Early Season U of M Apple Varieties

Since the apple breeding program began at the University of Minnesota in 1888, nearly 30 apple varieties have been released. While some are no longer available, we have listed all the current mid-season U of M varieties many of which you can purchase from local nurseries and orchards.

Beacon Apple


Bright red apple with soft, juicy flesh and a slightly tart flavor. The tree is hardy, vigorous and susceptible to fire blight. Introduced in 1936.

Ripens mid- to late August.

Centennial Crabapple

Centennial Crabapple

Large, red over orange crabapple that is excellent for fresh eating and sauce, but does not store well. The tree is very hardy, even in USDA Plant Hardiness Zone 3. Introduced in 1957.

Ripens mid- to late August.

First Kiss and Rave Apple.

Rave® and First Kiss® 

Extraordinarily juicy, this spritely tart and deeply colored apple ripens early but will store for up to five months post-harvest. Hardy to Zone 4A, the First Kiss® moniker will identify Minnesota grown fruit. Introduced in 2017.

Ripens mid-to-late August.

State Fair Apple

State Fair

Striped red, juicy, moderately tart fruit good for eating and cooking. The fruit will store for 2 to 4 to weeks. The tree is susceptible to fire blight and somewhat prone to biennial bearing. Introduced in 1977.

Ripens mid- to late August.

SweeTango Apple


Juice and sweet with hints of fall spices, and deep red coloration over a yellow breaking background. This apple's flavor, balanced by vibrant acidity, inherited the crisp texture of 'Honeycrisp' and the juiciness of 'Zestar!®'.

Ripens in early September.

Zestar! Apple


Large, crunchy, juicy red fruit with a sprightly sweet-tart flavor. Excellent for both fresh eating and cooking. The fruit will store for 6 to 8 weeks. The tree is vigorous, upright and very susceptible to apple scab. Introduced in 1999.

Ripens late August to early September.

Zestar!® (Minnewashta cultivar), SweeTango® (Minneiska cultivar), and Rave®/First Kiss® (MN55 cultivar) are registered trademarks of the University of Minnesota.