The Akane apples are a Japanese variety prized for their crisp flavor, early ripening, and disease resistance. The trees are quite cold hardy and attractive. If you’re looking to add an apple cultivar to your garden that is disease resistant and can extend your harvesting period, this is the apple for you. Read in to learn more about Akane apple care and growing requirements.
What are Akane Apples?
Akane apples originated in Japan and were developed by the Morika Experimental Station sometime in the first half of the 20th century. They were developed as a cross between Jonathan and Worcester Pearmain and were introduced to the United States in 1937.
Akane apple trees are often grown on dwarf rootstocks that reach a height of 8 to 16 feet (2.4 to 4.9 m) at maturity. However, the height of these trees tends to vary. The fruits are medium-sized with a round to conical shape and red color with some green to brown russet tones. They are also very crisp and fresh with a good amount of sweetness. However, they do not store very well and the flesh starts becoming mushy when the weather gets too hot. Hence, these apples are considered best for fresh eating rather than cooking.
How to Grow Akane Apples
Compared to other apple varieties, growing Akane apples can be quite rewarding. These trees bear fruits quite quickly, usually producing within three years. They are popular and prized for their early ripening and harvest, which usually occurs in late summer. Also, these trees can perform well in a variety of climates. While they are cold hardy down to -30 F (-34 C), they also grow well in warm zones. Akane trees are moderately resistant to common apple diseases like powdery mildew, fire blight, and cedar apple rust. They are also quite resistant to apple scab.