I've chosen these apple varieties with both flavour and organic growing in mind. Most of my trees have strong resistance to the common apple diseases, which are mainly fire blight (a very common bacterial disease), apple scab and cedar apple rust (both fungal diseases).
If juniper trees are close to your planting site (either Juniper communis, the common juniper, or Juniper virginiana, the eastern red cedar), look for varieties with resistance to cedar apple rust (and note that the ubiquitous easter white cedar is not a Juniper species, and thus not a problem for apple trees).
Fire blight is a common disease of apples and pears that is in our environment (most old pears I see in Guelph, are affected by it), and the best protection is prevention - that is, planting varieties that have been bred to be resistant to it. However, it can be controlled without sprays by pruning out affected branches as soon as it is noticed.
Apple scab is a fungal disease that can be dealt with organically, but choosing resistant varieties makes your life easier.
Powdery mildew is not as common a problem, but I mention it where relevant, if research has found that a variety is resistant to it.
Note on pollination: nearly all apple trees require cross-pollination with another apple tree of a different variety (crabapples work too). If you're in a city and you only want one tree of your own, there's likely a crabapple or other apple tree close enough to pollinate your tree. But to be safe, it's best to plant two – or convince a neighbour to plant one as well.
Note on rootstock: I've grafted all my apples onto EMLA 106, a tried-and-true semi-dwarfing rootstock.
Tree grades: All our trees have had a strong season of growth and are high-quality, top-grade trees. All are sold bare root, while dormant. For more information see theGeneral nursery informationpage.