The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards

Zestar!® apple



Zestar! is a early season apple that comes from the University of Minnesota breeding program (trademarked, USPP#11367).  It is a good solid early apple, with a sweet-tart taste and a hint of brown sugar flavoring.  The apple is medium in size, round, with red cover over 60-75% of the skin depending on sun exposure, and yellow undercolor.  The flesh is white with a crisp texture, and while a nice texture for cooking the apple does tend to brown fairly quickly.

For an early season apple the taste is very good, and it also has a good shelf-life of a couple months.  It is one of the parents of the new popular US variety, Sweetango.

Zestar! was developed for cold-hardiness, and performs best in cool climates. It is hardy down to zone 4.

Last updated 29 Jan 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.5 out of 5. Total votes cast: 24
 

Visitor comments

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

21 Oct 2013 
Kurt - If you just bought it and ate it (close to the date of your review), the fruit was likely picked upwards of 6 weeks ago. The mealiness you experienced was probably a result of bad shipping or storage. A properly stored Zestar will never be mealy. Zestar doesn't have the highest flavor intensity, but it should have been tart with a good sweetness.


15 Oct 2013 
Wow from the comments I've been reading, Byerly's must have had them mislabeled. But, I don't think so. It was a pretty apple from the outside, one bite...it was mealy, lacked flavor...I wouldn't even think of cooking with them. I think the UofM needs to go back to the drawing board!


27 Sep 2013 
I bet this apple will be great for use in baking were you want an apple that is crisp and tart, yet still has a sweetness to it. No hint of the brown sugar taste that was in the describtion, however reminds me of the candy "Sweet-Tarts".


11 Sep 2012 
Purchased these recently (9/6/12) , hadn't seen them before. These are EXCEPTIONAL! Sweet & tart, juicy, crisp...what more could one want in an apple?


08 Sep 2012 
I usually won't eat apples from the grocery store (preferring "real" apples from the fruit stand), but Zestar made the cut. It's tart and nearly as full-bodied in flavor as Winesap, but with a crispness that keeps my husband happy. Top notch!


03 Sep 2012 
Very fragrant, sweet-tangy, crisp, light apple with floral tones. I also did not detect brown sugar taste, but it did remind me of some kind of candy - not sure what kind!


27 Aug 2012 
We just discovered this apple at our local orchard. We love the taste, sweet yet with some tartness. I am a diehard Cortland fan, but Zestar will definately be my early season apple.


30 Sep 2011 
This is one of the very best newer apples out there. Very crunchy and juicy, and much more smackingly tart than sweet, with just a very pleasant appley flavor. (I also do NOT detect any "brown sugar" flavor at all.) I would guess this should be a great apple for cooking and cider making as well as fresh eating -- very versatile! Can't wait to make some cider of this one!!


19 Sep 2011 
"Zest" is the word. If you like an apple to open your eyes and slap your taste buds than this is the apple for you. It is crisp with sweetness to balance the zing. Keeps well for an early apple.


31 Aug 2011 
A very tasty apple, a very nice sweet-tart combo. Supposedly it tastes of brown sugar, but I do not detect that. It is crisp and the skin is delicious as well as the fruit. Will definetly buy it again.



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Early season apple with a good crisp sweet-tart flavor.

Zestar! phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: State Fair x MN 1691
  • Originates from: Minnesota, United States
  • Introduced: 1999
  • Developed by: University of Minnesota
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1992

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Red / Green 60-85% red over green base

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Flavour quality: Good
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Harvest period: Early season
  • Use / keeping: 1-2 months

Growing

  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering period: Very early season
  • Flowering group: 1
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Vigour: Slightly large
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Precocity: Precocious
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer

Climate

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

Disease resistance

  • Mildew  - Some resistance
  • Fireblight  - Some resistance
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some resistance
  • Scab  - Very susceptible

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors of this variety:

Offspring of this variety:

Zestar! identification photos from website visitors


Zestar!
Zestar!

Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota
Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota


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 Zestar! 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

2013 season

  • 15th May  2013  - tree owned by Mike in WESTFIELD, United States
  • May  2013  - tree owned by Brenda in MARION, United States

2012 season

  • 18th April  2012  - tree owned by Chuck in WORTHINGTON, United States

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2013 season

  • 3rd week August  2013  - tree owned by Brenda in MARION, United States

2012 season

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