Apple type identifiation #731863 - Ask Extension


Apple type identifiation #731863

Asked October 23, 2020, 1:27 PM EDT

Hi! At one time, I heard that MSU had a way program that allowed one to submit apples and have them identified. I own a property with older apple trees that remain very productive. One of my trees is probably pushing 100 years old. I would like to identify the kinds of apple trees I have. I have apple samples from 3 of the trees I am interested in having identified. Can you please direct me to the place I can submit these apples for identification. Thank you very much! Sincerely, Amy

Mackinac County Michigan

Expert Response

Hi Amy,

Apples are very difficult to identify with absolute certainty - there are 7500 apple varieties grown in the world with about 2500 different ones in N America and 100 commonly grown commercial varieties. Then there are chance seedlings which add to the list of unknowns. While I know many of the more common varieties, identification will never be exact.
You can use this apple ID website to try to figure it out - based on the characteristics of the fruit and tree. Another good site to look through is

You could upload some pictures and I can try to help, but keep in mind, it will be an educated guess. Pictures of the tree, leaves, fruit and fruit sliced open longitudinally would be helpful. Information about taste and texture and time of ripening is also helpful. 

There are services available in other states and countries to use DNA to identify apples. My understanding is the prices begin in the $500 per sample range so it’s not quite like other DNA testing for humans or pets yet.

Amy Irish-Brown Replied October 28, 2020, 11:39 AM EDT

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