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York Imperial Apple

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Also called johnson’s fine winter apple (original name), york apple

Praised as the “imperial of keepers”. Tree bears medium-to-large sized fruit with a slightly lopsided appearance. Skin is yellow blushed light red. Flesh is firm, dense, and juicy — great for baking and cider making. Excellent keeper, and flavor improves after a month or so in proper storage. Antique variety, originates from York, Pennsylvania, circa 1830. Cold-hardy. Ripens in late October. Best pollinators: any Golden Delicious or Starkspur® Arkansas Black.


Bloom Color Pink, White
Fruit Color Red
Fruit Size Medium - Large
Ripens/Harvest October
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Tangy-sweet
Texture Crisp, Firm
Years to Bear 2 - 5
Zone Range 4 - 8

Zone Compatibility

This Variety's Zone Range 4 - 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.


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.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 3 questions Browse 3 questions and 13 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Scott H on Jun 5, 2016
Scott H on Jun 5, 2016
Best pollinator for york besides the two mentioned?
William H on Mar 18, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Any Fuji, Winter Banana, GoldRush - these are all good partners for York.

Customer Reviews

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Slow Grower
Slow grower, only put on 1 foot of new growth last year! The tree will continue to get Tre Pep every 28 days.
May 7, 2017
over 3 years ago
York Imperial Apple
My York is only a year in my orchard so I do not know how good the apples will be, but it is growing very nicely and actually bloomed, but a late frost got all the blooms. However, it is growing well and I am looking forward to many years of apples!
May 6, 2016
over 5 years ago
Bring back the York
I am in PA. I started my orchard from the original Stark owners, as did my grandfather. I have a York Imperial in my orchard. It's produces loads of heavy fruit. I use them to make my prize winning Apple pies. They stay firm when cooked. When I claim prize winning... Here in our state the Apple pie contest is a big deal. I've had several go to state competition and win! This is a delicious Apple variety!
October 31, 2017
Doing great a year later
Ordered my York Apple a year ago on "Pi Day" for the shipping special and now a year later its doing just fine. I like the crunch of the lop sided York Apple and it makes great apple sauce / apple butter. Very popular apple in Virginia and I think you will like them if you try adding one to your orchard.
May 8, 2017
over 3 years ago