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.

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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 Pink, White
Bloom Time Late
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.

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.


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Questions & Answers

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Browse 5 questions Browse 5 questions and 22 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Jessie H on Mar 22, 2020
Late crop long keeper.
Kenneth Brown S on Mar 12, 2020
Jessie H on Mar 22, 2020
Have purchased this tree several times over the years...disease resistant, good producer, low maintance, an October apple the deer love.
Harry D on Mar 15, 2020
Late crop long keeper.
Kenneth Brown S on Mar 12, 2020
It grows in my zone and is a variety I don't have.
Lloyd J on Mar 2, 2020
Claude R on Feb 23, 2020
They???re hard to find - my parents used to have 2 York Apple trees - when they passed we sold their place and miss having the York apples
Linda P on Jan 6, 2020
It is my favorite apple.
Carmen W on Jan 4, 2020
These have always been a family favorite variety. As a child we would go to the Mountains of Virginia to pick them. Tangy, sweet , and firm. Great for eating and for cider and refrigerated last a long time. Awesome Apple!!
David L on Dec 7, 2019
Scott H on Jun 5, 2016
Have purchased this tree several times over the years...disease resistant, good producer, low maintance, an October apple the deer love.
Harry D on Mar 15, 2020
It grows in my zone and is a variety I don't have.
Lloyd J on Mar 2, 2020
Can this tree be pollinated by the Stark Jon-a-red Jonathan apple tree? I noticed that the harvest is different by a few weeks will that time frame make this a bad match?
Ashley H on May 17, 2020
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. I do not believe these will work for pollination as 1 is a late bloomer and 1 is a mid bloomer. For proper pollination you need the bloom times to be the same.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
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.
I purchased one York Imperial tree, one Braeburn and one Cortland tree. Will the Braeburn and Cortland pollinate the York Imperial?
Michelel D on Mar 23, 2020

Customer Reviews

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5 Reviews
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1 Star
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
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 5 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 7 years ago
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 5 years ago
Nanny liked the York apple for pies!
I have never seen a York apple in my life, I am 79, in any grocery store in California! My granny lived from 1887 to 1954, so she knew about them, in Tennessee. I will continue to look for them! Thanks for all the great info! The Book of Apples by Joan Morgan is such a good book for yourself or for a gift. Cheers!
December 30, 2019