Sweet Sixteen Apple

Scientific name: Malus pumila

If ever there was a cultivar to plant in Vermont for quick bearing fruit, Sweet Sixteen apple (Malus pumila) is the one. A hybrid cross between Northern spy and Frostbite, this lovely apple tree will reach a mature height of 18 feet. Fruit may appear at year one.

Like most fruit trees, six hours of direct sunlight each day is ideal. Growing well in USDA plant hardiness zone 3–7, and cold hardy to -30°F, this fast-growing apple tree should do well in the Vermont climate.

In 1977 the Univ. of Minnesota, a well-known plant breeding institution, developed Sweet Sixteen from parent apples Northern Spy and MN447 (Frostbite). With characteristics from both sides, this cultivar turned out to be a keeper. Tree height is moderate, fruit medium size with a base color of yellow, and  striped bright red – pink. Flesh is crisp and juicy and very sweet. Flavor descriptions include notes of spicy cherry candy, bourbon, and vanilla. It is a great option for fresh eating. Because they are a cold-climate apple, the fruit can be harvested later in the season and will keep for 5-8 weeks in the right conditions.