Empire Apple Tree

(36 customer reviews)

This product is currently out of stock and unavailable.

Begins shipping mid-April.

Pollinator required to bear fruit

Begins shipping
early September

Pollinator required to bear fruit

Even better than McIntosh? You be the judge!

A disease-resistant apple tree with a reliable crop! 

Originating from New York in 1945 as a Delicious and McIntosh cross, the Empire apple tree is a customer favorite! These apples offer the best of both worlds, the flavor of a McIntosh and the sweetness of a Red Delicious.  

This hardy and productive tree is disease-resistant against fire-blight and cedar apple rust. Empire is an early spring bloomer. Pollinate with another early-mid blooming apple variety and expect a nice-sized harvest of apples come September. Add more fruit to your harvest with this reliable and traditional apple tree! 

Empire is a licensed variety of Cornell University. 


Bloom ColorWhite
Fruit ColorRed
Fruit SizeMedium
Soil CompositionLoamy
Soil pH Level6-7
Soil MoistureWell Drained
Bloom TimeEarly
Years to Bear2-5
Shade LevelFull Sun
Hardiness Zone Range4-7

Size & Spacing

Mature Size

Dwarf  2.5 – 3 m tall x 2.5 – 3 m wide (8 – 10′ tall x 8 – 10′ wide)

Recommended Spacing

Dwarf 2.5 – 3 m (8 – 10′)

Ship Height

Dwarf, Bare-root Ships 0.9 – 1.2 m tall (3-4′ tall) with a 9.5 mm (3/8″) trunk.


This variety requires another one for adequate pollination.

Cross-pollination by a different variety is key to its growing and bearing success. Plant a different variety within 15 meters (50 feet) for best pollination.

Recommended Pollinators: Red Delicious, Wolf River, Zestar, Buckeye Gala, Honeycrisp, Cortland, Liberty, Royal Empire, SnowSweet

How do I find my Hardiness Zone?

Canada’s Plant Hardiness Zones will tell you which plants will do well in your particular climate. Each zone is determined by the lowest average winter temperature recorded in a given area. Hardiness Zone information is included on all tree and plant product pages, so you know instantly whether a certain plant is likely to succeed where you live. Natural Resources Canada provides helpful options to find your zone:

Find your zone by province and municipality »

Find your zone using an interactive map »

36 reviews for Empire Apple Tree

  1. Doug Valerie Kinsman

    Empire is a large apple and long keeper in the refrigerator retaining crispness and flavor. Great fresh in salads or for baking!

  2. Ginger Bandy

    I have been impressed with the Empire apple for its cold tolerance. The winter of 2014-2015 was a particularly butal one killing some of my decades old shade trees, 6 year old peach trees, and greatly damaging most of my apple trees, some dying back to the ground. My Empire regrew at twice the rate or more than all the other varieties and has regained a beautiful semetrical shape. If winter kill is a problem in your area, try Empire.

  3. Carl Spamer

    Received several types of apple trees last year. The packaging was fresh, roots moist. Put them in the ground immediately. They are healthy trees, and survived our Michigan winter. Totally satisfied.

  4. John Opera

    the tree did not survive. It did not compare to stark bros. trees I purchased in the past. Not recommended.

  5. Frank Hoerauf

    this is a must have for any orchard. my tree from stark has a ton of beautiful flowers on it, i hope to have a great harvest this fall

  6. Phyllis Johnson

    Our Empire tree takes care of our Apple need quite well. The apples are a good size and very tasty.

  7. Steven Schicker

    While it is too early to reflect on fruit production, the overall strength of the Empire Apple tree and the other apple varieties I purchased are doing very well after a very wet spring last year. They survived the winter and started very good the 2nd season. Strong, sturdy stock!

  8. Larry Nelson

    I purchased an Empire apple tree from Stark Brothers in 2015. It arrived quickly, well packed and nicely pruned. I thought that the small size was an issue. Semi dwarf standard size. It is now growing well with fine shape and very vital. Since then I have ordered another tree from Stark Brothers, with even better results as it was a deluxe semi dwarf tree and it is leafing out just outstandingly. I couldn’t be happier. The Stark Brothers difference of outstanding customer service and good pruning put the other southern tree sellers to shame. I won’t buy from anyone else and the Stark Brothers stock selection is tremendous. I can’t wait for the years required to taste the fruits of our laborsA happy customerLarry Nelson

  9. Jim Anderson

    they came when they said they would and the deer love them

  10. James Kotschwar

    This tree arrived in very good condition. Bare root with wet paper strips in adequate amounts. The trunk was was of good size and roots were abundant for its age. It leafed out better than average, and took a late frost (30 deg) with no impact. The second year was the same with frost. No blossoms, good branch growth and abundant leaf. This tree is growing as good or better than the other varieties. The first winter had 30 below days without mulch.(oops). Zone 4b and high altitude 4,554 ft. The quality of Stark trees have always been better than average for their pricing. They have always replaced any tree that did not make the first year, no questions asked. That is hard to find now days.

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