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Malus domestica 'Empire'

Common Name(s):

Phonetic Spelling
MAY-lus doh-MESS-tik-a
Description

The Empire apple tree is a semi-dwarf cultivar, a cross between McIntosh and Red Delicious apple varieties. It is more McIntosh-like than Red Delicious. It grows up to 15 feet and has the same spread, therefore, it can be a good selection for smaller spaces than the standard apple tree which grows up to 18 to 25 feet.

Dwarf rootstock trees need another variety of apple tree to help with pollination. Good companion pollination trees for the Empire include Golden or Red Delicious or Gala varieties or a crabapple with a similar bloom period.

Semi-dwarf or dwarf trees need slightly more enriched, loamy soil that holds moisture but drains well and is slightly acidic, with a pH in the 6.0 to 6.5 range.

It is susceptible to Scab and Powdery Mildew, as are most apple trees, along with a number of other diseases and insects such as aphids. Planting the tree in full sun and not over-fertilizing in late summer can help protect from some fungal conditions. Check with your county Cooperative Extension office for local treatment advice if needed.   

 

VIDEO Created by Elisabeth Meyer for "Edibles, Bulbs, and Houseplants" a plant identification course offered in partnership with Longwood Gardens.   

More information on Malus domestica.

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Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun#white flowers#edible fruits
 
Cultivars / Varieties:
Tags:
#deciduous#full sun#white flowers#edible fruits
  • Attributes:
    Genus:
    Malus
    Species:
    domestica
    Family:
    Rosaceae
    Life Cycle:
    Woody
    Recommended Propagation Strategy:
    Grafting
    Country Or Region Of Origin:
    Asia, Europe, North America
    Wildlife Value:
    bees, butterflies, hummingbirds
    Edibility:
    The fruit has a dark red over green background. It tastes juicy, firm, crunchy and sweet. Ripens from Mid-September until January. It is great for salads and fresh eating, good for sauce, baking and pies.
    Dimensions:
    Height: 12 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
    Width: 12 ft. 0 in. - 15 ft. 0 in.
  • Whole Plant Traits:
    Plant Type:
    Edible
    Tree
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Growth Rate:
    Medium
    Maintenance:
    High
  • Cultural Conditions:
    Light:
    Full sun (6 or more hours of direct sunlight a day)
    Soil pH:
    Acid (<6.0)
    Neutral (6.0-8.0)
    Soil Drainage:
    Good Drainage
    Available Space To Plant:
    12-24 feet
    NC Region:
    Coastal
    Mountains
    USDA Plant Hardiness Zone:
    4b, 4a, 5b, 5a, 6b, 6a, 7b, 7a
  • Fruit:
    Fruit Type:
    Pome
    Fruit Description:
    The apple is red and medium sized. It is good for eating as is, in salads, or for cooking or baking.
  • Flowers:
    Flower Color:
    Pink
    White
    Flower Inflorescence:
    Corymb
    Cyme
    Umbel
    Flower Bloom Time:
    Spring
    Flower Petals:
    4-5 petals/rays
    Flower Description:
    The flower starts with a pink outer petal tint and then opens to a white bloom in April. The blooms grow in clusters at the ends of stems. The flower structure (stem placement) is described differently in different references. This may be due to variations in flower presentation variations by different cultivars.
  • Leaves:
    Woody Plant Leaf Characteristics:
    Deciduous
    Leaf Color:
    Green
    Leaf Type:
    Simple
    Leaf Arrangement:
    Alternate
    Leaf Shape:
    Ovate
    Hairs Present:
    No
  • Stem:
    Stem Is Aromatic:
    No
  • Landscape:
    Landscape Location:
    Meadow
    Naturalized Area
    Landscape Theme:
    Edible Garden
    Attracts:
    Bees
    Butterflies
    Hummingbirds
    Pollinators