>

Hewes Crab blossom The Orchard at Sage Hen Farm: Apple Trees

Descriptions of over 80 apple varieties presently growing in our orchard in Lodi, NY.


At Sage Hen Farm in Lodi, NY, we have a young orchard and remnants from an old apple orchard now part of a mixed deciduous woods. The fruit charts on this site list and describe about 100 varieties of trees, including: APPLES, PEARS, PEACHES, PLUMS, CHERRIES, AND APRICOTS. For all but a few varieties, we only have one tree. We have concentrated on cold hardy varieties, varieties largely forgotten now but venerated in past generations, and some for their flavor or quality, especially in fresh cider.

See also a page about my grandpap's apple orchard. Below the table is a key to the sources used for ratings of the apples. See also this page of LINKS to other apple resources.


The table is divided up by season with varieties listed in order of ripening and the usual time picking can begin. The order is based on both personal experience and estimates provided by other orchardists, mostly those here in the Finger Lakes. Ripening order, however, is never quite the same from one year to the next.

Early August | Mid August | Late August | Early September | Mid September | Late September | Early October | Mid October | Late October to Early November

Here are the apple trees in alphabetical order

American Summer Pearmain, Antonovka, Ashmead's Kernal, Autumn Crisp, Baldwin, Blacktwig, Blenheim Orange, Blue Pearmain, Briggs Auburn, Calamoutier, Calville Blanc, Chestnut Crab, Cox's Orange Pippin, Connell Red, Detroit Red, Discovery, Doctor, Dyer, Early Joe, Esopus Spitzenberg, Fall Pippin, Golden Russet, Goldrush. Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Halberstadter Jungfernapfel, Haralson, Holstein, Honeycrisp, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Hudson's Golden Gem, Idared, Jefferis, Jonagold, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Keepsake, Kentucky Limbertwig, Kidd's Orange Red, King David, King of the Pippins, King of Tompkins County, Kinnaird's Choice, Ladies' Sweeting, Late Strawberry, Liberty, Lodi, Macoun, Magog Redstreak, Melon, Mother, Newtown Pippin, Northern Spy, Northfield Beauty, Opalescent, Piel de Sapa, Pitmaston Pine Apple, Porter, Pound Sweet, Primate, Rambo, Red Canada, Redfield, Redflesh, Reine de Reinettes, St. Edmund's Russet, Smokehouse, Sops in Wine, Stayman, Starkey, Striped Harvey, Summer Limbertwig, Summer Rambo, Tolman Sweet, Twenty Ounce, Virginia Beauty, Wealthy, Westfield Seek No Further, Winekist, Wagener, Winesap, Yellow Bellflower, Zabergau Reinette


<

LATE JULY

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape


Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Lodi
(Improved Yellow Transparent)

(Montgomery x Yellow Transparent),
NY
1911



Lodi apple

NFC GRIN USDA+

large


classic shape, with a little more tapering


mild, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

cream, occasionally russetting at both ends; thin & tender skinned


greenish cream

soft, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Culinary, especially sauce


T3, upright

Merits: Tree: very hardy (nearly ironclad, to z2 or 3); partially self-pollinating; resistant to apple scab and powdery mildew; hangs well on tree for long time. Fruit: prized for sauce.

Faults: Tree: tends biennial; bears fruits uneven in size & shape; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: very poor keeper; bruises easily; quickly browning flesh; becomes mealy when overripe.

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, thinning required for good sized fruit and to prevent biennial bearing; partial tip bearer (pruning challenge). Fruit: susceptible to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but leads to decay at core].

Ratings: AA: *; Burford; FB1001*; Pomologie: ****; Vorbeck: Sour13.


EARLY AUGUST

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Keeps

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Discovery
(Thurston August)

(Worcester Pearmain x unknown, possibly Beauty of Bath)
UK
before 1950, renamed in 1962


NFC GRIN USDA

medium


flatter shape, slightly ribbed


rich, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

predominently bright red over pale greenish yellow


yellowish white tinged pink

firm, crisp, fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, jelly

T2, spreading

Merits: Tree: heavy cropper, good pollinator; late blooming protects it from frost damage, moderately resistant to scab. Fruit: very slow browning flesh.

Faults: Tree: part tip bearer; has a narrow harvest window. Fireblight: 5. Fruit: poor keeper; fruit tends to crack.

Ratings: Pomologie:*****; Royal: AGM-D.

Special: In the 1980s and 1990s, Discovery was the leading early apple sold in the UK. It is still popular there as a home garden variety. Has seen a revival with a new interest in red fleshed apples, but the amount of pink varies from apple to apple and is generally small.

MID AUGUST

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Keeps

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Sops in Wine
(Sops of Wine, Sapson)

(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1600


Sops in Wine

USDA+

medium to large


classic shape, slightly ribbed, asymmetric


mild, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

purplish red over crimson,
some yellow, dotted; moderately thin & tender skinned


white tinged with pink (the amount of pink varies from apple to apple, and can increase if not picked early)

tender, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Culinary

T3, upright, dense





Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); early bearer; heavy cropper of large fruit; fruit hangs well. Fruit: distinctive red stained white flesh.

Faults: Tree: part tip bearer; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: poor keeper; becomes mealy when overripe.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: ripens over several weeks.

Ratings: Downing: good; Bull1897: 5-6/*; Bull09: g*; Beach: good; NY1907: _ (Superseded by better varieties); Baker: IL; Barry: "delicious"/"pleasant"; Bridgeman: handsome; Bunyard: flavourless, of no particular merit; Elliott: vg; Cole: neither excellent nor profitable; Dickerman: NE; FB208: R(D); Hansen: g-vg; Hedrick: good, superceded; Hogg2: a curious little dessert apple of good quality; Hooper: 3; HSL: 2; Kenrick: no*(much esteemed); Lowther: good,9(31)ME94: good/*; Michigan1879: good, 4.6.6; Moore Orchards: mediocre at best; Ont1892: 2/5/2/0; Powell: "an old sort"; Prince [under Sapson]; Ragan: good; Scott: 1 (as a cider sort); S-L: de premiere qualitie pour la table et pour cuire; Thomas: *(good flavor, valuable); Warder: g-vg; Waugh: fair; Wilkinson: good

Special: The name, according to an old source, comes not from any wine-like flavor, but because the pink tinge to the flesh made the apple look as though it had been soaked or dipped in red wine.


American Summer Pearmain
(Summer Pearmain)

(parentage unknown)
US
before 1800

nf GRIN USDA+

medium


blocky


very rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

dull purplish red marbling over
greenish yellow, occasionally russeting near stem; smooth skinned


yellow

tender, very fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating


T1



Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4). Fruit: highly aromatic; ranked best early season apple by several authorities.

Faults: Tree: shy bearer; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: fair keeper (better than most among early apples, perhaps more than a month).

Merit or fault?: Fruit: ripens over several weeks )throughout August).

Ratings: Downing: best; Bull09: vgb*; Beach: best; NY1907: *dH (of value only as an amatuer's fruit); APS1911: **D; Baker: *; Barry: "one of the best"/"a valuable sort for family use"; Bridgeman: fine flavored, excellent; Brooklyn; Buffalo; Burford; Dickerman: US, NY*; Elliot: best, amateur's fruit; FB113: &; FB208: HR(D); FB1001*; Hedrick: best; Hogg1: pleasantly flavoured, excellent early apple; Hooper: 1; HSL: listed, but not rated; Kenrick: *(highly deserving of cultivatoin); Lear: 10; Lowther: best,5(29); Ont1892: 3/1/2/_; Manning: very tender and good; Prince; Ragan: best; S-L: de bonne qualite; Richmond: *F; Scott: 1; Smith: looks to be an excellent apple; Thomas: *(superior); Warder: best.

Early Joe
(parentage unknown)
New York
before 1800

GRIN  USDA+


small to medium


flatter shape; slight ribbing


sprightly, complex, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

crimson &orangy red over pale yellow


white

tender, fine-grained, crisp

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T1, roundish, dense

Merits: Tree: reliably productive. Fruit: aromatic.

Faults: Tree: tip bearer (pruning challenge); Fireblight: 4. Fruit: notoriously poor keeper (doesn't keep much more than a few days).

Ratings: Downing: best; Bull97: 10*; Beach: vg-b; APS1911: D; Dickerman: NE, NY; Barry: Top20, (G), "a most beautiful and delicious fruit; Cole: "an excellent fruit, but little known"; Elliott: fine...worthy; FB113; FB208: R(DM); Hansen: best; Hedrick: vg; Hogg2: firt rate; Michigan1879: best, 10.8.8; Ont: 8/8/7/8; Ragan: vg-b; S-L: de premiere qualitie pour la table et pour cuire; Scott: one of the best; Warder: almost best; Waugh: good.

Special: Originated in same orchard as Northern Spy.

LATE AUGUST

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape


Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Gravenstein
(Gravensteiner)
(parentage unknown)
Europe
before 1650,
red strain before 1880

Red Gravenstein
(Banks Gravenstein)
(parentage unknown)
Nova Scotia
found in 1876

Gravenstein

GRIN USDA (original) USDA+ (red)

medium to large


roundish, ribbed, often lopsided


rich, 4/3 on the sweet-tart scale

red stripes & splashes over orangy yellow; thin skinned


cream

tender, very fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

 

T3, upright-spreading, open

 



Merits: Tree: resistant to apple scab; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: prized for sprightly rich flavor; highly aromatic; handles well; called equally good for dessert or cooking; considered best early season cider apple; keeps better than most early apples (perhaps as long as six weeks)

Faults: Tree: biennial; shy bearer; triploid (does not pollinate); may drop fruit prematurely; has a narrow harvest window; susceptible to scab & powdery mildew; subject to winter damage. Fruit: skin can become greasy; quickly browning.

Merit or fault?: Tree: ripens over several weeks (from late August through mid September); whether precocious or slow to start bearing varies widely by individual trees and rootstock (more so than other varieties); partial tip bearer (pruning challenge). Fruit: subject to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but leads to decay at core].

Ratings [most are for Gravenstein, rather than Red Gravenstein]: Downing: vg; Bull97: 5-6**; Bull99: 8-9**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: vg-b; NY1907: **dkM (fruits attractive and excellent. Becoming popular); NY1914: vg-b/* ; AA: **; Allen; APS1911: **DKM; Brooklyn; BC: vg; Baker: **, NY (Top12), MA (Top6), RI (top12), NJ (top20); Barron:very handsome and highly flavoured; Barry: Top20, (A), (G), Unimpeachable "of the first quality"/"peculiar high, aromatic flavor....one of the most profitable," ; Bridgeman: [Germany's] best dessert apple; Buffalo; Bunyard: deserving of wider cultivation; Cole: one of the handsomest and best; Dickerman: US, NY*; FB113: NE&; FB208: HR(DKM); FB1001; Folger: *$H (2 regions); Gould: the standard; Hansen: excellent; Hayes; Hedrick: vg-best, *, attractive. excellent; Hogg2: very excellent; Hooper: sometimes excellent; Jacobsen; Kenrick: *(first rate); KOB: high quality, with an excellent, room-filling smell; Lear: 9; Lewelling; Lowther: vg,20; Manhart: vg/b; Manning: one of the most valuable apples cultivated; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: vg, 6.7.5; Michigan1890: vg, 7.7.7; Ont1892: 9/9/10/10; PA1910: (S&N) Unexcelled for cooking, very good for dessert; Phillips: "Refined spritely flavor"; Pomologie: *****; Powell: * "one of the finest apples now grown," one of the must 6 and must 20; Ragan: vg; Richmond: *FM; Royal: 1888: No. 24 dessert, in Top 60 culinary, first quality; S-L: de toute premiere qualitie; Salt; Scott: 1, among earlier apples, none equal; Seattle24; Thomas: *(high flavored, excellent); Traverso: F-S; UIll: vg-b; Vorbeck: Sour10; Walker: #2; Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - first class; Yepsen: "outstanding".

Special: Red Gravenstein is reported to thrive better in northern climates than the original, but in all other characteristics beyond skin color, the two are thought to be identical or very similar.


Primate
(Rough and Ready, North American Best)

(parentage unknown)
NY
1840

GRIN USDA+

above medium to large


classic shape, often ribbed

rich, refreshing, spritely, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

light greenish white with yellow tinge & crimson blush, occasionally russeting near stem;thin skinned


white

tender, fine-grained, soft to semi-firm

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, cider

T3, upright spreading, dense

 

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); precocious bearer; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: very slow browning flesh; highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: tends toward biennial, has a narrow harvest window. Fruit: poor keeper, very tender, bruises easily.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over several weeks (late August through
September); differing reports on productivy from very productive to light bearer. Fruit: not uniform in size.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 9**: Beach: vg to best; NY1907: *dH (Tree characters poor, valuable for dessert and local market); Baker: NY (Top12), Barry: "excellent dessert sort"; Elliot: best; Hansen:*: vg to best, "one of the best summer dessert apples for the family"; Hayes; Hedrick: vg-best /1922: vg-b, "choicely good"; Lear: not rated, but listed by Fitz among best 6 summer apples; Lowther: best,10(26); ME94: best; Michigan, 9.3.5: best; Ont1892: 7/6/6/_; PA1910: (S) One of the best of its season for the home orchard;Ragan: vg-b; S-L: tres jolie et excellente variete; Scott: 1; Thomas: **(valuable); Warder: best; Waugh: vg; Woolverton: dessert vg-best, cooking fair, commercial value - third class.

Special: The farm of Calvin D. Bingham of Camillus, where the Primate originated is less than an hour's drive from our farm.

Northfield Beauty
(Siberian crab x Hubbardston?)
Vermont
before 1875


Northfield Beauty
 
USDA

 

medium to large


slightly flattened, asymmetric


complex, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

red & red stripes dominant over yellow,
prominently dotted; tender skinned


white

tender, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating

T2, spreading

 

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); heavy cropper of good-sized fruit; hangs well on tree for long time; resistant to scab.

Faults: Tree: Fireblight: 4. Fruit: bruises easily; poor keeper.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: asymmetrical shape makes it not-so beautiful to some.

Ratings: Downing: good; Bull99: 6-8_; Bull09: vg_; Hansen: rather poor (good for cooking); Ragan: vg; Waugh: good

Special: In an article about hybrid Siberian apples in Transactions of the American Horticultural Society, Volume 3, 1885, the Northfield Beauty was described as Vermont's greatest success, with fruit "of high excellence, approaching 'best' in quality"; nearly lost, but promoted in California by Albert Etter after 1900.

Magog Redstreak
(parentage unknown)
Vermont
before 1870

Magog Redstreak
 
USDA+

large


flatter shape


mild, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

red splashed over light yellow,
some russet; tough, thin skinned


cream

tender, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

Culinary

T2, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: very hardy (ironclad, to z2).

Faults: Tree: tends toward biennial; poor keeper; Fireblight: 5.

Ratings: Bull99: 7-8/X; Bull09: g_; Beach: good; NY1907: _(not valuable enough to retain); BC: medium; Hansen: fair to good; Hedrick: good, not valuable enough to retain/1922: has been on probation for nearly a half a century, but of unquestionable excellence as a culinary apple; Lowther: good,...; ME94: .../...; Ont1892: 3/7/5/7; Ragan: [described but not rated]; Waugh: good; Wilkinson: good; Woolverton: good, commercial value - third class.

Redflesh
(Hansen's Red Flesh)

(Niedzwetzkyana x Elk River)
South Dakota
introduced 1928

Redflesh
GRIN USDA

crab


elongated


astringent, 6 on the sweet-tart scale

red; thin skinned


red flesh through-out

firm, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3


Cider-blending, jelly

T1



Merits: Tree: hardy (to z3 or 4); beautiful red buds and pink flowers; greenish bronze foliage; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: rich in health-beneficial anthocyanins; keeps well for an early apple (for a couple of months)

Faults: Tree: biennial; highly susceptible to scab. Fruit: good for jellies, sauces, and cider.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: Principally an ornamental flowering crab.

Special: Although Roger Way (Cornell, 1992) called it inedible, Maine pomologist Donald Wyman rated it among the best crabs for flower and best for fruit in 1950.

EARLY SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

 

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Summer Rambo
(Rambour Franc, Rambour d'Ete)

(parentage unknown)
France
before 1550

summerrambo
 
USDA+

large


flatter shape, slightly ribbed, asymmetric


on the sweet side of sweet-tart 

red streaks and blush over greenish yellow, prominently dotted; thin & tender skinned


yellow

firm,moderately fine-grained

Juiciness; 4

Fresh eating, culinary

T3



Merits: Tree: precocious bearer; heavy cropper of large fruit; some scab resistance, Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Fruit: poor keeper, becomes mealy.

Merit or fault?: Tree: naturally large

Ratings: AoNY: good; MI79: good, 9.9.4; NY1907: b/*; BBG; Burford*; FB208: D3; Gould: of merit; HSL: 1; Jacobsen; Keil: among top 9 summer and fall apples; Manning: firm and juicy; PA1910: (S)* Highly prize, high quality; Prince; Ragan: good; Waugh: fair; UIll: vg; Y

Chestnut Crab
(Malinda x Siberian Crab)
Minnesota
1946


Chestnut Crab
GRIN

small (but large for a crab)


flatter shape


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow orange with red stripes,
some russeting especially at both ends


yellow

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 5

Fresh eating, jelly, cider blending

T2, spreading

 

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); annual, good pollinator; resistant to cedar rust; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: very slow browning flesh; keeps well for an early apple (for more than a couple of months).

Faults: Tree: early blooming makes it susceptible to killing frosts. Fruit: quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over a few weeks (through September).

Ratings: AA: ***; Browning; Burford; Heavy: "doll-sized and taste like they have been dipped in honey, with a fantastic snap"; Jacobsen.

Special: flavor has been called nutty -- does the name inspire the taste buds, or did the nutty taste inspire the name?

Autumn Crisp
(was NY 674)

(Golden Delicious x Monroe)
NY
1968?, named in 2009


Autumn Crisp

medium to large


classic shape
4 on the sweet-tart scale

pretty solid red;
some greenish yellow apparent;
moderately tough skinned


white

crisp, fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary

T1

Merits: Tree: precocious bearer; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: exceptionally non-browning flesh; holds shape well in baking.

Merit or Fault: Fruit: its tartness may vary from year to year. It has been called "too tart" and "tart without much complexity," and tartness was its chief feature the first year we harvested it. In 2016, it was more mellow, and one taster even called it "too sweet."

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Jacobsen.

Special: Mott's valued it enough to negotiate with Cornell for exclusive rights to it, I think for the purpose of developing apple slices or chips as a new snack food. As the new name and increased availability in 2009 indicates, the deal was not completed. There are claims that it is very high in Vitamin C, but that is true of all acidic apples.

Winner of the 2016 Sage Hen Farm taste test. Autumn Crisp garnered the most votes for #1 also had the highest average rating 4.7 on a scale of 1 to 5.

Dyer
(Pomme Royale; Golden Spice)

(parentage unknown)
NY or possibly France
before 1855, possibly before 1775

 

 

large to very large


slightly flatter

rich, spicy, spritely, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

pale yellow with greenish tinge & possible blush and russeting; thin skinned


yellowy white

crisp, fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider

T1

 

Merits: Tree: usually annual, precocious bearer; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: productiveness varies year to year. Fruit: very tender.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over a few weeks.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 9-10**; Bull09: vgb*: Beach: vg to best; NY1907: _(one of the finest dessert apples, but not a good commercial variety); APS1911: **D; Baker: RI (Top20); Barron: worthless; Barry: Top20, (G), "high flavored....one of the best dessert apples"/"highly esteemed for table or market" G; Cole: included, but not rated; Elliot: worthy; Hansen:*: excellent to best; Hedrick: vg-best, one of the finest dessert apples/1922: vg-b; Hooper: 1, excellent, admired where known; Kenrick: *(excellent); Lowther: vg,9(22); ME94: best; ME08: best; Michigan, 8.8.4: best; Ont1892: 7/5/3/_; Prince; Ragan: vg-b; Royal: 1888: worthless; Scott: 1; Smith: crisp nice apple a bit on the small side...flavor is very good, [but not high, as old books say]; Thomas: *(has but few equals); Walker: #12; Waugh: best; Woolverton: dessert excellent.

Redfield
(Wolf River x Niedzwetzskayana Red Crab)
NY
1938


Redfield
GRIN

medium


classic shape


rich, tart, moderately
astringent
, 5 on the sweet-tart scale

solid red that
can range from dark
pink to purply red;
waxy looking skin

white & red

tender, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Culinary, especially baking; cider-blending

T1, spreading-drooping, dense


Merits: Tree: very hardy (ironclad, to z2 or 3); bronze leaves and red blossoms qualify it as an ornamental; highly resistant to scab; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: red juice, excellent for colorful cider blending; makes good tasting, eye catching pies.

Faults: Tree: not highly productive. Fruit: quickly browning flesh

Merit or fault?: not recommended for fresh eating

Rating: Burford; Jacobsen.

Special: The pinkest apple seed I've ever seen was from an underripe Redfield.pink Redfield seed

Winekist
(Niedzwetzskyana or Red Vein Crab x unknown)
South Dakota or Maine
before 1950

 

small to medium


classic shape


tart, cranberryish, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

purply red; moderately thick skinned


solid deep red

crisp, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late August

T1, upright

 



Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3). Fruit: One of the darkest and most solid red of the red-fleshed apples, inside and out.

Faults: Tree: slow to start bearing, poor keeper.

Merit or fault?: Tree: ; even the leaves and bark are tinged with red; Fireblight: 2-5?

Ratings: n/a.

Special: The Winekist Dakotas was developed by Carl Hansen of Brookings, South Dakota, and introduced in 1949. It appears to be the same apple introduced by Morris Towle of Winthrop, ME, a collector of rare apples.

Holstein
(Holsteiner Cox)
(Cox's Orange open pollinated)
Germany
1918

nf GRIN

large


slightly flatter shape


rich, complex, distinctive, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

bright red over orange with some yellow ;tough, but moderately thin skinned


deep yellow with tinge of orange

firm, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider

T3, upright-spreading, dense

 

Merits: Tree: resistant to scab; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: highly aromatic; non-browning flesh; prized for fresh eating and cider; shares many qualities of Cox's Orange, but is larger size.

Faults: Tree: slow to start bearing; biennial; triploid (does not pollinate); susceptible to scab and canker. Fruit: subject to cracking.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: subject to sweet water core.

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Burford*; KOB: Recommended alternative to Cox; Phillips: "Highly aromatic with a good sugar-acid balance"; Salt; Seattle24; Smith: would be nice without the watercore; Yepsen: "has a personality of its own".

Special: in a Danish five-year study, organically grown Holsteiner Cox was the only variety of 14 that combined high yield, good fruit size and good eating quality with low susceptibility to disease.

Detroit Red
(Grand Sachem; Detroit Black, perhaps mistakenly)

(parentage unknown)
colonial French Canada
before 1790

Detroit Red

USDA

large to very large


flatter shape, ribbed


mild, 4 on the sweet-tart scale
glossy deep purple or black over
dark red, prominently dotted;
tough thick skinned

white, occasionally stained with red

tender, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

Culinary, cider

T2, roundish, dense

 

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); late blooming protects it from late frosts, annual, productive; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: great variability in size.

Ratings: Beach: g/vg; NY1907: _dH (Surpassed by McIntosh); Allen; Hedrick: good-vg; Lowther: g,1; Michigan1879: good, 6.4.2; Ont1892: _/4/2/4; Scott: 1, agreeable, sprightly; Thomas: (agreeable sub-acid); Warder: good? [Note: the confusion between the Detroit Red, Detroit Black, and Red Detroit makes some ratings uncertain].

Special: planted by Thomas Jefferson at Monticello; may be a parent of the McIntosh; twice finished at the bottom of the top 20 in taste tests held by Tom Burford at Monticello.


Saint Edmund's Russet
(St. Edmund's Pippin)

(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1870

St. Edmund's Russet
GRIN USDA

medium


flatter shape


rich, complex, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

russeting over greenish yellow; thick skinned


pale cream

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

 

Fresh eating

T2

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); precocious bearer; resistant to scab and cedar apple rust; partially self-pollinating. Fruit: highly aromatic; non-browning flesh.

Faults: Tree: tip bearer (pruning challenge). Fruit: not a good keeper.

Merit or Fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, but thinning required for good sized fruit; Fireblight: 1-5? Fruit: russet qualities.

Ratings: BC: nr; Browning; Potter; Ragan: not described; Royal: FCC, AGM-D.

Summer Limbertwig
(Weeping Limbertwig)

(probably Red Limbertwig open pollinated)
North Carolina
before 1855

medium


flattish


unusual, musky & spicy/sweet, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

pale yellow overlaid with pink and dark red striping with patches of russet; moderately thick skinned


creamy to rich yellow

fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, extreme drooping



Merits: Tree: annual; moderately resistant to most diseases; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: aromatic.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to scab. Fruit: dull color is not especially attractive.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: the distinctive "Limbertwig flavor" is both loved and disliked.

Ratings: Warder: vg, if not best

Special: may be the only limbertwig that ripens early enough to be successfully grown in northern climes.

MID SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape


Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Honeycrisp
(Keepsake x Frostbite [parentage includes Malinda, Northern Spy, Duchess of Oldenburg, & Golden Delicious])
Minn.
introduced 1991

GRIN

large


classic shape


sprightly, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

red & orange over yellow, dotted;
moderately thick skinned


cream

crisp, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating

T1





Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); late blooming protects it from late frosts; annual; resistant to scab; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: exceptionally, explosively crisp.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to powdery mildew. Fruit: moderately quick browning, not tart enough or right texture for good cooking or baking.

Merit or fault?: Tree: claims are that it is an precocious bearer, but ours have been slow to start bearing.

Ratings: AA: *; Browning; Burford; Jacobsen; Manhart: notable new; Phillips: "explosively crisp flesh" and "has a honeyed sweetness in its good flavor years"; Seattle24; Traverso: F-S; Vorbeck: Sweet3.

Special: Minnesota's State Apple. Crispness is due to the rupture or popping its cells that are twice the size of those of other apples. The researchers must have kept poor records, because it was once thought that it was a cross of Macoun & Honeygold. But the actual parentage was finally worked out in 2017.

Jefferis
(Jefferies)

(unknown)
Pennsylvania
before 1840

GRIN USDA+

medium


classic shape


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

light, dark and orangy red
over yellow-green,
occasional russeting around stem,
thin skinned


pale cream

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary

T3, upright, open


Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); precocious bearer; very prolific; annual; resistant to scab & powdery mildew; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Fruit: not a good keeper.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over long season (from mid September through early October).

Ratings: Bull97: 8-9/**; Bull09: vgb**; Beach:vg; NY1907: *dH (excellent for the home orchard); APS1911: **D; Barry: (A), /"juicy, rich" A; Burford; FB113: NE&; FB208: HR(D); Folger: H (0 regions); Gould: of merit; Hansen: vg; Hedrick: vg,*, excellent for the home market; Keil: among top 9 summer and fall apples &among top for pie; Lowther; vg,3; Michigan1879: vg, 9.6.6; S-L: a l'etude; de premiere qualitie; Scott: 1; Smith: solid reliable early apple...with a nice fruity flavor, 9th overall top: Thomas: (very pleasant); Warder: best.

Special: In his Report of the Pomologist to the US Commissioner of Agriculture, 1888, Henry E. Van Deman stated, "If I should be asked to select the  choicest early autumn apple known to me, I would say the Jefferies."


Porter
(parentage unknown)
Massachsetts
before 1800


Porter
GRIN USDA

medium


elongated and tapered, asymmetric


rich, complex, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

bright yellow, with dull orange
or red blush, occasionally russetting at both ends; tender skinned


creamy white

tender, fine-grained

Juiciness: 1

Culinary, especially baking

T2, roundish, dense

 

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); although biennial, still has decent off-year production; late blooming protects it from frost damage. Fruit: retains shape remarkably well.

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: quickly browning flesh; poor keeper.

Merit or fault?: Tree: ripens over several weeks. Fruit: bruises somewhat easily.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vgb*; Beach: g-vg; BC: vg; NY1907: *dkH (has many merits); NY1914: g-vg/**; APS1911: **DM; Baker: **, NY (Top20), RI (Top6), VA; Barry: (A), "excellent flavor"/"sprightly, highly esteemed" AL; Bridgeman: spritely and agreeable; Buffalo; Burford; Cole: excellent; Dickerman: NE, NY; FB113: NE&; FB208: HR(DM); Hansen: vg; Hedrick: g-vg, *, has many merits for home use and local markets/1922:best of all yellow fall apples; Hooper: 2, deserves a place in every orchard for beauty; Jacobsen; Kenrick: *; Lear: 10; Lowther: best,16; Manning: one of the finest of its season; ME94: best/**; Michigan1879: vg, 7.6.7; Ont1892: 5/4/5/3; Powell: * "an excellent apple"; Prince; Ragan: vg-b; Scott: 1; Thomas: *(fine flavor); UIll: vg-b; Walker: #7; Warder: g-vg; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: vg-best; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - third class.

Special: specifically recommended for jelly and the only apply recommended for canning in early editions of the Boston Cooking School cookbook by Fannie Farmer.

Striped Harvey
(parentage unknown)
Maine
before 1800

Striped Harvey

medium


classic shape


sprightly, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

red stripes over yellow


yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, roundish, dense

 

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3). Fruit: rich, well blended flavor.

Merit or fault?: Tree: An excellent keeper, but only under just right conditions.

Ratings: Ragan: listed as Harvey Stripe, but not described nor rated.

Special: Might have been lost and forgotten but for the efforts of George Stilphen, author of the book Apples of Maine, who has promoted it as his favorite apple.

Mother
(American Mother)
(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1850

Mother

nf GRIN USDA+

small to medium


somewhat elongated


intense, distinctive, complex, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

red stripes over yellow, occasionally russeting near stem; 
thin skinned


cream

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, cider

T2, upright-spreading, open

Merits: Tree: late blooming protects it from frost damage; partially self-pollinating; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: prized as one of the best tasting fresh eating apples; non-browning flesh; highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: slow to start bearing; thinning required for good sized fruit and to prevent biennial bearing; susceptible to apple scab. Fruit: not a good keeper.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over a few weeks (from mid September through early October). Fruit: quality and flavor are quite variable from year to year.

Ratings: Downing: best; Beach: vg-best; NY1907: *dH (Tree characters poor. Appearance and quality of the best); Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: b* ; Alwood: "most excellent quality for table or culinary"; Baker: *, NY (Top20); Barron: first quality; Barry: (W), "rich"/"valuable dessert" WL; BC: vg; Browning; Buffalo; Bunyard: a very choice desert fruit; Burford*; Cole: has no superior, and few equals, delightful mingling of sub-acid & saccharine; Elliot: vg; FB113: NE&; FB208: R(D); Gould: "of exquisite dessert quality," "of merit, but largely unknown"; Hansen: best; Hedrick: vg-best, *, Tree characteristics poor, appearance and quality of the best; Hogg2: first rate; Hooper: 2; Jacobsen; Keil: "undoubtedly the finest apple of its season" & listed among top summer & fall apples & top for stewing, pie & baking; KOB: listed, but quality not described; Lowther: best,12; ME94: best/**; Michigan1879: best, 8.7.6; Ont1892: 8/7/6/6; Potter [only American apple included]; Powell: * "one of the best dessert apples...of indescribable richness," "invaluable": Ragan: best; Royal: 1888: first quality, AGM-D; S-L: de toute premiere qualitie pour table, tres meritante; Scott: first-rate; Smith: rich unique taste when well-grown, 16/11 top flavor; Thomas: *(rich, very spicy); Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: best.

Wealthy
Siberian crab open pollinated, possibly with Rambo)
(Minnesota
1860


Wealthy

nf GRIN USDA

medium to large

classic shape, slightly ribbed


mild, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

red stripes over pale greenish yellow; tough skinned


greenish white tinged with pink

crisp, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating

T1, upright-spreading, open

 

Merits: Tree: very hardy (nearly ironclad); precocious bearer; non-browning flesh. Fruit: does not bruise easily

Faults: Tree: biennial; thinning required for good sized fruits; may drop fruit prematurely; Fruit: skin can become greasy; Fireblight: 4.

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper only when tree is young; ripens over several week; differing reports on resistance to cedar-apple rust.

Ratings: AoNY: g-vg; NY1907: * [** in some other NY regions]; NY1914: g-vg/**; NY1916: l/sp; BC: good; B-H: vg; Bull91: 6/** [97: no change; 99: 6-7/**]; Can; dessert good, cooking good, commercial value - first class; Lowther: vg,13(18); ME94: vg/*; MICH: f/m; PA1910: (S&N)* Good for dessert or cooking; Ont1892: 8/6/9/9; Ragan: vg; Royal: AM; Waugh: fair ; Wilkinson: vg/*; Y.

Special: Developed by Peter Gideon, the first non-crab apple to thrive in Minnesota well enough to be grown commercially. Named after his wife, whose first name was Wealthy.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Keeps

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Kidd's Orange Red
(Delco [original name
])
(Cox's Orange Pippin x Red Delicious)
NZ
1924


Kidd's Orange
GRIN

medium to large

classic shape, slightly ribbed


rich, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

crimson over yellow, dotted,
occasionally russeting near stem;
thick skinned


deep cream

firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider

T2, spreading-drooping

 



Merits: Tree: annual (if thinned); resistant to scab; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: highly aromatic; very juicy; non-browning flesh

Faults: Tree: susceptible to scab & canker; requires thinning for large sized fruit.

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, but much thinning required for good sized fruit.

Ratings: Burford*; Manhart: vg; Phillips: "Deep aromatic overtones surpass its rich sweetness"; Pomologie: *****; Royal: AM, AGM-D; Smith: low acid sweet aromatic, 11/12 top flavor, 6/7 top overall; Way; Yepsen: "superior to Gala".

Special: The first variety that New Zealand apple breeder J.H. Kidd (Gala, Freyberg) thought worthy of further propogation.

King of the Pippins
(King of Pippins, Reine des Reinettes, Reine de Reinettes, Golden Winter Pearmain, Frogstar)

(parentage unknown)
France, Belgium, UK?
before 1800

Reine de Reinettes
(King of the Pippins, Reine des Reinettes, Golden Winter Pearmain, Frogstar)

(parentage unknown)
France, Belgium, UK?
before 1800

King of the Pippins
GRIN USDA+ (King) USDA (Reine)

small to medium

somewhat elongated, sometimes lopsided


mild, 3 on the sweet-tart scale; may have slight astringency

red and orange
stripes dominant over yellow;
thick skinned


greenish pale cream

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

 

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, roundish, dense

 





 

Merits: Tree: certain & abundant cropper; partially self-pollinating; resistant to scab. Fruit: highly aromatic; rich flavor; prized for nutty character in cider blending.

Faults: Tree: poor keeper for an apple of this season; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, but much thinning required for good sized fruit and to prevent biennial bearing; fruit ripens over a few weeks; flavor and quality varies from year to year more than most varieties.

Ratings: AA: ***, Barron: first quality; BC: nr; Buffalo: 2nd rate; Bunyard: distinct flavour; Elliott: unworthy; HSL: 2; Hedirck: good [but seemed to be describing a different, late winter apple]; Hogg1: unequalled by any other of its season; Hogg2: valuable; Jacobsen; Kenrick: (first rate; no garden should be without); KOB: a top variety; Manning: high flavored; Pomologie: *****; Prince; Ragan: g; Royal: 1888: No. 1 desert, first quality, AGM-C/D; S-L: de premier qualitie tous la usages, aussi pour cidre; Scott: 1; Smith: very rich flavor...one of the best cooking/processing apples, 9/10 top flavor, 5 top overall; UIll: g-vg; VT.

Special: King of the Pippins may or may not be the same as the Dutch and the French Reine des Reinettes or the Reine de Reinettes sold in North America. King of the Pippins may or may not be identical to the original Golden Winter Pearmain. I've also seen speculation that the Clarke Pearmain grown at Monticello was the same apple. We have both a King of the Pippins and a Reine de Reinettes.

Reinette suggests little queen, but there is speculation that Reinette is a pun on Rainette, or little frog, because of those apples' thick, spotted skins. Frogstar suggests the this apple is the best of that little frog family of apples.

Fall Pippin
(Camuesar open pollinated?)
thought to be American, but may be Spanish
before 1800, possibly before 1700

nf GRIN USDA+

large


flatter shape, ribbed, sides sometimes unequal


sprightly, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow-green, becoming fine yellow, with occasional dull orange blush, occasionally russeting near stem;
thin skinned


white, tinged with yellow,

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary

T3, upright spreading, dense

 


Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); precocious bearer; heavy cropper; annual; resistant to scab & powdery mildew. Fruit: good keeper for an early apple, highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree:triploid (does not pollinate); susceptible to apple scab; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over long season from September into October.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 10/**; Bull09: gvg**; Beach:vg; NY1907: **dk (well recommended for local market); Allen; Baker:CT (Top 12), NJ (Top 12), NY** (Top 6), RI (Top 20), KY, MS, OH; Barry: Top20, (A), (G), "delicious, esteemed everywhere"/"one of the most valuable varieties" Unimpeachable; A; BC: vg; Bridgeman: first class; Buffalo; Burford; Cole: "fine for the table, superior for cooking"; CG: 42/22/16/80; Dickerman: NE, NY*; FB113: NE&; FB208: HR(D); Folger: H (0 regions); Gould: of merit; Hansen: vg; Hedrick: vg,*, excellent for the home market; Hogg1: valuable and first rate culinary; Hooper: 1, highly esteemed; Kenrick: one of the finest and most beautiful of its season; Lowther: vg,12(35): ME94: vg; PA1910: (N)* One of the most desirable of its season for the home orchard and of much value commercially; Pomologie:****; S-L: de toute premiere qualitie Richmond: *M.

Special: Related to if not identical to Camuesar, the national apple of Spain, also known as Reinette Blanche D’Espagne or White Spanish Reinette.


Late Strawberry
(Autumn Strawberry, Fall Strawberry)

(parentage unknown)
Aurora, New York
before 1848

GRIN USDA+

medium


classic shape, often ribbed


sprightly, 3 on the sweet-tart scale, distinctive

light & dark streaks of red over pale yellow, thin skinned


yellowish white

crisp, fine grained, tende

Juiciness: 5

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, spreading, open


 

 

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); precocious bearer; very prolific; annual. Fruit: highly aromatic; does not bruise easily; long keeping for a fall apple.

Faults: Tree: biennial; Fireblight: 4. Fruits:

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, but thinning required for good sized fruit; fruit ripens over a few weeks. Fruit: .

Ratings: Downing: vg; Beach: vg; NY1907: **dH (One of the best dessert apples of its season); Baker: **; Barry: Top20, "one of the best of its season" G; Buffalo; Cole: one of the finest; Elliott: describes but doesn't rate; FB208: R(DK);  Hansen: vg; Hedrick: vg, one of the good dessert apples of its season; Hooper: "highly esteemed in New York, where best known"; Keil: listed among top varieties for stewing and pie; Lowther: vg,11(25); ME94: vg; Michigan1879: vg, 8.4.5; Ont1892: 7/5/5/7; Thomas: *(one of the best early autumn apples); UIll: vg; Warder: best; Waugh: fair.

Special: The apple John Bunker identified as Canadian Strawberry may be the Late Strawberry.

Cox's Orange Pippin
(Ribston Pippin open pollinated or possibly x Blenheim Orange)
UK
before 1825

GRIN USDA+

medium


slightly flatter shape


rich, spicy, spritely, complex, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

red over orange with some yellow, occasionally russeting near stem; tough, but thin skinned


deep cream

crisp, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider

T2, upright-spreading, dense

 

Merits: Tree: partially self-pollinating; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: beautiful coloring; non-browning flesh; highly aromatic; high quality flavor makes it the favorite fresh eating apple in England.

Faults: Tree: biennial; shy bearer; bears high percentage of misshapen fruits; susceptible to scab, collar rot, mildew & canker; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: subject to cracking; subject to shriveling when overmature; not prized for cooking & baking; has reputation in North America of not measuring up to fruit grown in UK.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: subject to sweet water core.

Ratings: Beach: vg to best; NY1907: +dH (desirable for the home orchard); NY1914: vg-b/+ ; Barron: first quality; BC: vg; Browning; Bunyard: "generally considered to be the richest flavoured of English Apples"; Hedrick: vg-best, +, desirable for home orchard; Hogg2: first rate; KOB: Outstanding savory fruit with high demands on soil, location and care; Lowther: vg,1; Manhart: vg/b; Ont1892: 9/3/7/10; Pomologie: *****; Potter; Ragan: vg; Royal: 1888: No. 2 desert, first quality, FCC, AGM-D; S-L: de toute premiere qualitie; Smith: very tasty, but did not keep it long due to water core, rot, and too few apples; Traverso: T-S; Thomas: brief notice only; Woolverton: not rated, but described as "one of the best English dessert apples"; Yepsen:"the best known dessert apple of the British Isles".

Special: After we planted our first Cox, we promised its first apple to an ex-pat English friend, and five years later we followed through on our promise, even though it was one of a two apple yield. The tree died the following winter. We
are on our third successive tree, so I believe what the experts say that the tree can be hard to grow in North Eastern US.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape


Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Halberstadter Jungfernapfel
(Jungfern, Halberstadter)
(parentage unknown)
Germany
before 1885

nf GRIN


medium to large


somewhat flatter, sometimes lopsided and conical, slightly ribbed


vinous, but not spicy; 3 on the sweet-tart scale

red over greenish yellow, with red streaks and marbling, waxy with a dull blush;
thin skinned


yellow to almost white, may have green veining

crisp, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T3, upright

 

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); precocious bearer; heavy cropper; annual; late blooming protects it from frost damage. Fruit: aromatic., hangs well on tree for long time; long regarded in Europe for the quality and quantity of its juice.

Faults: Tree: Fireblight: 5.

Merit or fault?: Tree: thrives best in cool, moist regions with heavy soils

Ratings: KOB: versatile an excellent, room-filling smell

Special: once very popular in Harz Mountains of Germany, but never spread widely outside of Germany. Now very rare.

Karmijn de Sonnaville
(Karmine, Hurt So Good)
(Cox's Orange x Jonathan [or Belle de Boskoop])
Netherlands
1949, introduced 1971

nf GRIN

variable: medium to very large


slightly flatter shape


very intense, extreme sweet-tart combination that doesn't fit well on the sweet-tart scale, complex, distinctive

orange red over yellow, with some russeting on both ends; rough skinned


creamy white

crisp, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 5

Fresh eating, cider

T3, upright-spreading

 

Merits: Tree: resistant to scab; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic ; non-browning flesh; prized for fresh eating and cider; shares many qualities of Cox's Orange, but is larger size.

Faults: Tree: biennial; triploid (does not pollinate); susceptible to scab and canker; may drop fruit prematurely, especially in warmer climates. Fruit: subject to cracking.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: fruit mellows in storage.

Ratings: AA: [**]; Manhart; Pomologie:****; Salt*; Seattle24.

Special: declared Denmark's national apple in 2005.

Twenty Ounce
(Cayuga Redstreak)

(parentage unknown)
NY
before 1840

GRIN USDA+

very large


roundish, but asymmetric


mild, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

greenish yellow, splashed and striped with some red; thick, tough skinned


yellow

firm, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

 

Culinary, especially baking

T2, drooping, spreading

 

Merits: : Tree: very hardy (to z3); bears early & abundantly; bears fruits of uniform large size; fruits hold well to tree. Fruit: excellent keeper for ripening so early; does not bruise easily; premier pie & baking apple.

Faults: Tree: subject to sun scald, canker, & winter injury. Fruit: not favored by most tastes for fresh eating.


Ratings: AoNY: good for culinary, 2nd rate for fresh; NY1907: ** [One of the best of the fall varieties]; NY1914: g/**; NY1916: 8; AFC: 14/2 NY (second quality); APS1911: **KM; BC: good; B-H: good; Bull91: 6-7**; Bull09: gvg*; Can; dessert poor, cooking good, commercial value - first to seond class; FB208: HR(KM); FB1001: D2; F&T: $ (1 region [WNY]); Hayes; Hooper: 2; Jacobsen; Lowther:vg,11(22); ME94: vg/*; MI79: good, 5.7.9; Ont1892: 2/8/7/8; PA1910: (N) Meets a good market demand on account of large size and good cooking qualities; Prince [under Cayuga Redstreak]; Ragan: g-vg; Scott: 2; Waugh: fair; Wilkinson: g to vg/*
Opalescent
(Hudson's Pride of Michigan
)
(Twenty Ounce open pollinated)
Xenia, Ohio
introduced 1899

GRIN

very large


roundish, but asymmetric


mild, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

greenish yellow, splashed and striped with some red; thick, tough skinned


yellow

firm, coarse-grained, moderately juicy

 

Culinary, especially baking

T2, drooping, spreading

Merits: : Tree: very hardy (to z3); precocious bearer; heavy cropper; fruits hold well to tree. Fruit: excellent keeper for ripening so early; does not bruise easily.
Faults: Tree: subject to canker, & winter injury.
Merit or fault?: Tree: limbs droop rather than spread. Fruit: wide disagreement concerning quality of taste for fresh eating.

Ratings:
Beach: g-vg; AoNY: good to vg; NY1907: g-vg, worthy if trial; NY1914: g/**; NY1916: 8; AA: **; AFC: 14/2 NY (second quality); APS1911: **KM; BC: good; B-H: good; Bull91: 6-7**; Bull09: gvg*; Can; dessert poor, cooking good, commercial value - first to seond class; FB208: HR(KM); FB1001: D2; F&T: $ (1 region [WNY]); Hayes; Hooper: 2; Jacobsen; Lowther:vg,11(22); ME94: vg/*; MI79: good, 5.7.9; Ont1892: 2/8/7/8; PA1910: (N) Meets a good market demand on account of large size and good cooking qualities; Prince [under Cayuga Redstreak]; Ragan: g-vg; Scott: 2; Waugh: fair; Wilkinson: g to vg/*

Special: Oddly ii is better rated by modern sources than older ones.

LATE SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Keeps

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Jonagold
(was NY 43013-1)

(Jonathan x Golden Delicious)
NY
1968


Jonagold
GRIN

large

classic shape


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow with red stripes; red may or
may not be prominent;
occasionally russeting near stem; tender skinned

yellowish-white

crisp, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness; 4

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, upright-spreading, dense


Merits: Tree: heavy cropper of large fruit; somewhat resistant to scab; little pre-harvest drop. Fruit: highly aromatic; non-browning flesh; prized for multiple purposes.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate); susceptible to powdery mildew; subject to winter injury; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: soft texture in some climates.

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Brooklyn; Browning; Burford; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg/b; Royal: AM, AGM-D; Seattle24; Traverso: F-S; Vorbeck: Sweet6; Way; Yepsen:"excellent".

Special: finished first among The World's Best Commercial Dessert Apples, in a poll of 19 apple experts in 1989. Coming to prominence in Europe before North America, it has become a new standard for fresh eating.

Red Canada
(Canada Red, Steele's Winter Red, Old Nonsuch, Welch's Spitzenberg
)
(parentage unknown)
Connecticut or Massachusetts,
early 1800s

GRIN USDA

small to medium to large


classic shape


rich, bright, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

dark red striping
over yellow
with a deep red blush,
prominently dotted, occasionally russeting near stem;smooth, tough.


greenish cream

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, upright-spreading

 

Merits: Tree: annual; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic; excellent keeper (best keeper on a few lists); at its best, rivals the best for top honors in flavor

Faults: Tree: relatively susceptible to apple scab;.

Merit or fault?: Tree: varies much in different seasons and in different localities -- although listed as very productive in some sources, listed as shy or not reliable in others. Fruit: can range from "one of the best apples of its season" to "decidedly inferior." -- Beach

Ratings: Downing: vg-b (best winter); Bull97: 8-9*; Bull09:vg*; Beach: g to b; NY1907: **dkM (worthy of more extensive planting); AA: *; APS1911: **DM; Barry: Top20, (G), "one of the best"/"superior" WG; Cole: fair to excellent; Eliott: one of the most valuable; FB113: NE; FB208: HR(DM); FB1001*; Folger: (0 regions); Hayes; Hedrick: good-best,**, excellent; Hooper: 1; Keil: listed among top varieties for pies & jelly; ME94: b; Lowther: best,7(15); Michigan1879: best, 7.8.10; Michigan1890: vg, 8.5.10; Milam: pie:good/sauce:fair; Ont1892: 6/6/7/8; Powell: * "a very superior fruit"; Ragan: vg; Royal: 1888: In Top30 dessert, first quality; S-L: a l'etude; de toute premiere qualitie; Scott: 1; Thomas: (rich, high, excellent flavor); Warder: best; Woolverton: good, commercial value - second class.

Grimes Golden
(parentage unknown)
WV
before 1800

Grimes
nf GRIN USDA+

small to medium


classic shape, slightly ribbed


intense, complex, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow, russeting around stem;
tough,
moderately rough skin

pale cream tinged with orange;
texture is between

tender,
moderately coarse

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider-blending

T2, spreading, dense

 

Merits: Tree: annual; self-pollinating; good pollinator; often heavy cropper; resistant to scab, powdery mildew & cedar-apple rust. Fruit: very slow browning flesh; does not bruise easily; beautful rich golden color; highly aromatic

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely; fruit not uniform in size; susceptible to scald; subject to collar rot; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: very susceptable to bruise marks; doesn't keep long before going soft.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 7-9**; Bull99: 9-10**; Bull09: vgb**; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: _ [* in Hudson Valley region] dkHM (beautiful and of high quality but not adapted to latitude of New York); NY1914: vg-B/*; Alwood: "well known as the standard of quality"; APS1911: **D; Barron: sweet; Barry: /"rich,spicy,"; Brooklyn; BC: vg; FB: HR(D); Hansen*: best; Hedrick: vg-best, beautiful and of high quality, not always reliable; Heavy: "sweet and spicy...evocative of nutmeg and white pepper...sharp bite...touch of numbing astringency;" Lowther: vg,3(25); Manhart: vg/b; ME94: vg/*; MI: vg, 978; Milam: pie:excellent/sauce:vg; Ont1892: 9/2/6/7; PA1910: (S&N)* Unexcelled in quality and of good appearance; Pomologie: ****; Powell: * "a great acquisition," one of the must 20; Ragan: vg-b; Richmond: *F; S-L: de premiere qualitie; Salt; Thomas: (agreeable, very good flavor); Traverso: F-S; UIll: one of the best; Warder: very best; Waugh: best; Wilkinson: vg-best/*; Woolverton: dessert best, cooking poor, commercial value - second class; Yepsen: "some experienced growers name it as their favorite dessert apple".

Special: called "perfect apple when considered from the consumers' standpoint" in "Varieties of Apples in Ohio," 1915.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Hubbardston Nonesuch
(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1830


Hubbardston Nonesuch
GRIN USDA+

large


flatter shape

sprightly, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

bright red, orangy red, & maroon over yellow,
dotted, some russet;
rough, thick skinned.


pale cream

tender, fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider

T2, upright-spreading, dense



Merits: Tree: bears early; heavy cropper; annual; relatively immune to apple scab. Fruit: prized for fresh eating & cider; natural gloss gives handsome appearance; non-browning flesh; very juicy; good keeper.

Faults: Tree: thinning required for good sized fruit & to prevent biennial bearing; susceptible to winter injury; subject to collar rot; may drop fruit prematurely; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: skin can become greasy; not prized for pies or other baking; loses flavor in storage.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: vg to best; NY1907: **dkM (fruit handsome and of highest quality); NY1914: vg-b/**; NY1916: 7; AA: *; Allen; APS1911 **:DM; Baker: *, MA (Top6), NJ (Top12), RI (Top12), MI; Barry: (W), "fine"/"popular and valuable" W; BC: nr; Bridgeman: excellent flavor, worthy of extensive cultivation; Buffalo; Burford; CG: 37|20|20|77; Cole: excellent; Dickerman: NE, NY; FB113: NE; FB208: HR(DM); Folger: (0 regions); Hansen: vg; Hedrick: vg-best, **, fruit handsome and good; Jacobsen; Kenrick: *(most superior); Lowther: vg,18(30); Manning: The character of this apple is very high; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: best, 9.5.9; Michigan1890: best, 10.5.9; Ont1892: 7/8/8/8; PA1910: (S&N) Good in quality and appearance; Pomologie: ****; Powell: * "noble," one of the must 6; Prince; Ragan: vg; S-L: de premiere qualitie; Scott: 1; Smith: very nice...lots of sweet/sour/aroma; Thomas: *(very rich, excellent); UIll: vg; Walker: #14; Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: vg, commercial value - first class; Yepsen: "has a great deal of personality".

Connell Red
(Red Fireside)

(thought to be red sport of Fireside (McIntosh x Longfield)), but may be Fireside open pollinated)
Wisconsin
introduced 1957
Connell
GRIN

very large to huge


classic shape


rich, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

red, with waxy bloom;
occasionally russeting near stem; moderately thick skinned.


white

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating

T2, upright-spreading


Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); heavy cropper; fruits tolerate fall frosts and mild freezes; resistant to scab, cedar apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic; non-browning flesh; prized for fresh eating & cider; good keeper.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate). Fruit: subject to cracking; quickly browning flesh: skin can become greasy.

Merit or fault: Tree: usually, but unreliably annual.

Rating: top pick at taste test led by Ray Reynolds of One of a Kind Orchard, held at Cooperative Extension in Ithaca, 2007.

Liberty
(Macoun x PRI 54-12)
NY
introduced 1962


Liberty

GRIN

medium


classic shape, but
variable


complex, spritely, but milder than its parent Macoun; 3 on the sweet-tart scale

red very dominant over yellow,
slight bloom; thin skinned


white

firm, coarse-grained

Juiciness; 4

Fresh eating, culinary, especially sauces; cider

T2, upright-spreading

 

Merits: Tree: annual; heavy cropper; highly resistant to scab; resistant to cedar-apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely; somewhat susceptible to powdery mildew. Fruit: has milder flavor than its non-disease-resistant parents; goes mealy & mushy quickly when overripe.

Ratings: AA: **; Brooklyn; Burford; Manhart: vg; Pomologie: *****; Seattle24; Vorbeck: Sour6; Yepsen:"first among...disease-resistant varieties".

Special: rated by many to have the highest fruit quality of disease resistance varieties.

Macoun
(Macintosh x Jersey Black)
NY
introduced 1923

Macoun

nf GRIN USDA+

small to medium


classic shape


intense, complex, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

dark red over greenish yellow,
slight bloom, prominently
dotted; thin skinned


white

crisp, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

 

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T3, upright



Merits: Tree: annual; late blooming protects it from late frosts; heavy cropper; resistant to cedar-apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic; very slow browning flesh; good for multiple purposes.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to powdery mildew; may drop fruit prematurely; has a narrow harvest window. Fruit: poor keeper.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over a few weeks. Fruit: slightly coarse flesh; optimum flavor is dependent within short harvest period.

Ratings: AA: ***; Brooklyn; Burford; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg; Pomologie: *****; Seattle24; Traverso: T-T; Way; Yepsen: "a flavor that many prefer to Mac".

Special: has developed a cult following in the northeast. Pronounce the name as you like -- I've heard it both McCowan and MacCoon by authorities with Cornell-Geneva connections (where it was developed), but ma coon' is supposed to be correct.

Keepsake
(Frostbite X Northern Spy)
Minn. 1936, released 1979

keepsake
GRIN

small to medium


irregularly shaped


sprightly, complex, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

red stripes over yellow; slight bloom, occasionally russeting near stem; thick skinned.


creamy yellow

firm, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary

T2, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); annual; toleratant of fall frosts and mild freezes; somewhat resistant to scab & cedar apple rust; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: non-browning flesh; excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: slow to bear; somewhat of a shy bearer. Fruit: often not pretty;

Merit or fault?: ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage.

Ratings: A21: g/vg; BBG; Burford; Jacobsen; Salt; Yepsen.

King of Tompkins County
(King, Tompkins King)

(parentage unknown)
NY
(from seed brought from NJ)
before 1800


King of Tompkins County
GRIN USDA+

large to very large


classic shape, slightly ribbed


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow orange red, with bloom;
smooth, moderately thick skin.


yellow

crisp, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

 

Fresh eating; culinary, especially baking; cider

T3, spreading, open

 

Merits: Tree: annual; late blooming protects it from late frosts; very resistant to scab. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate); partial tip bearer (pruning challenge); may drop fruit prematurely; wood can be brittle; susceptible to mildew & scab; subject to collar rot; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: waxy skin becomes greasy in storage.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: subject to sweet water core; should be picked earlier for culinary use, but later for fresh eating.. 

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: **dkM; NY1914: vg-b/**; NY1916: 4 ; AA: [no stars]; APS1911: **DM; Baker: **, NY (Top12), IL; Barron: first quality; Barry: (W), "beautiful"/"rich, vinous" W; Bunyard: of excellent flavour, very delicious when well grown; Burford; CG: 42|18|23|83; Dickerman: NY*; FB113: NE; FB208: HR(DM); FB1001; Folger: $H (0 regions); Hansen: vg/b; Hayes; Hedrick: vg-best, **, were the tree hardier, healthier, and more productive, it would be commonly grown; Keil: listed among top varieties for sauce & jelly. Lear: 8; Lowther: vg,12(21); Lewelling; ME94: vg/*; Michigan1879: vg, 7.6.6; Michigan1890: vg, 7.6.7; Milam: pie:good/ sauce:excellent; Ont1892: 8/10/10/10; PA1910: (N) high-quality. good appearance. and often brings highest prices; Powell: * "at its best, it is well named," "superb [in its local area]"; Ragan: vg-b; Royal: 1888: first quality, AM; S-L: d'une riche et delicieuse saveur veneuse extremement agreable de toute premiere qualitie; Salt*; Scott: 1; Seattle24; Thomas: ** (rich, high flavor); Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Way; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - first class; Yepsen: "aromatic, rich-tasting".

Special: once fourth leading apple variety grown in New York State. My Dad's favorite apple from his youth. First grown in Jacksonville, a village 12 minutes' drive from our orchard.


Pound Sweet
(Pumpkin Sweet)

(parentage unknown)
Connecticut
before 1845

GRIN UDSA+

very large


classic shape, ribbed, often irregular or lop-sided


peculiar, moderately dry 1 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow, with greenish yellow marbling, occasional brownish blush; thin but tough skinned


yellowish white

firm, coarse

Juiciness: 4

Culinary, cider

T3, upright-spreading

 

Merits: Tree: Hardy; precocious bearer; reliable heavy cropper; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: one of the few sweet apples prized for both fresh eating and baking.

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: quickly browning flesh; varies in keeping quality.

Merit or fault?: Tree: naturally small. Fruit: moderately dry flesh; its sweet flavor is different that that of modern sweet apples; subject to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but leads to decay at core].

Ratings: Downing: good (very valuable for baking and stock feeding); Bull97: 5-6*; Bull09: vg**; Beach: g to vg; NY1907: * [** in northern NY]dkH (hardy, vigourous, reliable. Varies in keeping qualities.); NY1914: g-vg/**; NY1916: l/sp; AA: [no stars]; Baker: *; Barry: /"valuable"; Bridgman: "excellent for baking"; Burford; Cole: very rich and sweet [he also warned that many large apples called Pumpkin Sweet were inferior; Eliot: good , "only valued for baking"; FB113: R;  Hedrick: good, **; Hooper: 3: Kenrick: good; Lowther: g,6(8); Manning: fine for baking, investigating; Michigan1879: g, 4.7.6; Michigan1890: g, 2.8.4; Ont1892: -/4/1/-; Powell: one of the must 20Prince; Ragan: g; S-L: a l'etude; de premiere qualitie pour cuire; Scott: 1 for cooking: Thomas: moderate quality, valuable culinary sort; Walker: #9; Warder: good; Waugh: fair.

Special: The name Pound Sweet is most common in New York State, but Pumpkins Sweet is more common elsewhere.

Rambo
(Winter Rambo, Delaware, Bread and Cheese, Seek No Further of Pennsylvania)
(parentage unknown)
Delaware or Pa.
before 170
0,
possibly before 1650

Rambo

USDA+

 

medium


distinctively flatter shape


rich, complex, distinctive, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

pale greenish yellow mottled &
streaked with dull red; thin but tough skinned


yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider, jelly

T2, upright-spreading, open

 

 

Merits: Tree: bears fruits uniform in shape and size; very productive. Fruit: praised for its wonderful, distinctive aroma; highly aromatic; prized for fresh eating and cooking; does not bruise easily; long keeping for a fall apple.

Faults: Tree: biennial; of questionable hardiness in northern climate; brittle wood; Fireblight: 4; subject to winter injury. Fruits: variable skin coloring; red does not always develop well

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, but thinning required for good sized fruit. Fruit: subject to sweet water core.

Ratings: Downing: vg; Bull97: 5-6*; Bull99: 7-8*; Bull09: vg*;  Beach: g/vg, particularly desirable for dessert; NY1907: _dH (Tender tree; productive to a fault; excellent quality.); Allen; Baker: *, NJ (Top20), PA (Top20), KY (Top6), OH, IL; Barry: "popular over a greater extent of country than any other variety"/"old, highly and widely esteemed" L, Unimpeachable; BC: nr; Bridgeman: much cultivated, spritely; Buffalo; Burford; Cole: one of the finest; Dickerman: NE; Elliott: has no superior; FB113: NE&; FB208: R(DM);  Folger: (0 regions); Gould: a Pa. standby with much to recommend it; Hansen: vg; Hayes; Hedrick: vg, tender tree, productive to a fault, excellent quality; Hogg1: esteemed in its native country; Hooper: 1; HSL: 2: Keil: listed among top varieties for sauce, baking & jelly; Kenrick: no* (much admired); Lear: 10; Lewelling; Lowther: vg,6(27); Manning: tender and good; Michigan1879: vg, 7.5.4; Milam: pie:excellent/ sauce:excellent; Ont1892: 5/1/2/5; Prince; Ragan: vg; Scott: 1; Thomas: *(fine flavor, often excellent); UIll: vg; Warder: vg; Waugh: good; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking good, commercial value - third class.

Special: First grown by the Rambo family that originated in New Sweden. If grown from seed brought over from Sweden in 1630, could rival the Roxbury Russet for the title "oldest American" variety; favorite apple of Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley, who wrote an ode to the Rambo and mentioned it by name in four other poems. In Varieties of Apples in Ohio (1915), "little old-fashioned Rambo" was said to have been "found in almost every old orchard in Ohio." Professor Kirtland of Cleveland in the Horticulturist and Journal of Rural Art and Rural Taste (1848) called it "the unversal apple of the German people of Ohio"; Falsely claimed to be favorite apple of Johnny Appleseed; John Chapman, for religious reasons, shunned all grafted varieties.

Smokehouse
(possibly Rambo or Vandevere open pollinated)
Pa.
1837

Smokehouse
GRIN USDA+

large


somewhat flatter shape


mild with rich overtones, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

dull red, yellow, dotted;
tough, but thin skinned


yellow

tender, fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T3, wide spreading, dense

 

Merits: Tree: annual; precocious bearer; holds fruit well. Fruit: very slow browning flesh; does not bruise easily; excellent keeper; prized as a multi-purpose apple; prized a cider base.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to apple scab; early blooming subjects it to late frosts; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: variable skin coloring; red does not always develop well; flavor described as too mild in some taste tests; can go mealy.

Merit or fault?: Tree: crooked growth and dense head provide extra pruning challenge; heavy cropper, but thinning required for large sized fruit.

Ratings: Downing: good; Bull97: 5-6**; Bull99: 6-7/*; Bull09: g*; Beach: good; NY1907: _dkH (cultivation is not being extended in New York); AA: *: Baker: *, PA (Top6); Barry: "a fine apple"/"esteemed where known"; Brooklyn; BC: good;Burford*; FB113: NE; FB208: R(K); FB1001; Folger: (0 regions); Gould: none better in its season; Hansen: good; Hedrick: good, its cultivation is not being extended in NY; Hooper: 2 to 1; Jacobsen; Lowther: good, 1(15); Michigan1879: g, 5.7.8; Ont1892: 3/6/4/6; PA1910: (S&N)** Of high quality, but color is usually dull and therefore needs to be known in order to sell well; Powell: "quality rich and juicy"; Prince; Ragan: g; Richmond: *FM; S-L: a cuire; estimee en Pennsylvania; Scott: 1; Smith: nice refreshing taste; Thomas: *(fine sub-acid); Warder: good?; Waugh: fair

Special: Winner of the 2014 Sage Hen Farm Apple Taste Test.


EARLY OCTOBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Pitmaston Pine Apple
(likely an English Golden Pippin open pollinated)
UK
before 1785


Pitmaston Pine Apple
GRIN

small


elongated & tapered


sprightly, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

golden, russeted; rough, thick skinned


yellow

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider

T2, spreading

Merits: Tree: resistant to scab. Fruit: very juicy; highly aromatic; prized for rich, sweet flavoring in cider.

Faults: Tree: shy to moderate cropper; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: goes mealy quickly

Merit or fault?: Tree: naturally small. Fruit: russet qualities; small; subject to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but lead to decay at core].

Ratings: Downing: [mentioned but not rated]; AA: [no stars]; Barron: first quality; Bunyard: "neglected on account of their small size, but its distinct flavour should give it a place in the gardens of connoisseurs"; BC: nr; Burford*; Hogg2: distinct flavor: Jacobsen; Ragan: [described but not rated; Royal: 1888: first quality; Smith: "great tasting...if it were bigger, everyone would be growing it";S-L: de toute premiere qualitie; Scott: 1; Y.

Calmoutier
(Schlabach)
(Golden Delicious open pollinated)
Ohio
after 1915

medium


classic shape


intense, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow;
tough,
thick skin

pale cream.

firm,
moderately coarse

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider-blending

T2, spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: annual; self-pollinating; good pollinator. Fruit: non-browing flesh; beautful rich golden color; highly aromatic

Faults: Fruit: susceptable to bruise marks; doesn't keep long before going soft.

Special: discovered on the Schlabach farm near Calmoutier, in Holmes County Ohio. Calmoutier is pronounced Calmoosh

Tolman Sweet
(Tallman Sweeting, Talman)

(possibly Sweet Greening x unknown russet)
Mass., R.I.,  or NY
before 1820

Tolman Sweet

GRIN USDA+


medium


classic shape


vinous, 1 on the sweet-tart scale

pale yellow, with distinct brown line from top to bottom, occasionally russetting at both ends; tough skinned


yellowish white

firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, spreading-drooping, open

Keeps for four or five months

Merits: Tree: Hardy [nearly ironclad]; precocious bearer; reliable heavy cropper; late blooming protects it from late frosts; relatively immune to apple scab. Fruit: one of the few sweet apples prized for both fresh eating and baking.

Faults: Tree: Fireblight: 5. Fruit: quickly browning flesh; varies in keeping quality.

Merit or fault?: Tree: naturally small. Fruit: moderately dry flesh.

Ratings: Downing: scarcely second-rate (rich, sweet flavor); Bull97: 6-7**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: g to vg; NY1907: * [** in northern NY]dkH (hardy, vigourous, reliable. Varies in keeping qualities.); NY1914: g-vg/**; NY1916: l/sp; AA: **; Allen; Alwood: "quality is rich, sweet...excellent for culinary"; APS1911: **KM; Baker: **, NY (Top6), MA (Top12), RI (Top20), CT (Top6), OH, MI; Barry: (W), "rich and very sweet"/"highly valued" W; BC: good; Dickerman: NE, NY*; FB113: &: FB208: HR(KM); FB1001*;  Folger: H (0 regions); Hansen*: vg [for a sweet apple]; Hayes; Hedrick: good-vg, **; Hooper: 1: Jacobsen; Keil: listed among top varieties for baking; Lowther: vg,19(32); Manning: An excellent table or baking apple; ME94: vg/**-_; Michigan1879: g, 4.7.6; Michigan1890: vg, 6.8.6; Milam: pie:poor/sauce:poor; Ont1892: 2/7/5/6; Powell: "market generally glutted"; Prince [in list of inferior kinds]; Ragan: g; S-L: a l'etude; de toute premiere qualitie pour cuire; Thomas: *(rich, very sweet): Walker: #9; Warder: good; Waugh: fair; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: dessert good, cooking fair, commercial value - second class, except in special markets.

Special: although mamy accounts claim Dorchester, Massacusetts, or Rhode Island as the place of origin (before 1800), New York State has two claims, as well. Jon Tallman places the origin to his ancestor Darius Tallman, who
developed it around 1820 in his orchard near the Erie Canal in Perinton, NY, near Rochester. C. S. Wilson, in his 1905 thesis about apples of New York State, writes that Thomas Tallman, who owned land near Geneva, NY, in about 1800 grew the Tallman Sweet after planting seeds found in an old Indian orchard that survived the destruction of General Sullivan during his raid through the Finger Lakes in the Revolutionary War. Note: Indians planted orchards using European apple varieties, so presence of the Tolman in Seneca orchards may only indicate its early spread from New England.

Hudson's Golden Gem
(possibly Golden Delicious x unknown russet)
Oregon
discovered 1930

Hudson's Golden Gem

GRIN


 

large


elongated & tapered


intense, complex, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

fully russeted gold over green;
thick rough skin

pale yellow

crisp, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, cider-blending

T3, upright-spreading



Merits: Tree: annual; resistant to scab & mildew; resistant to scab; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: does not bruise easily; excellent keeper; highly aromatic; hangs well on tree for long time.

Faults: Fruit: splits when tree is young.

Merit or fault?: Tree: reports differ from heavy cropper to shy bearer. Fruit: russet qualities.

Ratings: AA: *; Brooklyn; Burford; Jacobsen; Phillips: "Pear-like qualities:  rich, nutty, cloyingly sweet with an unusual crunchy texture"; Smith: fantastic taste but LOTS of problems; Traverso: T-S; Yepsen: "something only an apple lover could associate with a gem".

Esopus Spitzenberg
(
either name singly or more simply Spitz)
(parentage unknown)
NY
before 1790

Esopus Spitzenburg

GRIN USDA+


med-large


blocky, slightly ribbed


intense, complex, distinctive; 4 on the sweet-tart scale

dark red stripes over red,
dominant over some yellow,
prominently dotted, slight bloom;
tough skinned.


deep cream

crisp, fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, upright, open

 

Merits: Tree: bears fruit of uniform size; partially self-pollinating. Fruit: unexcelled in rich, spicy, exceedingly high flavor; called equally good for dessert or cooking; attractive in shape & color; does not bruise easily; non-browning flesh

Faults: Tree: slow to start bearing; biennial; shy bearer; may drop fruit prematurely; quality quite variable due to soil and climate; susceptible to canker & scab; Fireblight: 5.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens unevenly. Fruit: ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage; distinctive flavor; subject to sweet water core.

Ratings: Downing: best (unsurpassed); Bull97: 10*; Bull99: 10**; Bull09: vgb**; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: * [** in some other regions] dkHM (lacks vigor, uncertain productiveness, standard in quality, adapted to some localities); NY1914: vg-b/**; AA: **; Allen; APS1911: **D; Baker: **, NJ (Top12), CT, OH; CG: 48/24/23/96; CT (12), OH, MI; Brooklyn; Barron: second quality; Barry: Top20, (W), (G), "one of the very best"/"one of the very best for dessert" WG, Unimpeachable; BC: vg; Bridgeman: beautiful, of the finest flavor; Browning; Buffalo; Burford*; Dickerman: NY; FB113: NE; FB208: HR(D); Hedrick: vg-best, **, lack vigor, unproductive, best quality, adapted to some localities; Folger: $H (0 regions); HSL: 2; Hansen: best; Hayes; Hooper: 1 to 2; Jacobsen; Kenrick: *(excellent); Lewelling; Lowther: best,8; Manhart: vg/b; ME94: best/*; Michigan1879: Milam: sauce:good; Ont1892: 9|7|9|10; PA1910: (N) Of excellent quality and good reputation; Phillips: "Sweet and nutty, with spicy aromatic flavors more commonly associated with European apples, backed by a lively acidity"; Pomologie: ****; Powell: * "most highly esteemed," one of the must 6; Prince; Ragan: b; Royal: 1888: second quality; S-L: de premiere qualitie; Scott: 1, truly delicious, unsurpassed; Seattle24; Thomas: *(nearly unequaled); Traverso: F-T; Vorbeck: Sour7; Walker: #24; Warder: best; Waugh: best; Way; Wilkinson: vg-best; Woolverton: first class for all purposes; Yepsen: "venerable".

Special: planted by T. Jefferson, Washington Irving & G. Washington. Rather than being Thomas Jefferson's favorite apple, as is often claimed, this may be the one that frustrated him the most – he planting so many of them in part because they lacked vigor and productivity. Albemarle Pippins (as he called Newtowns) made much more money for him in the export trade, and he planted the orchard for profit. Once among top ten leading apple varieties grown in New York State


Blenheim Orange
(Blenheim Pippin, Woodstock)

(parentage unknown)
Oxfordshire, England
before 1740

NFC USDA+

large to very large


flattish, slightly ribbed


sprightly, rich, mellows to nutty, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow blushed and streaked orange red with russet; moderately thick skinned


creamy yellow

firm, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T3, upright, spreading



Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; fruit hangs well; resistant to scab; Fruit: very aromatic; non-browning flesh; one of the more flavorful large apples.

Faults: Tree: shy bearer for the first few year of bearing; triploid (does not pollinate) biennial; partial tip bearer (pruning challenge); may drop fruit prematurely; Fireblight: 4.

Merit or fault?: Tree: grows very strong when young at the expense of bearing fruit, so does better on dwarfing rootstock

Ratings: Barron: "good and handsome," only variety included in the top five apples for both Dessert and Culinary; BC: vg; Bridgemen: very superior; Bunyard: one of the best all round apples grown; Hansen: good; Hedrick: g-vg; Hogg1: very valuable and highly esteemed; Hogg2: first rate dessert and excellent for kitchen; Hooper: 2 to 3; HSL: 1; Jacobsen; Kendrick: extremely highly flavored; KOB: Around 1900 already classified as a lover; Lowther: vg,7(8); Ont1892: 6/7/9/10; Pomologie: *****.; Ragan: vg; RHS: AGM-C/D; S-L: de premiere qualitie pour la table et pour cuire; Scott: 1; Smith: "my favorite cooking apple...excellent as an eating apple"; Warder: good: Waugh: poor; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: dessert good, cooking vg, commercial value - first class;

Special: traditionally used for Apple Charlotte in England; first grown near Blenheim Palace, home for more than 300 years of the Churchill family (including Winston). Possibly one parent of Cox Orange Pippin.

Ashmead's Kernel
(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1700


Ashmead's Kernel

NFC GRIN

small to medium
classic shape, but irregular
intense, complex, distinctive, 3 on the sweet-tart scale
yellow russet;
rough, thick skinned

creamy white

crisp, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, upright-spreading

 




Merits: Tree: late blooming protects it from late frosts; resistant to scab, powdery mildew. Fruit: highly aromatic; prized for tartness in cider blends.

Faults: Tree: thinning required to prevent biennial bearing; triploid (does not pollinate); often a shy bearer. Fruit: quickly browning flesh

Merit or fault?: Tree: Fireblight: 2-5? Fruit: ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage; russet qualities.

Ratings: AA: ***; Barron: first quality; Brooklyn; BC: nr; HSL: 2; Bunyard: valuable for late use, but a poor cropper; Hogg2: first rate; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg/b; Phillips: "Each bite offers an intense aromatic sting of sharp and sweet"; Potter; Ragan: good; Royal: FCC, AGM-D; S-L: de toute premiere qualitie pour la table ; Salt*; Scott: 1, one of our very best; Smith: a more flavorful version of Golden Russet, 10/8 top flavor; Seattle24; Traverso: F-T; Vorbeck: Sour8; Yepsen: "short on shine but long on flavor".

Special: Winner of the 2013 Sage Hen Farm Apple Taste Test.

Starkey
(Moses Starkey, Vassalboro Ribston)

(possibly Ribston Pippin open pollinated)
Maine
before 1820

USDA

medium
classic shape

sprightly, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

red crimson, prominently dotted;
tough, but thin skinned


pale cream.

tender, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating

T1, roundish, dense

Merits: Fruit: highly regarded regionally for fresh eating.

Faults: Tree: biennial.

Merit or Fault?: Fruit: some advise flavor best after aged in storage, but we've found it to be very flavorful soon after picking.

Ratings: Beach: vg; NY1907: _ [+ in North] dM (appears to be worthy of testing for the North); Bull97: 8/**; Bull09: _*; Hansen: described as pleasant, but not rated; Hedrick: vg,*, valuable in some sections of NY; Lowther: good,...(...); ME94: vg/*; ME08: vg; Ragan: listed, but quality not rated; Waugh: good.

Haralson
(Malinda x Wealthy)
Minn.
1913, introduced 1923

Haralson
GRIN USDA

medium


somewhat elongated


mild, evenly balanced

red & red stripes over yellow,
dotted; moderately thick skinned


white

firm, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 2

 

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T1, spreading

 

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); late blooming protects it from late frosts; precocious bearer; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to scab. Fruit: subject to cracking & russeting, especially in early bearing years.

Merit or fault: Tree: heavy cropper, but thinning required for good sized fruit and to prevent biennial bearing; differing reports on resistance to cedar-apple rust. Fruit: ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage; subject to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but lead to decay at core].

Ratings: AA: *; Brooklyn; Burford; FB1001*; Manhart: g/vg; Yepsen: "a hardy apple [that] has proved popular with northern growers".

MID OCTOBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Northern Spy
(Norton's Pie Apple)

(undetermined)
NY
between 1800 and 1825


Northern Spy
NFC GRIN USDA+

Northern Spy

A monument to the Northern Spy was constructed over 100 years ago in the Town of East Bloomfield, NY.

large


classic shape, slightly ribbed


sprightly, complex, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

multiple shades of red,
including dark crimson,
over a pale yellow, bloom; occasionally russeting near stem; thin skinned


pale cream

crisp, fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating; culinary, escpecially baking; cider

T3, upright, dense

 


Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); reliable bearer; late blooming protects it from late frosts; partially self-pollinating; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: highly aromatic; classic apple flavor; prized for multiple purposes, especially pies; very slow browning flesh; excellent keeper, if not bruised.

Faults: Tree: notoriously slow to start bearing; partial tip bearer (pruning challenge); susceptible to scab, bitter pit. Fruit: subject to cracking; bruises easily.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: coloring can vary and be dull, but natural gloss gives handsome appearance

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vgb**; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: **dkM (Highest quality. Succeeds only in certain localities.); NY1914: vg-b/**; NY1916: 3; AA: *; Allen; APS1911: **DKM; Baker: **, NY (Top20), RI (Top20), VA, MI; Barron: first quality; Barry: Top20, (W), (G), "most beautiful and excellent"/"unrivaled beauty and excellence" WGL, Unimpeachable; Bridgeman: rich, rich; Brooklyn; BC: vg; Bunyard: only does well in England in very favourable years; Burford; CG: 46/22/22/90; Dickerman: NE, NY*; FB113: NE*&; FB208: HR(DKM); FB1001*; Folger: *$H (4 regions); Hansen: vg-b; Hayes; Hedrick: vg-best,**, highest quality, a standard; Hogg2: very handsome, first rate; Hooper: 2; Jacobsen; Keil: "in my opinionit is the best of all varieties," "the standard of quality for both dessert and culinary uses" & listed among top 6 winter varieties for dessert & top for stewing, pie, baking & jelly;  Lear: 10; Lowther: best,18(33); Lewelling; Manhart: vg/b; ME94: best/**; Michigan1879: best, 9.9.10; Michigan1890: best, 10.9.10; Milam: pie:excellent/ sauce:vg; Ont1892: 8/10/10/10; PA1910: (N)** high quality; Powell: * "has taken its place quite at the front of winter varieties," "comes pretty near being a national fruit," one of the must 6; Ragan: vg-b; Royal: 1888: first quality; S-L: de premiere qualitie; Scott: 1; Thomas: **(highest quality); Traverso: F-T; Vorbeck: Sour16; Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Way; Wilkinson: vg-best; Woolverton: dessert best, cooking best, commercial value - home market first class, skin a little tender for distance shipment; Yepsen: "our consummate pie apple...loved for eating out of hand as well".

Special: "Spies for pies!" is still shouted out today; once the third leading apple variety grown in New York State.


King David
(Winesap x Arkansas Black or Winesap or Arkansas Black x Jonathan or open pollinated one of those three)
Arkansas
before 1890

King David
NFC GRIN USDA+

medium


classic shape


very rich, sprightly, spicy, complex, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

dark glossy red very
dominant over hint of green;
tough, thin skinned

yellow

crisp, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating; culinary; cider

T3, roundish, dense

Merits: Tree: bears early; late blooming protects it from frost damage; bears fruits uniform in size & shape; fruits hang on trees for long time; fruits tolerate fall frosts and mild freezes; resistant to cedar-apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: natural gloss gives handsome appearance; does not bruise easily; highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: not reliable every year.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: subject to sweet water core; should be picked earlier for culinary use, but later for fresh eating.

Ratings: NY Bulletin 385 [suppl to Beach]: g/vg; NY1914: g/+; AA: **; Brooklyn; Browning; Hedrick: good,+, appears promising as a commerical sort; Keil: listed among top varieties for stewing & jelly; Lowther: best,...; Phillips: "Spritely flavor much like Winesap. Versatile apple"; PA1910: (S&N) worthy of trial, fine appearance and reported to be of high quality; Pomologie: ****; Powell: "will prove its ability to stand all the tests better than any other," one of the must 6; Smith: very good classic American red apple; Yepsen: "a sleeper".

Antonovka
(the People's Apple)

(parentage unknown)
Russia
before 1750

NFC USDA

large


flatter shape. irreguoar


mild, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

greenish yellow; tough skinned


creamy yellow

tender, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 2

Culinary

T3, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: very hardy (ironclad, to z2 or 3); often heavy cropper, late blooming protects it from frost damage, very scab resistant. Fruit: aromatic; does not bruise easily; good keeper.

Faults: Tree: slow to start bearing; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: moderately dry flesh; called both refreshing and tasty to too tart to not very flavorful.

Ratings: Bull97: 7_; Bull09: p*; Beach: "of no practical value for this state [Beach later revised rating to "good for dessert use" in northern New York; NY1907: _ (May be of value where superior hardiness is a prime requisite) ; BC: good; Bunyard: hardly worthy of retention; FB: T (KM); Hansen*: good; Hedrick: good, of no value; KOB: suitable only in extreme cold climates; Pomologie: ***; Ragan: poor; S-L: douteuses ou peu meritantes; Woolverton: quotes Hansen's good

Special: Primarily used for standard sized root stock.

Melon
Norton's Melon

(parentage unknown)
New York
before 1800

NFC GRIN USDA+


medium to large


flatter shape; slight ribbing


sprightly, complex, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

crimson &orangy red over pale yellow


white

crisp, fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, roundish, dense

 

Merits: Tree: reliably productive. Fruit: aromatic.

Faults: Tree: tip bearer (pruning challenge).

Ratings: Downing: best; Bull97: 10*; Beach: vg; Barry: Top20, (G), "a most beautiful and delicious fruit; Cole: "an excellent fruit, but little known"; Elliott: fine...worthy; FB113; FB208: R(DM); Hansen: best; Hedrick: vg; Hogg2: firt rate; Lowther: best,5; Michigan1879: best, 10.8.8; Ont1892: 8/8/7/8; Ragan: vg-b; S-L: de premiere qualitie pour la table et pour cuire; Scott: one of the best; Warder: almost best; Waugh: good.

Special: Originated in same orchard as Northern Spy. With the name "Melon," the fruit might be expected to be large, but the name comes from its supposed melon-like flavor.

Stayman
(Stayman's Winesap)

(Winesap open pollinated)
Kansas
before 1875

Stayman
GRIN USDA+

medium to large


classic shape


rich, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

red bloom or stripes
over green,
prominently dotted
, occasionally russeting near stem;tough, moderately thick skinned


greenish cream

firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T3, spreading, open

 



Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; resistant to scab and cedar apple rust; late blooming protects it from late frosts. Fruit: highly aromatic; does not bruise easily; prized for larger size and sweeter flavor, but other good qualities of Winesap; excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate); unreliably annual; highly susceptible to powdery mildew;. Fruit: dull color; quickly browning flesh; subject to cracking.

Merit or fault?: Tree: Fireblight: 2-4? Fruit: subject to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but can lead to decay at core].

Ratings: Beach: g/vg; NY1907: _dM (Not adapted to New York conditions); AA: *; Brooklyn; Browning; Bull99: 8-9X; Bull09: vg?; Burford; CG: 43/18/23/84; FB113: &*; FB1001; Folger: *$H (10 regions); Gould: one of the most important (for Pa.); Hansen: best; Heavy: "texture...off-putting...but the flavor was divine — gentle and floral, evocative of violets"; Hedrick: good-vg, not adapted to NY; Jacobsen; Keil: listed among top 6 winter varieties for dessert & top for baking; Manhart: vg; Milam: pie:poor/sauce:fair; PA1910: (S&N)** High quality, brings high prices; Powell: * "a decided improvement on the old Winesap," one of the must 6; Ragan: vg-b; Traverso: F-T; Vorbeck: Sour5; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: best; Yepsen: "winey character...more accessible".

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Briggs Auburn
(parentage unknown)
Maine
before 1850

Briggs Auburn
USDA

large


flatter shape


mild, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow, blushed;
tough skinned


creamy white

firm, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary, especially sauces

T3, spreading, dense

 

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); annual; heavy cropper. Fruit: excellent keeper; does not bruise easily; regionally prized for fresh eating.

Faults: Fruit: quality and flavor are quite variable from year to year; not highly regarded for cooking or baking.

Rating: ME08: vg; Ragan: good; Thomas: brief notice only; Warder: vg.

Yellow Bellflower
(Yellow Belle Fleur, Mrs. Barron)

(parentage unknown)
NJ
before 1800


Yellow Bellflower
GRIN USDA

 

medium to v. large


distinctively elongated,
ribbed


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

pale yellow
with brownish red blush;
thin, tender skinned


yellowish white

firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2; somewhat spreading and drooping

 



Merits: Tree: late blooming protects it from frost damage; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: valued for multiple purposes.

Faults: Tree: slow grower; bears fruits variable in size; may drop fruit prematurely; susceptible to scab;. Fruit: bruises easily; quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Tree: described as both a heavy and shy cropper. Fruit: ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage.

Ratings: Downing: vg; Bull97: 7-8**; Bull99: 8-9*; Bull09: vg*; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: *kLM (valuable in some districts); NY1914: g/*; Allen; BC: good; Baker: **, CT (Top12), IL (Top12), KY (top12), NJ (Top12), RI (Top20), MI, OH; CG: 40/18/18/78; Barron: first quality; Barry: (W), "rich"/"breaking, spritely, sharp" W; Bridgeman: alike excellent for dessert or cooking, Unimpeachable; Burford*; Dickerman: NY*; FB113: &; FB208: R(DKM); FB1001; Folger: (0 regions); Hansen: vg or best; Hayes; Heavy: "Tart and bright...ton of juice...straightforward"; Hedrick: good, *, valuable in some districts; Hooper: 1; HSL: 1; Kenrick: *(excellent); KOB: satisfactory, dselicately spiced; Lear: 10; Lowther: vg,12(41); Lewelling; Manning: a fine apple; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: vg, 8.10.7; Michigan1890: vg, 8.10.7; Milam: pie:vg/sauce:vg; Ont1892:8/7/5/5; Pomologie: *****; Powell: "every way an excellent fruit where it is at its best," " in Michaigan no apple outclasses [it]"; Prince; Ragan: vg; S-L: de premiere qualitie; Scott: 1, deserving of extensive cultivation; Smith: right flavor for classic baked apple...perfectly OK fresh eating but not great; Thomas: *(excellent); Warder: best; Waugh: vg; Woolverton: dessert good, cooking good, commercial value - home market first class; Yepsen: "blossoms are large and especially attractive".

Special: thought to be one of the parents of the Red Delicious.

Golden Russet

American Golden Russet
(Golden Russet, Bullock)

(English Russet seedling)
New Jersey
before 1750
[Ripens mid to late October]

Golden Russet of Western New York
(Golden Russet, Golden Russet of New York)

(English Russet seedling)
New York
1845 or earlier
[Ripens early to mid October]

Golden Russet
pictured is the Golden Russet of Western New York; the American Golden Russet is darker yellow in the non-russeted areas.

NFC (American) GRIN USDA+ (American) USDA+ (of WNY)

medium
classic shape

sprightly, complex, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow russet;
rough, tough, thick skinned

cream

firm, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: annual; often heavy cropper; some resistance to scab and cedar apple rust; bears fruit of uniform large size; fruits tolerate fall frosts and mild freezes. Fruit: does not bruise easily; excellent keeper; highly aromatic; prized as one of few varieties recommended for unblended cider.

Faults: Tree: tip bearer (pruning challenge); since blooms early but requires long season, can be challenged by frost in both spring & fall; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: russet quality.

Ratings (uncertain which variety was being described, unless noted): Downing: best; Bull97: 5-6/** or 8-9/*, depending on similarly named varieties; Bull09: b* or gb**, depending on similarly named varieties; Beach: vg/b for AGB, vg for GRof WNY]; NY1907: *dkH (hard to pick; of excellent quality); NY1914: vg/*; NY1916: 8 ; AA: **; Allen; APS1911: **DM; Baker: **, PA (Top6 or Top20); Barron: first quality; Barry: (W), "of the finest quality"/"valued for table or market" W; Bridgeman: in great repute; Brooklyn; BC: vg; Browning; Buffalo; Burford; FB113: &; FB208: HR(DM); Folger: (0 regions); Hansen*: best; Hayes; Heavy: "rough texture...hides a sweet potato meets marshmallows meets honey interior. Sweet and earthy"; Hedrick: vg, *, excellent; Hooper: 1; Jacobsen; Kenrick: *(superior); Lewelling; Lowther: vg,13(21); Manning: spicy and high flavored; ME94: vg/*; Michigan1879: vg, 8.5.9; Michigan1890: vg, 9.5.10; Milam: sauce:poor; Ont1892: 9/8/8/9; Pomologie: ****; Powell: "very rich," one of the must 20; Prince; Ragan: g/b; Richmond: *FM; Scott: 1; Smith: need lots of hang time and then some time in the cellar to get good flavor and texture; Thomas: **(rich); Traverso: F-S; Vorbeck: Sweet12; Warder: very best; Waugh: fair; Way; Wilkinson: g-best; Woolverton: dessert fair, cooking good, commercial value - first class; Yepsen:"notable sweetness".

Special: There were several apples called Golden Russet in the 19th century, so there is much confusion about Golden Russets today. By the 20th century only two survived, but most nurseries do not indicate which variety they grow. The major difference is that the American Golden Russet is later ripening, is slightly darker, may be slightly smaller, and slightly more sweet. There are claims that the Golden Russet is very high in Vitamin C, but that is true of all apples with high acidic content. We grow both, but the American Golden Russet has not yet fruited. 


Westfield Seek No Further
(Westfield, Seeknofurther, New England Seeknofurther, also shortened to Seek)
(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1800

Gravenstein
nf GRIN USDA+

medium


classic shape, but irregular; slightly ribbed


rich, complex, distinctive; 2 on the sweet-tart scale, but with some astringency

red stripes over deep
yellow tinged with green,
splashed with dull red,
dotted, often covered with blue bloom;
russeting possible

white tinged with yellow

tender, fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, cider-blending

T2, roundish, dense, dense

Merits: Fruit: fresh; prized for sweet/sharp kick it provides in cider blending;  good keeper

Faults: Tree: very slow to start bearing; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: variable skin coloring; red does not always develop well; not recommended for cooking; doesn't keep well

Merit or fault?: Tree: called both a heavy cropper and "somewhat lacking in productivity." Fruit: has unique aroma; distinct taste (too astringent for some)

Ratings: Downing: vg or best; Bull97: 8-9/*; Bull99: 8-9**; Bull09: vgb*; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: *dM (a favorite dessert apple); NY1916: l/sp; AA: **; Allen; APS1911: **DM; Baker: *, NJ (Top20), OH; Barry: "rich and excellent"/"rich"; BC: nr; Buffalo;Burford; Dickerman: NY; FB113: NE; FB208: HR(DM); Folger: (0 regions); Hansen: vg or best; Hayes; Jacobsen; Kenrick: no*(excellent); Lewelling; ME94: best/*; Lowther: best,8(17); Michigan1879: best, 7.3.5; Michigan1890: best, 9.3.7; UIll: vg/b (one of 17 of "greatest promise for general usefulness"); Ont1892: 7/7/7/8; Powell" *; Prince [under New England Seeknofurther]; Ragan: vg-b; S-L: de premiere qualitie; Smith: solid, vague McIntosh school in taste; Thomas: *(rich & spicy, fine flavor); Traverso: T-T; Warder: good; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: vg-best; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking fair, commercial value - first class when well grown; Yepsen: "arouses passion with its taste".

Special: Holds the record in our orchard for slowest to bear -- took nine yearrs. Has yet to produce a good sized crop.

Blue Pearmain
(parentage unknown)
New England
before 1800

NFC GRIN USDA+

large


roundish or flatter shape (variable); some ribbing


mild, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

deep red yellow, blue bloom, dotted; tough skinned

tough, moderately thick skinned


creamy yellow; texture is coarse, dense, moderately dry.

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, spreading, open



Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); long lived; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: distinctive coloring; aromatic.

Faults: Tree: slow to bear. Fruit: shrivels in storage (but keeps flavor)

Merit or fault?: Tree: reports differ on productivity. Fruit: different texture, dense, but not crunchy crisp.

Ratings: Beach: good; Bull97: 6**; NY1907: _dM (Not adapted to New York conditions); AA: *; Elliott: vg; Hansen: vg; NY1907: _ [* in northern NY region]; Can: good, commercial value - not profitable because of its unproductiveness; Lowther: G; Manning: listed, but no comment on quality; ME94: g/*; Ont: 6/6/8/8; Ragan: vg; Royal: FCC, AM; Waugh: fair; Wilkinson: vg.

Special: in Thoreau's essay "Wild apples," in which he condemns cultivated apples in general, he admits this variety is "almost as good as wild" and that he does "not refuse the Blue-Pearmain."

Wagener
(parentage unknown)
Penn Yann, NY
possibly 1791


Wagener
GRIN USDA+

medium


variable, can be elongated; often irregular or lop-sided


sprightly, rich, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

striped red and orange red over yellow,
prominently dotted and motled; often has russet "bonnet" at the top; moderately thick skinned


creamy to rich yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T1, roundish, spreading



Merits: Tree: very winter hardy, prolific. Fruit: excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: know to be short-lived: biennial; tip bearer; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: skin can become greasy. 

Merit or fault?: Fruit:.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9*; Bull99:7-8**; Bull09: vgb**; AA: **; APS1911: DM; Baker: IL; BC: vg; B-H: vg-b; Bull1897: 8-9*; Burford; Can: dessert vg, cooking good, commercial value - home market first class, foreign market second class; FB113: NE&; FB208: HR(DM); FB1001: D12,13,14; Gould: of merit, but overbears;  Keil: listed among top varieties for jelly; Lowther: best; ME94: best/*; MI79: vg, 8.4.5; MI90: vg, 9.6.6; Ont:8/7/6/7; Ragan: vg-b; Unimpeachable; Royal: AM; S-L: de toute premier qualitie; Warder: good.Waugh: good when well grown; Wilkinson: vg/b; Yepsen.

Special: Originated only about 20 miles from our orchard. However, there is a lake in the way.
Despite widespread speculation that the Wagener was one of the parents of the Northern Spy, it is very unlikely. Both trees were planted from seeds brought from Connecticut to different parts of the Finger Lakes region of New York State, and the Northern Spy was well established before the Wagener was discovered and brought to public attention. Quite possibly,instead, they share a common parent.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Baldwin
(Woodpecker)

(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1740

Baldwin

GRIN USDA+

large


classic shape


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

multiple shades of red stripes
& mottling, dominant over yellow, occasionally russeting near stem; tough skinned


greenish cream

firm, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 5

Fresh eating; culinary, especially baking; cider

T3, upright-spreading


Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; long lived; bears fruit of uniform large size; resistant to cedar rust; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: excellent keeper; very slow browning flesh; does not bruise easily; attractive in shape & color; prized for quality for multiple purposes; revered for excellence as cider base.

Faults: Tree: slow to start bearing; more strictly biennial than most other varieties; triploid (does not pollinate); subject to winter damage; thinning advised to avoid limb breakage; drops fruit prematurely; susceptible to scab & powdery mildew; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: needs to be grown widely spaced on trees well open to the sun for full color and richness.

Ratings: Downing: vg; Bull97: 5-6**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: good to vg; NY1907: **dkM (standard winter apple of New York); NY1914: g-vg/**; NY1916: 1; AA: **; Allen; APS1911: **KM; Baker: **, NY (Top6), MA (Top Alwood: "of high grade and fine quality"; 6), RI (Top6), NJ (Top6), PA (Top6), OH; Barron: first quality; Barry: (W), "profitable"/"popular and profitable" WL, Unimpeachable; Bridgeman: most agreeable; Brooklyn; BC: good; Buffalo; Burford; CG: 40/20/22/82; Dickerman: US, NY*; FB113: NE*; FB208: HR(KM); FB1001*; Folger: *$H (5 regions); Hansen: vg; Hedrick: good-vg,**, standard winter apple of NY; Hogg2: rather rich and agreeable; Hooper: 1 (where it succeeds); HSL: 1; Hayes; Jacobsen; Keil: listed among top varieties for stewing, pies & baking; Kenrick: *(excellent); Lear: 9; Lowther: vg,21(34); Lewelling; Manning: we prefer it to any other winter variety; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: vg, 6.9.10; Michigan1890: vg, 6.9.10; Ont1892: 2/5/7/8; PA1910: (N)** Most planted and generally most profitable [but being surpassed]; Pomologie: *****; Powell: * "when well grown, ...very rich," one of the must 20; Prince; Ragan: vg; Royal: 1888: first quality; S-L: de premiere qualitie; Scott: rather rich and agreeable; Thomas: **(first rate); Traverso: F-S; Walker: #3; Waugh: fair; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: dessert fair, cooking good, commercial value - first class; Yepsen: "a sentimental favorite".

Special: America's first dominant commercial variety (for more than 75 years) especially in New York, Pennsylvania, & New England and upper midwest states.

Newtown Pippin
(Albemarle Pippin, Yellow Newtown)

(parentage unknown)
Queens, NY
before 1760


Newtown Pippin

NFC USDA+

medium to large


irregular, apples from the same tree can be flattish, round, and conical


sprightly, distinctive, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

greenish yellow,
prominently dotted, russeting around stem;
tough skin


cream to greenish white

very firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2

 

 


Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; fruits hang on trees for long time; late blooming protects it from late frosts; partially self-pollinating; resistant to cedar-apple rust; . Fruit: does not bruise easily; prized for its clear juice in cider making; excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: tends toward biennial; triploid (does not pollinate); partial tip bearer (pruning challenge); susceptible to scab, mildew. Fruit: not pretty, by today's standards; very quickly browning flesh.

Merit or Fault?: Tree: bears fruits of variable size and color; partial tip bearer (pruning challenge). Fruit: subject to sweet water core; flavor best after aged in storage [some advise do not eat before December or January].

Ratings: Downing: best; Beach: best; NY1907: _ [** in Hudson Valley]dkH (Not a good commercial sort. Excellent in quality.); NY1914: b/*; Baker: NJ (Top12), KY (Top20), OH; AA: *; Barry: "celebrated [but] its success is confined to certain districts and soils"; Brooklyn; BC: vg; Browning; Bull97: 10*; Bull99:8-9*; Bull09: vgb*; Burford*; CG: 47/21/22/95; Dickerman: NY; FB113: NE*&; FB208: R(DKM); FB1001; Folger: $H (1 region); Hansen: best; Hayes; Hogg2: very fine; Hooper: 1; HSL: 2; Jacobsen; Kenrick: no*(first rate); Lowther: vg for Green, B for Yellow; Lewelling; Manning: so superior to all others; Manhart: best; Michigan1879: b, 10.8.3; Ont: 9/9/7/10; Phillips: "Packs a refreshing wallop for tart-apple fanciers, with full sugar and rich flavor developing in winter months"; Pomologie:*****; Powell: "reachest perfection...in a few localities"; Prince; Ragan: Green=b, Yellow=vg-b; S-L: a l'etude; de premiere qualitie; Scott: 1; Thomas: *(high, fine flavor); Traverso: F-T; Vorbeck: Sour4; Warder: best; Waugh: best; Way; Wilkinson: vg/b/*; Woolverton: dessert first class, cooking first class, commercial value - first class; Yepsen: "called the classic American apple".

Special: Grown by G. Washington and T. Jefferson, and once presented in a gift basket to Queen Victoria by the American ambassador. The first apple variety to have recognized strains, Yellow and Green. The Green Newtown now very rare.

Zabergau Reinette
(Reinette Zabergäu, Reinette Parmentier, Reinette Grise de Parmentier)

(unknown)
Belgium
1830
or
Germany
1885

USDA+


large


variable from classic shape to flat, with some ribbing


complex, intense sweet/sharp taste until it mellows in storage to sweet and nutty, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

bronzed russeting over gereen


white"

very firm, crisp,

Fresh eating, cider

T2,



Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; resistant to most diseases, except scab; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: aromatic; excellent keeper [stores exceptionally well without losing quality].

Faults: Tree: triploid, susceptible to scab. Fruit:

Merit or fault?: Fruit: subject to watercore; ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage.

Ratings: AA: *; Jacobsen: "now all the coolest people have one;" S-L: de premiere qualitie; Smith: [referring to Parmentie] "very good flavor and crunch"; Yespsen: crisp, full flavored, and not to everyone's taste."

Special: Largest of the russets. Disputed origin. Germans claim it was discovered near the Zaber River in Germany in 1885 and distributed widely starting in 1926; Joan Morgan of the Royal Horticultural Society states that Reinette Parmentier is the earlier name for the same apple; it was named for Belgian pomologist Parmentier who obtained the apple in 1830. There were two botanically minded Belgian brothers, but it was probably Joseph Parmentier, a landscape gardener, who obtained it, not his brother Andrew who left Europe for Brooklyn in 1830 or earlier to escape the July Revolution (French Revolution of 1830) and later founded the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

 

Calville Blanc d'Hiver
(White Winter Calville, Rambour a Cotes Gros)
(parentage unknown)
France
before 1600

Calville Blanc
GRIN USDA+

medium


elongated, prominently ribbed; often misshaped


intense, spicy, complex, distinctive, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

pale yellow
tinged with green,
with faint blush; prominently
dotted where exposed to sun;
smooth skinned


yellowish-white

tender, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 2

Fresh eating, cider

T1, upright-spreading

 

 

Merits: Tree: late blooming protects it from frost damage. Fruit: highly aromatic; non-browning flesh.

Faults: Tree: slow to start bearing, slower to bear good quality fruit; shy bearer; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: prone to cracking.

Merit or Fault?: Fruit: ripens over several weeks; odd shape; can look blemished when it is not: ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage.

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Barron: very tender; Barry: "one of the finest dessert varieties"; Bridgeman:pleasant; Brooklyn; BC: good; Bunyard: "delicate flavour... rarey well finished in this country; Elliott: unworthy; Browning; Heavy: "big bold flavor bomb, with a tartness that builds and builds"; Hogg1: rich, lively, agreeable flavor; Hogg2: first rate; HSL: 2; Jacobsen; Kenrick: no*(worth cultivating); Manning: wiothout much flavor; Manhart: vg; Pomologie: ****; Prince; Ragan: p; Royal: 1888: first quality; S-L: de premiere qualitie pour la table et de toute premiere qualitie pour cuire; Salt*; Scott: 1, valuable kitchen fruit; Thomas: (valueless here); Traverso: F-T; Vorbeck: Sour12; Warder: poor; Yepsen: "not unpleasantly tart".

Special: grown by Jefferson at Monticello, painted by Monet; there are claims that it is very high in Vitamin C, but that is true of all acidic apples.

Ladies' Sweeting
(Lady Sweet, Winter Sweeting, Pommeroy, [NOT Lady])

(parentage unknown)
NY
before 1825

USDA+

large


elongated

distinctive, 1 on the sweet-tart scale

nearly all red; stripes over red and pale yellow; skinned


whitish, can have slight yellow tinge

tender, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, cider

T3, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; excellent keeper, does not shrivel nor lose flavor; Fireblight: 1. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Fruit: slow to start bearing; needs to be grown widely spaced on trees well open to the sun for full color and richness.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: its sweet flavor is different that that of modern sweet apples.

Ratings: Downing: vg or best ("the finest winter sweet apple, for the dessert, yet known"; Bull97: 7-8*; Bull09: gvg*; Beach: vg to best; NY1907: **dkM (one of the most desirable of the sweet apples); NY1914: vg-b/*; Allen; Baker: *, MA(Top12), NY (Top20); Barron: worthless; Barry: "one of the best winter sweets"/"sprightly, agreeable"; Bridgeman: high flavored; Cole: "one of the finest"; Elliot: quotes Downing's vg or best; Hansen: quotes Downing's vg or best; Hedrick: vg-best,*, one of the most desirable of the sweet apples/1922: vg-b; Hooper: 1, one of our best sweet apples; Lowther: vg,9; Michigan1879: vg, 5.7.6; Powell: "exceedingly good at times"; Prince; Ragan: g-vg; Royal: 1888: worthless; S-L: a l'etude; de premiere qualitie; Scott: 1; Thomas: *(agreeable, fine); UIll: best; Walker: #21; Waugh: good

LATE OCTOBER INTO NOVEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Tree Size & Shape


Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh

Kinnaird's Choice
(Kinnard
)
(probably Winesap open pollinated)
Tennessee
before 1870

USDA+

medium to large


somwhat flatter shape, sides sometimes unequal


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

mottled red and purple
red over yellow,
some russeting near stem;
thick, tough skinned


white tinged with yellow

crisp, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, spreading, but irregular

Merits: Tree: very hardy for a "Southern" tree; precocious bearer; reliable bearer, even if somewhat biennial late blooming protects it from late frosts; resistant to scab & cedar-apple rust; ; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic; very good keeper.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate); requires long season.

Merit or fault?: Tree: irregular grower.  Fruit: subject to sweet water core.

Ratings: Bull97: 5-6--; Beach: g/vg; NY1907: _dkH (does not appear to be adapted to New York); Burford; FB113: &; FB1001; Hansen: vg; Hedrick: good-vg, not adapted to NY; Lowther: good,...; Waugh: fair.

Special: according to Burford, it was regionally popular during Great Depression for being a flavorful, late blooming variety dependable as an annual cash crop.

Winesap
(parentage unknown)
NJ (possibly Virginia)
before 1800

winesap

GRIN USDA

small to medium


classic shape


sprightly, somewhat astringent, complex, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

two shades of deep red over yellow,
prominently dotted;
tough, moderately thin skinned


greenish yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, roundish, dense



Merits: Tree: hangs well on tree for long time; resistance to scab and cedar apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic; does not bruise easily; prized for its tart, wine-like flavor (with some bitterness), especially in cider; excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate); extra thinning required to prevent overbearing; may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: quickly browning flesh; fruit subject to small cracking.

Merit or fault?: Tree: precocious or slow to start bearing (reports vary, ours was slow); young trees are reliable & heavy cropper; but decline noticeable in reliability & fruit size as trees age; irregular, straggling growth. Fruit: subject to sweet water core.

Ratings: Downing: vg; Bull99: 7-8*; Bull09: vg*; Beach: g/vg; NY1907: _dkM (Both tree qualities and fruit poor in New York); Bull97: 7-8/**; AA: **; Alwood: "has no superior among red varieties [on the right soil]"; Baker: PA (Top20), KY (Top20), OH, VA; Barry: "fine for cider"/"rich"; Bridgeman: high rich flavor; Brooklyn; BC: nr; Burford*; CG: 43/20/25/88; FB113: NE*&; FB208: R(DKM); FB1001; Folger: *$ (7 regions); Gould: magnificent; Hansen: vg; Hayes; Hedrick: good-vg, tree characters and fruit poor in NY; Hooper: 2 to 1; Jacobsen; Keil: listed among top 6 winter varieties for dessert & top for stewing, pie, baking & jelly; Lear: 9; Lowther: vg; Lewelling; Lowther: vg,6(39); Manning: of medium quality; ME94: vg/*; Michigan1879: vg, 6.6.4; Milam: pie:vg/sauce:fair; Ont1892: 7/_/1/3; Phillips: "rich, vinous flavor is like an explosion in the mouth"; Pomologie: ****; Prince [in list of cider apples also good for table]; Ragan: vg; Richmond: **FM; S-L: a l'etude; de premiere qualitie pour la table et de toute premiere qualitie pour cidre; Scott: 1; Thomas: (rich, rather acid, one of the best for baking); UIll: vg; Warder: good; Waugh: good/high quality; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: vg, commercial value - first class in certain districts, second class as grown in Canada; Yepsen: "the distillation of a crisp fall day".

Special: There are several varieties of Winesap. Ours was labeled Original Winesap.

Idared
(often written as Ida Red)
(Jonathan x Wagener)
Idaho
introduced 1942

idared

GRIN
USDA+



medium to large, quite variable


somwhat flatter shape, slight ribbing


rich, complex, 2 or 3 on the sweet-tart scale depending on when picked from tree. Note: Several sources online call Idared bland or even flavorless – they must only know Idared from supermarket fruits picked too early

bright red splashing, with crimson stripes and mottling over greenish yellow, prominent dotting,
some russeting near stem;
thick, tough skinned


white or creamy white with occasional red flecks

crisp, fine to moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T3, open, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: precocious bearer; reliable bearer; late blooming protects it from late frosts;prolific; hangs well on tree for long time, resistant to scab. Fruit: highly aromatic; one of the best keepers.

Faults: Tree: since blooms early but requires long season, can be challenged by frost in both spring & fall; Fireblight: 5.

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, thinning required for good sized fruit; ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage.

Ratings: AA: *Brooklyn; Manhart: g-vg; Pomologie: *****; Royal: AGM-C/D; Traverso: F-T; Yepsen: "With its thick, handsome lipstick red skin, Idared is a commercial grower's idea of an apple".

Special:
the tree was growing in our backyard and was probably planted in the 1980s when it was much more popular. A friend who is a pomologist identified it with 95% certainty as an Idared.

.

Doctor
(Doctor Dewitt, De Witt, Doctor of Germantown, Germantown, Newby, Coon
)
(unknown)
Pennsylvania
before 1800

USDA+

medium to large


somwhat flatter shape, sides sometimes unequal


rich, 3 on the sweet-tart scale

yellow with bright red blush and carmine splashing,
some russeting near stem;
thick, tough skinned


yellow

crisp, moderately coarse-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, open, spreading

Merits: Tree: precocious bearer; reliable bearer; late blooming protects it from late frosts; resistant to scab; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic; very good keeper.

Faults: Tree: requires long season.

Ratings: Bull97: 5-6--; Beach: g/almost vg; NY1907: _dkH (does not appear to be adapted to New York); Burford; FB113: &; FB1001; Hansen: vg; Hedrick: good-vg; Waugh: fair.

Special: Named after Christopher Witt (1675-1765) – called DeWitt in some documents – who was an astrologer, mystic, herbalist, orchardist(?), self-taught doctor, clock- & telescope-maker, musician, painter, instructor in the "Arts & Mysteries of Chymistry, Physick & the Astral Sciences," slave-owner (his slave was freed at his death and made his principle heir). Coxe and Downing suggest the doctor "brought it into notice," but there is a big gap between his death in 1765 and public notice of the variety in the early 1800s.

Piel de Sapa
(Toad Skin)

Northern Spain
unknown


GRIN

medium
classic shape

Semi-sharp, aromatic, astringent

reddish russet;
rough, tough, thick skinned

cream

hard, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 2

Cider

T2, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: annual. Fruit: does not bruise easily; excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: Fireblight: 5. Fruit: not for fresh eating, not pretty.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: only good for cider.

Special: Scion wood was a present. This is the only hard cider apple we grow.

Black Twig
(Mammoth Blacktwig, Arkansaw
[not Arkansas Black and probably not Paragon])

(probably Winesap x Limbertwig)
Arkansas or Tennessee
before 1830

blacktwig

GRIN
USDA+



large


classic shape


rich, 4 on the sweet-tart scale

dark red over greenish
yellow with some red
striping and purply black,
prominently dotted;
thick, tough skinned


cream to pale yellow

crisp, moderately fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

T2, upright-spreading, open

 



Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; very hardy for a "Southern" tree; late blooming protects it from late frosts; reliable bearer; resistant to scab & cedar apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: Irregular bearer, often shy; requires long season; slow to start bearing; may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: skin is slightly bitter; texture softens in storage.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: should be picked when fruit is still hard; flavor best after aged in storage.

Ratings: Bull97: 9*; Bull09: vg*; NY1909: _kM (not valuable in New York, except Long Island); AA: *; Alwood: "a promising cosmopolitan apple"; Browning; Bull1897: 7-8/*; Burford; FB113: &; FB208: R(KM); FB1001; Folger: (3 regions); Gould: excellent, but shy; Hansen: vg; Hedrick: good, valuable in the South but not in NY; Jacobsen; Lowther: vg,2; Powell: "vigourous, productive, and very hardy"; Milam: pie:vg/sauce:fair; Traverso: T-T..

Special: State apple of Tennessee.

Virginia Beauty
(Zach's Red)
(parentage unknown)
Virginia
before 1820

USDA

medium to large


classic shape


sprightly, on the sweet side of sweet-tart, complex

glossy red with distinctive
russet "bonnet" at the top;
tough skin


greenish-yellow

firm, fine-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating

T3, spreading, open

Keeps for six months or more



Merits: Tree: very hardy for a "Southern" tree; bears early; very productive; late blooming protects it from frost damage; bears fruits uniform in size & shape; wide branching limbs; resistant to cedar apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic, natural gloss gives handsome appearance; does not bruise easily; excellent keeper.

Faults: Fruit: may not develop as good size, color and flavor in NYS as farther south.

Merit or fault?: Tree: heavy cropper, thinning required for good sized fruit; ideal flavor comes after it mellows in storage.

Ratings: Bull09: vg_ [ a regional favorite that did not receive national attention; it's not even in Ragan]; Burford*; Folger: H (0 regions); Gould: of merit, but largely unknown; Lowther: vg,...(...).

Special: who cares about the purported favorites of Washington and Jefferson? -- this was the favorite apple of Doc Watson.

Goldrush
(Gold Rush)
(Golden Delicious x PRI 1689-100 x PRI 668-100) [known parentage includes Winesap, Rome Beauty, Melrose, & Siberian crab]
selected 1980, introduced in 1994

 

medium


classic shape


very intense, breaking, extreme sweet-tart combination that doesn't fit well on the sweet-tart scale

green yellow with bronze to red blush; can turn to deep yellow in storage
tough, spidery russeting; moderately thin skinned


greenish yellow

hard, very crisp, coarse-grained

Juiciness: 4

Fresh eating, culinary

T2, upright, spreading



Merits: Tree: very late blooming; resistant to most diseases; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: non-browning flesh

Faults: Tree: although developed in Minnesotoa, may not ripen well in Northern climates.

Merit or fault?: Tree: very late ripening is challenge, but high sugar level helps protect from freezing. Fruit: flavor best after aged in storage.

Ratings: AA: **; Browning; Jacobsen: "intensely sweet and spicy, yet still with that sour, metallic counterpunch"; Manhart: notable new; Salt; Vorbeck: Balanced; Yepsen: "feels effervescent on the tongue."

Special: Goldrush's extraordinary keeping ability under ordinary household conditions are supposed to be extraordinary, some claiming fruit keeps over a year. Several apple aficiendados now call Goldrush their favorite apple. When a friend with ordinary apple tastes said the same thing, we decided to take the plunge and add one to our orchard.

Kentucky Limbertwig
(Red Limbertwig open pollinated)
Kentucky

before 1830

 

large


elongated, tapered


unusual, musky & spicy/sweet, 2 on the sweet-tart scale

light red and orange over greenish-yellow

creamy yellow

firm, very crisp, fine-grained

Juiciness: 3

Fresh eating, culinary

T2, drooping



Merits: Tree: annual; moderately resistant to most diseases; excellent keeper; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: aromatic.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to scab. Fruit: dull color is not especially attractive.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: the distinctive "Limbertwig flavor" is both loved and disliked.

Ratings: n/a

Special: Prized by some as the most flavorful of the limbertwigs, the Kentuky Limbertwig is not expected to provide a fully mature crop every year here in the Finger Lakes, but the tree itself is supposed to be very hardy.


NOTES

Fruit Shape
I find the mathematic terms for apple shapes confusing and a bit misleading. So instead of using terms such as obovate, oblong, ovate, and oblate, I have opted to simplify descriptions of shapes. Most apples have a "classic apple shape," which is often written as roundish, roundish-ovate or round-conical. Those apples are as tall as they are wide or slightly taller than it is wide, with some tapering toward the bottom.

Flavor
John J Thomas, in his Hints on Describing Fruits, 1842, devised a ranking system from 1 to 6.
1 (Sweet) as Tallman
2 (Perceptible Shade of Acid) as Rambo
3 (Sub-Acid) as Fall Pippin and Baldwin
4 (Acid) as Esopus and Gravenstein
5 (Very Acid) as [no apples I've heard of]
6 (Very Acid and Austere) as Hewes' Crab [which we used to grow]

As he notes himself, this only goes part way in describing apples. Sub-acid as a term has been replaced by sweet-tart and it means well-balanced between the two. Sub-acid varieties were once the most prized among apples by American tastes. Tastes and expectations have changed by the apple-buying public. Once the Red Delicious arrived on the scene, it quickly dominated apple sales, and its sweet, but bland flavor became the standard. The arrival of Gala led to a new revolution and newly introduced varieties each seem to be even sweeter than that last. In modern day apple taste tests, sweeter apples (1 and 2) win consistently, but a strong minority will complain that many modern apple varieties are too sweet and don't have enough true apple flavor.

Astringency can make an apple "inedible" or enhance its flavor with a special zest. It has been a prefered quality in hard cider. On the scale of how much flavor an apple has, the varieties range from mild to sprightly or rich to intense. Some of the best flavored apples have a complex quality that may or may not be called spicy. Some conjure to mind a flavor reminiscent of other fruits, commonly pear-like, pineappley, or vinous. Distinctive flavors can affect different tasters differently. Westfield Seek-No-Further, for example, is highly prized by some, but I have also heard it nicknamed "Westfield Eat-No-Further." My wife can recognize its slight astringency, but I can't. What is wonderful about taste tests with a group of people is the wide range of preferences and such varying opinions. Sweeter apples usually win, but are given low scores by others. Kidd's Orange and Jonagold received the most 10s in our 2014 apple taste test, but neither finished in the top two. In our 2016 taste test the apple variety with the most votes for #1 was Autumn Crisp. Others getting votes for #1 were Jonagold, King David, Connell Red, and Hubbardston Nonesuch. However, in terms of overall rating, although Autumn Crisp and Jonagold finshed first and second, but none of the others finished in the top five. In 2017 Autumn Crisp finished on top again, but none of the other varieties were the same as the previous year. Timing is important, too. The first taste in 2018 was much later, and Autumn Crisp, no longer crisp, did not do very well.

Texture
Soft = not firm nor crunchy
Tender = firm when picked, but not crunchy; becomes soft quickly
Firm = firm, with some crunch, when picked, but loses it crunch quickly
Crisp = firm and crunchy when picked and remains crisp for some time in storage
Hard = hard when picked and stays hard until stored for several weeks or months

Juiciness
Most lists of descriptions for apple varieties simply include the word "juicy," but don't indicate how juicy. I have used a numerical system from 1 to 5, with 1 the driest and 5 the juiciest. Numbers mostly based on rating in the apple database created by Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, but supplemented from personal experience and comments found elsewhere on the web, such as Eat Like No One Else. Here is a code:

1 = very dry
2 = drier than average
3 = of average juiciness
4 = juicier than average
5 = among the juiciest

Tree Size and Shape
Many factors effect tree size, including local climate and conditions, and especially rootstock, but a tree's natural vigor is key when making comparisons and choosing rootstocks. Joan Morgan and Alison Richards rated trees from T1 (small) to T3 (large) in The Book of Apples. The Home Orchard Society uses this method as well on its page of Estimated Tree Vigor. I have used both here, as well as personal observation. The Cornell/Geneva apple database has a scale from 1 to 6, but it is quite incomplete. Note vigor is used to describe size only; it is not related to the health or hardiness of the tree.

The shape of the tree will vary. Most varieties of apple trees are both upright and spreading. If listed as upright, new limbs will shoot straight upward. They can be a challenge for pruning and shaping. Spreading trees are those with limbs that naturally grow at angles, and if the limbs grow below horizontal, they are deemed drooping. Roundish trees are those that have a mix of limb growth, but can also become bushy, so they can also be a challenge for pruning.

Blossom Dates
Blossom dates are not listed except as part of the description for very late blossoming varieties with the note that the late blooming helps that variety to avoid damage of late frosts. I do not include it because my experience has been that all our varieties, even earliest and latest blossoming, have had some overlap. Most varieties will blossom for 9 to 12 days so even an early blossoming variety, such as Gravenstein, will overlap for a few days with Northern Spy and other late blossoming varieties.

Keeping
Keeping qualities are not listed except as part of the merits and faults very exceptionally good or bad keepers. There are not included because there is a general rule to follow: summer apples do not keep well, mid-season apple varieties will keep for two or three months, and winter apples should be stored for a few weeks to allow them to mellow into their best flavor and then will keep for five or six months using only old-fashioned storage practices that most non-commercial orchardists might employ. Commercial operations using modern storage techniques and equipment can keep most apple varieties for long periods of time – more than a year. However, while the appearance of the apple can be maintained, flavor can and will decline, and the apples may have been picked before they were fully ready so they would ship better.

Merits and Faults
My own observations as well as several resources have been used to compile merits and faults. The apple database created by Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, NY,in cooperation with the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory's Germplasm Resources Information Network has been especially valuable, although I have found some internal contradictions, and our orchard has many varieties not found there.

Fireblight is in bold among merits and faults because of the devastation it can cause to an orchard. Almost half of our apple varieties have been given a Fireblight rating of 5 (very susceptable) in the apple database created by Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva, and this is based on their own study. There are no apple tree varieties entirely resistant to fireblight. However, other lists, including those from a study done by Janna Beckerman of Purdue, a Colorade State factsheet, and the Midwest Tree Fruit Pest Management Handbook have less dire numbers. Agricultural Handbook No 510: Fireblight, a pamphlet produced by the Department of Agriculture in 1979, lists citations other literature with fireblight resistance and susceptibility information. My rating combines those of these and other resources.

KEY to the sources for Apple Images

Pictures are of apples from our orchard. Image sources are included when no picture is available: 
  • NFC=National Fruit Collection at Brogdale (UK)
  • GRIN=National Germplasm Resources Laboratory's Germplasm Resources Information Network, Geneva, NY
  • USDA= United States Department of Agriculture's Pomological Watercolors, a gallery of over 7500 technically accurate paintings, drawings, and lithographs created from 1889 to 1940 (+ indicates additional image or images are available on the on the Natioan Library of Agriculture's Digital Collections).

KEY to the sources used for apple ratings:

Ratings in almost all the sources are for flavor, not for overall quality of the fruit or tree. The list is in alphabetical order by author, after three primary sources (more including some revisions) that have special significance and importance.

Downing=Andrew Jackson Downing and Samuel Downing. The Fruits and Fruit-trees of America The ratings were added by Samuel Downing in the 1865 revised edition. There were several additional revisions, but the ratings did not change. These ratings also found their way into many subsequent apple books – at least there is a surprising amount of agreement with Downing by later sources. Even the ratings in Beach's Apples of New York seem to mostly echo those of Downing.

Bull97="Catalog of Fruits Recommended for Cultivation; Division I: Fruits Mainly Adapted to Northern Localities; Section 1: Apples," U.S. Department of Agriculture, Division of Pomology. Bulletin No. 6, 1897. The catalog and its ratings were made by a standing committee of the American Pomological Society appointed in 1895 at the behest of the Department of Agriculute. T.T. Lyon of Michigan chaired the committee, and the most prominent member may have been Liberty Hyde Bailey. The ratings ranged from 1 (very poor) to 10 (best). After the rating following a slash, is a notation for District No. 2 that includes New York's Finger Lakes: * known to succeed; ** highly successful; + promising; NR may mean either not reported or not recommended. Bull99: A rating listed here reflects revisions made and published in Bulletin No. 8 in 1899. Since there were only slight changes, only when there were significant are they noted. Bull09: when the catalog was revised in 1909, the more traditional ratings of good, very good, and best replaced the numerical system.

Beach = S. A. Beach, assisted by N.O. Booth, and O.M. Taylor. Apples of New York, 1905, Volume I and Volume II. Beach emphasizes that "good" represents medium quality only. When multiple ratings appear that indicates that the quality can vary in that variety. Downing is cited throughout the book, but he is not named as a source for the ratings, even though with some exceptions, those ratings are repeated.

NY1907 = U.P. Hedrick, N.O. Booth, and O.M. Taylor. "Varieties of Apples for New York" in "Report of the Horticultural Department" in 25th Annual Report of the Board of Control of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, 1907. The flavor ratings repeated Beach, so listed here are the recommendations for the Central Lakes district, except where noted. **=Well Recommended; *=Recommended; +=Worthy of Trial; _=Undesirable for region. Further notions are d=dessert; k=kitichen; c=cider. H=home use; M=market; L=local market, meaning they don't ship well. NY1914 = Another update, this one by F. H. Hall in "The Best Apples for New York State," found in the 32d Annual report of the Board of Control of the New York Agricultural Experiment Station, 1914. The number of varieties rated was reduced to 98 of special value or merit in New York State. The flavor quality ratings changed slightly, so are included. After the slash are the recommendations for Central Lakes which had also been altered. NY1916: numerical ranking of leading commercial varieties for Western New York, with recommendation by S. A. Beach to commercial orchardists not to go outside the list except for local and special markets (l/sp).

Other sources:

  • AA=Adam's Apples, where apples are rated from no stars to three stars "based on their qualities eaten out of hand."
  • Allen= inclusion in a list of Best Varieties of Apples for Cultivation found in Richard Lamb Allen's (revised by Lewis F. Allen) New American farm book, 1908. List included 30 varieties most widely cultivated, not specific to a particular region.
  • Alwood=William Bradford Alwood, Orchard Studies. III. Notes on Some of the More Important Varieties of Apples. Bulletin 130. Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, November 1901.
  • APS1911=Apples highly recommended for District 2 (which includes most of New York State, including the Finger Lakes, as found in Bulletin 151 of the American Pomological Society, Fruits recommended by the American Pomological Society for cultivation in the various sections of the United States and Canada, 1911, and reported in Encyclopedia of practical horticulture, 1914. **=Highly recommended; *=Recommended. D,K & M=Dessert, Kitchen &Market.
  • Baker=Charles Baker, Practical and scientific fruit culture Lee and Shepard, 1866 [Rated * or ** for suitability [only Western NY included here] or _ for not rated. and listed among the best 6, 12, or 20 trees for particular states [or at least best 20 if no # listed].
  • Barron=British Apples: Report of the Committee of the National Apple Congress, Held in the Royal Horticultural Gardens, Chiswick, October 5th to 25th, 1883, compiled by Archibald Farquharson Barron.
  • Barry=Patrick Barry. The Fruit Garden, 1857/supplemented by Barry's Fruit Garden, 1872. Barry was an orchardist near Rochester, NY. In the first edition, he listed a top 20. In the later edition, he created a Select List recommended for Eastern and Middle States for summer, autumn (A), winter (W), choice garden (G), and "large and beautiful" (L). "Unimpeachable" indicates the best choice for Western New York, probably for hardiness.
  • Beecher=comments from Henry Ward Beecher in his Pleasant Talk about Fruits, Flowers and Farming, 1874.
  • BC=Catalog of Fruit Trees Under Test at the Experimental Farm at Agassiz, British Columbia, 1900.
  • Brooklyn=Brooklyn Botanical Gardens' The Best Apples To Buy And Grow, 2005.
  • Bridgeman=Thomas Bridgeman, American Gardener's Assistant, 1886.
  • Browning=included in the chapter "Twenty or So Prize Apples" from Frank Browning's Apples, 1999.
  • Buffalo=Rated "first-rate" [or 2nd rate where noted] at the Pomological Convention at Buffalo, 1848, as reported in the Ohio Cultivar the next year.
  • Bunyard=Edward Bunyard.A Handbook of Hardy Fruits More Commonly Grown in Great Britain: Apples and pears, 1920.
  • Burford=Included in Tom Burford's Apples of North America, 192 Exceptional Varieties [* indicates in his list of Top 20 fresh-eating apples, even though some were not included in his book].
  • Cole=S. W. Cole, The American Fruit Book, 1849.
  • CG=R.J. Barnett. "Quality in Apples," Country Gentleman, November 10, 1917 [Ratings dessert quality-50/cooking quality-25/keeping quality-25/total-100.
  • Dickerman= Charles Dickerman, How to Make the Farm Pay; Or, The Farmer's Book of Practical Information on Agriculture, Stock Raising, Fruit Culture, Special Crops, Domestic Economy & Family Medicine, 1870. The label "US" or "NE" indicates the variety was judged among the best six for the whole country or the Northeast States. "NY" indicates the variety had proven successful in New York State. NY* indicates it was especially recommended for the state.
  • Eliott = F. R. Eliott, Elliott's Fruit Book, 1858.
  • FB = Farmers Bulletin – FB113=US Department of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 113: The Apple and How to Grow It, by G.B, Brackett. GPO: 1909 (NE=recommended for the district that includes New England, New York, and Pennsylvania; NE* recommended for commercial as well as family orchard; &=recommended for another part of the country); FB208 = US Department of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 208: Varieties of Fruits Recommended for Planting, compiled by W.H. Ragan. GPO: 1904. [Ratings (HR, highly recommended, R, recommended, and T, recommended for trial; D=Dessert (desirable for eating in a fresh or uncooked state), K=Kitchen (has good cooking qualities), M=Market (is good bearer, has fine appearance, possesses firmness and keeping quality, C=cider) are for District 2: Nova Scotia, most of New England and NY, northern NJ, PA, OH, & IN, and the lower peninsula of Michigan; FB1001 = US Department of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 1001 (1920): Varieties of Fruits Suggested for Planting in 14 different districts of the US (* indicates variety was including in District 1 (colder portions of New England and New York) or District 2 (whicg includes the Finger Lakes)).
  • Folger=John Clifford Folger & Samuel Mable Thomson. The commercial apple industry of North America, 1921. [* among top 12 commercial country wide (80% of all apples); $ most marketable, fetching best prices; H good for home use as well].
  • Gould=H.P. Gould. "Some Comments on Important Apple Varieties," in Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 1910.
  • Hansen=Niels Ebbesen Hansen's chapter on apples in J. L. Budd's American Horticultural Manual, Volume II: Systematic Pomology, 1903. A star indicates the variety is winter hardy, based on N.E. Hansen's A Study of Northwest Apples, South Dakota Agricultural College, 1902, in which Hansen included the same ratings, but only include the winter-hardiest of apple varieties.
  • Hayes=Grown by Rutherford B Hayes at his Spiegel Grove estate after he left the Whitehouse
  • Heavy=from a review of heirloom apples in the blog Heavytable.
  • Hedrick=U.P. Hedrick and G.H. Howe. Apples: Old and New, New York Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 361, 1913 / U. P. Hedrick. Cyclopedia of Hardy Fruit. Macmillan, 1922. Quality rating, star rating for Central Lakes district of NY, notes. Further comment form the 1922 book only when different or additional information was provided.
  • Hogg1=Robert Hogg. British Pomology, London, 1851. Hogg was the premier British pomologist of the mid-19th Century.
  • Hogg2= Robert Hogg. Fruit Manual, 1862.
  • Hooper=E. J. Hooper. Hooper's Western Fruit Book: (1857). Note that by "western" Hooper meant only as far west as Ohio and Indiana.
  • HSL=A Catalogue of the Fruits Cultivated in the Garden of the Horticultural Society of London, 1831.
  • Jacobsen=Included in Rowan Jacobsen's Apples of Uncommon Character, 2014.
  • Keil=J.B. Keil. "The Apple from a Consumer's Standpoint." Ohio State Horticultural Society Annual Report, 1917 (Dessert apples were his own personal preference. Cooking apples were selected from cooking tests done at the station​). 
  • Kenrick=William Kenrick. New American Orchardist, 1835. Starred or not (comments).
  • KOB=Das Kompetenzzentrum Obstbau-Bodensee in Bavendorf, a German foundation created for the promotion of fruit cultivation. On its web site are descriptions of more than 180 apple varieties. The phrases used here are translations.
  • Lear=Missouri orchardist O.H. Lear's flavor rating from 1-10, as recorded in James Fitz's Southern Apple and Peach Culturist, 1872.
  • Lewelling=indicates the variety was included among the fruit trees brought from Iowa to Oregon by covered wagon in 1847 by Henderson Lewelling to establish the first commercial orchard in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Lowther=Encyclopedia of practical horticulture, by Granville Lowther and William Worthington, 1914 [noting that good was the lowest rating and best was more generously bestowed than elsewhere]. First number represents the number of recommendations the variety received by orchardists in the Northern division, 25 being the most. Number in parentheses indicates total from all districts, 65 being the most and 25 being the mean of the 64 top-rated varieties.
  • Manhart= Included in W. Manhart's Apples for the Twenty First Century, 1995, as one of 50 apples worth growing, based on his 30 years testing apple varieties in the Pacific Northwest. Ratings range from g/vg to best.
  • Manning=R. Manning, Esq. "Pomological Notices," in Magazine of Horticulture, volume 7, 1841. In the article, Manning describes "one hundred of the best varieties of that most valuable fruit, the apple."
  • ME94="Catalog of Maine Fruits: Apples," Annual Report of the Maine Experimental Station, 1894; ME08 = W. M. Munson, "Preliminary Notes on the Seedling Apples of Maine," Annual Report of the Maine Experimental Station, 1908 [rating after / indicates notation for southern Maine, except where noted: * recommended; ** highly recommended, _ not recommended.
  • Michigan1879=Fruit Catalogue of 1879, prepared by the State Pomological Society of Michigan. Found in Ninth Annual Report of the Secretary of the State Pomological Society of Michigan, 1879. The quality is rated from good to best, followed by numerical ranking for dessert, cooking, market.
  • Michigan1890= Fruit Catalogue of 1890, an update prepared by the State Pomological Society of Michigan. Found in Fruit List and Apple Scab, by L.R. Taft, Michigan State Board of Agriculture, 1890. As in the first list, the quality is rated from good to best, followed by numerical ranking for dessert, cooking, market. Ratings are similar to, but not the same as the first catalogue, and fewer apples were included.
  • Milam=Ava Bertha Milam & Harriet Barbara Gardner. Comparative Cooking Qualities of Some of the Common Varieties of Apples Grown in Oregon, 1915. The study included 71 apple varieties, although results did not list all varieties in all tests. The same recipes were followed, and there were tests for sauce, pies, dumplings, jelly, and marmalade, but only results for pies and sauces, which were the most complete, are reproduced here. Among the factors considered were flavor, color, and texture.
  • NS1903=Remarks by R.W. Starr regarding starred fruits for Nova Scotia (stars based on American Pomological Society's recommendations, **=highly recommended, *=recommended. Located in The Proceedings of the Twenty-Eighth Session of the American Pomological Society, 1903.
  • Ont1892=Catalogue of Fruits--Apples; for Use of Judges at Exhibitions, in Ontario Legislative Assembly, Sessionaly Papers, Volume 24, 1892. The four ratings are for Quality:Dessert | Quality:Cooking | Home Market Value | Foreign Market Value.
  • PA1889=List of of Apples, Pears, Peaches, Plums and Cherries, compiled from responses by members of the Pennsylvania Horticultural Association, 1889, to produce a catalog of the most desirable varieties for each county in the state for both market and family use. A top five for Summer, top five for Autumn, and top ten for Winter across Pennsylvania were determined
  • PA1910=John Pogue Stewart.The Apple in Pennsylvania: Varieties, Planting and General Care. Pennsylvania State College Agricultural Experiment Station, Bulletin 106, 1910. Varieties are divided into recommended for southern (S) and northern (N) Pennsylvania. Central Pennsylvania locations were included with one or the other based on elevation. **=fully commercial, *limited commercial, lack of stars for home orchards.
  • Phillips=included in a list of recommended heirloom varieties in The Holistic Orchard: Tree Fruits and Berries the Biological Way (2012) by Michael Phillips.
  • Pomologie=Alain Roueché's apple ratings on a scale of * [pauvre] to ***** [très bonne], from the site Pomologie.com
  • Potter=included among five "special favorite" apples named by British pomologist J.M.S. Potter (director of Brogdale Experimental Horticulture Station and in charge of the National Fruit Collections from 1936 to 1972). The only one of the five not in our orchard is the Ribston.
  • Powell=E.P. Powell.The Orchard and the Fruit Garden, 1909. Powell was an orchardist from Clinton, NY, who was affiliated with Cornell's Experimental Station for several decades. * indicates suggested for New England, New York, Pennsylvania, and Michigan.
  • Prince=included in Prince's Annual Catalogue of Fruit and Ornamental Trees, 1841. Some extra comments come from his essay, "The Best Fruit of All," written in 1910.
  • Ragan=Nomenclature of the Apple: a catalogue of the known varieties referred to in American publications from 1804 to 1904, compiled by W. H. Ragan, 1905
  • Richmond=selected from a Catalog of Southern and Western Apples at a pomological meeting held in Richmond, Va., 1871, as recorded in James Fitz, Southern Apple and Peach Culturist, 1872. *=recommended, **=superior, F=for family use, M=for market.
  • Royal=Royal Horticultural Society. British Apples Illustrated, 1888. Included is a descriptive catalog of apples exhibited in 1883 and 1888. 1888 indicates the variety was included in a list of the top 120 apples selected by exhibitors from through Britain for dessert or culinary use. Starting a decade later, the variety gained an award at an annual meeting of the Royal Horticultural Society, London. In the late 19th Century and well into the 20th Century, two awards were given, First Class Certificate (FCC) and Award of Merit (AM). In 1993, the society presented Awards of Garden Merit (AGM) for dessert (D) and culinary (C) apples.
  • S-L=Simon-Louis frères. Guide pratique de l'amateur de fruits [Practical Guide for the Fruit Enthusiast], 2d ed., 1895. The ratings given ranged from de bonne qualite to de premiere qualitie to de toute premiere qualitie (good to premier to highest). Some of the trees were or "under study." Many trees were listed under the category of douteuses ou peu meritantes or of "doubtful or little merit," but only Antonovka from our orchard was given that distinction. pour la table indicates fresh eating. pour cuire indicates for cooking.
  • Salt=selected by the Salt Spring Apple Co., of British Columbia, as among its Big 26. An asterisk indicate it was also listed in its more elite Top 9 list. In a new design of its site, the top rankings have disappeared, so the links are to the pages found through the Way Back Machine.
  • Scott=Scott's Orchardist: Or Catalogue of Fruits Cultivated at Merriott, Somerset, 1873 [most every tree received a 1 rating, but Scott was in the business of selling trees. Included in part to show what American varieties he had imported to England].
  • Seattle24=included in Seattle Tree Fruit Society's list of the 24 best varieties, based on a poll of society members in 2011.
  • Smith=Scott Smith, a fruit grower from Maryland, and founder of the Growing Fruit forum, summarized his apple variety experience from 2005 to 2018 with descriptions and ratings.
  • Thomas=John Jacob Thomas. The American Fruit Culturist, 1875. Starred if included in a list of apples recommended for New York State or a neighboring state or region and double starred if listed as one of the six top Western New York apples. (Special comments).
  • Traverso=included among Amy Traverso's "59 Great Apple Varieties" listed in her book The Apple Lover's Cookbook, 2011. Categorized into four groups: Firm-Tart (Best for richer baked desserts), Firm-Sweet (Best for lighter baked desserts), Tender-Tart (Best for fresh preparations, sauces, and eating out of hand), and Tender-Sweet (Also good for fresh preparations, sauces, and eating out of hand).
  • UIll=University of Illinois Agricultural Experiment Station, Varieties of Apples (Bulletin #45), 1896.
  • Vorbeck=rated among the best by Tom Vorbeck, late of the website Applesource, in three categories: Sweet (13), Balanced (8), Sour (16).
  • Walker: #1-24=among top two dozen varieties best-suited to the meridian of New England, ranked according to merit by Samuel Walker, president of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, in Hovey's Magazine, vol 25, 1849. as reported in P. Barry's The Fruit Garden, 1857.
  • Warder=J. A. Warder, American Pomology. Apples, 1867. Ratings are from poor to best. Good? is between poor and good.
  • Waugh=Frank Albert Waugh. The American Apple Orchard: a sketch of the practice of apple in North America at the beginning of the twentieth century, 1908.
  • Way=on Roger Way's Top 20 list from 1966 [Way was Cornell's leading apple expert in the 20th Century].
  • Wilkinson=A. E. Wilkinson, The Apple: A Practical Treatise, 1915 (* indicates that the variety was included among the list of the 36 best for the farm or commercial orchard for New England or New York).
  • Woolverton=Linus Woolverton. The Canadian Apple Grower's Guide, 1910. Ratings are given for dessert, cooking, and commercial value.
  • Yepsen=selected for inclusion in Roger Yepsen's book Apples, 1994.

This page written and maintained by John R. Henderson (jhenderson @ ithaca.edu).
Last modified: May Day 2019
URL: http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/ourapples.html
Background image of cidering by Laura McCormick Low.