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The White Transparent Apple Tree

With its sharp, tart flavor profile, the fruit from the White Transparent Apple tree is mostly used for cooking and is king of applesauce. In Europe, it is called the White Transparent Apple, in North America, it is often called the Yellow Transparent Apple. The fruit was tagged with the name transparent apple because the yellow skin color is luminescent, almost glowing. Additionally, this golden jewel has a beautiful white flesh when cut open.

Closeup of pale yellowish green apples from the White Transparent Apple tree.
White Transparent apples.

As a very early ripening apple, sometimes as early as mid-July, it heralds the start of the apple picking season. For growers who want an extended apple harvest, the White Transparent Apple tree is a wonderful variety to add to your garden.

Juicy and refreshing, the White Transparent Apple has a firm bite and an extremely tart, mildly acidic flavor. It is not very sweet, therefore it lends itself more to baking than fresh eating.

History of the White Transparent Apple Tree

A volunteer seedling found in Riga, Latvia, around 1850, is where life began for the White Transparent Apple tree. It was widely grown in Europe and introduced to North America in 1870 where the name morphed into Yellow Transparent Apple due to its yellow skin.

Aerial view of the city of Riga, Latvia -- the home of the European White Transparent Apple tree.
Riga, Latvia — the home of the White Transparent Apple tree.

Traditionally harvested green, no matter what the color, this mid-July harvest apple moves the harvest season into summer picking.

Characteristics of the White Transparent Apple Tree

Early fragrant white blossoms coat the tree in a froth of lacy softness. The yellow hued tree bark against the green foliage gives the White Transparent Apple tree a unique and interesting look. Laden with pretty green apples that ripen into softly tinted yellow fruit make this tree a great option as a garden focal point. 

The early fruit ripening makes this apple variety highly desirable. Harvesting fruit in mid-summer extends the apple seasons by several months. However, the harsh flavor and extremely firm texture lend these apples more towards baking than fresh eating. The White Transparent Apple should be harvested when the fruit is green, allowing it to ripen off the vine. Once it turns yellow, the fruit deteriorates quickly.

Thinning the fruit early is key to keeping this apple tree producing each year. If you let the tree over-crop, it tends to lapse into biennial bearing. 

Pale yellowish green apples growing on a tree in Riga, Latvia -- the tree looks very similar to a White Transparent Apple tree.
Apples growing on a tree in Riga, Latvia.

Planting Zones

The White Transparent Apple tree is best grown in USDA Hardiness Zones 3 through 9. The broad range of growing zones makes it a good option for orchardists who live on the fringes of traditional apple growing regions. With chill requirements between 800 and 1000 chill hours, this reliable producer is extremely cold hardy.

Our beginner primer, How To Plant Apple Trees, is a great resource for getting your apple trees planted correctly so they can grow and flourish.

Size and Spacing

The White Transparent Apple tree has a mature height and width of 12 to 16 feet. While the tree can be successfully pruned to a more manageable 8 feet, it is important to give the roots up to 16 feet of spreading room. Planting apple trees with enough room to grow, set roots, and soak up sunshine are keys to a successful harvest and a healthy and long-lived plant.

Pollination Partners

Since the White Transparent Apple tree blossoms very early, it is a boon for the pollinators buzzing around your yard. The early food source captures their undivided attention, and they happily go about pollinating your trees. Attracting bees to your garden early in the season might entice them to hang around your orchard longer. This will benefit all your flowering plants and keep the bees happy.

Good pollination partners for the White Transparent Apple tree are early blooming apple trees in Pollination Group 2. The Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and McIntosh work in harmony with the White Transparent Apple. Many of these varieties may already be in your home orchard, therefore, adding the White Transparent Apple tree will be a great addition for your family garden. 

McIntosh Apple trees with red apples in an orchard setting -- a good cross pollinator with the White Transparent Apple tree.
McIntosh Apple trees — a good cross pollinator for the White Transparent Apple tree.

White Transparent Apple Tree Care

Sunlight

  • Like all apple trees, the White Transparent Apple requires full sun, a minimum of 6 hours per day.
  • Morning sunlight is preferable, since it will dry off the evening dew.

Soil

  • Loves a loamy, well drained soil.

Watering

  • Moist, well-drained soil is critical for a new sapling to flourish. 
  • When the tree is well established, water during times of drought.

Pruning

  • The White Transparent Apple tree can be ruthlessly pruned to a smaller, more manageable size for harvesting. 
  • Always prune away dead and diseased branches.
  • Prune cross branches to prevent rubbing and allow air circulation and sunlight into the center of your apple tree.
  • For the most complete pruning advice, visit our post on Pruning Apple Trees: The Home Grower’s Complete Guide.

Diseases & Care

  • The White Transparent Apple tree offers excellent disease resistance.
  • It is scab resistant
  • It is at risk for developing fire blight and apple canker.
  • Knowing about apple tree diseases and care is critical to keeping your trees healthy and productive.

Pests

  • Pests are always an issue for fruit trees. They love the sweet treats as much as we do. Keep a sharp eye out for common pests like apple maggot and coddling moths who will wreck your crop.
  • The best time to treat these pests is early summer when the insects are laying their eggs. Select from a variety of organic crop control pesticides, choosing one that works best for you and your garden.

Common Uses For The White Transparent Apple

Traditionally used in Europe to create a creamy white apple sauce, the White Transparent apple bakes up great in pies and is perfect for drying. Its tart flavor profile makes it an excellent candidate to add to ciders and juices.

Pale yellowis green White Transparent Apple tree apples in a brown rustic woven basket against a white background,
White Transparent apples in a basket.

There are a multitude of apple sauce recipes available for experimentation. The White Transparent apples cook up into a gorgeous, creamy white apple sauce. To make a flavorful applesauce you only need a few ingredients: apples and a sweetener.

The simplest applesauce requires you to peel, core, and chop your apples. Add them to a saucepan with a little water to keep them from sticking. Cook until the apples are soft and mashable. Add a good local honey or brown sugar to taste. Of course, cinnamon is a perennial favorite, and you can add or not depending on the dish you pair your sauce with.  

Drying the White Transparent apple is another great way to use this early producer. These heart healthy fruit snacks can be made in a dehydrator or your oven. Our post on How To Dehydrate Apples showcases how to turn this pretty fruit into wonderful snacks.

When you adjust the cooking time, you can change the consistency of the apple bite. Try out several options to see which one you love best. By-the-way, keeping the skin on the apples retains all the nutritious apple fiber. 

Our Apple Pie Recipe is perfect for using up your White Transparent apples. Since they are harvested so early in the season, you can be the first one to bake off a gorgeous fruit pie.

If you prefer a pie on the tart side this recipe will be exactly what you need. If you feel your apples are a little too tart, add a bit more sugar for balance.

One of our new favorite recipes for fall is Delicious Caramel Apple Crumble. The addition of oatmeal raisin cookies and a gooey caramel sauce give this apple crumble a decidedly gourmet twist. This is not your grandma’s apple crumble — it is an amped-up version of what used to be your go-to crumble recipe.

You can make the cookies and caramel from scratch, or you can use the speedy method with pre-made ingredients. No matter how you bake it, this apple crumble is a dessert showstopper. 

For a different twist, you can use the caramel apple crumble recipe above and add rhubarb. Since the White Transparent apple is such an early picker, the tart tang of rhubarb will be right at home. Add some home churned vanilla ice cream for a good, old fashion finish to your family summer barbeque.

Try White Transparent apples in a cookie recipe like this Apple Oatmeal Cookie. Or make White Transparent apples part of breakfast with this Healthyish Apple Pancake recipe.

Closeup of caramel stuffed apples -- an excellent recipe for using White Transparent Apple tree apples.
Deliciously Easy Caramel Stuffed Apples (click for the recipe).

Health Benefits of Eating Apples

High in vitamin C and fiber, apples are a perfect addition to any healthy eating regimen. Since White Transparent apples might bring a quick pucker to your face, you may want to consider eating them as a sauce or juiced. Just remember, to keep them on the healthy side and go light on the sweetener. 

To learn more about why apples are the best snack for your heart and your waistline, visit our post on the 10 Amazing Health Benefits of Apples. Eating your fruits and vegetables never tasted so good!

Buying The White Transparent or Yellow Transparent Apple Tree

Nature Hills Nursery is our go-to source for quality fruit trees. Their Yellow Transparent (White Transparent) Apple tree is a popular variety. Be first in line when this tree is ready to ship, you will love the way this fruit tree rounds out your harvest with its early picking schedule. 

If you don’t already have a great pollination partner for the White Transparent Apple, order a Granny Smith, Pink Lady, and McIntosh. To get the best pollination possible, you should plant three different varieties with the same bloom time. This not only increases your harvest yield, it also gives you a flavorful fruit variety for your orchard.

Where To Buy White Transparent Apples

You are unlikely to find the White or Yellow Transparent apples in your local supermarket. Their short shelf life makes them less desirable for large grocery chains. They are more suited to pick-your-own growers, where you can harvest and cook them within a day or two.

They are also a favorite at local farm stands and farmers markets. You will find them green since picking them before they are completely ripe lengthens the shelf life and helps them hold their flavor and firmness.

Wrapping Up the White Transparent Tree

Whether you call it the European White Transparent Apple tree or the North American Yellow Transparent Apple tree, either way you will love growing this delightfully juicy and tart cooking apple.

Here at Minnetonka Orchards, we are committed to providing you with the best advice about purchasing, growing, and cooking beautiful fruit. Be sure to join our group of fruit growing enthusiasts by signing up for our newsletter.

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