Wolf River Apple

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Fruit weighs up to a pound, each! Tree is strong and disease-resistant to apple scab, fire blight, and powdery mildew. Characteristically large fruit is perfect for cooking and sauce – holds its shape and requires very little additional sugar. Antique variety, originates from Wolf River, Wisconsin, circa 1870s. Cold-hardy. Ripens in late September.

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Bloom Color White
Bloom Time Early
Fruit Color Red
Fruit Size Large
Ripens/Harvest Late September
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Tart
Texture Tender
Years to Bear 2 - 5
Zone Range 3 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 3 - 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

The mature size of this variety depends on the version you choose to plant:
Semi-Dwarf 12 - 15' tall x 12 - 15' wide
Dwarf 8 - 10' tall x 8 - 10' wide

Recommended Spacing

The space needed for this variety to grow depends on the size you plant:
Semi-Dwarf 12 - 15'
Dwarf 8 - 10'


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 20 questions Browse 20 questions and 93 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
had several of these on the farm growing up, best apple pie and apple butter apples there ever was
Doug M on Mar 18, 2021
Love the taste and size
Kevin B on Mar 6, 2021
had several of these on the farm growing up, best apple pie and apple butter apples there ever was
Doug M on Mar 18, 2021
This is recommended for my zone, it has unusually large fruit and comments mention that it is good for eating fresh.
Heidi P on Mar 12, 2021
Love the taste and size
Kevin B on Mar 6, 2021
I love the size of them
Louise S on Mar 4, 2021
We have a farm in TN and we wanted an apple that would survive the cold winters and the clay soil. This apple was recommended. We have an apple orchard with about 12 different apple trees that are almost two years old and we have the required pollinator trees. So, we'll plant it and see how it grows.
Lee F on Mar 4, 2021
Douglas W on Feb 25, 2021
the size and taste of the apple
ROBIN J on Feb 21, 2021
Grandma had a tree many days we would have fried apples in the morning
Daniel T on Feb 9, 2021
Do well in our northern climate
Florance D on Jan 25, 2021
Disease resistance and size
Bethany W on Jan 16, 2021
Antique apple tree (Civil War era). Makes the BEST apple butter!
charlene c on Jan 10, 2021
Hardy to zone three, good pollinator for Honey Crisp and I love apples. One of the few fruit trees that will grow here.
Michael C on Jan 9, 2021
I have bought this old variety cause they taste great and huge size and easy to pick. I have bought this variety a few years ago and its so good I need a few more for my daughters & grandkids.
Rhonda M on Jan 4, 2021
I have two of these, they are great for pies, drying, and a fine apple to just peel and eat if you like crisp tart apples
Jan J T on Jan 3, 2021
I have bought several wolf river trees from you. Excellent apple.
Frances P on Jan 2, 2021
Large apple, good in pies.
Michael Q on Dec 23, 2020
A variety I had not heard of but liked the reviews & wanted to try to grow it here in NM.
Kevin M on Nov 27, 2020
It???s characteristics.
Melody F on May 12, 2020
Antique collection....huge apples, great producer, October apple the deer love.
Harry D on Mar 15, 2020
Alfred C on Mar 14, 2020
A rare apple in my area, always wanted
matthew m on Mar 4, 2020
Looking to replace an old Wolf River Tree. Great for making apple butter.
Veronica S on Mar 1, 2020
To make apple cider.
Richard F P on Feb 15, 2020
This is one of the best tasting apple and they are huge. Great for cooking also
Linda C on Jan 30, 2020
For years my step father told me stories about a wolf river tree he picked apples off as a child. He passed a few years ago and everytime I went to purchase one, they were out of stock...this year I was able to buy two...I want to plant one as a reminder of the only father I ever knew.
Nicole P on Jan 8, 2020
This variety was on the farm where Walt Disney grew up. Yields large, old-fashioned apples. Interested to see how this works out.
Scott K on Jan 6, 2020
I have researched this apple and it???s supposed to be great for the cold, cold north.
Elizabeth M on Jan 6, 2020
big apples, recommended by trusted source
Tate J on Dec 30, 2019
I have issues with fire blight and seen that this variety is resistant to that.
Julie B on Dec 7, 2019
I needed another pollinator for my honey crisp apple tree and this popped up as a good one. My nephew???s name is River and he loves wolves! I couldn???t resist. I can???t wait to see what this produces!
Jaclyn B on Oct 27, 2018
big and easy to peel
Jean L M on Sep 21, 2018
Because it's a Wisconsin apple, so I had to have it ???
Sherry E on Mar 12, 2018
To make our apple orchard more versatile. Love this for pies.
DEBORAH L on Jan 10, 2018
My husband's father planted these on their family farm in Marshall, MN many years ago and it is an amazing apple. Love the taste. We think it was a precursor to the Honeycrisp.
Peg F on Oct 9, 2017
Use to have some back on the farm, would like to see if I could grow one now.
DAVID H on Aug 3, 2017
heirloom apple great cooking apple
Jeff C on Apr 5, 2017
Mother always talked about Wolf River apples, only had one in her life.
Julie L on Mar 31, 2017
Large tasty apple. Disease resistant. Recommended by WV Master Gardeners.
Jeff on Mar 27, 2017
It is becoming increasingly difficult to find these apples. My mother has always made apple butter from these apples so what better way to preserve this tradition than to have our own tree. May get another one next year. We already have the pollinator on the property. Best apple butter ever perfected by Mom!!
Rita P on Mar 26, 2017
Always had Wolf River trees on the home place and enjoyed eating the pies and other baked goods my mother made with there fruit and there giant size is a easy way to pick enough for my pie
Herbert M on Mar 18, 2017
This is one of the very best "applesauce" apples ever grown! It's size alone makes it a must have for preservation apples.
ROY B on Mar 16, 2017
Like the idea of an heirloom variety--sounds tasty.
John R on Mar 4, 2017
love these apples
Kathy L on Feb 28, 2017
My Mom (born in 1913) always talked bout having this apple tree when she was a kid. I was always going to plant one but never did so I ordered for my son-in-law
Andrea L on Feb 28, 2017
childhood, these were huge apples in my grandfathers orchard.
Patty H on Feb 23, 2017
I chose wolf river because grandpa always tells story's about how he used to trade huge wolf river apples for things growing up!
Colbert H on Feb 22, 2017
I remember when i was a kid, my Father used to take us Apple picking in these old abandon orchards. The Wolf rIver was abundant in these orchards, but today these old orchards are gone. we picked them for making apple sauce, it was a great apple for cooking, and so now i have my own property, and want to bring them back.Steve Kozlowski, from NE Wisconsin
steven k on Feb 2, 2017
I remember this apple as a child. My mother made pies because of size.
David F T on Jan 23, 2017
I was looking for a disease resistant varieties
LYNDA B on Sep 29, 2016
It's an old variety that I am familiar with and it is dying out in my area.
Timothy L on May 28, 2016
This is recommended for my zone, it has unusually large fruit and comments mention that it is good for eating fresh.
Heidi P on Mar 12, 2021
I love the size of them
Louise S on Mar 4, 2021
Can I use a Cortland apple tree to pollinate the wolf river?
Judy C on May 25, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes, they both bloom fairly early and have overlapping bloom times, so they will cross-pollinate one another for fruit production.
My tree won't fruit. Pollinators include william's pride, gold rush, fuji. What should I pay attention to or change? Growing in East Central Indiana
Jack W on May 14, 2016
BEST ANSWER: My Wolf River Apple just has fruit every other year. To get production every year thin apples while they are small.
How many pounds of apples will this tree produce?
Davey on Feb 22, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Generally the yield of an apple tree is expressed in bushels. You can read about the Estimated Yield for Fruit Trees here: https://www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/article/estimated-yield-for-fruit-trees
How do you know when they are ready to pick?
Linda S on Oct 11, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Hi Linda, Wolf River apples start begins to ripen in late September, depending on location. Apples tell you they???re ripe by losing the last traces of their green background color and developing full, bright color. Most important, they become less tangy-tart and sweeter in taste. You???ll also notice the seeds turn from white to brown. When picking, just lift them upward quickly. If they???re ready, they will come loose without damage to the tree. If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us, remember that we're here for you. Have a great day!
Would Wolf River and Granny Smith pollinate Liberty?
Karen B on Apr 17, 2020
BEST ANSWER: Can't tell you. I chose to plant it due to its origination near by.

Its yet to produce .
Can this Semi draft tree be growing on a 8 ft trellis?
Thomas P on Dec 6, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Yes with the work of any espalier
Will a honeycrisp pollinate the wolf river?
Sarah S on Apr 15, 2021
BEST ANSWER: Unfortunately, they will not work. The Wolf River blooms too early.
Can an apple and pear tree act is cross pollination?
Val D on Mar 21, 2021
BEST ANSWER: One species cannot pollinate another; for example, a plum cannot pollinate an apple, and a pear cannot pollinate a peach. A fruit tree that requires a pollinator needs a different variety of the same species that has a similar bloom time.
is it semi dwarf?
karen t on Feb 15, 2021
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. if you use the drop down menu on the product it will tell you the available sizes and price. Currently it is available in a semi dwarf.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
With the right location and more that one tree, will the Wolf River Apple produce in Central Texas?
Paula on Jul 17, 2020
BEST ANSWER: If you enter your ZIP code at the following link and we'll be able to display the popular products that are available and rated for your location: //www.starkbros.com/zone-finder Also look for check marked varieties as you shop to ensure compatibility with your zone. If you have more questions regarding zone compatibility, please call Customer Support at 800.325.4180 and they would be glad to help.

If you type your zip code into the box in the "Zone Compatability" section above, a checkmark will appear if the product on this page will grow well in your location.
When will the supreme dwarf wolf river and enterprise be back in stock. Should I wait to order Aug-Sep?
Nellisha M on Jun 14, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. We do not have a guaranteed ETA on when more will become available. We are very sorry for this inconvenience and completely understand your disappointment. Rest assured, that if you sign up for a notification, you'll be one of the first to be notified when it becomes available again.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us, remember that we're here for you. Have a great day!

What is the rootstock on the semi-dwarf wolf river Apple tree?
Kate Z on Feb 18, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. We use several different rootstocks, depending upon the desired result and what is available. For that reason, we're unable to guarantee a specific rootstock.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
How tall are the seedlings that you ship?
Normand D on Dec 31, 2019
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. Our regular trees ship from 3-4 feet tall and supreme's can ship up to 5" tall.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
years ago there was an apple called the pound apple! has anyone at Stark ever heard of it many old timers here in Bedford county pa told me and a couple still have the trees on their property ?
Horace D on Jul 5, 2018
BEST ANSWER: Oh, sure. They were a big deal back in the day. If the apples have a little yellow on them, they're most likely Wolf River. These also happened to be Walt Disney's favorite apple as a child. His mother used to make pies using only one or two apples. They are huge!
Would this be a good pollinator for a Winecrisp apple tree?
Chris S on Jun 8, 2018
BEST ANSWER: I'm afraid Wolf River is a late bloomer, too late for WineCrisp. There are literally hundreds of pollinators for Winecrisp; some of the better apples in their own right are CandyCrisp, Pink Lady, Scarlet Crush (a Honeycrisp cross), Ultrared Jonathan and Golden Delicious.
Can we prune the Wolf River Dwarf Apple Tree now, and how?
Barbara on Apr 22, 2018
BEST ANSWER: It's better to prune when the tree is dormant, unless you see dead or diseased branches, or want to restrict growth. Here's a very good article about summer pruning that will give you some guidance: //www.starkbros.com/growing-guide/article/fruit-tree-care-summer-pruning
Does anyone know if Wolf River apples keep well in cold storage?
John R on Apr 30, 2017
BEST ANSWER: Wolf River will keep up to 6 months in cold storage.

Customer Reviews

4.5 / 5.0
23 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Slow Grower
Last year, 2016 it grew a little over 12 inches. The Tre Pep has made all the difference. Back in the 80's I was doing a major home renovation at Harvey's Lake Pa. and the caretaker asked if I liked apples.Nodding in the affirmative he handed me a colossal Wolf River apple and said here see if you can eat all this in one sitting. I told him that it was enough for my family. I weighed it when I got home and it weighed 18 ounces and was quite delicious as my kids said "do you have more". So I am patiently waiting for a 18 ouncer that I can share with my kids and their's also!
May 7, 2017
over 5 years ago
good heirloom
This tree broke dormancy very well putting out flowers and leaves. Doing well its first year in a partially sunny spot. No fertilizer or special care needed. I would recommend this tree.
May 22, 2016
Wolf River Apple
My brother has one so I had to have one. Huge fruit, wonderful for pies and sauce. Second year and has a few blossoms. Usually get the supreme trees as they bear earlier.
May 11, 2016
over 6 years ago
will have huge apples
I lived in WA ST and used to buy these apples at a farmers market and they are great. Can't wait for mine to start that process. So glad you had these trees from the Millers
May 26, 2016
over 6 years ago
These will be the 13th and 14th apple trees... and 7th type we have bought from Starks's
Being in WI I had hoped last year when we started our Orchard to add the Wolf Rivers but unfortunately was unable to... So we put in 2 of 6 other types of Apples from Stark's for a "Start" along with a Sweet Kristin cherry (Please carry another 4B sweet so I do not have to buy elsewhere!) 2 Mulberrys, 2 honeyberrys, and 1 Grape.... Everything did great their first years with the grape being our only loss which how successfully everything else transplanted and grew its first year I did not bother seeking a refund on (I spent alot more last year buying berry plants from someplace else locally and had a very poor survival rate. The $11 dollar grape loss vs the few $$$ we spent in trees was not worth the effort of bothering Starks) We had a hard winter and our geese did get to one of the apples late season and stripped some bark so we are hopefully optimistic of its survivability. Overall I am a very satisfied customer and a long time organic gardener, which is why I ordered another cherry and "miscilanious" fruit trees this season. ( And moved the geese so the trees can mature a few more years). Their prices are also nearly 1/2 what our local nurserys charge and the trees (Barerooted sticks) took off like crazy once settled in.
January 31, 2017
over 4 years ago
Wolf River doing well.
My one Wolf River has given no problems and is a well formed tree. Its trunk did split this year early spring, but I found out that this just happens sometimes when the cold to hot ratio is too great during a day and expansion and contraction go to work. Not a fault of the variety, one Winecrisp did this as well, and both on the southwest side of the tree near the base, as is normal. The best part is the tree can easily heal these small splits, and I can see that taking place already.

Looking forward to some giant apples from Wolf River.
May 2, 2017
over 6 years ago
wolf river apple tree
I had these in Wisconsin and they make the best pies and apple crisp. The tree has grown double in one year.they are very had to find. Thank you for preserving these heirlooms.
May 30, 2017
over 4 years ago
Response from Stark Bro's
Thank you for your positive feed back. Thank you for choosing Stark Bro's for your planting needs. Your planting success is important us.
May 30, 2017
Elizabeth D Staff
Healthy Tree
The tree I ordered is doing well. A full year under its belt, and doing well. Loking forward to when it begins to bear fruit in another year or two.
November 11, 2016
over 6 years ago
Wolf River Apple
This is my second Wolf River Apple tree, and the one from last year is doing great, and the one this year is already leafing out.
May 16, 2016
over 5 years ago
Wolf River Apple
I have had them in the past and have loved them. The tree is only been in the gross a year and is doing great.
May 18, 2016
over 6 years ago