Zestar!® Apple

Item #143849, Dwarf, Bare-root. Ships 3 - 4' tall with a 3/8" trunk. Professionally pruned for FREE!
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Sweet and tangy. Taste tests prove that these Minnesota-bred beauties are a big winner. Early season apple. Fruit keeps up to two months in proper refrigeration. Cold-hardy. Ripens in early August. Pollinator required: Choose another apple variety. See Recommended Pollinators below.

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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 - Large
Ripens/Harvest Early-mid August
Shade/Sun Full Sun
Soil Composition Loamy
Soil Moisture Well Drained
Soil pH Level 6.0 - 7.0
Taste Sweet/tart
Texture 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.

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

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 9 questions Browse 9 questions and 49 answers
Why did you choose this?
Stark Bro's Store
Dwarf and fits my climate zone
Jenifer E on May 9, 2021
It was on sale, and the flavor profile fit what I like. Also want an earlier apple than the varieties I have now.
Deanna Z on Apr 24, 2019
Dwarf and fits my climate zone
Jenifer E on May 9, 2021
very rust resistant
Jessie H on May 3, 2021
It was on sale, and the flavor profile fit what I like. Also want an earlier apple than the varieties I have now.
Deanna Z on Apr 24, 2019
They taste great.
John F on Apr 24, 2019
Past experience. Flavor much like the Twenty Ounce variety, but with very good crispness.
Scott N on Dec 31, 2018
SHERRIE L on Feb 28, 2017
Cold Hardy and flavorful
Debra L on Jun 20, 2016
Love the flavor of this apple!
SHANNON F on Jun 20, 2016
Lengthen the apple season - August apples!
GINI C on Jun 10, 2016
I have one now. Last year it gave me enormous fruit--each apple 3/4lb. Fantastic! And the flavor was tremendous.
JAMES B on Jun 5, 2016
The sweet and tangy taste.
Mary on Jun 5, 2016
mn developed great taste
D J D on Jun 4, 2016
We love our Zestar apple and ordered another. The fruit is firm and tasty and makes wonderful apple sauce and pies. We don't need to thin the fruit but do anyway because we enjoy fried green apples from the bountiful supply of apples. The apples are also great keepers in cool storage.
KATHRYN W on Jun 2, 2016
Early, crisp apple.
Valarie S on May 24, 2016
early, keeper
FRANK H on May 21, 2016
good variety for Beaverhead valley area of MT
Janet S on May 20, 2016
I have Cortland's and would like to add another variety.
Katherine T on May 16, 2016
Because of its taste.
Robert C on May 12, 2016
Tried this from a store last year and LOVED the taste
CORINE R on May 10, 2016
Reasonably Early Good Flavored Solid Apple With Skin That Was Not As "Tough" As McIntosh
Jane R on Apr 30, 2016
did not have this one early apple ripeing
larry t on Apr 30, 2016
If it grown in Minnesota it will grow in the high desert of New Mexico.
Robert W on Apr 30, 2016
something different plus an early maturity
leonard w on Apr 30, 2016
A good pollinator for my existing Cortland apple tree. Rated for zone 4.
barbara b on Apr 25, 2016
Makes the best applesauce ever!
Susie H on Apr 17, 2016
We bought a few apple trees from Stark last year. The trees were in great shape when they arrived and grew a good amount their fist year. We wanted to add a few more trees and we love the taste of Zestar so we came back to Stark on line for our purchase.
Karen A on Apr 12, 2016
I read somewhere that the Zestar has a brown sugar taste. If true, who wouldn't want this tree in their orchard?
Jona D on Apr 12, 2016
Local apple orchard had this variety for many years and its always been a favorite of mine for pies.
Amy R on Apr 11, 2016
My daughter who is a VERY picky apple eater loves these
Carol M on Apr 5, 2016
very rust resistant
Jessie H on May 3, 2021
They taste great.
John F on Apr 24, 2019
are the gala apple and golden delicious apple good pollinating partners for this tree?
erica on Jun 2, 2016
BEST ANSWER: While they may all work together in most years, Zestar!?? blooms early and should have another early-blooming variety in the mix, like Wolf River, McIntosh, BraeStar???, Yellow Transparent, Liberty, Cortland, Empire, etc.
Are these cooking apples?
Jean on Apr 3, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Yes! These are my second favorite to Cortlands for pies and cooking. Zestars imo make the best applesauce, tarts, ect. They are not as "solid" as a cortland so long cooking they dont hold up to as well. But for tarts, crisps, applesauce. And other desserts where you want that apple to stay together but be "soft" that along with the bright apple flavor make for yummy cooking. We just put ours in, but Have been buying them for 5yrs locally.
What apples make up the zestar hybrid? It looks like a Mac but is much sweeter
George c on Sep 1, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Zestar?? is a hybrid of 'State Fair' & 'MN 1691' and was developed at the University of Minnesota. You are right, it is indeed sweeter than a Macintosh, with a nice little tang. An excellent apple!
I have an existing golden delicious will tha work as the pollinator for the zestar apple tree ?
Bert A on Apr 26, 2021
BEST ANSWER: Yes. The Zestar is a mid season bloomer and will be a good pollinator companion with the Golden Delicious.
If I purchase a tree now that is out of stock,will it be sent automatically ?
Linda on Dec 13, 2019
BEST ANSWER: We appreciate you reaching out to us. Our trees that are out of stock are not for sale. You can sign up for a notification so that you'll be one of the first notified when its back in stock.

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to reach back out to us. Have a great day!
I bought a Zestar! and it???s pollinator as a pair from Stark Bros. a few years ago. Both did very well in our yard, and I forgot which tree was which. Then one came down in a storm, and I???m getting no apples anymore. What should I plant as a pollinator?
Philip S on Sep 29, 2019
BEST ANSWER: Zestar! is a very early-blooming apple, so Lodi, Cortland or Starkspur?? UltraMac??? would all be good pollinators.
how does the taste zester compare to honeycrisp?
james m on May 8, 2016
BEST ANSWER: Personally Zestars are one of my favorites. They are crisp sweet and tart. I'm not positive how they compare to honeycrisp as I haven't eaten them side by side. I think the honeycrisp is a little less tart though. I would think the Zestars would be comparable to a pink lady. Whenever we go to the apple orchard, we always get Zestars. Yum!

Customer Reviews

4.7 / 5.0
22 Reviews
5 Stars
4 Stars
3 Stars
2 Stars
1 Star
Great apple
This apple works great on my property. It seems to miss the disease and bugs that harass my other apple trees. It always gives me the best and biggest apples of all my trees, even if I neglect a regular spraying schedule.
May 27, 2016
Zestar Apple
Purchased 2 last year and another this year. Ones last year are already blooming and look forward to having some this year.
May 11, 2016
over 5 years ago
survived a northern Wisconsin winter
This is my second or third zestar!. SO far they are making through the wisconsin winters. One of my older trees are going to bloom this year and looking forward to it. I think that I'v had that tree for about 4 years now.
May 15, 2017
over 5 years ago
Tree lived through a cold montana winter.
little tree lived through a cold Montana winter... not bad for a newly planted little tree! It was a nasty cold winter too, So I'll do a up date in a few years when it is producing apples
May 14, 2017
over 4 years ago
Fantastic tasting apple
Of all the apples we have, this is my current favorite. Crisp, sweet, maybe even a hint of imagination of grape.
May 18, 2017
over 5 years ago
Growin' fast and staying healthy!
This little tree is a champ! Growing strong and we fully anticipate good things for years to come.
July 13, 2017
over 5 years ago
I ordered two apple trees in 2016. They started very good. Now Zestar has 3 apples and it is a pleasure to watch them growing. SnappyMac did not bloom this spring. But I did not expect them to bloom because it is only second year. Maybe it’s too early to say something but so far so good.
June 13, 2017
over 4 years ago
Fruit the second year(one). Very nice. Training to espalier.
June 20, 2018
over 4 years ago
Healthy Tree
Tree came in good shape, started very well and looks very good.
November 7, 2016
over 4 years ago
Looking good
Planted this spring into ground and it has nice green leaves with new growth. Time will tell. I have had good luck with stark apple trees.
June 16, 2017
over 4 years ago