Northern Spy Apple

Immature Northern Spy Apple

Immature Northern Spy Apple

I’ve got about 14 or 15 different varieties of apples in my small orchard – I think… could be more.

The truth be told I’m not exactly sure because I failed to keep track of the apple trees years ago when I planted them. But what I am sure of is that I have two Northern Spy apple trees and they are in my top 10 favorite trees in the orchard.
In fact they are my personal pets.

Northern Spy apples are thin skin apples that are mainly grown in the northeastern part of the US and Canada. They are a wonderful cider and baking apple and are sometimes known as a “Northern Pie Apple”.

Northern Spy trees take a longer time to mature and bear fruit when compared to other apples, but the wait is so worth it.

The apples are firm, large and very crisp. Northern Spy apples ripen about mid-October which is later than other apples and they keep wonderfully well in storage.
And because they are late bloomers in the spring they are not as subject to late frost damage as other varieties. If I could only have one or two apple trees it would be Northern Spy without a doubt.


Katherine Grossman

Katherine Grossman was born and raised in the greater Washington, D.C area. But for the last 30 years Mrs. Grossman has lived a life of deliberate self-reliance in rural western Pennsylvania. She loves to garden, knit mittens; makes a killer meatloaf and has been known to deliver triplet lambs with her eyes closed. 


  4 comments for “Northern Spy Apple

  1. Jerry P
    June 22, 2013 at 7:40 am

    We had these on the farm when I was growing up. Great eating apple after some time in storage. It’s a shame you seldom see these for sale.

    • KMG
      June 22, 2013 at 9:32 am

      Jerry –
      You’re right about Northern Spy apples being a good eating apple :-)
      I’m not sure why they are not as popular in cool climate home orchards,except perhaps because there is little demand – hence little nursery production.
      I’m pretty sure they don’t come to general market because big orchards don’t have the time or resources to bother with a tree that is so late maturing, and due to the fact Northern Spy are somewhat susceptible to Fire Blight.

  2. Ginny
    June 22, 2013 at 6:55 pm

    Enjoyed your site before and was sorry to see you go. Just discovered you again when I did a Google search for ‘Homesteading’.
    So many things to learn from homesteaders.
    Thank You for being there.

    • KMG
      June 22, 2013 at 7:01 pm

      Glad you found me again :-)

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