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Apples and Our Nursery Supplies That Help Grow Them

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Here at Frostproof, we’re big providers of nursery and harvesting tools to various companies large and small across the country. Since we’re located in Frostproof, Florida, many people think that we focus only on citrus fruits. But while we certainly do have our Florida and California customers, others like those in Washington are focused on something much different: apples. Today we thought we’d take a look at some of the most popular apples out there and their interesting stories.

But First, Some History

The apple is a tree in the rose family. It originated in Asia, theMalus sieversiibeing the originator of almost every variety of apple there is. From Asia the trees were taken to Europe, and then came to America with the colonists. While you might only be able to find less than a dozen types of apples in a grocery store, today there are more than 7,500 different cultivars of apple that have been created for various uses and traits: some are for applesauce, some for apple cider vinegar, and others will end up on the table to wait until someone gets around to eating them.

Apple trees can be grown from seed, but most of the time people usually join a host tree and a scion with grafting supplies. This allows orchards to restrict the size of the trees and increase the variety in a small area. 58% of the apples in the United States are grown in Washington State, with New York, Michigan, Pennsylvania, California, and Virginia providing most of the rest. China is the biggest producer of apples in the world.

Okay, now that you now a bit more about apples in general, let’s take a look at some of the most popular apples out there.


The McIntosh is the national apple of Canada, having been discovered there in 1811. Because of its soft skin and sweet flesh, it grew in popularity and became one of the most popular apples in Canada and the eastern United States during the 19th century. This mostly-red-with-yellow-highlight apple is a great all-purpose apple that is good for eating raw and cooking with. It clocks in at #7 on the most popular apples list according the the US Apple Association.

If you are a fan of Apple computers, you’re sure to be familiar with the Macintosh line of computers such as Macbooks. The Macintosh name was taken from the line of apples.


Gala apples are growing in popularity. You might not have seen one two decades ago, but today you’ll find them in most grocery stores. That makes sense, considering it is the most popular fresh apple in the country!

Gala apples come from a cross of the Golden Delicious (see below) and the Kidd’s Orange Red. It originated in New Zealand but has made its way across the world and can now be grown in most areas of the United States. It’s great for snacking on but is also a fine juicing apple.

Red Delicious

Stark Brothers Nurseries is one of the oldest nurseries in the country, having started in 1816. While they have cultivated their own apple varieties over two centuries, they have also purchased the rights to various apple varieties, created variations, and sold the trees across the country. The Red Delicious was found as part of a contest, and Stark Bros. bought the rights in 1893. You’re not imagining things: the Red Delicious isn’t as good as it sounds. While it might have started off being sweet and tasty, generations of breeding to improve transportability and shelf life have left this apple with less flavor and a more crumbly texture. Despite this, it’s still the second most popular apple in the country!

Golden Delicious

About 20 years after purchasing the Red Delicious, Stark Brothers bought the rights to a yellow variety from a family in West Virginia and named it the Golden Delicious. The Golden Delicious went on to become the official state fruit of West Virginia and was featured on a US postal service stamp. It’s also much more versatile than the Red Delicious, being a table apple, a baking apple, and a chopping apple (in salads, for instance). It is the sixth most popular apple out there.

Granny Smith

Did your mouth pucker when you read those words? The Granny Smith is the most popular of the sour apples. It’s mottled, bright green color makes it instantly recognizable, and the taste is the inspiration for sour apple candies. Granny Smiths aren’t simply unripe apples; they’re green when they’re fully ripe. However, they do turn yellow and the taste mellows if they are overripe.

The Granny Smith originated in Australia in 1868. Maria Ann Smith and her husband owned an orchard, and a chance pollination created the crisp, green apple. The couple had many children and Maria Ann was well-known person in her community. She was called “Granny” Smith, and the name stuck to her signature apple.

If you’re looking for a great snap to your apple and something that’s not too sweet, Granny Smith is a great option. These qualities have made it the fourth most popular apple in the country.


We love the story of the Fuji apple. As we mentioned above, the apple tree began in Asia but was incredibly popular in Europe and the United States. It was from two American varieties that the Fuji was developed when it was taken back from Japan. It was given the name Fuji in honor of Japan’s most popular mountain and still remains the most popular variety there. However, it has also become the third most popular apple in the United States, and today there are more grown here than in the whole of Japan.

Apples have a great history, and we’re more than happy to help orchards continue that history with the best nursery supplies and harvesting tools. Whether they need grafting knives to get to get the apple started or harvest bags and totes to get them to market, we at Frostproof Growers Supply are ready to help.

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