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  • OT- Apples

    This is the list of apples that I'm planning on planting at our new house next spring. Has anyone grown any of them and what are your thoughts about them?

    Ashmead's Kernel
    Bel de Boskoop
    Gold Rush
    Queen Cox
    Whitney Crab

    I also plan on growing Honey Crisp and Granny Smith, but I know plenty about them. Some may not be quite right for my area every year, but if I get a crop occasionally I'm good. They will be dwarfs that grow to 8-14 ft depending on variety. Yay big lot.
    Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
    Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

  • #2
    I have two Gold Rush trees, Belle de Boskoop, and a new graft of Ashmead's Kernal. I am growing out Honey Crisp for my aunt. Gold Rush is an excellent sweet/tart storage apple. It is best picked at the end of October or beginning of November. Ashmead's Kernal is also a great sweet/tart apple, but it is susceptible to bitter pit. Belle de Boskoop has not fruited for me yet. Honey Crisp is great for fresh eating and apple sauce, but it tends toward small apples unless they are heavily thinned. All of these apples are fairly scab resistant. I do not have first hand experience with Queen Cox, Whitney's Crab, or Granny Smith, but it is my understanding that they are all more susceptible to scab. I believe that Granny Smith requires more heat, and a longer ripening period. Dwarfing rootstocks may be winter-killed in your area. One alternative might be to grow them in wine barrels and wheel them into the garage during the winter. Hope this helps.

    Casey
    z8a Battle ground, Wa

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    • #3
      Ashmead's is fantastic! It can be a bit late for Denver, but well worth it. Unfortunately mine was killed in last November's flash freeze. I have not had any of my dwarfing rootstock be damaged, but lost lots of trees back to the graft last November. The Geneva line is what I'm using now for any new trees I add. G41 should be a real winner here with both cold hardiness and fireblight resistance.

      For a somewhat earlier Apple similar to Ashmead's take a look at Rosemarry russet.
      Last edited by aphahn; 11-03-2015, 01:24 PM. Reason: Oops, meant G41
      Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

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      • #4
        Cummin's Nursery is a good resource to look at for Geneva series rootstock. I have tried G41, and don't have any problems with canker on the rootstock so far.

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        • #5
          Anyone had Pink Lady??? it's my favorite.... perfect balance!!!! sweet with a touch of acidity.

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          • aphahn
            aphahn commented
            Editing a comment
            Pink Lady is the trade marked name, look for it as Crips Pink if you want to grow it.

        • #6
          I love Pink Lady apples, but haven't grown them here because they need more heat to develop the best flavor. They also might tend to get scab more easily. If you like pink lady, you may also like Orlean's Reinette and Ashmead's Kernal.

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          • #7
            I'm trying apples too. I didn't think that apples would do well this far south, but in older times people did. Just have to have varieties that have done well here in the past. I used the search term "old southern apples" and uncovered a plethora of information. My 6 trees have now been through 2 summers in ground. It is amazing as to how thick the trunks have gotten since the late winter of 2014. I have 5 heirloom varieties: Black Limbertwig, Victoria Limbertwig, Honey Cider, Golden Sweet and Early Harvest. The first three are noted for their disease resistance and all have performed well in the South.
            PPP
            Eatonton, GA zone 7b/8a

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            • #8
              Some good input going here, thanks to all.

              I was planning on ordering my trees from Burnt Ridge and/or Raintree Nursery. The rootstock would be EMLA 27 for both nurseries which is supposed to work well down to zone 4 so it should be fine for cold hardiness in my zone 5. The CSU Ag extension lists Cox Orange Pippin as one of the varieties that do well here so Queen should be a good choice. As far as I know, scab isn't a problem here. We do get some fireblight in areas and powdery mildew, with plenty of Coddling Moth. I haven't decided if I'm going to pursue organic moth control traps and sprays yet or jut eat around the tunnels.

              I will check out the other nursery mentioned above though, thanks for that.
              Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
              Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

              Comment


              • #9
                Edit: I see that you tackled some of what I write about below in your post from an hour ago while I was writing this between patients. It's too much effort to edit stuff, so you'll have to suffer through some repitition.

                It's always nice to read from my fellow apple enthusiasts about my other specific fruit pathology on the fig forum. It breaks up the monotony of endlessly reading about Preto this, Galicia Negra that, Ponte Teresa these, the CdDs those and soon to be new 'It Girl' that nobody has, Sangue Doce (thanks, Wills). As a brief nod to the non-apple folks reading this, I do have more fig varieties than I do apple varieties, but it's a close thing and that gap may narrow to almost nothing by next spring if I can cull more figs from my herd than new varieties I collect and if I am entirely unsuccessful (highly likely) in limiting new apple scion acquisitions to fewer than five or six.

                Calvin, I finally had an apple crop worth getting excited about this season in my half young, all in recovery (chronic deer mauling) orchard. I got fruit off of maybe a third of my trees, though with some that was as little as one apple for my youngest trees and something close to a full crop off of five of my trees. I haven't counted yet, but I believe I sampled between 15-20 different apples from my trees. I am growing four of the apples you list, Ashmead's Kernel, Gold Rush, HoneyCrisp and Whitney Crab. The first three trees are young and haven't fruited yet (next year for AK, with a friendly spring) and I can't recommend the latter. Whitney has produced a couple of full crops for me. The tree is very productive, but you have about two minutes to pick them at their peak before they get mushy. I could probably tolerate slightly mushy apples if they tasted outstanding, but they are fairly insipid: mildly sweet with little acid. I think it's simply too hot for them here to deliver on their potential. There are many great crabs out there, like Wickson and Chestnut and Centennial. Wickson produced excellent apples for me this year and Chestnut, which I will graft this spring, has produced well in other high-heat areas. I have Centennial but it has yet to give me a crop. Though it's supposed to bloom mid-season, it blooms early here and has been frosted off most years, though it was one of my most deer-abused trees, so I'm hoping for better as it continues to grow and recover.

                We have some similarities in climate. I'm about 1000' lower in elevation than you are and have unpredictable spring weather, which leads to late frosts some years and even complete crop loss, though as my trees mature, I hope they are able to resist such weather vagaries and crop more regularly. Temps are warmer overall here than in Littleton and, more relevant, average summer highs are 3-7 degrees warmer while average lows are about the same. I'm not sure the temperature difference will help make Whitney a better apple for you than it is for me. I'll be grafting over the entire tree to one or three new varieties next year.

                I also think you might reconsider Granny Smith. As Casey pointed out, Granny Smith requires heat, which you have for three, maybe four months, but more importantly, it requires a long season. The Granny Smith apples you get in the store are picked very green, probably at least two months earlier than full ripe. I've never eaten a fully ripened Granny Smith, but it's supposed to be unbelievably good sometime in December right from the tree in areas of California where it can be grown that late. As a substitute, you might consider Newtown Pippin. It will give you all of GS's crisp flesh and acidity with a load of sugar and fantastic aromatics by sometime in mid-late October. It's also very productive. What you will not get is a super pretty apple, but who cares if it tastes outstanding?

                Figgrower noted that Orleans Reinette is worth considering. I agree. It's a late bloomer and it tastes great, though it has a reputation as a mediocre cropper. I had my first crop this year on a small, heavily deer abused tree. Considering the size of my tree, maybe five feet tall (but with a nice limb structure), I had a great crop. The bear (thankfully smallish) that climbed (rather than tore apart) my deer fence at the end of September, broke off a branch and ate a few apples seemed to agree, though given the damage she did to my Newtown Pippin, she liked that apple a lot more. I'd also highly recommend Golden Russet, which gave me five unbelievable apples this year from a young tree. GR has an early-mid season bloom, which isn't ideal, but as much as I liked Orleans Reinette, I like Golden Russet even more. It is a sweeter, juicier apple than Orleans Reinette, so it might make for a nice contrast with your Ashmead's Kernel.

                I don't have much disease pressure here other than coddling moths, as it's very dry during the growing season. You are wetter in the summer months, but I expect your disease pressure is fairly mild compared to just about anywhere in the US to the east of you and the Pacific Northwest, west of the Cascades. Andy (aphahn) would have a much better idea about this than I. Somebody mentioned a Geneva rootstock. I have some trees on G16 and G30 and they are doing well. I keep all my trees around 8' tall, so I can't say how large they might grow were I to let them go. If you don't know what type of rootstock your trees from Big Lots are other than dwarfing, you might consider buying some rootstocks and grafting instead. It might set back actual apple production a season or two depending on how precocious the stock you're getting is vs what you could purchase and graft to, but it will also open up a much broader selection of apples for you. Alternatively, you can go ahead with your plan and simply graft on to those trees to expand your varietal selection. I have many scions I can share from far more apples than have been discussed here so far.
                Neil
                Reno, 6b

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                • aphahn
                  aphahn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  You are right, pretty much just moths here. Though with our unusually wet spring (got the entire 15' annual precipitation in one month) we had a lot of powdery mildew this year.

                • Posturedoc
                  Posturedoc commented
                  Editing a comment
                  Thanks for reminding me of powdery mildew, Andy. I almost never see it, but we also had a comparatively wet spring (nothing like your 15 inches) and I saw a bit of it on a few of my trees. I sprayed the affected trees once with an organic product I can't recall right now and never thought about it again. Nice.

                • aphahn
                  aphahn commented
                  Editing a comment
                  I should add that we have bad fireblight years once in a great while, and lots of wild trees suffer from woolly aphid, but I have yet to see it on cultivated trees.

              • #10
                Calvin, this is my 8yr old Honeycrisp on EMLA 27. It is about 5' tall. 8-14' is probably not going to happen on M27, and they will need permanent staking. If that is what you want, then it is great.
                You may only view thumbnails in this gallery. This gallery has 1 photos.
                Andy - Zone 6a Lat 39.9º N, Altitude 5390' Westminster CO ⚘ Scion List

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                • #11
                  Anyone have opinions on King David and Williams Pride apples? After the huge apple picking success with the kids, I'm thinking about putting a couple of "disease-resistant" apples in ground in my yard. So far, my most likely candidates are those two and Gold Rush. Of course, this all hinges on me giving up potential yard space for other things I might want to grow, like figs, persimmons, or jujubes.
                  Johnny
                  Stuff I grow: Google Doc

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                  • #12
                    Both of those apples have excellent reputations, Johnny. I have a small William's Pride tree that I grafted last year and planted out this year, so I'm at least two seasons away from getting any fruit off of it. I grafted King David to an existing tree this year and it grew well, so maybe I'll get lucky and it'll give me a fruit or three next year.

                    Jujubes are interesting, and I've tasted some good varieties, but if I had limited space and had to choose between a third (or fifth and probably a 10th) apple tree or a jujube, I'd choose the apple every time. The same is true for persimmons, but my wife loves them, so I'd lose that argument. Fortunately, I have enough room that I don't have to sacrifice one for another.
                    Neil
                    Reno, 6b

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                    • #13
                      Another variety to try that's similar to Granny Smith, but I think is crisper and the apples tend to be larger is Mutsu (Crispin). My local orchard grows these and they are fantastic. I have one growing in my yard but so far no apples.

                      I get all my fruit trees from an Amish Orchard out of upstate NY called Schlabach's Nursery. They are fantastic. They don't have a website, or accept credit cards though (as they are Amish). Very helpful when you call though and the owner has a great book that is very helpful for backyard orchard enthusiast called "Backyard Fruit Production."

                      Schlabach's Nursery
                      2784 Murdock Rd, Medina NY 14103
                      phone: (585) 798-6198 (best time to call is AM)
                      Toll-free voice mail for catalog requests only: 1-866-600-5203


                      Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

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                      • #14
                        Wow, this is a real good bunch of feedback coming in.

                        Andy, thanks for pointing out the info on M27. I actually meant to say I'm using M26, it's hard for me to keep them straight, I want to associate a bigger number with a bigger tree. Do you have any trees on EMLA 26?

                        Neil, fabulous information, thank you so much, it enabled me to make some changes. I will take your advice and after doing some research go with Wickson crab instead. Nobody likes a mushy apple. I really look forward to having a good edible crab. When I was a kid growing up in ND, one fall day I went bird hunting with my older brothers and one of their friends who came along brought a coffee can full of crab apples about the size of golf balls. The apples had thin deep red/maroon colored skins and the flesh was darker, almost amber in color and was crisp, juicy, and had a great sweet almost spice flavor. I've never seen an apple like that again. The friend lived on an NDSU Ag test farm. Someday I'm thinking I should call the test station and see if they still have that tree and see if I could talk them into sending me some scion. I may have to get some good rootstock and take you up on some Wickson scion. I haven't seen grafted Wickson anywhere yet and it is listed as zone 5 on it's own roots, it would be nice to have a little lower tolerance.

                        After researching the other options for Granny S, I'm probably going with the Mutsu/Crispin but haven't finalized that choice yet.
                        Last edited by cis4elk; 11-04-2015, 02:32 PM.
                        Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                        Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

                        Comment


                        • aphahn
                          aphahn commented
                          Editing a comment
                          I have Pink Pearl on m26, but it was killed to just above the graft last Nov. M26 is very FB susceptible, might not be a good long term choice in CO. I might require some staking, but not like M27.

                          Wickson is a great choice. Ours have a wonderful honey flavor to them.

                      • #15
                        I recently gave up on attempting to grow apples due to all the work involved in producing good fruit year after year. Luckily theres an apple orchard nearby and was able to taste a good amount of fruit from his farm. My favorites were Esopus Spitzenberg, Crispin, Ashmeads Kernal and Arkansas Black. AB is absolutely stunning when fruiting. Having never seen one before it caught me off guard and now have a few dozen fruits in the crisper.
                        Travis
                        Pittsburgh, pa

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                        • cis4elk
                          cis4elk commented
                          Editing a comment
                          The Whole Foods near me has some conventionally grown Spitzenberg, they are not fresh and heavily waxed, however the flavor is still very good. I would like to taste a more fresh one for sure. Thanks for your input.

                      • #16
                        Is Esopus Spitzenberg difficult/high maintenance to grow? What is its disease resistance like. I know this and the Cox's Orange Pippin constantly win flavor contests down at Monticello and in other apple festivals
                        Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

                        Comment


                        • #17
                          Calvin, Malcom, E. Spitzenberg is a very good apple for me, and I'd probably call it great this year had I not needed to harvest it (and Newtown Pippin) four to six weeks early to keep mama bear from making return trips and tearing up my deer fence and two or three trees with lots of apples still on them, but I believe I complained about that already in this thread. Spitz has poor disease tolerance. Here's a little info from Orangepippin.com:
                          • Cedar apple rust - Some susceptibility
                          • Canker - Very susceptible
                          • Scab - Very susceptible
                          • Fireblight - Very susceptible

                          As noted before, I don't have much disease pressure here and you don't appear to have much either. If you liked the apples you got from the store, I think it'd be worth it. It hasn't had any disease issues for me in eight years and is productive when it sets a crop.

                          I'd love to be able to grow Cox's Orange Pippin, but it's reputation is of a difficult tree even under the best of circumstances. It doesn't like hot summers, which more than anything keeps me from even trying to graft it. There are many Cox offspring that are considered as close to as good and maybe even two or three that might be better. Queen Cox has a reputation as holding up to heat better, so I think that's a good choice. I don't grow it at this time, but I do grow Ellison's Orange, a Cox offspring with a similar taste profile that also has a bad rep for heat tolerance. On the other hand, it crops well and makes a beautiful apple. If I don't let it turn too orange (what you want in regions with less heat) and turn to mush, I can still get a great apple, though I sacrifice a little sugar.

                          My favorite Cox offspring so far is Karmijn de Sonneville. All I can say is, Wow! The birds got this season's small crop (this is another of my trees in recovery from severe deer mauling plus a boneheaded attempt to stake it upright three years ago from a listing position I let it grow into for too long - snapped off most of the tree trying to get it straight all in one go). It is the most intense apple I've ever eaten - so much sugar and acid in one apple. If I could grow only one Cox-type, KdS is my pick.

                          I have some other Cox types, including Rubinette, Kidd's Orange Red, Suntan and Tydemann's Late Orange, but they haven't fruited yet. I can't imagine them being better than KdS, but if any are, what a bonus. I also have Freyberg, but it takes after it's other parent, Golden Delicious, though it's a better apple with greater depth of flavor.

                          Okay, I could go on and on here...and I will for one more apple. Claygate Pearmain. This is another great tasting apple; it has loads of sugar and acid. The tree is my most reliable cropper, crops heavily, is easy to grow and has good scab resistance. It's a real winner.
                          Last edited by Posturedoc; 11-05-2015, 06:06 PM.
                          Neil
                          Reno, 6b

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                        • #18
                          Neil,

                          Thanks for the write up. Wow, KdS sounds awesome! Do you know of any nursery's that are selling bareroots of this variety and E. Spitzenberg?
                          Malcolm - Carroll County, MD (zone 6b). Interested in cold hardy figs. Currently container growing, MBVS, St. Rita, Olympian, RdB, Beale, Sal's EL, UCD 184-15s and Desert King.

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                          • smithmal
                            smithmal commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Neil,

                            Never done scion grafting before. Is there a good web page or video that provides good instruction on how to do this for a newb?

                            Malcolm

                          • smithmal
                            smithmal commented
                            Editing a comment
                            Called them an spoke with Steve and he was super helpful. He gave me the low down on what rootstocks I would need for my soil type (hard clay) for apples, Plum/Peaches/Apricot and Cherry. They have quite an inventory.

                          • Posturedoc
                            Posturedoc commented
                            Editing a comment
                            I'm glad that my experience with Cummins was not unusual. They really take the time to answer your questions.

                            Here's a link to a Stephen Hayes video demonstrating several grafting methods. Hayes has many videos out there that are helpful and informative for home orchardists.

                            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZHsus9qGlA

                        • #19
                          Neil, more good info, much appreciated. After I tasted the Spitzenberg I immediately researched it, the disease susceptibility did remove it from my list of considered apples for growing. I'm glad you wrote about KdS and highly favor it, I was on the fence between Queen Cox and KdS. As it turns out, it looks like most my trees will be custom grafts(shout-out to Andy, whoop whoop!) and Queen Cox is one that I have yet to find on a scion list. Worst case, I suppose I could order one on M26 anyway and take some scion from it the following year; that is if it doesn't get fire blight before that. Or who knows, maybe it will be a tree that is big enough to trim some scion from right off the bat.

                          My local WF now has some Mutsu. It's definitely a good apple, and it was good with some nice cheese too. With no prodding or questioning my wife stated "That's a really good apple you got", so of course I then had to inform her it would be one of the varieties we will grow. Thanks for suggesting it Malcolm. It's nice they are bringing in so many different apples at WF. I bought a few Caville Blanc apples, interesting but definitely not for me, I'll try cooking them into something.
                          Calvin, Wish list is to finish working on the new house, someday.
                          Bored? Grab a rake, paint roller, or a cordless drill and come over!

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