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The Autumn Glory Apple Tree

The Autumn Glory Apple tree is one of the most interesting apple cultivars out there. This apple has a surprising taste that’s unlike anything you’ve ever experienced from a normal apple. It’s also got an interesting history and a few bragging rights that no other apple cultivar can claim.

A box of reddish yellow apples from the Autumn Glory Apple tree.
A box of Autumn Glory apples.

Some people say that the Autumn Glory apple tastes like cinnamon. This is part of the reason for this apple’s continuing success and fame. This guide will go over everything you need to know about taking care of an Autumn Glory Apple and how to use its delicious fruit. 

We bet you’ll enjoy the story behind the Autumn Glory Apple tree! 

History of the Autumn Glory Apple Tree 

The Autumn Glory Apple tree has a unique history that, at least in part, hinges on a sporting bet! 

This cultivar was first grown in 1976 by Dr. Yu Lin Wang. This apple spent several years in the waiting before taking the world by storm in 2011. Since then, tens of thousands of Autumn Glory Apple trees have been grown in the state of Washington. 

Now let’s talk about the Autumn Glory Apple’s surprising place in a football bet. In 2015, Washington state Lt. Governor Brad Owen bet Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karyn Polito that the Seattle Seahawks would defeat the New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLIX. After the Patriots won, Owen sent Washington-themed gifts over to Polito including a box of Autumn Glory apples.

Not only is this one of the most commercially successful apple cultivars in Washington, it’s also got a fun place in apple history as being the only apple ever won in a Superbowl bet! 

What’s made this apple so successful? 

Autumn Glory Apple Tree Characteristics

The Autumn Glory Apple tree has some very standard characteristics when it comes to the look of an apple tree. It can grow to a height of between 8 and 20 feet and has a spread over around 15 feet.

Reddish yellow apples growing on a branch, closely resemble the fruit of an Autumn Glory Apple tree.

This apple tree isn’t well-known as an ornamental tree. It’s mostly known for the delicious taste of its fruit. However, Autumn Glory apples have a unique coloration. These are primarily green apples that have a large amount of blushing and red streaks. This gives them a unique multicolor appearance that is very eye-catching on its own.

If you wanted to plant an Autumn Glory Apple tree, which areas of the United States would be best? 

Planting Zones 

Autumn Glory Apple trees do best in USDA hardiness zones 4 through 8. These are very moderate weather apple trees and don’t do as well and extremely warm climates or extremely cold climates. If you can keep the Autumn Glory apple tree in a temperate region, you can give it its best chance at varying regular and delicious fruit. 

Do you need an in-depth guide for how to grow apple trees? You can find our apple tree guide here.

Size and Spacing

There is one golden rule that you should follow in spacing your apple trees and it applies to Autumn Glory Apple trees as much as it does to other apple cultivars.

The spread of your apple tree should be roughly around the same size as your apple tree’s spacing. We mentioned earlier that the Autumn Glory Apple tree can grow up to 20 feet tall and has a maximum spread of around 15 feet. This means that you’re going to want to spread these apple trees roughly 15 feet apart from each other.

If you plan on keeping your apple tree thoroughly pruned back and encouraging it to stay smaller than its maximum spread, you can reduce the spacing accordingly.

Spacing is very important for apple trees. It helps prevent overcrowding which makes sure that your apple trees get enough access to sunlight, water and nutrients from the soil. 

Pollination

Apple trees can either be self-pollinating or require a pollinating partner.

No matter which variety of apple you happen to have, having a pollinating partner nearby is beneficial. Even self-pollinating apple trees have an improved harvest after cross-pollination. To ensure that your home orchard has the best yield year after year, research which pollinating partners are best for your apple tree. 

Autumn Glory Apple Tree Care

The good news about caring for Autumn Glory Apple trees is that these trees follow all the rules for most every variety of apple cultivar. Let’s take a quick look at some basic tips for caring for your Autumn Glory Apple. 

Sunlight

The first thing we think of when it comes to taking care of a plant is how much sunlight it’s going to need.

Much like the rest of the malus domestica family, the Autumn Glory Apple tree requires full sunlight exposure. This means you should plant this tree in an area that you can expect to get 6 to 8 hours of sunlight everyday. This is one of the major reasons why you need to properly space your apple trees so that they don’t cast shade on each other.

Watering

Autumn Glory Apple trees need a moderate amount of water. Depending on the climate in which they’re planted, this might be taken care of entirely by natural rainfall.

But bear in mind that newly planted apple trees require more water than mature apple trees in order to get established in their new soil.

Closeup of a person holding a garden hose with water spraying from it.

Pruning 

There are two major reasons to prune Autumn Glory Apple trees.

The first is that yearly pruning takes back some of the growth from the previous year. This ensures that the apple tree produces fruit in the current year and improves the overall yield of the new harvest.

Pruning also removes damaged branches, as well as controls the overall shape of the apple tree. Regular yearly pruning is the best way to prevent a tree from becoming lopsided or developing a problematic shape. 

Diseases & Care 

The Autumn Glory Apple tree is well known for its hardiness. This particular cultivar was grown to be disease resistant and is advertised by growers as being a very viable crop.

With that being aid, even the toughest apples can still succumb to bacteria and fungi. Preventive maintenance is your best bet in keeping your apple tree healthy.

Pests 

Pests are the bane of any apple tree. No matter where you plant your apple tree and how well you take care of it, pests can always pop up to spoil your harvest. 

Autumn Glory Apple trees are susceptible to the same types of pests that typically go after Fuji and other apple cultivars. If you want to go all out when it comes to protecting your apple trees, you can always consider spraying your apples

Common Uses For The Autumn Glory Apple 

The Autumn Glory apple has many uses in the cooking world. If you want an apple that has a surprising taste and a great ability to hold up in baking, this is the one for you.

What Does The Autumn Glory Apple Taste Like?

Before we talk about how you can prepare an Autumn Glory apple, we need to talk about its taste.

Yellowish red apples on a branch, closely resembling the fruit of an Autumn Glory Apple tree.

This is what sets the Autumn Glory apple apart from the rest of the apple world. These apples have a sweet and welcoming taste as well as a surprising aftertaste. Many people report that the Autumn Glory apple leaves a warm feeling in the mouth that reminds them of the taste of cinnamon.

While others don’t go quite as far as claiming that this apple tastes like cinnamon, almost everyone agrees that it tastes like autumn.

Here’s what you can do with this apple.

Cooking

The Autumn Glory apple has a well-earned reputation as being one of the best baking apples out there. Whether you’re making desserts or baking this into a savory application, this apple withstands the oven very well.

Eating Raw

You might have guessed this by how we talked about the taste, but these apples are also delicious when eaten raw. You can enjoy these apples fresh from your local supermarket and experience that warm cinnamon flavor for yourself.

Canning / Freezing / Drying

The Autumn Glory apple stands up very well to several different drying methods. Some different ways of drying apples apply heat to the apple during the drying process which coaxes out some of these natural cinnamon flavors in the Autumn Glory apple. 

Recipes Using the Autumn Glory Apple

The Autumn Glory apple is new enough for one thing in the culinary world and that’s being one of the best baking apples out there.

The texture of this apple and its natural flavor lends itself to all different varieties of baked foods. If you’re looking to coax out the best flavors and textures in the Autumn Glory Apple, you should try it in these recipes. You can use Autumn Glory apples in this Apple Cinnamon Bread, these easy Caramel Stuffed Apples, or is he surprisingly healthy Apple Oatmeal Cookies.

Baked Apple Oatmeal (click for the recipe).

While you’re eating some Autumn Glory apples, you can think about the health benefits that you were getting. 

Health Benefits of the Autumn Glory Apple Tree 

So, what can an Autumn Glory apple do for your health?

Apples are well known for being high in vitamins including vitamin C. Apples also have natural anti-inflammatory properties that have been linked to benefits for heart and digestive health. If you want to know 10 more reasons why an apple a day keeps the doctor away, you can check out our blog on apple health facts.

Where To Buy The Autumn Glory Apple Tree

It might be difficult to acquire your very own Autumn Glory apple tree.

This particular apple cultivar is a proprietary tree. This means that only a regulated group of growers are allowed to have these trees. Currently, this group is limited to the company that originated this particular cultivar and their orchards.

The good news is that these trends typically change over time. As laws, regulations, and apple tastes change over the years, apple cultivars that used to be incredibly popular slowly fade out of the spotlight. After that, they can become favorites for hobbyists as well as home gardens.

Where To Buy The Autumn Glory Apple 

If you want to snack on an Autumn Glory apple, finding one is a lot easier.

This is actually a very common apple cultivar. You can find Autumn Glory apples at your local farm stand and in many chain grocery stores. 

Wrapping up The Autumn Glory Apple Tree 

The Autumn Glory apple is a unique cultivar. Known first and foremost for its unique taste, one bite into this apple leaves people walking away with the warmth of autumn and cinnamon on the tongue. While you might not be able to grow your own Autumn Glory apples, when they ripen in October, you can enjoy these fruits at your local supermarket. 

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