Top 5 Best Winter Apples for Storing!

Top 5 Best Winter Apples for Storing!


It’s Apple season! But many Apples with thin skin won’t stick around for long and you’ll be rushing to use up your harvest. So you need good, old-fashioned storing Apples! Plus, once those early and mid-season Apples are done, you will still want a tree to fill your larders with Apples that will last through the late fall and winter!

Late-season Apples last and last, and often get better in flavor after storage! Check out some of the best late-season winter and storage Apples for your home orchard!

Your usual long-storage Apple favorites include Fuji, Red Delicious, and Gala Apple trees that have a range of harvest dates and great storage capabilities! But maybe you are looking for one that isn’t regularly sold in stores!

A good winter or long-term storage Apple needs good thick skin to resist bruising and cuts, plus help keep the flesh inside from drying out!


1. Wealthy Apple

wealthy apple

The Wealthy Apple Tree (Malus 'Wealthy') is a very juicy apple, with a tart and sweet, lively flavor and notes of honey, raspberry, and strawberry-like flavor. It was one of the first high-quality Apple varieties grown commercially and it is now often grown by backyard orchardists and great for smaller urban landscapes in the cold North. This mid-season Apple will be full of loads of red-blushed yellow-green fruit. The flesh is white with occasional streaks of red, which is crispy and very juicy.

  • Very Juicy Red & Yellow-Green Apple
  • Stores for 2-3 Months
  • Semi-Dwarf Size
  • Great Heirloom Apple
  • 1,000 Chill Hours


2. Mutsu (Crispin) Apple


The Mutsu Apple Tree (Malus 'Mutsu'), also known as the Crispin, is a cultivar first grown in Japan. It is a large to very large, greenish-yellow skin with a conical shape and an incredible sweet-tart flavor. Crisp and juicy with an alluring hint of tartness, the Mutsu has a unique exotic flare. Some say the flavor is closer to apple cider. Storing for a very long time, these are prolific producers! The Mutsu apple tree provides its bounty in September, and what a bounty it is! It has creamy white flesh and is delicious when eaten right off the tree, or stored for later use.

  • Large to Very Large Green-Golden Fruit
  • Sweet-Tart Crispy Flavor
  • 500-600 Chill Hours
  • Very Long Storage & Late Season Harvest
  • Baking, Pies, Sauces, & Salads


3. Red Rome Beauty Apple

red rome

Rosy red round fruit, the Red Rome Beauty Apple Tree (Malus domestica 'Rome') is a medium-large, Apple with lovely greenish-white, fine-grained, juicy flesh that is perfect for baking because it holds together great when cooked! These spur-bearing trees are named after the Ohio town where this chance seedling was discovered.

Hardy throughout USDA growing zones 6 through 9, you can try pairing with an early season and a late season ripening Apple tree to extend your harvest! The late-arriving fragrant blossoms show up later to avoid lingering spring frosts to ensure an abundant crop by September to October.

  • Flavorful Rosy Red Round Apples
  • Fine-Grained Greenish-White Flesh
  • Tart Long Storing Late Season Fruit
  • Fantastic Firm Texture For Baking & Preserves
  • Harvest September to October
  • 700 Chill Hours


4. Granny Smith Apple

granny smith

One of the best-known Apple varieties for baking, and cooking, the Granny Smith Apple Tree (Malus 'Granny Smith') enjoys a long history of embodying an Apple with exceptional tartness for fresh eating and baking qualities! The greenish-white flesh is crisp and juicy! The juicy, white flesh is likewise energizing, with a crisp, tart flavor that's perfect for award-winning pies, culinary dishes...or just right off the tree!

Its lovely, light-green skin (occasionally with a subtle, pink blush) presents a vibrant sight amid the branches in October, and in some growing zones can still be harvested until January! Storing remarkably well, these fruits remain crisp in cold storage or refrigeration for up to 6 months!

  • Popular Green-Skinned Baking Apple
  • Crisp Greenish-White Flesh
  • Delicious Tart Apples
  • Perfect Baking Apple - Holds Shape Well
  • Late-Season Harvest & Stores 6 Months in Cold Storage!
  • ~400 Chill Hours


5. Arkansas Black

arkansas black

Outstanding color and flavor, with unique fruit on a gorgeous ornamental, the Arkansas Black Apple Tree (Malus 'Arkansas Black') will be full of dark red, nearly-black gems! This antique variety is a hardy and long-lived tree! The flavor is described as wine and honey, with hints of almonds and a mild vanilla finish, making them amazing dessert apples! It develops its best flavor after it has been stored chilled for a couple of months where it will darken and ripen where it sweetens.

  • Dark Purple-Red Skin & Pure White-Flesh
  • Late-Season Harvest
  • Can Store 5 Months or More

Honorable Mentions

frostbite apple

  • The Frostbite Apple is an extremely cold-hardy variety with sugar-sweet crisp fruit! Typically ripe late in the season in September to October, and then the red round fruit lasts 3 months in storage.
  • For a late-season Apple with a very long hang time, the Jonagold is a standout sweet fruit!

Storing Apples For A Year-Round Supply


There are a few key points to remember when starting to store your Apple harvest!

  • Apples must be of the best quality - no blemishes, bruises, or broken skin
  • Clean your fruit well and dry the skin completely
  • Wrap clean and dry Apples in newspaper or other clean wrapping
  • Dry skin but higher air humidity
  • You can wrap them in a plastic bag in a lower-humidity location
  • Basements or cellars are great locations, crisper drawers or cardboard boxes

Ideal storage conditions must include cool, dark locations above freezing with high humidity. Check your harvest frequently and immediately remove any that are bruised, showing signs of rotting, or spotting.

A Note About Apple Tree Pollinators

Some Apple trees are self-fruitful or partially self-pollinating, every fruiting variety does better with a friend! By planting in groupings, linear hedgerows, and high-density plantings, you’ll enjoy a far larger harvest per tree when planting your Apple with a pollination partner planted nearby.

Know When to Harvest Your Apples

Knowing when your Apple variety is typically ripe is the first step. It helps to know if you are growing an early, mid, or late-maturing Apple so you have an idea of when to start checking. Different apple varieties have different ripening dates, which can vary from year to year depending on the weather and your growing zone. 

While picking one and taking a bite can let you know if it's time to harvest, there are a few other indicators that let you know when the time is right.

Look for unbruised Apples that feel firm and heavy in your hand. The fruit should be firm and richly colored. The Apple should come off the tree easily when slightly pulled back from the fruiting spur on the tree. Cut the Apple in half to check for white flesh and if the seeds are brown. Then taste it … it should not be strongly sour or pithy. 

Your local County Extension Office can be a good source for knowing when Apples are ripening in your area so check with them.

Check out all of Nature Hills' #ProPlantTips on caring and maintaining your Apple tree for the healthiest plants, the most fruit, and a long lifetime of fruit!

Tasty Long-Term Late-Season Goodness!

Get ready to enjoy your harvest all year long! Imagine still having tasty Apples during the off-season or as winter and holiday gifts for your loved ones!

All of Nature Hills’ fruiting trees and shrubs are shipped with mature 3-4-year-old root systems so you’ll enjoy fruit sooner! Find all these late-season and storage Winter Apple Tree varieties and more here at Nature Hills Nursery!

Happy Planting!

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