Early apple

I’m forever adding and eliminating trees from my small orchard. This year’s removals will be a couple Granny Smiths. They’ve not been productive or good enough to warrant keeping. I’ve got late apples covered anyway w/Goldrush and Pink Lady. I’m looking at a couple early apples. Candidates are Sensa, Dandee Red, or Zestar. Does anyone have experience with these or could recommend another? Adams Co says Sansa can be difficult to shape.

Given your list, it probably depends on your taste. I’m just getting done with these varieties in the apples I purchase through a CSA, so I suppose I can intelligently comment on them. And I grow and am a huge booster of Zestar!.

Zestar is the most “sprightly acid” of those varieties. It is also a decent keeper, enough so that it gets sold in our regional grocery stores (Hy-Vee). Zestar is also a partial tip-bearer and quite precocious. A whip from Cummins flowered for me, and it has since, though this was the first year it produced a crop. It’s failings are scab/FB susceptibility and very early season flowering (group 1).

Dandee Red is an early Mac-style apple.

Sansa is a sweet Gala seedling that is slightly earlier than its parent, but later than the other two. Over the last couple of years I note that Sansa is the most variable apple-to-apple in flavor. Some are meh and some are very nicely sweet and aromatic. It is like Gala in that way.

Also think about Pristine if you care about disease resistance. It is the earliest of these varieties, but keeps OK too.

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Sansa, Pristine and Zestar all taste good.

MonArk is a disease resistant, excellent July/Aug eating apple- crisp, on tart side, highly recommend.


We like Pixie Crunch- early, sprightly, tasty, pretty fair keeper.

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After reading Alan’s comment on Sansa being a favorite apple of his, in a moment of weakness feeling sorry for myself because I am sick, I ordered one. It will be my most expensive tree ever with the steep shipping and handling, so I hope it survives. I was running out of spots to graft onto and had an empty wire-caged spot where a pecan had failed, so broke down and ordered a tree to put there, which I need like a hole in the head! This is probably not the best forum for people with little self control fruit wise.


Pristine would get my early season vote everytime.


I’ll second Hambone’s nomination for MonArk; also keeps for 6 wks or more in the fridge, without going mealy.


I have to add State Fair. Tasty, a little sharp, not complex but very “apple-tasting” and quite welcome after a summer of trying grocery store apples of declining quality. Decent keeper for an early apple. Pristine is also good.

hello, the earliest apple I have is the Willian Pride variety

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