Our Apples

"Our Apples" is the most authoritative illustrated book of apple varieties yet produced.  It describes 254 apple varieties grown in Eastern and Central Canada. It also gives a list of alternate names which have been used to describe these varieties over time. The book will prove useful to those involved in apple growing and culture and to apple breeders who need regional information to help in the selection of breeding parents.
The presence of more than 400 high quality images of fruits, flowers and leaves along with a detailed written description of each variety makes this book a useful tool for identifying apple cultivars. Symbols have been added to quickly distinguish cultivars with specific characteristics such as winter hardiness, apple scab resistance, McIntosh type fruit, and usefulness as rootstocks or ornamentals.  Varieties which can be used to make juice or cider, and those useful for processing have also been identified by a symbol.
Information on over 1400 apple cultivars can be obtained from Pedigree, A Genetic Resource Inventory System. This computer program was developed to trace characteristics, view images and draw pedigrees of 37 different types of horticultural fruit crops. Additional information is available at 

In 1995/1996, we had the opportunity to conduct a survey with the Quebec Apple Growers Federation to identify the cultural, environmental and/or cultivar/rootstock combinations which were responsible for apple tree mortality during the very cold winter of 1993/1994. While collecting this data, we were quite surprised to see the diversity of cultivars and rootstocks growing in the 330 apple orchards that we visited.  We observed more than 125 different apple varieties being grown in these orchards. At the Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada station in Frelighsburg, we had more than 300 cultivars which had been planted by Drs. G. Rousselle and R. Granger to use as parents in an apple breeding program. Most of the varieties described in this book were either evaluated at our station in Frelighsburg or examined in one or more of the Quebec orchards in which the winter injury study was performed. A complete copy of the above winter injury study is available at http://cyberfruit.info.
It took four years to collect the regional data and prepare the image archive to complete this publication. Most of the images were taken in Quebec during the months of August to October. The fruit were not polished before taking the pictures except for the cut fruit, calyx and stem end view for which a polished apple (bloom removed) was used. Variations in shape, size and color of individual apples are to be expected since these characteristics depend on many factors such as the amount of pruning, the type of training system used, the use of chemicals such as plant growth regulators, and many other cultural practices. The information in this book and information on over 1400 apple genotypes is available on CD (pedigree). A demo version of the Pedigree CD can be downloaded from http://cyberfruit.info.
The apple varieties described in Our Apples are remarkably diverse in terms of color, taste, storage capabilities, shape, end use, and disease resistance. We hope that this information will encourage the reader to try new and old varieties alike. The choice will ultimately depend on the climatic region where the tree is to be grown and on other factors such as disease resistance, ease of cultivation, and end use.


Shahrokh Khanizadeh
For more informations on his productivity click here.
Johanne Cousineau
For more informations click here.


The final version of this book was reviewed by Dr. Raymond Granger and Mr. Pierre Philion.

Raymond Granger
Raymond L. Granger, B.A., L.S.A., Ph.D. is a retired Research Scientist who devoted 32 years of his life researching tree fruit physiology, genetics and general pomology. Dr. Granger obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Sherbrooke in 1958 and a License degree in Agriculture from the University of Montreal in 1962. He then obtained a master degree in Pomology from Cornell University in 1964 and a Ph.D. from McGill University in 1979. He has published 51 scientific papers and over 300 other types of publications relating to his work. He developed a propagation technique which was included in a textbook entitled 'Plant Propagation' by H.T. Hartman and D.E. Kester. In 1980, he chaired the Montreal International Symposium on Tree Fruit Culture which attracted the participation of several world renowned pomologists, tree fruit breeders and physiologists. His main contributions to the tree fruit industry in Quebec are as follows: he introduced five new apple cultivars; - he introduced several size controlling rootstocks for Quebec; - he initiated the dwarf apple tree culture in Quebec; - he contributed to the introduction of a new mechanical picking and pruning aid, a new fertilizer applicator for high density orchards and a new minichamber as a research tool in the controlled atmosphere (CA) storage of apple; - he developed two new apple training systems; - he elaborated new cultural practices involving fertilization, the use of growth regulators and soil management (mycorrhizal and herbicidal) in high density orchards. Dr. Granger conducted research on the Spartan breakdown of apple in British Columbia during 1974 and 1995. He chaired the A.S.H.S. (American Society for Horticultural Science) meeting in Montreal in 1995. Although he retired from AAFC in September 1995, he is still an active member of the A.S.H.S. and is currently Vice-President of the American Pomological Society.

Pierre Phillion
Pierre Philion is the youngest in a family of 8 children.  Born in Hemmingford in 1939, he lived on the family-owned farm where he started working at a very young age.  Fascinated by agriculture, he studied at Oka College (Université de Montréal) where he graduated in 1962 in agricultural sciences.  He joined the 'Ordre des Agronomes' upon graduation.  His affinity towards newer methods of apple production was evident even at this time since his final year project at school was on the use of dwarf apple trees in commercial orchards.  He acquired his family's ancestral farm the year of his graduation being the fourth generation of apple producers to be working this land.  In 1965, he married Lise Saillant and they had two children together, both of which are active in agriculture. After a brief stint as an agronomist in vegetable production at the David Lord Canning Company and 2 years as a plant inspector for Agriculture Canada, Mr. Philion joined the Ministère de l'Agriculture du Québec as a specialist in fruit culture.  He worked at this position from 1967 to 1996. Mr. Philion is best known both locally and abroad for his work as an agriculture consultant.  His training sessions on apple trees and the numerous pesticide trials conducted on his farm made him very popular with Quebec apple growers.  He started the 'Association des Arboriculteurs Fruitiers du Quebec' and the technical bulletin 'Le Cageot'.  He was instrumental in promoting the change from the use of standard to dwarfing rootstocks which resulted in the transformation of the Quebec apple industry.  He is well known outside of Quebec.  He has been invited to speak in many Canadian provinces and American states where apple production is important.  He also visited France in 1972 and 1982 and was invited to speak in Korea (1983) and the Ukraine (1991).
He was the first Quebec-born person to hold the position of Director of the International Dwarf Fruit Tree Association.  In 1982 and 1992, Mr. Philion presided over the meetings of this association held in Quebec.  Although Mr. Philion is retired from the Ministère, he is still very much involved in his two favorite activities: his apple orchard and … golf!

Technical assistants

Yvon Groleau
We are thankful for the technical assistance provided by Mr. Yvon Groleau in the preparation of the items for photography and in the collection of data. Yvon Groleau obtained a technologist diploma in fruit and vegetable horticulture from the Institut de Technologie Agricole in Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec in 1974.  From 1974 to 1981, he worked as a technician in tobacco physiology.   He is presently employed at the AAFC station in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu as a technician specializing in the genetics and physiology of apple and strawberry crops.

Bertrand Thériault
Verification and identification of the images and data entry was done by Mr. Bertrand Thériault. Mr. Thériault obtained a technologist diploma from the Institut de Technologie Agricole at La Pocatière, Quebec in 1988.  He obtained a College Diploma in Pure Sciences in 1992 and a Certificate in administration in 1993.  He worked for 3 years as a sales representative in the flour trade.  He has been a research assistant at the AAFC Center at St-Jean-sur-Richelieu since 1993 specializing in the genetics and physiology of strawberry crops.

Shapour Khanizadeh
Last but not least, we are grateful to Mr. Shapour Khanizadeh for the hand-painted diagrams of the fruit cross section and shapes, tree shapes and flowers shown at the beginning of this book. Shapour is a designer and artist who prepares custom-made diagrams, paintings and portraits to be used in pamphlets, brochures, advertising materials, etc. His gallery is located at 470 Beaurepaire Dr., Beaconsfield, Quebec, H9W 3C5.