Description of the Cortland apple variety and its characteristics, breeding history and yield

Description of the Cortland apple variety and its characteristics, breeding history and yield

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Cortland apple growing is popular among domestic gardeners. This variety attracts them with its taste and the ability of the fruit to be stored for a long time. The tree itself, due to its compactness, is well suited for growing in summer cottages. But, like any variety, Cortland has its own growing characteristics that must be taken into account if there are plans for a good harvest.

Breeding history of the variety

The variety was bred by American breeders in 1898. To obtain it, employees of the New York Experimental Breeding Station crossed two popular varieties at that time - Macintosh and Ben-Davis. Cortland gained worldwide fame after the First World War.

Description and features

To describe this variety, first of all, it is worth paying attention to two characteristics - the size of the tree and the characteristics of the fruit. This apple tree belongs to both medium-sized and medium-yielding. The fruits are medium in size, but have a pleasant taste and beautiful appearance.

What are the pros and cons of the variety?

Apple tree Kortland is able to boast of advantages that make many domestic gardeners give preference to it:

  • its fruits are stored for a long time;
  • have a pronounced taste;
  • attractive appearance;
  • the plant is compact with a dense crown.

At the same time, one cannot fail to note a number of shortcomings that make some summer residents think about the establishment of this variety:

  • medium resistance to scab damage;
  • low resistance to powdery mildew;
  • average yield.

Those who value yield indicators should pay attention to these features.

Main characteristics of the Cortland apple tree

The Cortland apple tree has a number of characteristics that distinguish it from other famous varieties. They concern both the tree itself and the fruit.

Tree size

Apple trees of the Kortland variety differ in average height, which does not exceed six meters. Their crown is wide, with a somewhat pronounced pyramid.

The trees are strong. The gray-burgundy bark on the trunk has no roughness, smooth. A distinctive feature of the shoots is a significant number of small lentils. In addition, they have a burgundy color and a lowered shape. Rarely take a form other than straight.

The edges of the leaves are coarse. And their plates are flat. In general, foliage is dense. At the same time, the underside of the leaf is matte, gray-green, and the top is shiny and bright. Fruit development takes place on their ringlets.

Fruit assessment

Apples of this variety do not differ in size and significant weight - up to 130 grams. The shape of the fruit is somewhat elongated, streamlined. The skin is soft and thin.

The color of unripe fruits is greenish-yellow with barely noticeable red stripes. The haze is clearly visible. As they mature, they become redder. Another distinctive feature of apples is a bluish bloom.

But these are not the only features of the Cortland fruit. Also noted:

  • significant size of the cone-shaped recess of the stalk;
  • small size of the cup, which is either slightly open or completely closed;
  • the upper pit of the fruit is small;
  • free and wide seed chambers;
  • flesh with a whitish tinge and redness around the edges;
  • rich aroma.

The stem of this variety is small in size and green in color, which turns yellow when the apples are ripe.

Winter hardiness

Cortland is a winter-hardy variety. Bred in North America and able to withstand extreme cold temperatures. Thanks to this, it is suitable for growing in most regions of Russia, even with the most severe climates.

Disease resistance

Exceptional resistance to disease and pests is why, not least, the Cortland apple trees are so popular. But this does not mean that they are not amazed by them in principle. Unfortunately, there are two diseases from which these plants can still suffer, under certain unfavorable conditions:

  • powdery mildew;
  • scab.

The main symptom of powdery mildew is a gray-white coating on the leaves. Over time, the foliage that is affected by the disease turns brown and falls off. Plaque also appears on the shoots. Later, they lose their shape and die off.

Disease and inflorescences, as well as fruits, do not bypass. Symptoms are the same as with shoot damage. A rusty mesh forms on the fruit.

The main condition for development (powdery mildew, scab) is called cool summer nights in combination with high humidity. The fallout of morning dew drops plays a role.

Fruiting frequency

The variety belongs to those that start bearing fruit quickly. If it is grafted onto a dwarf rootstock, then the first crop is obtained in the third year.

The tree blooms from about mid-May. In the Middle Strip, during a cool spring, the beginning of the process is delayed until the beginning of June. By the time of fruit ripening, it is classified as pre-winter - fruits are harvested in mid-October.

Fruiting is equally regular, both in grafted apple trees and in those grown from a seedling. The latter, by the way, begin to harvest in the sixth year. The overall yield is average.


This apple variety has an average yield, which, under favorable conditions, turns into a large one. At the same time, it bears fruit regularly. Bad harvest years are rare for him.

Distribution regions

This variety is widespread in almost all regions of Russia, except for the Far North. It is often found in the Volgograd and Saratov regions, where the conditions for growing apples are suitable.


The Cortland apple tree is loved for many things - for its pleasant taste and beautiful appearance, for its durability and ability to survive various climatic features. Does not require constant care when growing.

The main thing is to prevent scab and powdery mildew infestation. To do this, avoid damp places and use prophylactic drugs in wet, cool years.

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