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Name Variations Edit
About McIntosh Edit
Wikipedia Article About McIntosh on Wikipedia
The McIntosh Red (McIntosh, Mac) is an apple cultivar with red and green skin, a tart flavor and tender, white flesh. It becomes ripe in late September. It is traditionally the most popular cultivar in New England, well known for the pink sauce unpeeled McIntoshes make. Many consider it a superior eating apple and well suited for applesauce, cider, and pies.
Every McIntosh apple has a direct lineage to a single tree discovered in 1811 by John McIntosh on his farm in Dundela, a small Dundas County hamlet located in the Canadian province of Ontario. An emigré from New York's Mohawk Valley, John McIntosh happened upon several wild apple seedlings growing in the woods on his newly acquired land that year. He transplanted them to his garden, and by the following year only one had survived. Several years later, the tree was producing the crisp, delicious fruit that everyone is familiar with today. The discoverer eventually dubbed it the "McIntosh Red", which is still the apple's official name. For years, he had no luck propagating the variety because apples don't grow true from seed. Chance again played a role in 1835 when he and his son, Allen, learned from a visitor the art of grafting cuttings or scions from the original tree. With this cloning technique at their disposal, production of the McIntosh Red could finally branch out.
By the late 1830s, Allen and his brother Alexander ("Sandy") had taken over the farm operation from their father. From their well organized nursery, they extensively promoted and nurtured the new species. However, it wasn't until the turn of the 20th Century that conditions really began to improve for the McIntosh, with the advent of fungicidal sprays that countered its natural susceptibility to apple scab. Market penetration grew and grew, and today, millions of McIntosh apple trees are in production. The Mac and its hybrids account for more than 50-percent of the apple crop in Canada.
Offspring of the Mac include the firmer Macoun (a Jersey Black cross), Spartan apple (a Newtown Pippin cross), Cortland, Empire, Jonamac, maybe Paula Red, Jersey Mac, and others.