New York State Fruit


Apple: New York State Fruit

(Genus Malus)

Adopted in 1976.

The apple, (Genus Malus,) was adopted as New York State fruit in 1976. Apples are sweet and crisp, and many varieties are grown in New York such as Golden Delicious, McIntosh, and Winesap.

Apples were introduced in the 1600s by European settlers who brought seeds to New York. Dried apples were a staple for colonists and hard apple cider was a popular drink.

New York State Fruit: Apple

Apple: New York State Fruit

The apple is the pomaceous fruit of the apple tree, Malus domestica of the rose family (Rosaceae). It is one of the most widely cultivated tree fruits, and the most widely known of the many members of genus Malus that are used by humans. Apples grow on deciduous trees which are large if grown from seed, but small if grafted onto roots (rootstock). The tree originated in Central Asia, where its wild ancestor, Malus sieversii, is still found today. Apples have been grown for thousands of years in Asia and Europe, and were brought to North America by European colonists. Apples have been present in the mythology and religions of many cultures, including Norse, Greek and Christian traditions. In 2010, the fruit's genome was decoded as part of research on disease control and selective breeding in apple production.

The alternate, simple, toothed leaves of Apple are variable in size and shape. Mature Apple trees often have extensive development of spur branches, although they are frequently lacking on and fast growing young branches at the outer edge of the canopy, and on young plants. The dense, almost wooly hairs on the buds can be a helpful character to confirm the identity of Apple. Bark of mature trunks tends to have a smooth inner layer with a subtle reddish hue, and peeling sections of an outer grayish layer. Bark of young branches is often smooth and much different in appearance then the bark of mature trunks. The growth form of Apple trees (even escapes) grown in full sun is distinctive and familiar to many people. The trunk divides low into several major branches and the canopy is typically as wide or wider than tall. Escapes developing under (with) forest canopy are usually taller and less spreading of form and may require closer examination.

New York Apple Facts

What is New York's rank in apple production? New York is the second largest apple producing state in the United States.

How many apples does New York State grow? New York State averages 29.5 million bushels of production annually.

Where are the majority of apples grown? Apples are grown on 51,097 bearing acres in six major production districts throughout the entire state: Champlain Valley; Eastern Hudson Valley; Western Hudson Valley; Central; Lake Country; and
Niagara Frontier

Where are the other major apple producing counties? Major apple producing counties are: Wayne, Ulster, Orleans, Niagara, Clinton, Columbia, Monroe, Orange, Onondaga and Dutchess.

How many apple growers are there? There are approximately 694 commercial apple growers in New York State.

What happens to all those apples? On average, 13,250,000 million bushels (53%) are utilized as fresh fruit:

  • 662,500 bushels (5%) are marketed directly by growers and "roadside markets".
  • 1,325,000 bushels (10%) are exported to other countries.
  • 11,262,000 bushels (85%) are marketed domestically through independent and chain supermarkets, food service and military outlets.

On average, 11,750,00 bushels (47%) are utilized for processing:

  • 4,465,000 bushels (38%) are processed into juice and cider.
  • 5,522,500 bushels (47%) are processed into canned products, including sauce, slices and pie filling.
  • 1,175,000 bushels (10%) are processed into frozen slices .
  • 587,500 bushels (5%) are processed into vinegar, jelly, apple butter, mincemeat, and dried products.

What are the top 10 varieties grown in New York State?  The top 10 varieties in descending order of production volume are: McIntosh, Empire, Red Delicious, Cortland, Golden Delicious, Rome, Idared, Crispin, Paula Red, and in 10th position Gala, Jonagold and Jonamac.

How are apples promoted in New York State? New York State grown and packed apples are promoted by the New York Apple Association under the Apple Country? brand and logo.

What other varieties of apples are grown in New York State? New York State grows and markets more commercial varieties of fresh eating apples than any other region of the country, including the 19 most popular varieties:

McIntosh; Empire; Red Delicious; Cortland; Crispin; Golden Delicious; Acey Mac; Idared; Ginger Gold; Jerseymac; Paula Red; Jonagold; Macoun; Jonamac; Fuji; Gala; Rome; Braeburn; and Fortune

More apple facts:

New York apple packers and shippers utilize cutting-edge technology in the storing, grading and packing of fruit. New York pioneered the development of "CA"(controlled atmosphere) storage of apples, and is in the forefront of electronic size, color and quality grading technologies

New York State growers are adapting new cultural methods such as Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which uses scientific and natural techniques to cut down on the use of chemicals, and new planting systems, such as Y-shaped trellises or posts and wires to support the trees. This allows more sunlight to get to the fruit, producing a better colored, more flavorful apple.

In addition, growers are changing over from the old standard-size trees to the smaller more compact dwarf and semi-dwarf rootstocks, which allow for increased tree densities and improved yields.

The New York apple industry provides employment for thousands of New Yorkers.

  • 694 family farms
  • 10,000 direct agricultural jobs
  • 7,500 indirect jobs involved with handling, distribution, marketing and shipping of apple exports
  • Thousands of other indirect jobs including agricultural supplies (equipment, chemicals and services), financial services and apple processing

New York Laws

The law designating the apple as the official New York state fruit is found in the New York State Consolidated Laws, STL, Article 6, Section 81.



§ 81. State fruit. The apple (genus malus) shall be the official fruit of the state of New York.

Taxonomic Hierarchy: Apple

Kingdom: Plantae - Plants
    Subkingdom: Tracheobionta - Vascular plants
Superdivision: Spermatophyta - Seed plants
    Division: Magnoliophyta - Flowering plants
Class: Magnoliopsida - Dicotyledons
    Subclass: Rosidae
Order: Rosales
Family: Rosaceae - Rose family
Genus: Malus Mill. - apple
Species: *

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