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Shenandoah apple

This apple variety takes its name from the Shenandoah valley, an apple-growing area of Virginia and West Virginia where it was first grown. In appearance it resembles the classic English apples of the 19th century, but its ancestry is all-American. Although Shenandoah was developed in the 1940s, it comes from traditional old American varieties, Winesap and Opalescent.

Like Opalescent, Shenandoah is a fairly large apple. When grown in the UK the flavour is sweet, with a slightly dry texture. In some ways it is quite similar to Kidds Orange Red, but without the full richness of that variety. It is perhaps not outstanding as a dessert apple, but versatile as a cooking apple - it keeps its shape when cooked, so for a really traditional American apple pie, Shenandoah is the ideal apple.

The Shenandoah Valley has a long history of apple growing, and there is an annual 6-day Apple Blossom Festival in the city of Winchester.

USDA identification images for Shenandoah

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

    Tree register

    United States

    United Kingdom

    Harvest records for this variety

    2015 season

    • October  2015  - tree owned by Roger in Madison Heights, United States


    • Species: Malus domestica - Apple
    • Parentage: Opalescent
    • Originates from: United States
    • Introduced: 1940s
    • UK National Fruit Collection accession: 1974-071


    • Country of origin: United States
    • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999
    • Fruit colour: Green / Yellow
    • Flower colour: White
    • Leaf colour: Green
    • Annual cycle: Deciduous
    • Flesh colour: Cream
    • Fruit size: Large


    • Picking season: Late
    • Keeping (of fruit): 3 months or more
    • Flavour quality: Very good
    • Cropping: Heavy
    • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening
    • Food uses: Eating fresh
    • Picking month: September
    • Picking period: late September
    • Wildlife: RHS Plants for Pollinators


    • Gardening skill: Average
    • Flowering group: 3
    • Pollinating others: Average
    • Ploidy: Diploid
    • Vigour: Slightly large
    • Precocity: Precocious
    • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer
    • Attractive features: Attractive flowers
    • Self-fertility: Not self-fertile
    • Sunlight: Prefers full sun
    • Growth habit: Upright-spreading / Vase


    • Cold hardiness (USDA): (5) -20F / -29C
    • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
    • Climate suitability: Warm climates
    • Cold-hardiness: Cold-hardy
    • Summer average maximum temperatures: Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)

    Other qualities

    • Disease resistance: Good
    • Fire blight: Some resistance

    Where to buy trees

    The following tree nurseries offer Shenandoah apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy fresh fruit

    No orchards have registered as growing this variety. If you grow this and want to register please go to our Orchard Registration form.

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