The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards

Cortland apple



Cortland is a typical McIntosh style apple variety, and ranks about 12th in terms of US apple production.  However nearly all that production takes place in New York State, almost within sight of Cornell University where it was developed at the start of the 20th century.

Cortland is also widely grown across the border in Quebec and Ontario, and it has proven itself to be well-suited to the freezing temperatures experienced around the Great Lakes.

As with all McIntosh varieties, Cortland is at its best when eaten soon after being picked.  The sweet flavour fades quickly, as does the crispness.

An interesting characteristic of Cortland is that the flesh does not go brown very rapidly after being cut.

The cut-out photo in our description is of a UK-grown Cortland apple, whereas the other photos are from the USA and Canada, showing how the sunny but cold autumn climate of North America produces a better colour than the cloudy mild climate of the UK.

Last updated 27 Jan 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.6 out of 5. Total votes cast: 19
 

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

07 Jan 2014 
This is probably one of my favorite apple varieties. I must be spoiled, because they are so easy to get around here, and normally with very good quality as well.


06 Dec 2013 
This is my FAVORITE apple!!! I use them to to make jelly, pies, apple sauce, cider, fruit leather and all around eating too. I have two trees, and the apples I don't get, my two Labrador Retrievers get. They have a 20ft x 20ft kennel, and wait at the door every day and run right by me to get the latest droppings. The only apple I want!!!


20 Oct 2013 
Cortland is my favorite apple of all time. I will travel miles just to get a bag of Cortland over any other variety sold at local stores.


15 Oct 2013 
Our local Cortland was only identified a few short days ago. The apples are incredibly large, tart/sweet, make FABULOUS chunky applesauce. The apples hold their shape well, and I'm excited to try them in pies and strudels. We are seeking advice about pruning this tree to help it generate more fruit. If the size of the trunk is any indication, this is at least an 80 yr old tree. It is a true sentinel.


30 Sep 2013 
Our apple tree is 50 years old and always bears fruit, but this year was amazing. We harvested almost 500 pounds of fruit from our one tree! Some apples were softball-size, but most were a little bigger than baseballs. It is a descendant of one of the 100-year-old apple trees in a local orchard. Apparently 101 varieties were originally grown there.


07 Jan 2013 
Bo - Tender flesh with a mild sweet honey flavor and medium mealy texture Brent - A nice cross between sweet and tart. Great apple for mid afternoon treat.


27 Oct 2012 
Cortlands are so very hard to find. Past couple years, have been available at our local farmer's market. The absolute best apple I have ever tasted. I am spoiled -- wish they were more readily available.


09 Oct 2012 
If McIntosh can tend toward the mealy, the Cortland I just ate tended toward the hard and a bit fibrous. Tough peel. Flavor is very good though, very reminiscent of McIntosh, but sweeter. Don't often see them in Texas and was glad to try it.


09 Jun 2011 
Cortland is my favorite apple for everything. But living in Texas it is hard to find. I have only found one store in Austin that carries them and then it is not for very long. Either Oct. or Nov. There is not very many apples grown in Texas. Too hot. They need a cold winter.


14 May 2011 
Lee einerlee@yahoo.com Las Vegas, NM My cortland bore last year for the first time; the flavor was a nice balance of sweet and tart, and the texture was deliciously crisp. My only criticism is that while acidity and sweetness were well balanced and the texture was great, it did not have the complexity of flavor which some apples do. Still, I'm already looking forward to this season's harvest.


29 Dec 2010 
The perfect apple! Even Oprah, our chihuahua, loves them. Cool, crisp, and not too tart. So good I am trying to grow them myself.


09 Dec 2010 
Cortland is our favorite apple but is hard to find here in Iowa. The local Wilson's Orchards has just a few Cortland trees so we call frequently in the fall so we can pick when Cortlands are at their peak. My wife loves to eat them crisp & tart while I wait for Cortlands to age into a softer mellow taste. So we have to pick a lot so some can survive the wife to make it to mellow.


10 Nov 2010 
after reading some comments on taste ,,,i find this apple to be all over the place in taste ,,it varies greatly ,, sometimes so tart i can hardly bite into one without crimping my face,,and they are usually firm with that ,,,,, other occasions they are soft and sweet ,,,, this has been a real ''depends'' apple for us i also agree with albasemi on size,,i have never seen a mac get as large as the larger cortland ps, im eating homemade cortland sauce just off the fire as i speak,,,,


10 Nov 2010 
this apple can be my favorite eating apple ,,depends on the yr. climate ,, orchard and even tree,,,,we frequent orchards that have them ,,,they are getting popular in this area now,,,i prefer the yrs that produce the tartest cortlands ,,,, when cooking ,i make sure not to overcook,,they tend to soften to much,, out of season they are horrid ,,,we call then sawdusty around here , but ,,when they are right ,,,wow,,,,dynamite


31 Oct 2010 
I don't like this apple at all. The texture is mushy and I bought these while in season in Michigan. A waste of money. Even the Honeycrisp "seconds" are better than these


21 Oct 2010 
This apple is incredible


13 Sep 2010 
This is my favorite apple for pie making and for raw apple cake. We had an apple farm nearby where we could buy this variety in Wisconsin, but it is very hard to find here in Missouri. Most supermarkets never carry it in our area, although a few farms have a limited supply.


11 Jan 2010 
To me, Cortland is the very definition of "apple". Its semi-sweet, juicy, flavorful flesh and versatility has made it my favorite apple for many years. It is great for eating, and for pies, but especially my favorite, for applesauce. I have recently sampled about 15 different varieties of apple in the quest to find the perfect apple for me, but Cortland remains unmatched in flavor and versatility. It is the most appley apple! If I had to complain about Cortland, it would be two things. First, the skin is relatively tough and tastes "green" to me. So I prefer getting rid of the peels, though it's not terrible, just preference maybe. And the other thing is that before too long (a month or two), the flesh becomes mealy and lifeless, even in cold storage. But eat them fresh, or make pies and sauce with them after they age, and it won't matter in the slightest.


09 Jan 2010 
The best all round, all purpose apple there is. Cortland is very hardy and grows extremely well here in Western, NY. It ripens in mid-September and is sweeter than its cousin, the Macintosh. You can do everything with this apple from fresh eating, pies, cider, sauce, etc. Another advantage is that the flesh does not brown quickly or hardly at all after you slice it. I like it best during the first pickings when the apple is still a little green and has a bit more tart flavor.


21 Aug 2009 
The Cortland apple is my favorite apple, but it highly depends on when in the season you get them (later seems to be better) and where they come from. I don't pay enough attention to know where and when exactly the best Cortland can be had, but I used to work at a supermarket and sometimes we'd get these giant Cortland apples that were the most delicious apples I've ever tasted. Cortland apples also make great pies, but you have to take care to cook them well enough since they tend to require more time than a traditional Macintosh apple.


24 Jul 2009 
Cortlands are a very common variety here in Ontario,Canada.Like a Mac, but larger, a bit sweeter & usually more fragrant. They're excellent because they don't brown as quick as most other kinds(fruit plates/dip etc).They keep a bit better than Macs, too, in the cellar & refrigerator.A really nice apple. Pretty good for pies, too,although not as good as Northern Spy.


12 Jul 2009 
I like to add a Chopped Macintosh Apple to my (Raw, uncooked) Quick Cook Oat Meal, along with Raising and Peanuts, plus Grassfed Org. Cow's Milk. I like the mixed Sweet/tartness and crunchiness of the Macintosh Apples, especially. My local Grocery Store has began carrying these Cortland apples, quite recently--and, since I'm currently Ill, and unable to go shopping, I'm taking advantage of their ishop online Feature. This will essentially keep me from being able to feel, smell, and judge the fruit on my own. Based on my above description, what do you think I may find that is different in Flavor, Crunchiness, or the Balance of Sweet/Tart/Juiciness I've come to appreciate from the Macintoshes, in these Hybrid Cortlands? I'd very much appreciate a quick Answer. Cordially, Clarisse L. Dodge, York, PA, USA PS. Until recently I didn't know that the Apples I liked so, in my breakfast were the Macintoshes, I just bought them, for their lower price than the Red Delicious, which I never knew whether they'd be juicy, sweet and crunchy, or pulpy, dry and tasteless. i was glad to find out the Apples I liked so much were the(lower-cost) Macintoshes.


10 Oct 2008 
This is lovely apple! Visibly and in flavor it reminds one very much of McIntosh, one of its parents, except that the skin's color is much more uniformly red, and that red is darker. The flesh is bright white, so when sliced into wedges there is an interesting color contrast between the bright white flesh and the dark ruby red skin. In flavor it is akin to McIntosh, but less acidic, and perhaps with a stronger perfume. In my experience Cortland apples are also often larger than McIntosh apples.



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One of the more successful McIntosh offspring, with all the usual characteristics, including the sweet vinous flavour.

Cortland phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Ben Davis x McIntosh
  • Originates from: Geneva, New York, United States
  • Introduced: 1915
  • Developed by: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1189
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession number: 1976-139
  • We are grateful to Brogdale Farm - home of the UK National Fruit Collection - for providing samples of this variety.

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Red
  • Flesh colour: White
  • Flesh colour: Pale Pink or Red
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Bultitude apple group: 6. Red flushed, smooth, sweet

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Cooking result: Textured puree
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Vinous
  • Harvest period: Mid season

Growing

  • Flowering period: Mid season
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Fertility: Partially self-fertile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Period of origin: 1900 - 1949

Climate

  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Climate suitability: Tolerates cold winters

Disease resistance

  • Scab  - Some susceptibility
  • Fireblight  - Some susceptibility
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Offspring of this variety:

References and further reading about this variety

  • Cedar-Apple Rust  
    Author: Stephen Vann, University of Arkansas, Division of Agriculture (FSA7538)
    Rated as susceptible - control usually needed where CAR is prevalent.

Cortland identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Cortland identification photos from website visitors


Red Cortland, Ontario
Red Cortland, Ontario

Organic Cortland apples in New Hampshire
Organic Cortland apples in New Hampshire

Cortland apple from Ontario
Cortland apple from Ontario


Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Cortland trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United States

Canada



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2014 season

  • 4th June  2014  - tree owned by David in TWO RIVERS, United States
  • 24th May  2014  - tree owned by D. in TORONTO, Canada
  • 13th May  2014  - tree owned by Alison in HADLEY, United States
  • 3rd May  2014  - tree owned by baker3@wildblue.net in THAWVILLE, United States
  • May  2014  - tree owned by Alison in BURTCHVILLE, United States
  • 25th April  2014  - tree owned by J.P.Curry in STURGEON, United States

2013 season

  • 1st June  2013  - tree owned by David in TWO RIVERS, United States
  • 19th May  2013  - tree owned by Mike in WESTFIELD, United States
  • 12th May  2013  - tree owned by Robert in PLAINFIELD, United States
  • 9th May  2013  - tree owned by Alison in HADLEY, United States
  • May  2013  - tree owned by Virginia in LANDER, United States

2012 season

  • 1st June  2012  - tree owned by Patsy in MONT-TREMBLANT, Canada
  • 16th May  2012  - tree owned by David in TWO RIVERS, United States
  • 7th May  2012  - tree owned by Peter in BRIDGETOWN, Canada
  • 20th April  2012  - tree owned by Chuck in WORTHINGTON, United States
  • 22nd March  2012  - tree owned by J.P.Curry in STURGEON, United States

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2014 season

  • 3rd week October  2014  - tree owned by David in TWO RIVERS, United States
  • September  2014  - tree owned by Alison in BURTCHVILLE, United States

2013 season

  • 3rd week October  2013  - tree owned by David in TWO RIVERS, United States
  • 4th week September  2013  - tree owned by Robert in PLAINFIELD, United States
  • September  2013  - tree owned by Virginia in LANDER, United States

2012 season

  • 4th week September  2012  - tree owned by David in TWO RIVERS, United States
  • 4th week August  2012  - tree owned by Peter in BRIDGETOWN, Canada

Where to buy apple trees

The following fruit tree nurseries offer Cortland apple trees for sale:

Where to buy apples

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