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York Imperial

YORK or York Imperial was originally named Johnson's Fine Winter. There are a number of strains and cultivars of this dessert apple. It originated on the Johnson farm near York, Pennsylvania, and was introduced in 1830. Johnson watched school children digging out leaf-covered apples that were in a remarkable state of preservation in the early spring. A local nurseryman propagated it before 1830 under the name Johnson's Fine Winter, until Charles Downing in the 1850s called it an "imperial keeper," and suggested it be named York Imperial. The fruit is medium to large in size, and variable, from an oblate-oblique to an oval-oblong shape, the greenish-yellow skin is mostly covered with a light-red flush, carmine stripes and russet dots. Often it is streaked with grayish scarfskin. The yellow flesh is coarse-textured, crisp and juicy, with a sprightly subacid to sweet flavor, that remains even after long storage. The tree grows upright and stocky with dark-green oval leaves that are shiny and slightly serrated. The core of the apple is small and compact. There are 175 to 185 days from full bloom to fruit maturity. York ripens in October

Ripening Period

  • Mid Fall - October