York Imperial Apple

The York Imperial apple won't win any beauty contests. they all look different. They come in various shadings of red and green with brown freckles. Shape isn't uniform either--one is round, one is lopsided and one is...well, a kind of lopsided oval that's higher on one side than the other. I've never seen them in supermarket produce departments and rarely on market stands. Most of us, however, enjoy York Imperial apples quite regularly. According to the Knouse Foods®, makers of Lucky Leaf and Musselman's brands, York Imperial is still highly valued for processing into applesauce and other apple products.
Do you recall ever eating one?--

Growers who still have York trees pack there harvest in large bins and sell to processors who make apple sauce, and dried apples.

I found this history on the apple:

"In the 1820s, Quaker orchardist/clockmaker Jonathan Jessop received a seedling from a Hallam-area (north east od Cleveland, below Lake Erie) tree that had produced apples that kept all winter on the ground under a blanket of snow.

Jessop grafted a stem from this seedling onto another tree on his Springwood Farm in York Township.

He carried the tree to the Friends' Yearly Meeting in Baltimore and from there members brought the tree to Virginia.

"So Jessop became largely known for his role in development of Imperial apples.

The apple original was known as Jonathan's Fine Winter and later was changed to "Imperial of Keepers" and "York Imperial."

Johnathan Jessop was also a watch maker, and engineer, and born in Gilfford County NC.

I first ran into this variety when my daughter's music teacher asked me to graft her a York Imperial apple. In the process of fining scion wood I ate my first York, an instant favorite.

You can buy York trees from Millers Nursery: http://millernurseries.comhttp://
Freeman's fruitstand. Edneyville,NC may have apples.

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JOHN McCarley

PO Box 524
Cashiers, North Carolina 28717
United States


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