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All About The Liberty Apple

Not to be confused with the Big Apple, New York City, the Liberty apple is a prized sweet and mildly tart fresh eating apple that offers a high level of disease resistance.

Perfect for the home grower, Liberty apple trees will become one of your favorite homegrown, orchard producers.

Looking to buy a Liberty apple tree? Check availability.

The Liberty apple is known for producing healthy fruit without the need for pesticide sprays.

Liberty Apple Tree Stats

As a product of the McIntosh and Macoun apple varieties, Liberty’s stats are similar in description.

Sizes Available

Liberty comes in dwarf, semi dwarf and standard varieties giving the grower plenty of options to fit every size of home orchard. When you select a bare root tree with a healthy root system, your Liberty will give your years of delicious fruit.

Blooming And Bearing

Liberty blooms in early to mid spring with a show of spectacular blossoms promising a prolific fruit set. As a gardener, you feel pride and promise in a beautiful blossoming tree.

The medium to large fruit is a bright and shiny deep rosy red. In early October your “McIntosh” group fruit trees will be bearing juicy, flavorful apples just waiting to be picked. Your favorite snacking spot might be right under her branches.

Liberty can bear fruit after 3 years, maybe 4 years depending on your zone, weather, soil, and bloom time. Imagine having fresh apples picked from your backyard in just 3 years. How wonderful would that be?


Hardy in USDA Zone 5 through zone 8. Liberty is easy to grow with the right soil conditions and weather, and will keep you happy with her resistance to diseases.


Liberty is part of the group that winters over well when put in cold stores. The apple’s flesh keeps well without getting mushy and maintains good flavor.

Liberty Apple Trees And Disease Resistance

One of the most disease resistant apples varieties ever developed, this semi dwarf fruit tree is apple scab resistant. An important consideration for the grower. Plant your apple trees in full sun with loamy, well drained soil and they will be the answer to your fruit tree dreams.

As part of the low spray apple group, Liberty has excellent disease resistant properties thereby affording the grower a fruit tree that can be grown organically. This is a boon for growers who want apple varieties that don’t need toxic spray applications. Removing toxins from our food is one of the best ways to eat healthy and keep our bodies safe from poison substances.

Liberty is one of the few fruit trees resistant to apple scab, fire blight, and cedar apple rust; the trifecta of apple diseases. This resistance means less chemicals on your fruit and fruit trees and less money spent on fighting these diseases.

If you are a gardener who is just beginning to experiment with fruit trees, the Liberty is a prime candidate to acquire fruit tree gardening skill techniques.

Pruning Your Liberty Apple Tree

Liberty Apple Tree in Full Bloom
Liberty apple tree in a landscaped front yard garden at springtime, Lanaudiere, Quebec, Canada

Planting your apple trees in full sun with well drained soil gives them the nutrients they need to grow strong and healthy. Pruning your trees is also necessary to give them room to produce beautiful fruit.

Prune your trees in late winter/early spring while the trees are dormant. Remove any cross branches, inward growing limbs, and thin crowded branches. Prune your young trees to encourage growing a strong framework and trunk. Prune mature trees to maintain their shape, ensuring maximum sun exposure to the entire tree which will encourage copious fruit production.

Be sure to remove suckers from the roots anytime they poke through the ground. The suckers will leach nutrients from the soil that is needed by the apple tree.

Your standard Liberty can reach a height of 20-25 feet. The dwarf and semi dwarf plants will be somewhat smaller. Pruning will keep your plants at a height and breadth of your liking.

Pollination And The Liberty Apple Tree

The Liberty apple is easy to grow and easy to pollinate. These apple trees are self fruitful and no pollinator is required. However, to increase the yield it is good practice to allow cross pollination with other cultivars.

Good pollination partners are Freedom, Golden Delicious, and McIntosh. Liberty is also a good pollinator for these varieties that need cross pollination. In other words, they play well together.

To insure optimum growing space and pollination, plant your Liberty fruit tress between 15 – 18 feet apart.

Visit our post on the Golden Delicious Apple to learn more about one of Liberty’s growing and pollination partners. Adding a Golden Delicious apple tree and a Liberty apple tree to your home orchard will offer you an abundant harvest and keep you in apples all winter long.

The History Of The Liberty Apple Tree

Malus domestica “Liberty” was developed by the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station and offered to the home gardener in 1978. It is the offspring of the Macoun apple and the Purdue 54-12 (a Japanese flowering crab apple). The goal was to provide the excellent disease resistance from the Malus floribunda varietals.

Legend has it the name refers to the breeders quest to free the grower from endless spraying. Growing apples organically is a constant challenge and acquiring an apple tree that is disease resistant is a huge win for the home gardener.

No matter how you slice it, the McIntosh, Macoun, Liberty lineage is a win win for the home gardener

How Do You Know When A Liberty Apple Is Ripe

Liberty apples are deep dark red with small dots sprinkled on the surface skin. They are in the group of apples that ripen in mid fall, just in time for all those traditional apple recipes.

Uses For The Delicious Liberty Apple

The Liberty apple has crunchy white flesh with a mildly tart flavor. It is part of the “McIntosh style” apple group, tart and juicy.

Apple Juice from liberty Apples

The Liberty has a long storage life, it will stay firm up to three months. You can bet the Liberty will be your go-to apple when planning your winter menu.

Fresh Eating

Fresh eating is the best way to eat the lip smacking fruit. The Liberty apple is a joy to eat fresh off the tree. Additionally, it is a perfect apple for storing and cooking.


There is nothing like a healthy glass of fresh juice. Liberty apples are perfect for juicing on their own or combine with all the other nutrient-packed veggie goodies. How about an apple smoothie for breakfast – an apple a day….

Try this Hamilton Beach Big Mouth Juicer to have the freshest and most flavorful juice available. This big mouth juicer has an extra large feed chute that fits whole fruits and veggies – you don’t even have to cut them up!


The Liberty produces a lovely pink applesauce when cooked with the peel. A quick and simple applesauce adds a nice sweet tart side dish for pork or chicken.

Dice several apples into small chunks, add cinnamon and sugar to taste, and sauté with a little bit of water to keep them from sticking to the pan. Cook gently, stirring often, until they reach your desired consistency – either chunky or smooth.


Liberty makes a beautiful baked apple. Simply core, add cinnamon and nutmeg, and bake in a 350 degree oven until soft.

Where to Buy a Liberty Apple Tree

Young Liberty Apple Tree
Young Liberty Apple Tree

Liberty apple trees are available at Stark Bro’s.

Be sure to pre order your Liberty apple tree so you can ensure it arrives at the perfect planting time. The shipping season for Liberty apple trees is zip code dependent.

Other Fruit Options To Consider

While you are ordering our fruit tree, or trees, adding strawberry plants to your order will be a nice compliment to your fruit garden. Strawberries are easy to grow, extremely prolific, and are a sweet treat. The also have the added benefit of needing no pruning!

Other fruit gardening options, depending on your USDA zone, include Plums. We have great gardener tips and tricks on growing Plum trees. Be sure to visit our site for answers to all your fruit growing questions.

Now You Know All About Liberty Apples!

Order your plants today and be ready for planting as soon as shipping schedules are confirmed, many gardening outlets will advise you of pickup dates as well.

Excited for more apple content? Visit my apple trees page to learn more about apple planting, growing, picking, cooking, and more!