• Record your blossom dates!
  • Our fruit tree register lets you record your spring blossom dates from year to year.More>
Orange Pippin logo
All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Novaspy apple

Novaspy is a further development of the "Nova" series of apples from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada based in Nova Scotia. As the name suggests it has Northern Spy in its ancestry.

Novaspy apple identification images

All images copyright Orange Pippin unless otherwise stated.

  • Novaspy

USDA identification images for Novaspy

The identification paintings in the USDA Pomological Watercolor Collection span the years 1886 to 1942.

    Citation: U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705.

    Parents and other ancestors of this variety

    Visitor reviews

    • 12 Oct 2022 
      Sadly disappointed. Anyone fami,iar with the tart snap of a Northern Spy will find this variety to be a very poor substitute. Just a fail on every level.
    • 05 Nov 2019  MT, United States
      I LOVE this apple variety. I purchased a semi-dwarf bare root from Gurney's in 2005. It bore a crop of small apples in the second year after planting. It has produced a HUGE crop of medium-sized bright red round and spritely-sweet apples very late in the season (ripe and ready the last week of October consistently) each year. It is a 10 foot tall tree, the spread is 9 feet, with arching healthy strong branches that nearly touch the ground when loaded with apples! A strikingly beautiful form all year, the blooms come on the same time as a Ranetka crab Appletree across the yard in my zone 4 (ish) orchard. Early May. Sometimes hard freezes of 10 degrees F or snow can cover the blooms and yet I still get a great crop! The apples are so rich, especially when baked or dried, and store in the fridge until at least August. An amazing variety! Since it has survived and produced so well for me I am putting in more trees this spring of the Nova Spy, and also some Northern and Prairie Spy apples, as I had good luck with them also, though never got a crop due to cows and deer loving to eat the trees. The deer and horses will pass up Honeycrisp, Zestar!, any of the crabapple trees, in favor of the branches of the little Spy trees. Go figure!! I have to guard the Nova Spy closely, and I might add the deer do all of the pruning work.
    • 22 Mar 2016  NEW HAMPSHIRE, United States
      The magic marker words were unclear or I probably wouldn't have bought them as I was seeking Northern Spy. It was very disappointing to bite into it and find instead of the fresh, clean, sprightly flavor I expected a cloying heavy flavor that reminded me of a Delicious apple. The texture is also, although not mealy exactly, softer. I will be sure to avoid this variety in the future. The apples came from Champlain Orchards in Shoreham, Vermont, and I got them at the Hanover Co-op store in Lebanon, New Hampshire. My husband had the same reaction to these apples. We have a Northern Spy tree, but we do not store them over the winter and I am very happy when I can ind them in a store. The Co-op has had real Northern Spys, which I think were from Poverty Lane Orchard in Lebanon, New Hampshire, so I guess I was hopeful that these were the same. Alas, not so. It doesn't taste bad, it just tastes too much like so many others, and there is nothing like a real heirloom spy. I like many kinds of apples: Golden russet and Ashamed kernel, the bright tiny Wickson, Winesap, Spitzenberg, the macoun-macintosh-courtland family in season (not so good after storage), to name a few. And Baldwins, thankfully now showing up occasionally in my neighborhood after too many years of absence.

    Tree register

    United States


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Nova EasyGro x (Northern Spy x Golden Delicious)
    • Originates from: Nova Scotia, Canada
    • Introduced: 1986
    • Developed by: Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Kentville, Nova Scotia


    • Country of origin: Canada
    • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999
    • Fruit colour: Orange / Red
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous
    • Fruit size: Large


    • Picking season: Late
    • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
    • Flavour quality: Good
    • Flavour style (apples): Sharper
    • Cropping: Good
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Food uses: Culinary
    • Food uses: Juice
    • Picking month: October
    • Picking period: early October
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Average vigour
    • Precocity: Precocious
    • Bearing regularity: Regular
    • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
    • Organic culture: Suitable
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile


    • Cold hardiness (USDA): Zone 4 (-34C)
    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Climate suitability: Mild damp climates
    • Cold-hardiness: Cold-hardy
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Cool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Good
    • Fire blight: Very resistant
    • Scab (Apple and Pear): Some resistance

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Novaspy apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    The following orchards grow Novaspy:

    United States


    Varieties you viewed