All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Liberty apple

Liberty was developed at the famous Geneva Research Station in the 1960s.  It is derived from Macoun, and is very much a McIntosh-style apple, with red skin and juicy flesh.  The flavor is well balanced, perhaps sharper than many of the Mac-related varieties but still with the characteristic vinous note.  Its other parent is an un-named research variety derived from Malus floribunda, from which it inherits resistance to scab.

It is grown quite widely in the eastern US, and is being promoted as a good variety for the backyard grower.

There is some evidence that Liberty is a triploid variety, with 3 sets of chromosomes instead of the usual 2 - or perhaps a partial triploid.  However it does not possess many of the typical features seen in triploid varieties (such as large size and vigour).

Last updated 15 Dec 2013.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 3.9 out of 5. Total votes cast: 25

Visitor comments

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

14 Oct 2018 
I went to the orchard today and I finally had an occasion to taste the Liberty apple. I had heard about its great disease resistance and regular heavy crops, but I had to figure it out for myself about the quality of that apple. WoW !! This is an awesome Mac apple. Full, round and intense vinous flavour. Very fruity. Lots of juice. Not as crunchy as Empire but more than Mac Intosh. For fresh eating, among, the 8 Mac style apples I know, Liberty is my favorite.

03 Oct 2018 
We have a tiny bush-like Liberty that's 8 years old and about 4 feet high. Got lots of tasty, good looking, firm, smallish fruit this year!

12 Sep 2018 
My liberty is loaded with fruit this year. Many have little worm holes, but I'm not sure what I can do about it and I don't treat it with anything. Has anyone dried them? If so, how were they and any tips?

05 Sep 2018 
George, It sounds like you may have bitter pit in your Liberty apples, caused by a calcium deficiency. Some apple varieties seem to require more calcium for fruit production than others. Try a calcium foliar spray a couple of times (or milk diluted 1:10) next season after the fruit sets.

04 Sep 2018 
The tree itself is disease resistant and bears heavily at a young age, but you still have to spray the fruit for the usual insect pests, especially apple maggot. To gauge ripeness, check the seeds of the occasional apple that drops. Seeds will turn dark brown as the fruit gets close to being ripe. As you get closer to picking time, check the flavor of a small slice as well. In northeastern Iowa, I have been picking the fruit around the first week of October. The apples have a nice sweet-tart flavor and crisp texture if picked at the peak of ripeness, but aren't nearly so flavorful and crisp if picked a little early or a little late. And don't expect the flavor to improve in storage. Keep the fruit refrigerated for best quality during storage. Liberty apples are not long keepers -- it's best to use them in applesauce, fresh eating, etc. within a few weeks of picking.

06 Oct 2017 
year after year there is discolored spots through the apple, all through each one. My Mac is next to this Liberty. I sprayed twice. the discolored spots are so bad I can't use the fruit. what is wrong ?

16 Sep 2017 
We got our first small crop on 3 year old tree. I am impressed at how delicious they taste. They are wonderfully free of diseases. Only caveat is that they aren't recommended for pies. May try them anyway!

12 Aug 2017 
I love my little tree. I got a gala and a liberty at the same time. My liberty never needs spraying, looks amazing, grows fast and tastes great! I have so many apples in a good year (some years are no good for apples in NY). My gala always looks like it's on the verge of death. Each season it starts out great, but gets diseased quickly. I haven't figured out how to help it, despite trying various sprays. This year, (year 5) the tree still isn't very tall (half the size of the liberty) and has the most apples ever. There are about 15. They taste great, but 15 apples seems a little pathetic.

06 Oct 2016 
Found the Liberty apple in an orchard on Anderson Island WA whilst on holiday from the UK. By far the best apple I have ever tasted and am desperately trying to source a supplier of a Liberty apple tree in the UK.

05 Oct 2016 
Supposedly this is a vigorous tree, but it is very small on M26 after 8 years. (This is prime ground for M26, with other apples doing well on it here.) A coddling moth magnet, Liberty drew the moths away from the other apple trees in my yard. It is hard to wrap each fruitlet early enough. Must clean up leaves in fall or I find scab strikes on lower branches - both leaves and fruit. Must be picked before fully ripe or the apples lose condition in storage after 5 weeks. I sold mine to make room for another apple with more historical interest and less media hype.

08 Nov 2015 
Makes beautiful pink applesauce because of the skin and flesh color if you include the skin. The insect and disease resistance is a plus in my organic orchard. Planted in 1983 on supposedly M7A Rootstock but it's pretty big for that.

02 Dec 2014 
Liberty is clearly of the fameuse/snow and Macintosh lineage with a strong 'vinous' flavor, but more crunch than either of those. To my taste, it is better balanced than a macoun which I find to be a bit too sweet.

11 Feb 2014 
This is probably the most easily cared for tree that I have. It is a prolific producer of decent sized, tastey fruit. They are a great all around appple and keep fairly well when refridgerated after picking. They also make great cider and pie.

19 Nov 2013 
Delicious and juicy only if picked at exactly the right time (second week of October). After that they become mushy and split in the rain even though still hanging on the tree. Before that they are hard and tart. Disappointed.

23 Sep 2013 
Just harvested 9/21/13 and these are very delicious, juicy, and in "high demand". The almost purple color, and full blush, make a beautiful site in the orchard. Be sure to thin the apples starts early on to maximize size, number, and health of the final crop!

24 Apr 2013 
Great tasting apples on a disease resistant, grower friendly tree (I have one on M.26). Beautiful deep red and you can taste the Macoun heritage in them. Prolific.

16 Oct 2012 
A spotless, good looking apple of a good size and from a healthy tree. Ripe in early October, but soon going a bit soft for my tastes. Not an exceptional flavor, but still worth having.

26 Nov 2011 
This is a great Mac-style apple. Use it just like Macs, for fresh eating, sauce, and pies. Also is said to make great cider, although I haven't tried that yet. Seems a little better keeper than other Mac varieties as well -- mine are a little soft but still okay in late November, and I think will last to late December if I don't sauce them all sooner.

05 Oct 2011 
This is the second year for my dwarf and it produced 15 apples in 2011. It has a tendency to drop apples. I was unsure as to when to pick but read that Oct. 5th was the time in central NY. I picked mine on Oct. 4th.

19 Jan 2011 
We have a small orchard (175 trees) about 22 of our trees are Liberty and everyone loves them. The only thing is that they do not all ripen at once. They are very firm and juicy with a tart flavor. We use them in our cider blend, we use them for applesauce and fresh eating.

15 Oct 2010 
I have picked Liberty in a local orchard and kept the fruit three months in common storage. They got a bit soft, but the flavor remained excellent. Fall of '10 I picked a first crop from my little tree out back: superb! The tree puts its strength into fruit and will grow slowly unless you strip it each year for several years. Worth the wait, as this is the best in the McIntosh group for flavor I've found - without ever finding Macoun in prime condition, yet.

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Sounds like an heirloom variety, but actually a modern American apple variety, developed specifically for disease resistance.

Liberty phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Macoun
  • Originates from: United States
  • Introduced: 1978
  • Developed by: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1195
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1984-076
  • We are grateful to Brogdale Farm - home of the UK National Fruit Collection - for providing samples of this variety.


  • Fruit colour: Red
  • Flesh colour: White
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Fruit shape: Flat-round
  • Fruit shape: Short-round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Fruit shape: Round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Conical
  • Shape features (vertical view): Lop-sided, unequal sides, irregular
  • Shape features (vertical view): Oblique - slanted
  • Shape features (vertical view): Symmetrical
  • Shape features (vertical view): Tapering toward calyx end or apex
  • Shape uniformity: Lack Uniformity in size & shape
  • Shape uniformity: Uniform in shape, Variable in size
  • Shape uniformity: Uniform, in size and shape
  • Russet % coverage: Low
  • Russet % coverage: Absent
  • Bloom qualities: Thin White
  • Basin russet: Usually Russet free


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Drying
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Sharp / refreshing
  • Flavour style: Aromatic
  • Flavour style: Vinous
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 2-3 weeks


  • Cropping: Heavy
  • Flowering period: Early-Mid season
  • Flowering group: 2
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Vigour: Slightly large
  • Gardening skill: Very easy
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
  • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999


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

Relationships to other varieties

Parents and other ancestors 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 very resistant - no control needed against CAR.

  • Apples for the 21st Century
    Author: Manhart

Liberty identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Liberty identification photos from website visitors

Photo submitted by Cris Sherman
Photo submitted by Cris Sherman

Liberty apple - New York
Liberty apple - New York

Liberty apples
Liberty apples

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 Liberty 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

United Kingdom

  • N. Buck in Cambridge, CAMBRIDGESHIRE



New Zealand


Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2017 season

  • 13th May  2017  - tree owned by Jessica in Gatineau, Canada

2016 season

  • June  2016  - tree owned by Lori in Otter Creek, United States
  • 25th March  2016  - tree owned by John in Salem, United States

2015 season

  • 17th April  2015  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

2014 season

  • 15th May  2014  - tree owned by Francis in Wilkes Barre, United States
  • 11th May  2014  - tree owned by Karen in Chicago, United States
  • 19th April  2014  - tree owned by Fruittaart in Lynnwood, United States
  • April  2014  - tree owned by Brent in Maple Ridge, Canada

2013 season

  • 7th May  2013  - tree owned by Fruittaart in Lynnwood, United States
  • 4th May  2013  - tree owned by Mark in West Senea, United States
  • 25th April  2013  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States

2012 season

  • 12th May  2012  - tree owned by Fruittaart in Lynnwood, United States
  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
  • 5th May  2012  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
  • 1st May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 11th April  2012  - tree owned by Arwadoo in Srinagar, India
  • 31st March  2012  - tree owned by Dale in Chaseburg, United States

2011 season

  • November  2011  - tree owned by Sandra in Dunedin, New Zealand
  • 19th May  2011  - tree owned by Ron in Orion, United States
  • 16th May  2011  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
  • 1st May  2011  - tree owned by in Holly Hill, United States
  • 12th April  2011  - tree owned by Arwadoo in Srinagar, India

2010 season

  • 5th May  2010  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom
  • 4th May  2010  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States

2009 season

  • 24th April  2009  - tree owned by N. in Cambridge, United Kingdom

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2017 season

  • 3rd week October  2017  - tree owned by Jessica in Gatineau, Canada
  • 2nd week October  2017  - tree owned by Jerry in Warwick, United States

2016 season

  • 1st week October  2016  - tree owned by John in Salem, United States
  • 4th week September  2016  - tree owned by Lori in Otter Creek, United States
  • 3rd week September  2016  - tree owned by Chris in Federal Way, United States

2015 season

  • October  2015  - tree owned by Roger in Madison Heights, United States
  • 1st week September  2015  - tree owned by Gil in Snohomish, United States

2014 season

    2013 season

    • 4th week March  2013  - tree owned by Katrina in Nelson, New Zealand

    2012 season

    • 3rd week October  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
    • 3rd week October  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
    • 2nd week October  2012  - tree owned by Quentin in Tervuren, Belgium
    • 1st week October  2012  - tree owned by Sayre in Olympia, United States
    • 4th week September  2012  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
    • 3rd week March  2012  - tree owned by Sandra in Dunedin, New Zealand

    2011 season

    • 1st week October  2011  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States
    • 3rd week August  2011  - tree owned by in Holly Hill, United States

    2010 season

    • 3rd week September  2010  - tree owned by Dave in Spokane, United States

    2009 season

      Where to buy trees

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

      Where to buy fresh fruit

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