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It's Michigan apple season: When to look for your favorites

Whether you're picking them from an orchard or from a shelf in the grocery store, here's a look at the different varieties of apples grown in Michigan and when they're harvested, so you know when to be on the lookout for them.
Credit: Andraya Croft/Special to the Free Press
Apples grown in Michigan, undated.

It's apple harvest season in Michigan and the state really loves apples.

We take them for lunch, use them in pies and fresh cider helps us wash down doughnuts.

They're not just important to our stomachs, they're a big part of our economy.

Michigan is the third largest apple producing state in the country, according to the Michigan Apple Committee. The state harvested 20 million bushels of apples in 2017 and there are 11.3 million apple trees in commercial production, covering 35,500 acres on 825 family-run farms.

Harvesting begins at the end of August.

Whether you're picking them from an orchard or from a shelf in the grocery store, here's a look at the different varieties of apples grown in Michigan and when they're harvested, so you know when to be on the lookout for them.

Paula Red

Paula Red (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Aug. 22

The first available and pleasingly tart.

Ginger Gold

Ginger Gold (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Aug. 23

Sweet-tasting with a hint of tartness.

Gala

Gala (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 7

A soft bite over a mellow sweetness.

McIntosh

McIntosh (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 8

Juicy with a lightly tart flavor.

Jonamac

Jonamac (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 17

A cross between a McIntosh and Jonathan. It's rich and spicy.

Honeycrisp

Honeycrisp (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 17

Sweet as honey with a crisp bite.

Golden Delicious

Golden Delicious (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 21

A gingerly-smooth taste. It's known for it's sweetness.

Jonathan

Jonathan (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 21

A crisp, spicy tang that blends well with other apples.

Empire

Empire (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 23

Versatile with a firm texture. Sweet, yet tart, flavor.

Cortland

Cortland (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 26

Tender, juicy white flesh with a hint of tartness.

Jonagold

Jonagold (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 27

A must-try.

Red Delicious

Red Delicious (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 29

Full-flavored sweetness.

Fuji

Fuji (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Sept. 29

Crisp and sweet.

Rome

Rome (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Oct. 3

Excellent for baking.

Ida Red

Ida Red (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Oct. 9

Tastes tangy and tart.

Braeburn

Braeburn (Photo: Michigan Apple Committee)

Available: Oct. 24

Firm apple with spicy-sweet flavor.