Apple licensing & commercialization

Red apples on a tree branch

Unique apple trees developed by the U of M are protected. Propagation of these trees without a license is prohibited, even if you want to propagate or topwork only one tree.

If you'd like to get licensed to grow any of University of Minnesota apple varieties listed on this page or have licensing questions, please contact Adam Bolton in the University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization. Adam can be reached by email at [email protected]

Apples licensed through the University of Minnesota Office of Technology Commercialization

Honeycrisp (aka Honeycrunch®) Apple Tree

Honeycrisp Apple Trees are no longer under patent protection in the U.S. or Canada. Protected Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Chile, and South Africa, this variety is popular as the Honeycrunch® apple outside North America. Honeycrisp or Honeycrunch®, this explosively crisp and juicy apple commands a premium price.


Zestar® Apple Tree

The Zestar!® apple is a uniquely crunchy early season apple. It has a sprightly sweet-tart taste with a hint of brown sugar. Start up your cash flow with sales earlier in the summer.

Zestar!® apple trees are no longer under patent protection in the U.S. but a license is required to propagate Zestar!® outside the U.S., including Canada.


Rave® and First Kiss® Apples

Rave® and First Kiss® apples are brands of the MN55 apple cultivar, which is protected under the US Plant Patent Act and by Plant Breeders Rights in other countries.

  • In Minnesota: Commercial apple growers in Minnesota can obtain information regarding licenses to grow MN55 apples under the First Kiss® brand by completing a First Kiss® growers application.
  • Outside of Minnesota: Rave® has been exclusively licensed by the University of Minnesota. More information on availability and licensing can be found on the Rave® webpage.

Triumph™ Apple Tree

The Triumph!™ apple (aka MN80) is a well-balanced and pleasantly tart red apple. Its excellent scab resistance and good storage life make it a great option for direct market and organic growers.

Triumph™ has been released as an "open variety" (tree royalty only). Triumph® apple trees are protected by United States Plant Patents or Plant Variety Rights in other countries. Nurseries must obtain a license from the University of Minnesota in order to propagate and sell Triumph™.


SweeTango® Apple

The SweeTango® apple, Minneiska variety (US Plant Patent 18,812) is protected under the US Plant Patent Act and by Plant Breeders Rights in other countries. SweeTango® has been exclusively licensed by the University of Minnesota.


SnowSweet® Apple Tree

The SnowSweet® apple is a late season variety that has a delightful sweet taste, with a slight tart balance and rich overtones. Consumers love it not only for the flavor, but also because it is slow to oxidize after cutting. An asset for preparing appetizing dishes in advance. SnowSweet® can help extend your sales season.


Supported Through the Minnesota Nursery Research Corporation

Frostbite™, Keepsake, Sweet 16 and State Fair Apple Trees

Frostbite™, Keepsake, Sweet 16 and State Fair apple trees are available at many nurseries and supported by Minnesota Nursery Research Corporation (MNRC) participants.

Please order from MNRC nurseries to help support future apple research.


Frostbite™ and Triumph™ are trademarks of the University of Minnesota and SnowSweet® (Wildung variety), Zestar!® (Minnewashta variety), Honeycrunch®, SweeTango® (Minneiska variety), and Rave®/First Kiss® are registered trademarks of the University of Minnesota.

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USA licensed nurseries

Canada licensed nurseries

Worldwide licensed nurseries