The United Empire Loyalists of Canada - Bicentennial Branch (Southwestern Ontario)
 
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Most people are quite familiar with commonly grown apple cultivars such as McIntosh, Cortland, Red Delicious, Northern Spy, etc. Another apple, less well known, but nevertheless very important, is the Loyalist apple.

Most Canadian tree fruit breeding programs fall under the auspices of federal or provincial government programs and so it was for Loyalist apple which was bred at the Smithfield Experimental Farm of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada in Trenton, Ontario. Its name was chosen in honour of the historical importance and impact of the United Empire Loyalists who settled in the Quinte region.

Loyalist was selected by breeder D. S. Blair using Linda apple (female parent) crossed with Yellow Newton apple (the pollen parent); it was tested in advanced trials as T-416 at Smithfield, and released in 1979.

Tree: Loyalist topworked on a vigorous rootstock develops into a semi vigorous spreading tree with fruit borne throughout. The tree is an annual bearer and the trunk bark is smooth and grayish brown. Loyalist apple is as hardy as McIntosh.

Fruit: The apples are a medium size (6.0 x 7.3 cm), round and smooth. The 80% overcolour is an attractive washed and lightly striped medium to dark lively red. Ground colour is greenish yellow. Loyalist has a juicy, cream-coloured, crisp and firm flesh. It possesses low to moderate acidity with a pleasant flavour and moderately high aroma. It is an excellent keeper and has stored well up to 10 months at 9 C. Loyalist is harvested 7-10 days after Delicious (mid-October). Although a pleasant apple as a fresh fruit, it is considered to be primarily an outstanding processing type.

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