Description & Overview

Zestar! is a very cold hardy early ripening apple. Introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1999. The fruit ripens in early September. Outstanding quality for an early apple! Good for both fresh eating and cooking. The fruit keeps much longer than many older early ripening varieties that often got soft just a few days after picking. Zestar! apples will store well for up to three weeks when refrigerated. Zestar! (Minnewashta cultivar) is a registered trademark of the University of Minnesota.

Core Characteristics

Category: Fruit Trees

Wisconsin Native: No

USDA Hardiness Zone: to zone 4

Mature Height: 15 feet

Mature Spread: 15 feet

Growth Rate: Moderate

Growth Form: Central leader

Light Requirements: Full Sun

Site Requirements: Well drained site

Flower: White

Bloom Period: Early-mid May

Foliage: Green

Fall Color: Yellow

Urban Approved: Site Specific

Fruit Notes: Excels for making apple crisps.

Suggested Uses

We offer this variety on M7 rootstock which is semi-dwarf and free-standing.

Zestar! is a very cold hardy early ripening apple. Introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1999. The fruit ripens in early September. Outstanding…

Wildlife Value

Apple trees are relished by deer, numerous small mammals, and insects.

Maintenance Tips

Annual pruning is needed to promote better light penetration and air flow thru the canopy for best colored and flavored fruit. Find more information on Training & Pruning Fruit Trees.

Zestar! is a very cold hardy early ripening apple. Introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1999. The fruit ripens in early September. Outstanding…

Pests/Problems

This variety can sometimes be bothered with bird damage as is often the case on early ripening apples that have good red color. Zestar! is highly suggested for central and northern Wisconsin due to their short growing season but will grow well throughout our state. Find a spraying guide and more information on Best Pesticides For The Home Orchardist.

Leaf Lore

The cultivar name ‘Minnewashta’ is a Dakota name that means “lake of good water”. The area by Lake Minnewashta in Minnesota was settled in the mid 19th century by settlers who re-located primarily from the east coast region.

Companion Plants

Zestar! Apple must be cross-pollinated with a crabapple or different apple variety to produce fruit.

Zestar! is a very cold hardy early ripening apple. Introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1999. The fruit ripens in early September. Outstanding…
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Written by Paul Schwabe