
Kathryn S K on Jul 13, 2019
cold weather and disease resistant
pat a on May 24, 2019
I love Jonathon apples, and wanted to plant some in our small farm orchard. The Jonafree apple seemed to be a better more disease resistant option for my area in the central Indiana area.
Samuel C on Apr 6, 2019
Recommend by the Ohio State University Extension Service for cultivation in Ohio
Marvin R on Apr 2, 2019
Disease resistant and to pollinate honey crisp
Michael T on Mar 28, 2019
Pollinator and baking
Nancee R on Mar 27, 2019
I needed to replace an apple tree that is dying. I was looking for disease resistant and I live in the same county as Urbana, IL, so I believe that this tree will do well on my property.
BETTY D. on Mar 21, 2019
Disease resistance and cold hardy.
SORIN G on Feb 25, 2019
I truly can't say enough good about this apple. It's my favorite cooking apple because it cooks up fast and has a little tang to it's flavor. It's an everything apple: can, freeze, dehydrate and just enjoy!
Mom40s on Feb 4, 2019
It claims to be easy and trouble free and I have always like Jonathan apples
FAYE A on Jan 13, 2019
Disease resistant i like works well produces good crop every year
very good tasting apple
william b on Jan 2, 2019
Disease resistant
JAMES A on Nov 12, 2018
Resistance to disease, cross pollinator, uses and storage.
SHARON F on Sep 30, 2018
Good cooking apple
Ron H on Sep 11, 2018
My neighbor only buys his trees from stark bros and he has over 50 trees, he likes these for the disease resistant capabilities. I'm just starting my orchard and these will be great to cross pollinate with his. Hoping to have lots of apples for me and my family and learn some great information from my neighbor. He's won blue ribbons in the past at all the fairs around here with his apples.
Michael M on Jun 14, 2017
we have cedar apple rust and fire blight problems with our existing trees so we picked this and Enterprise for disease resistance and as a pollinator
Bob on May 14, 2017
An early bearing, disease-resistant variety to add to my wildlife orchard.
Carson S on May 10, 2017
This tree grows very well and is very productive. We made a lot of apple pies! We had allot of apples from one tree so I had to give some away. Also this tree produced some of the biggest apples I have seen.
John C on Apr 30, 2017
I'm trying this apple because it's disease resistant and sounds like a great fruit.
Daniel L on Apr 5, 2017
Love Jonathans. Thought I would give it a try.
Jimmy on Feb 28, 2017
disease resistant and my favorite eating apple since I was a kid - have never been able to get jonathan trees to survive here in Upper East TN and am hoping this one will
Marianne F on Jan 21, 2017
Disease Resistance and Ripening Date
Chris M on Nov 1, 2016
Cedar-rust resistance
Bryce E on Oct 31, 2016
Have had Jonathan since 1975 & still like it, but it suffered serious neglect a few years ago & has about given up.
ANN C on Oct 5, 2016
Disease resistance & easy to grow
Linda G on Sep 17, 2016
disease resistant
ERIC H on Aug 23, 2016
Have had some before
Silveraggie on Jun 20, 2016
A good choice for the home gardener.some what resistant to apple scab, cedar apple rust, fire blight and mildew
RYAN S on Jun 4, 2016
Fire blight resistant variety
Daniel M on Mar 29, 2016
Disease Resistant to cedar rust
Dietra W on Jan 14, 2020
Resistant to disease
Philip J on Jul 15, 2019
Is Jon-a-red a cross? What is Jonafree 'free' of? What is the disease resistance for each of them?
Nina M on Mar 5, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes, Jonafree is a variety released from an apple breeding program (Purdue-Rutgers-Illinois co-op) that specializes in developing scab-free apple varieties. As the description states, this variety is resistant to apple scab and it is also less susceptible to mildew, rust, and blight than other Jonathans.
Which is better E Z start or bare root for faster results ?
William C on Nov 13, 2019
BEST ANSWER: I have purchased EZ Start trees.
While I originally thought the price was too high, they exceeded my expectations. The amount of growth and vigor far surpassed the bare root plants. For me the little extra cost was worth it.
can I order now in the fall for a spring delivery?
Ray B on Oct 11, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I ordered in the fall and planted in the fall. From personal experience fall is the best time to plant a tree. Planted a jonafree in oct 2016. It wasn't much more than a three feet tall stick. The tree is about 8 feet tall now and had fruit this year
how to prune a jonafree apple tree?
Angelo g on Feb 16, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. Here is a link to our growing guides pruning section.


If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
We???re looking to buy 6-8 trees. Mainly baking apples. What is the best combination to get?
Kendra I on Oct 28, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Hi Kendra - We appreciate you reaching out to us. A few of our favorites for baking that are in stock is any Jonathan, Honeycrisp, SnappyMac, Cortland and Ben Davis.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
Can Jonafree be used as cross pollinator for McIntosh ?
Ruth C on Jul 28, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it can. They have the same bloom time.
I live in Washington, for this variety which pollinator tree should I buy? Will antique heirloom work? or what is the best pollinator tree for jonafree I am in zone 8b. Or suggest from stark franklin, stark ruby, stark scarlet all apple trees
Raji R on Jul 15, 2019
BEST ANSWER: GoldRush, Williams' Pride or Zestar! would all be good choices for your growing zone.
I want to plant Jonathan and Rome Beauty trees. The Rome is self pollinating. What are all of the options for cross pollination of Jonathan's?
Leona T on Aug 16, 2018
BEST ANSWER: There are hundreds, but some of the better ones include: Chestnut Crab, Cortland, CrimsonCrisp, Fuji, Gala, GoldRush, Granny Smith, Honeycrisp, Pink Lady and Redfree.
Will jonafree pollinate jonagold?
Michele S on May 2, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it will, but Jonagold will not pollinate Jonafree; Jonafold is pollen-sterile.
If planting Jonafree with Candy Crisp and Grimes Golden, will these provide adequate pollination?
Phillip on Nov 17, 2017
BEST ANSWER: All three of these trees are mid-season bloomers and will all cross-pollinate. You will have a lot of apples!
How long does Jonafree keep?
JohnS on Jun 14, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Jonafree keeps 2-3 months under humid refrigeration.
can horse manure be used on fig and apple trees?
jaycu on May 15, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Absolutely. Just make sure it is well composted or the excess nitrogen will burn the tree roots.
Will this pollinate a Red Astrachan Apple?
Jess D on May 3, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Yes, it should - they have a similar bloom time.
Will this pollinate a Mutsu (some Jonathan supposedly do)?
WolfE on Apr 25, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Sorry, it will not. The bloom times don't have enough overlap.
I'm looking for a rust-resistant cross-pollinator for my Arkansas Black Apple. Will this Jonafree variety work?
Lisa B on Dec 25, 2019

Customer Reviews

4.5 / 5.0
19 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Healthy, Beautiful!
When my tree first arrived looked pretty much like a Big Stick LOL! But it soon turned into a Beautiful Little Tree. This is our 2nd spring and it has fruit on it :) Love this Tree!
May 19, 2016
Second year in the ground and full of blossoms
It is early to tell what fruit production will be, but so far it is doing wonderfully in zone 6b. In only the second spring this tree has been in the ground it is full of blossoms and the leaves are green and healthy.
May 14, 2016
over 5 years ago
Two standards doing great
I bought these as food plot apples for deer. They are both doing great, and well on their way to becoming large fruit trees. They were the first I bought from Starks, and although still not old enough to fruit, are looking very healthy.

Watch out Bambi...I'll be sitting nearby!
May 2, 2017
over 6 years ago
I have long liked Jonathan apples. The disease resistant Jonafree apples are crisp and sweet/tart flavored, a delightful treat.
May 3, 2017
over 5 years ago
Jonafree Apple
This tree replaces one I had about 20 years that I bought from Miller Nurseries before they were bought by Stark. It was a great tree, abundant, disease resistant, very tasty semi-tart apples. However, the last few years it developed a brown spot type of fungus disease. Also, when I planted it as a novice, I allowed the graft to be buried, so it sent out a root and was becoming a full size tree. I think the severe pruning I ended up doing the last few years weakened it. Assuming my new tree is the same variety, I'm hoping for the best. However, I only planted it last spring. It survived and is growing again this spring. That's all I can say.
May 7, 2017
fast growing tree
This is its 2nd year in my orchard. It grew 3 feet it's first year. The tree got rubbed by a buck last fall but fought through it and is back to growing. I'm very pleased with the tree. It's only drawback is its upward growth of its limbs.
June 8, 2017
over 3 years ago
warranty works
I planted this tree in spring 2016 and oddly enough it was the only one that never grew. It was replaced this spring for free and it is growing well.
May 22, 2017
over 5 years ago
The tree came well packaged and grew right away.I will get another one of these in the future.
June 19, 2017
over 4 years ago
Jonafree apple
Apple tree has leafed out - quite small but growing
May 4, 2016
over 6 years ago
Looking healthy!
Seems like it’s growing well in its second season.
May 16, 2018
over 3 years ago