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The Pacific Rose Apple Tree

If you are a gourmet apple enthusiast, you’ve probably already heard of the delicious Pacific Rose Apple tree. Often called “the pink beauty,” Pacific Rose apples are a natural cross between Splendour apples and Gala apples. Splendour apples are heirloom apples that are native to New Zealand. 

A single red Pacific Rose Apple tree apple against a white background.
Pacific Rose apple.

People who love to have apples on hand enjoy the Pacific Rose apple because of its sweet taste with minimal acidity. These apples also keep well in cold storage, so they’re handy to have around when you want a delicious sweet crunch. Let’s dive in and learn all about this wonderful fruit.

History of the Pacific Rose Apple Tree

Pacific Rose apples are also called Sciros and they are a natural cultivar of apples that are domesticated. These apples were first developed in New Zealand in 1990. The first imports of this apple arrived in North America in 1996 and they’re now commercially grown in Washington State and New Zealand.

The tree is named for its beautiful rose color and the Pacific Ocean that surrounds the gorgeous island where it was created.

The Pacific Rose apple is a trademark that is administered by the New Zealand Apple and Pear Marketing Board (ENZA). For more than 50 years, ENZA has been a leading apple innovator and they’re known for developing apples that quickly become favorites.

ENZA successfully grows and exports premium apples from New Zealand that are raised and harvested under very high standards. Moreover, the apples are picked at the precisely correct time to ensure consistent quality.

You will sometimes find these apples under the name New Zealand Rose Apple. 

Pacific Rose Apple Fruit Characteristics

Pacific Rose apples have a distinctive blush that is rosy-red. Because they’re a cross between the Gala and Splendour apples, they have a gorgeous pink hue (from Splendour).

These apples are super sweet and have nearly no acidity, and that’s what makes them a favorite with people who enjoy gourmet fruit. 

The flesh of the Pacific Rose apple is white, crisp, sweet, and juicy.

A whole red apple next to a red apple cut in half against a dark background -- the apples are similar to Pacific Rose Apple tree apples.

These apples are available for purchase in markets through April in Washington State. In New Zealand, they’re available in stores from late May through October.

Planting Zones

When you get ready to plant your apple trees, you will need to know which trees grow well in your USDA Hardiness Zone.

Since home growers can’t grow Pacific Rose Apple trees, it’s important to understand that you will need to choose other varieties of apple trees for your home orchard. However, if it ever becomes available to home growers, the Pacific Rose Apple tree will thrive in Zones 4-8.

For more information on growing apple trees, reference our guide: “How to Plant Apple Trees.”

Pollination

Apple trees are pollinated by bees on sunny spring days. Many apple trees are self-fertile and don’t require other trees for pollinators. Nevertheless, if you plant more than one tree, you will yield a better harvest.

However, other apple trees will need two trees to bear fruit. In these cases, one of the trees must be a male tree, while the other will have to be a female tree. A female tree produces female flowers with ovaries, whereas a male tree produces pollen that needs to meet with the female tree’s egg.

Tree Care

Since home growers can’t yet grow Pacific Rose Apple trees, we encourage you to try your hand at some other popular varieties of apple trees that can be grown in your yard or orchard.

One great option is the Gala Apple tree, which is one of the parent fruits of the Pacific Rose Apple.

Closeup of red Gala apples, a home garden alternative to the Pacific Rose Apple tree.
Gala Apple tree apples.

Soil

Pacific Rose Apple trees are grown in the rich, fertile soil that is found in the Pacific Northwest.

Sunlight

Like other apple trees, Pacific Rose Apple trees thrive in full sunlight and produce the best harvest if they receive at least six hours of sunlight per day in full sun.

Pruning

To learn more about pruning apple trees that you’re growing in your yard or home orchard, read “Pruning Apple Trees: The Home Grower’s Complete Guide” on our website.

Diseases & Care

Pacific Rose Apple trees are typically disease-resistant.

For information about disease-resistant apples you can grow at home,  reference “Disease Resistant Apple Trees” on our website.

Common Uses For Pacific Rose Apples

Pacific Rose apples are primarily dessert apples that are delicious eaten raw.

Closeup of apples growing on a branch that closely resemble apples of a Pacific Rose Apple tree.

What Do Pacific Rose Apples Taste Like?

Pacific Rose apples are sweet with minimal acidity. Since they are derived from Gala and Splendour apples, they’re a high-quality dessert apple. Some enthusiasts compare the taste of the Pacific Rose apple to the Fuji apple.

Cooking

Any recipe that calls for apples will benefit from delicious Pacific Rose apples. These apples make wonderful applesauce. You don’t need to add sugar because these apples are so naturally sweet. 

Here’s an interesting recipe on the official Pacific Rose Apple website. The recipe is “Pacific Apple Braised Chicken Thighs” and it sounds simple and wonderful. 

Eating Raw

As we’ve already mentioned, Pacific Rose apples are delicious when they’re eaten raw. However, their delicate sweetness also adds wonderful flavor to sandwiches, salads, and desserts.

An amazing way to serve Pacific Rose apples is on a cheese and meat tray. Simply slice your apples into thin wedges and serve them with smoked meats, decadent cheese, and other fruits such as grapes. Add crackers so that you and your guests can enjoy an appetizer that is nearly a full meal. 

You can also cut up Pacific Rose apples into chicken salad or tuna salad. They’re wonderful in green salads. These apples give your salads a sweet, tasty crunch that is divine. 

There are several delicious ways to enjoy raw Pacific Rose apples in salads. You can try Apple Cabbage Coleslaw or Apple Chicken Salad. Another favorite is Creamy and Sweet Cinnamon Apple Salad.

One great idea is to dust Pacific Rose apples with cinnamon and tuck the slices between two slices of French toast. 

Canning / Freezing / Drying

Pacific Rose apples keep well in cold storage, so they are good choices if you want to can or freeze apples for future use. 

Canning

One popular way to can Pacific Rose apples is to make apple butter. Gorgeous jars of homemade apple butter are well received as holiday gifts. It is also great to offer with a breakfast buffet during the holidays. 

Chutneys are another favorite apple recipe. You can try our Spicy Apple Ginger Chutney recipe, for example. This interesting recipe uses onions, ginger, orange juice, ground mustard, and chile flakes to create a surprising flavor to meat dishes.

Freezing

Did you know that apples are great for freezing? Frozen apples are ideal for applesauce or baking.

You can freeze apples whole if you are pressed for time. Simply wash your apples well and put them on a cookie sheet in your freezer. Leave plenty of space between the apples. Once they are frozen, transfer them to freezer bags. Then you can pull them out to make quick recipes as needed.

Alternatively, you can freeze apple slices to have on hand. 

Apple Pie Filling

Imagine the joy of apple pie filling made from Pacific Rose apples. The good news is that apple pie filling doesn’t have to be processed in canning jars. You can freeze apple pie filling and it will be just as delicious as canned varieties.

Since some spices lose their flavor when frozen, we recommend adding the spices just before baking your apple pie.

The Spruce Eats has a detailed guide to various apple freezing methods.

Drying

Dehydrating apples is easy and you will have some quick healthy snacks on hand. When you have dried apples in the pantry, you have a healthy alternative to junk food like granola bars, potato chips, and other generally unhealthy and sugar-laden snacks.

You can make either dried apples or apple chips. The difference between them is how the apples are sliced and how long you dry them. 

Oven-Dried Apples

If you have a food dehydrator, you’re all set for dehydrating apple slices. You can also use your oven to dehydrate your apples

For example, you can make simple Oven Baked Apple Chips. Set your oven’s temperature to 225 degrees Fahrenheit and dry your Pacific Rose apples for an hour on each side. For extra flavor, you can even sprinkle your apple slices with cinnamon before drying them.

Recipes for Pacific Rose Apples

Cooks and home chefs enjoy using Pacific Rose apples in main dishes like White Cheddar Stuffed Apple Pork Chops. Pacific Rose apples hold up nicely in most recipes that call for apples. 

Try your hand at Old Fashioned Apple Crisp that is chock-full of hearty rolled oats, brown sugar, and apple pie spices like nutmeg and cinnamon. Other favorite recipes include Caramel Stuffed Apples, Apple Dump Cake, and Apple Oatmeal Cookies.

We have lots more delicious apple recipes on our website. Here are some of our favorites. 

Closeup of apple onion tart -- a recipe idea for Pacific Rose apples
Savory Apple Onion Tart (click for the recipe).

Health Benefits of the Pacific Rose Apple

Like all apples, Pacific Rose apples give you a powerful nutritional punch in a small package. For example, one medium-sized Pacific Rose apple has just 100 calories, and apples contain no fat, sodium, or cholesterol.

Most importantly, apples are an excellent source of dietary fiber, which softens stool and increases its weight and size. This is essential for helping you maintain a healthy digestive system. In fact, one apple contains about four grams of fiber, which provides 17% of the recommended daily intake for most individuals.

In addition to the beneficial fiber you get from apples, eating an apple a day will also provide these important nutrients.

  • Vitamin C: 14% of the Reference Daily Intake (RDI)
  • Vitamin K: 5% of the RDI
  • Potassium: 6% of the RDI
  • Copper
  • Manganese
  • Vitamins A, E, B1, B2, B6

Additionally, studies show that apples help with the following health issues.

For more information on the many benefits of Pacific Rose apples and other apples, read “10 Amazing Health Benefits of Apples.”

Where To Buy The Pacific Rose Apple Tree

Currently, Pacific Rose Apple trees are only grown by private growers in Washington state and New Zealand. However, if you’re interested in growing apple trees, we encourage you to check out the wide selection of apple trees that are offered by Nature Hills Nursery.

Where To Buy Pacific Rose Apples

In Washington State, you can buy Pacific Rose apples in markets through April. In New Zealand, these sweet apples are available in stores from late May through October.

You can often find Pacific Rose apples for sale online at specialty fruit and produce companies such as The Fruit Company. If you’re lucky enough to find them, be sure to grab them up because they’re not often in stock.

Wrapping up the Pacific Rose Apple

When it comes to flavor, uniqueness, and beauty, it’s hard to beat the delicious Pacific Rose apple. If you can find them, grab these up and enjoy them fresh and preserved. 

Here is an excellent video that explains how the apples make their way from orchard to store. 

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