Centennial Apple from the Edible Park

 



Apple Tree Descriptions

ASHMEAD'S KERNAL  England 1700

- An old English winter russet, medium size, golden-brown skin with a crisp nutty snap, exploding with champagne-sherbet juice infused with a lingering scent of orange blossom. Flesh is dense, sugary and aromatic with intense flavor, characteristic of russets. Winner of taste tests and has some resistance to scab and cedar apple rust.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Excellent
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, baking, juice/hard cider
Rootstock: Dwarf, Semidwarf, or Standard

ASHMEAD'S KERNEL originated in the Gloucester area of England from seed planted by a Dr. Ashmead around 1700. Annual bearer if thinned. Fruit is small to medium. Skin is greenish-russet, often a solid gold russet. Stores three to four months at 32 degrees. Flavor is outstanding, rich and strong, with a balance of sugars and acids. Ripens in late September or early October. Good for eating fresh, cider and sauce. Fruit is flattish, round, sometimes slightly conical in shape, medium in size and russeted a golden brown with an orange or reddish bronze cheek. Crisp yellowish flesh is tinged green and sugary, juicy, and aromatic with an acidic sweet flavor. Because of the high acid content, storage for weeks or months mellows the fruit for dessert use. The fruit sets in clusters and because it is borne on short spurs, the laterals should be shortened back to 3 to 4 buds during pruning. It has a straggly tree growth habit and fruit production can be erratic, with fruit size diminishing as the tree ages. This is a good cider apple and good for winter storage.

BALDWIN Massachusetts 1784

Delicious cider base, and great for pies. Fruit medium to large, sometimes very large. Skin yellow, flushed orange, striped red. Flesh firm to coarse, yellowish; flavor sweet and crisp. Often a biennial bearer, but can be regulated with timely pruning and thinning. Triploid.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: None
Fruit Storage: Excellent
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking, juice/hard cider

BALDWIN was the preeminent commercial dessert apple of the country, mostly in New England, until a harsh winter in 1933-34 killed most of the trees. It has been replaced by McIntosh. The skin is thick, on the tough side. Flesh is yellow, crisp, coarse and juicy, with a spicy character that is good in cider and pies. Keeps well and ripens in late September or October. Originated as a seedling in northeastern Massachusetts sometime before 1750.

 

CALVILLE BLANC France 1598 (Yellow)

This is the gourmet culinary apple of France, excellent for tarts. Uniquely shaped medium to large size fruit, skin yellow with light red flush. Flesh is tender, sweet, spicy, flavorful, with a banana-like aroma. Fine-textured, yellowish-white flesh is also higher in Vitamin C than an orange! Grown by Le Lectier, procureur for Louis XIII. Continues to be served in fine Parisian Restaurants. High quality all purpose apple that has some resistance to scab.
Bloom: Mid
USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Excellent
Mature Size: Medium to Large
Ripens: Very Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking, juice/hard cider
           
CALVILLE BLANC D'HIVER  is the classic dessert apple of France, and is of either French or German origin. It was mentioned by LeLecire, procureur for Louis XIII, at Orleans in 1627, and it likely dates to the late 16th century. This is a large, flattish, round apple, with uneven ribs extending the entire length of the fruit and terminating in prominent unequal ridges at the base. It is pale-green in color with light red dots on the side exposed to the sun. It turns yellow in storage as it matures, and should be stored a month or longer to develop its maximum flavor. It has distinctiveness described by some as effervescence. In vitamin C, it ranks very high. A vigorous shy bearer that needs a sunny location to ripen fully, the tree does not produce fruit of the highest quality until it has cropped for a number of years. Other than its very high dessert quality, it makes exceptional cider and cider vinegar. Ripens in October. Good culinary apple as well.

DETROIT RED was likely brought from France by settlers in the Detroit locality, but was not described until 1845 by Downing. Thomas Jefferson planted grafted trees of Detroit Red in the nursery at Monticello in 1805. Fruit is large in size and oblate in form with distinct ribbing. The thick tough skin is a crimson overspread with a purplish-red that blackens as the fruit ripens, and the greenish-yellow background shows through this dark coloration. The white flesh of this dessert apple is coarse-grained, juicy, subacid and highly aromatic. Often it is streaked or stained red. It blooms even later than the Rome Beauty, and therefore, it is less likely to be frost damaged. Ripens in September.

ESOPUS SPITZENBURG originated in Esopus, Ulster County, New York, in the latter part of the 18th century and has the reputation as a favorite dessert apple of Thomas Jefferson. He ordered 12 trees of the variety from William Prince's Flushing, Long Island, Nursery in 1790 to plant at Monticello. "Spitz" is likely one of the parents of the Jonathan and is classified in the Baldwin apple group. It is a large apple, oblong in shape, smooth-skinned and colored a lively, brilliant red, approaching scarlet. It is covered with small yellow specks. In hot and humid regions, the color is not as pronounced. The yellow flesh is rich, juicy, and sprightly, and in taste tests, it usually ranks very high. A shy bearer on slender, willowy limbs, this biennial bearer needs a pollinator. The upright growing tree is moderate in vigor with olive-colored bark, and the dull leaves are folded with irregular shallow serrations. The branches have wide crotch angles and are long and drooping. It is susceptible to fireblight, and if left on the tree too long, it will develop a condition called Jonathan Spot, which are brown skin-deep marks that detract from its appearance. Scab, canker and collar rot are also problems of this classic dessert fruit. It ripens over a few weeks in late September and early October.

FATHER ABRAHAM is the Danziger Kantaphel, first mentioned in 1790, that presumably came from the Danzig, Germany, region. It was mentioned in 1802 as a cider apple in Ireland. William Cox wrote in 1817: "This is a small apple of a flat form; the skin is red with spots and blotches of red with a little yellow. …" It is medium in size, prominently ribbed at the eye with some ribbing from the base to the apex. The greenish-yellow skin is almost totally flushed and streaked brownish-red and dotted over the surface. Sometimes it is russeted at the base and the skin is very greasy. The yellowish-white flesh is fine-grained, tinged red under the skin, with a sweet subacid flavor. The flavor is mildly aromatic. It bears regularly and stores well. Ripens in September.

 

GOLDEN RUSSET New York prior to 1845
The "champagne" of old-time cider apples, also delicious for eating and drying. Grey-green to golden bronze with a coppery orange cheek; heavily splotched with light brown russet. Crisp, highly flavored, fine-textured, yellow flesh makes very sugary juice. Shows some resistance to scab and cedar apple rust.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Excellent
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), juice/hard cider

GOLDEN RUSSET may be a seedling of English Russet. There are a number of strains and cultivars. It was known in the 18th century, and was described by Downing in Fruits and Fruit Trees of America, 1859. A medium-size apple, its russet skin varies from grey-green to a golden bronze with a bright coppery-orange cheek. Under favorable conditions, the skin is smooth and the shape uniform. The fine-grained, yellowish flesh is crisp with an exceptionally sugary juice. It is a tip bearer with a tendency toward biennial bearing, and for heavy crop production, cross-pollination is necessary. It exhibits resistance to scab and other fruit tree diseases. The dark, reddish-olive bark has prominent whitish lenticels, and the dull leaves are dark-green and sharply serrated. Properly stored, it will keep until April. It ripens the first week in October in Central Virginia, unless hot and dry weather accelerates ripening. Fruit will hang on the tree after leaf fall. Still considered to be one of the best cider apples of all time, but is also a tasty dessert apple.

HORSE APPLE is also called Yellow Horse, Summer Horse, Green Horse, Oldfield Horse, Mammoth Horse, Hoss and Old Fashion Horse. The variety Hass is a distinct variety, and some of the synonyms are likely seedlings of the variety that probably originated in North Carolina in the 18th century. Usually large in size, it is roundish in shape with the thick, bright-yellow skin occasionally blushed red. The yellow flesh is coarse, tender and acidic, making it a good eating apple. It is tart in flavor until fully ripe; but even then, it is not sweet. The tree is vigorous and has some disease resistance. In Central Virginia, it has been a popular cooking and drying apple, and the vinegar from early cider production was popular for use in pickling. It bears heavy crops annualy and ripens in July.

MACOUN New York 1950 (McIntosh x Jersey Black)

A McIntosh type apple, dark purplish-red blush over green background. Flesh is white, richly flavored, aromatic with very excellent fresh eating quality. One of the best mid- season apples. Keeps well. Drops quite a few before they are ripe.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Good
Mature Size: Medium
Ripens: Midseason
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking, juice/hard cider

MAIDEN BLUSH New York 1817

Beautiful apple of pale lemon-yellow color with crimson blush. Flesh is white, sprightly, quality good. Tree is an excellent grower, comes into bearing young. Dependable producer, long harvest period, and displays resistance to fireblight.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 3,4,5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Fair
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Early
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), juice/hard cider

MUTSU
Japan 1948 (Golden Delicious x Indo)

Vigorous hybrid with large fruit. Skin green, maturing to yellow, sometimes blushed orange. Flesh yellow-white, firm, juicy, crisp but coarse; slightly aromatic. All-purpose apple, and a favorite with the kids at our tastings. Highly resistant to frost injury. Triploid.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: None
Fruit Storage: Good
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, baking, juice/hard cider

NEWTOWN PIPPIN New York 1759

Favorite apple of George Washington. Shape oblate; skin green to yellow, often russeted, with white dots. Flesh yellowish or tinged with green, firm, crisp, moderately fine grained, sprightly aromatic flavor with refreshing piney tartness. Does well in California and is heat resistant. A great keeper.
Bloom: Late
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: Self-fertile
Fruit Storage: Excellent
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking, juice/hard cider

OZARK GOLD
Missouri 1970

Golden Delicious type but earlier, firmer (perhaps due to Ben Davis parentage) and less russeting. Flavor is sweet, honeyed, very juicy with little acidity.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Fair
Mature Size: Medium
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), juice/hard cider

POMME GRIS is also called French Russet, Gray Apple, Grise, Leather Apple of Turic and Leather Coat. Migrant French brought it to the St. Lawrence Valley from either France or Switzerland, and it is speculated that it is identical with the Reinette Grise, which was cultivated in Europe in the 17th century. The fruit is medium to small in size, with a thick, tough, greenish-yellow skin, usually completely covered with a russet. On the sun-exposed side, there is often a reddish coloration. The yellow flesh is crisp, juicy, aromatic and richly flavored. The tree grows upright and bears full crops annually. Pomme Gris stores well and ripens in September. Jefferson grew Pomme Gris at Monticello as a dessert apple, and it is a notable one for the connoisseur, with a rich sweet nutty flavor.

RHODE ISLAND GREENING
Rhode Island 1650:

Favorite American cooking apple known in earliest colonial times. Fruit medium to large, round and symmetrical with green skin and occasional orange flush. Firm, rich, juicy, greenish-yellow flesh with peculiar, tart, refeshing, pleasantly acid flavor. One of the best pie apples and excellent for fresh eating if tree-ripened. Triploid.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: None
Fruit Storage: Good
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Midseason
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking

RIBSTON PIPPIN England 1769

Highly esteemed Victorian dessert apple. Intense, rich, aromatic flavor; very juicy, cream-colored flesh. Skin striped red over greenish-yellow, with russet patches. Parent of the famous Cox's Orange Pippin. Triploid.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: None
Fruit Storage: Fair
Mature Size: Medium
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), juice/hard cider

RIBSTON PIPPIN has the synonyms Essex Pippin, Beautiful Pippin, Formosa, Glory of York, Ribstone, Rockhill's Russet and Travers. It originated in Yorkshire, England, around 1700 as a dessert apple, and was grown from three apple pips (seeds) sent from Normandy to Sir Henry Goodricke of Ribston Hall at Knaresborough, in Yorkshire, in 1709. Only one seed germinated and matured. The original tree was blown down in 1810, but was propped up and lived until 1928. A seed of one of its progeny produced the Cox's Orange Pippin. The apple skin is a yellow, flushed orange, and streaked red with russet at the base and apex. The yellow flesh is firm, fine-grained, and sweet. Some tasters detect a "pear-drop" flavor, and others have compared it to fermenting cider. Irregularly shaped and sometimes lopsided, the apple is usually round to conical in shape and flattened at the base with distinct ribbing. Weather conditions during ripening cause a marbling or water coring of the flesh, and in very hot weather, the fruit will ripen prematurely. It is very slow to begin bearing, and the proper pollinators will increase the fruitfulness. Lord Lambourne has been recommended for a pollinator, as well as Adam's Pearmain and Egremont Russet. It does not need thinning; and good culture, especially attention to the soil condition, is necessary to produce good crops. Ribston Pippin has one of the highest vitamin C contents; 30.30mg/100mg. A vigorous tree with upright growth, its medium-sized ovate to oval shaped leaves are a deep green color and distinctly folded with sharp, regular and shallow serrations. The surface of the leaf is smooth and dull with a heavy pubescence. Ribston Pippin does not store well and ripens in September.

ROXBURY RUSSET  Massachusetts prior to 1649

Excellent old American cider apple, a keeper and good for eating fresh. Large greenish, sometimes bronze tinged skin almost covered with yellowish-brown russet. Remarkable for it's amount of sugar. Firm, slightly coarse, fairly tender, yellowish-white flesh. Tree medium to large, a good cropper on rich soils. Displays resistance to scab and cedar apple rust.
Bloom: Late
USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Excellent
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), juice/hard cider

ROXBURY RUSSET is also called Boston Russet, Putnam Russet, Leather Coat, Shippen's Russet, Belpre Russet, Marietta Russet, Sylvan Russet, Hewe's Russet and Warner Russet. It originated early in the 17th century in Roxbury, Massachusetts, and is probably the oldest named variety of apple in America. Propagation wood was taken to Connecticut soon after 1649. Medium to large in size, and elliptical in shape, the green skin is tinged a bronze, and overspread with a brownish-yellow russet. Sometimes, there is a reddish blush on the sun-exposed side. The hint of ribbing can be sometimes seen. The greenish-yellow flesh is coarse, medium depth; calyx is closed; basin round of moderate depth; the core is compact, and the seeds are usually defective. The spreading tree is crooked growing when young, and the bark is a reddish-olive. The broad, oval, shiny leaves are folded near the edge and slightly reflexed. A deep-green in color, they are regularly and moderately serrated with a heavy pubescence. An all-purpose apple, good for cooking or eating, it contains 12.87% sugar that ferments to 6% alcohol in hard cider production. The Roxbury Russet can be distinguished from the Golden Russet by the larger tree with a heavier crop, larger and distinctly elliptical fruit, thicker stem with a red tinge on one side and coarser and more yellow flesh. Roxbury Russet stores well and ripens in late September and early October.

SOPS IN WINE England 1832

Old English culinary and cider apple, great for apple wine. Also good for dessert, this medium to large fruit is greenish-yellow covered with purplish-red, and mottled or striped with dark crimson. Flesh is aromatic, mild subacid in flavor.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Fair
Mature Size: Medium
Ripens: Midseason
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), juice/hard cider

SPITZENBURG (Esopus) New York prior to 1800

Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple; unexcelled in flavor or quality. Good off the tree, but flavor radically improves in storage. Fruit medium to large; skin tough, russet dots, red over yellow with inconspicuous stripes. Flesh tinged yellow, firm, aromatic, sprightly subacid. Simply delicious!
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: excellent
Mature Size: Medium
Ripens: Late
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking

SUMMER RAMBO
France 1535 (Rambour Franc)

Large red fruit, bright striped. Breaking, crisp, exceptionally juicy, aromatic flesh. Good for eating and sauce. Precocious, vigorous, hardy and productive tree. Displays some resistance to scab and fireblight.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9
Pollination: Required
Fruit Storage: Fair
Mature Size: Large
Ripens: Early
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking

SWEET SIXTEEN is a cross of Malinda and Northern Spy, introduced by the University of Minnesota in 1973. A large, conical shape, red-striped apple, its cream-colored flesh is crisp with a slight acidity. Late blooming and early bearing, it is resistant to both scab and fireblight. The tree is hardy and vigorous growing. This dessert apple stores well and ripens in early October.

VIRGINIA BEAUTY originated on the property of Zach Safewright in the Piper Gap area of Carroll County, Virginia. Originally, Carroll County was a part of Grayson County. The apple variety was disseminated throughout Southwest Virginia originally with the name Zach or Zach Red, and in the 1850s, it was given the name Virginia Beauty. Large in size and oblate to truncate in shape, the smooth and glossy, greenish-yellow skin is half to nearly totally covered a shaded brick-red with indistinct red stripes in the greener areas. There are indistinct russet dots over the entire surface and the basin is usually covered to the shoulder with a brownish green russet. The yellow flesh is fine-grained, tender, and a light sweetness in flavor. Vigorous growing with wide crotch angle branches, the tree is hardy, and on some soils, is a shy bearer when young. In the early part of the 20th century, the Virginia Beauty was popular for not only dessert, but also for processing, especially for apple preserves. Virginia Beauty and Shockley were always reserved for that purpose in Central Virginia. It stores very well and ripens the first weeks of October.

VIRGINIA (HEWE'S) CRAB is also known as Hewe's Crab, Hugh's Crab and Hughes Crab. There is also a Red Hewes Crab, a seedling of the Virginia Crab, grown by a Colonel Blackburn in Paris, Illinois, before 1869. It is redder in color and larger in size. It was well described by Coxe in A View of Fruit Trees, 1817, as: "The apple is of small size; the form nearly round, the stem long and thin, the skin a dull red mixed with faint streaks of greenish yellow, and numerous small white spots. The flesh is singularly fibrous and astringent: in pressing, it separates from the liquor, which runs through the finest flannel like spring water;…my own practice is to mix the crab pomace in the vat with that of strong rich cider apples, which makes an improved liquor…The tree is of small size, the leaves though small, are of luxuriant growth…the wood hard and tough, never breaking with the load of fruit, usually produced every second year. The origin of this apple is satisfactorily traced to Virginia, where trees nearly one hundred years old, are now standing…" This means that the variety was known in 1717. Coxe continues…"The apple called Hewe's Virginia Crab differs so much from all others that the liquor extracted from it requires a system of management adapted to the peculiar qualities of the fruit." Before the development of hybrid rootstocks, the Virginia Crab was often used as an under stock because of its hardiness, compatibility to many varieties, and vigorous growth. The Virginia Crab was one of the major cider varieties that Thomas Jefferson planted in the north orchard at Monticello. It makes a very high-flavored dry cider, which maintains its quality for a long time and ferments very slowly. In Central Virginia, it ripens in September.

WEALTHY
Minnesota 1860

Pale yellow fruit splashed and striped with red. Ripens to all-over scarlet for fresh eating; used weeks earlier for pies, sauces and preserves. Flesh is sprightly, vinous, distinctive flavor with a hint of strawberry. Small compact tree bears heavily, is very hardy and low chill. Blooms profusely over a long period, making it an excellent pollinator. This is a favorite for home orchards in Minnesota and the East.
Bloom: Midseason
USDA Zone: 4,5,6,7,8,9,10
Pollination: Self-fertile
Fruit Storage: Fair
Mature Size: Small
Ripens: Midseason
Uses: Fresh eating/ dessert, cooking (puree, applesauce, apple butter), baking

YATES has other names: Jates, Red Warrior and Yates Winter. It originated with Matthew Yates of Fayette County, Georgia, about 1844. Small in size and oblate conic in shape, the pale-yellow skin is striped and flushed dark-red and covered with small gray dots. The yellowish-white flesh is juicy, tender, and sweet, and often strained red just under the skin. It is very necessary to thin the fruit to increase the size. The medium-green, oval leaves are shiny, waved and sharply serrated. Highly suitable for cider making as well as dessert, Yates stores exceptionally well and ripens in October.

YORK or York Imperial was originally named Johnson's Fine Winter. There are a number of strains and cultivars of this dessert apple. It originated on the Johnson farm near York, Pennsylvania, and was introduced in 1830. Johnson watched school children digging out leaf-covered apples that were in a remarkable state of preservation in the early spring. A local nurseryman propagated it before 1830 under the name Johnson's Fine Winter, until Charles Downing in the 1850s called it an "imperial keeper," and suggested it be named York Imperial. The fruit is medium to large in size, and variable, from an oblate-oblique to an oval-oblong shape, the greenish-yellow skin is mostly covered with a light-red flush, carmine stripes and russet dots. Often it is streaked with grayish scarfskin. The yellow flesh is coarse-textured, crisp and juicy, with a sprightly subacid to sweet flavor, that remains even after long storage. The tree grows upright and stocky with dark-green oval leaves that are shiny and slightly serrated. The core of the apple is small and compact. There are 175 to 185 days from full bloom to fruit maturity. York ripens in October