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

Descriptions of 60 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 describe about 100 varieties of trees, including 60 apples, 4 cherries, 10 pears, 10 peaches and 3 plums. However, for all but a few varieties, we only have one tree. We have concentrated on cold hardy varieties, varieties venerated in past generations, especially in this region of the country, and varieties old and new rated highly for their flavor and quality.

Elsewhere on this site are a page about my grandpap's apple orchard and a page of links to other apple resources available online. Below the table is a key to the sources used for ratings of the apples.

The table is divided up by season and in order of ripening:
August | Early September | Mid September | Late September | Early October | Mid October | Late October

Here are the apple trees in alphabetical order

Antonovka, Ashmead's Kernal, Autumn Crisp, Baldwin, Blacktwig, Braeburn, Briggs Auburn, Calville Blanc, Chestnut Crab, Cox's Orange Pippin, Connell Red, Detroit Red, Dyer, Esopus Spitzenberg, Golden Russet, Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Haralson, Holstein, Honeycrisp, Honeycrisp, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Hudson's Golden Gem, Jefferis, Jonagold, Kidd's Orange Red, King David, King of the Pippins, King of Tompkins County, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Kinnaird's, Ladies' Sweeting, Liberty, Lodi, Macoun, Magog Redstreak, Mother, Northern Spy, Northfield Beauty, Orleans Reinette, Pitmaston Pine Apple, Porter, Pound Sweet, Rambo, Red Canada, Redfield, Redflesh, St. Edmund's Russet, Smokehouse, Sops in Wine, Stayman, Starkey, Striped Harvey, Summer Pearmain, Summer Rambo, Tolman Sweet, Westfield Seek No Further, Wickson, Winesap, Yellow Bellflower


AUGUST

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Lodi
(Improved Yellow Transparent)

(Montgomery X Yellow Transparent),
NY
1911

aa ea nf ng


large


classic shape, with a little more tapering


mildly tart

cream; thin & tender skinned


greenish cream

tender, moderately fine-grained, dry

Culinary, especially sauce

early August / use immediately; not likely to keep more than two weeks.
2016: no fruit


naturally large, upright

Merits: Tree: very hardy (nearly ironclad, to z2 or 3); resistant to apple scab and powdery mildew; fruit hangs well.

Faults: Tree: tends biennial; bears fruits uneven in size & shape; susceptible to collar rot; very susceptible to fireblight; subject to frost due to early blooming. 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: ****.

Special: Given where we live, how could we not have a Lodi apple? The previous owners planted one as well, but that tree died a few years ago.


Summer Pearmain
(American Summer Pearmain)

(parentage unknown)
US
before 1800

cf nf ng

medium


blocky


high flavored; very rich, pleasantly sweet-tart

dull purplish red marbling over
greenish yellow; smooth skinned


yellow

tender, very fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, drying

throughout August / use immediately; not likely to keep more than 2-3 weeks.
2016: no fruit

naturally small

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

Faults: Tree: slow to mature; shy bearer; susceptible to fireblight; subject to frost due to early blooming. Fruit: fair keeper (but better than most among early apples).

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

Ratings: Downing: best; Bull09: vgb*; Beach: best [note: Beach reserved only one variety in each volume as best.]; NY1907: *dH (of value only as an amatuer's fruit); Baker: NY:*; Barry: "one of the best"/"a valuable sort for family use"; Bridgeman: fine flavored, excellent; Brooklyn; Buffalo; Burford; Elliot: best, amateur's fruit; FB113: &; FB208: HR(D); FB1001*; Hedrick: best; Hogg: pleasantly flavoured, excellent early apple; Hooper: 1; HSL: listed, but not rated; Kenrick: *(highly deserving of cultivatoin); Lear: 10; Lowther: best; Ont: 3/1/2/_; Prince; Ragan: best; Scott: 1; Smith: looks to be an excellent apple; Thomas: *(superior); Warder: best.

Sops in Wine
(Sops of Wine, Sapson, Shropshirevine)

(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1764, when it was mentioned in Museum Rusticum Et Commerciale: Or, Select Papers on Agriculture "by some called sopsy wine" as a very deep red apple worth nothing to cyder-makers.

cf

medium to large


classic shape, slightly ribbed, asymmetric


mildly sweet-tart

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


white tinged with pink

tender, no crunch, moderately fine-grained, moderately dry

Culinary

end of August / use immediately; not likely to keep more than 2-3 weeks.
2016: August 28

naturally large, upright, dense




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

Faults: Tree: highly susceptible to fireblight. Fruit: poor keeper; quickly browning; 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; FB208: R(D); Hansen: g-vg; Hedrick: good, superceded; Hooper: 3; HSL: 2; Kenrick: no *(much esteemed); ME94: good/*; Michigan1879: good, 4.6.6; Moore Orchards: mediocre at best; Ont: 2/5/2/0; Powell: "an old sort"; Prince [under Sapson]; Ragan: good; Scott: 1 (as a cider sort); 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. It may or may not be related to the flower "sops in wine" in the dianthus family related to pinks, clove gillyflowers, and carnations. American naturalist John Burroughs mentioned the variety in his essay "The Pastoral Bee" (1879): "Bees love the ripened fruit, too, and in August and September will suck themselves tipsy upon varieties such as the sops- of-wine."


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

Red Gravenstein
(Banks Gravenstein)
(Gravenstein sport)
Nova Scotia
found in 1876

aa ea ng st

medium to large


roundish, ribbed, often lopsided


exciting, high flavored; rich, well balanced sweet-tart, spicy, complex

red stripes & splashes over orangy yellow; thin skinned


cream

semi-firm, very fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late August through September / may be used immediately; may keep through early November.
2016: August 28

naturally large, upright-spreading, open



Merits: Tree: resistant to apple scab; moderately resistant to fireblight. Fruit: prized for sprightly rich flavor; highly aromatic; handles well; called equally good for dessert or cooking; considered best early season cider apple

Faults: Tree: biennial; shy bearer; very slow to bear; triploid (does not pollinate); may drop fruit prematurely; susceptible to scab & powdery mildew; subject to frost due to early blooming; subject to winter damage. Fruit: skin can become greasy; quickly browning.

Merit or fault?: Tree: ripens over several weeks; 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; Brooklyn; BC: vg; Baker: NY (12), MA (6), RI (12), NJ (20); Barron: very handsome and highly flavoured; Barry: Top20, "of the first quality"/"peculiar high, aromatic flavor....one of the most profitable," Unimpeachable; Bridgeman: [Germany's] best dessert apple; Buffalo; Bunyard: deserving of wider cultivation; Can; dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - first class; Cole: one of the handsomest and best; FB113: NE&; FB208: HR(DKM); FB1001; Folger: *$H (2 regions); Gould: the standard; Hansen: excellent; Hayes; Hedrick: vg-best, *, attractive. excellent; Hooper: sometimes excellent; Jacobsen; Kenrick: *(first rate); Lear: 9; Lewelling; Lindley: "of great merit...very rich"; Manhart: vg/b; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: vg, 6.7.5; Michigan1890: vg, 7.7.7; Ont: 9/9/10/10; Phillips: "Refined spritely flavor"; Pomologie: *****; Powell: * "one of the finest apples now grown"; Ragan: vg; Royal: No. 24 desert, in Top 60 culinary, first quality; Scott: 1, among earlier apples, none equal; Seattle24; Thomas: *(high flavored, excellent); Traverso: F-S; UIll: vg-b; Walker: #2; Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: vg; Yepsen: "outstanding".

Special: Might not have planted one if we had paid more attention to its trait of being slow to bear. Our Red Gravenstein in its tenth year has yet to bear fruit. Red Gravenstein is reported to thrive better in northern climates than the original (the bitterly cold winter of 1933-34 killed off thousands in New England), but in all other characteristics beyond skin color, the two are thought to be identical or very similar. Luther Burbank was more positive; he said: “if the Gravenstein could be had throughout the year, no other apple need be grown.”


EARLY SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Season

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

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

(parentage unknown)
colonial French Canada
before 1790

ea

large to very large


flatter shape, ribbed


mildly citrusy tart with little or no sweetness
glossy deep purple or black over
dark red, prominently dotted;
tough thick skinned

white, occasionally stained with red

tender, coarse-grained, crisp, juicy
Culinary, cider


early September / use immediately.
2016: September 6

medium, roundish, dense

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); moderately resistant to fireblight; late blooming protects it from late frosts. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely.

Merit or fault?: Tree: called both productive and unproductive. Fruit: great variability in size and color.

Ratings: Beach: g/vg; NY1907: _dH (Surpassed by McIntosh); Allen; Hedrick: good-vg; Michigan1879: good, 6.4.2; Ont: _/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 and may be a parent of the Macintosh. Twice finished at the bottom of the top 20 in taste tests held by Tom Burford at Monticello.


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


Northfield Beauty

medium to large


slightly flattened, asymmetric


on the tart side of sweet-tart, complex

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


white

semi-firm, moderately fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating

early September
/use immediately; may keep into October.
2016: September 4

medium, spreading

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

Faults: Tree: susceptible to fireblight. Fruit: poor keeper.

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

Ratings: Downing: good; Bull99: 6-8_; Bull09: vg_; 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
.

Summer Rambo
(Rambour Franc, Rambour d'Ete)

(parentage unknown)
France
before 1550

summerrambo
st

large


flatter shape, slightly ribbed toward the top, asymmetric


on the sweet side of sweet-tart 

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


yellow

firm, but no crunch;
moderately fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, culinary

early to mid September
/ may be used immediately; may keep a month.

naturally large, upright-spreading


Merits: Tree: early bearer; heavy cropper of large fruit; some scab and fire blight resistance. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: very susceptible to fireblight; Fruit: poor keeper, becomes mealy.

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

Ratings: Beach: good; NY1907: _ (possibly worthy of further testing); Brooklyn; Burford*; FB208: D3; Gould: of merit; Hedrick: good, old sort probably worthy of retesting; Hogg: brisk and sugary, with high flavor; HSL: 1; Jacobsen; Keil: among top 9 summer and fall apples; Michigan1879: good, 9.9.4; Pomologie: **; Prince; Ragan: good; Thomas: brief notice only; Warder: good?; Waugh: fair; UIll: vg; Yepsen: "winey flavor satisfying eaten fresh".

Special: The apple that most likely gave the fictional anti-hero John Rambo his name. Author David Morrell stated in an interview that when he was beginning to write his novel First Blood, his wife brought home a bag of Rambo apples, and he thought the name sounded forceful and was what his character needed. Although Morrell specifically said Rambo, by the early 1970s, when he was writing, the Summer Rambo was much more readily available, so more likely the culprit.

Autumn Crisp (NY 674)
(Golden Delicious X Monroe)
NY
1968?, named in 2009


Autumn Crisp

medium


classic apple shape
on the tart side of sweet-tart

red dominant over a greenish yellow; moderately tough skinned


white

very firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary

early September / use immediately; may keep several weeks.
2016: September 11


to z5


Merits: Tree: early bearer. Fruit: exceptionally non-browning flesh; holds shape well in baking; high levels of Vitamin C.

Faults: Fruit: tart without complexity.

Rating: [none]

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.

Magog Redstreak
(parentage unknown)
Vermont
before 1870

Magog Redstreak

large


flatter shape


mild, sweet-tart, distinctive

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


cream

semi-firm, moderately coarse-grained, very juicy

Culinary

early September / use immediately; may keep through October or later.
2016: September 9

medium to large, upright-spreading

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

Faults: Tree: tends toward biennial; very susceptible to fireblight.

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: .../...; Ont: 3/7/5/7; Ragan: [described but not rated]; Waugh: good; Wilkinson: good; Woolverton: good, commercial value - third class.

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

(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1870


St. Edmund's Russet

small to medium


flatter shape


rich, sweet, complex

russeting over greenish yellow; thick skinned


pale cream

firm, fine-grained, dry

 

Fresh eating, cider

early September
/ may be used immediately; may keep through October.
2016: no fruit

small to medium, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: early bearer; resistant to scab and cedar apple rust ; partially self-fertile . Fruit: highly aromatic; non-browning flesh; prized for fresh eating and cider

Faults: Tree: tip bearer (requires special pruning); susceptible to fireblight. Fruit: not a good keeper.

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

Ratings: BC: nr; Browning; Potter; Ragan: not described; RHS1993.

Porter
(parentage unknown)
Massachsetts
before 1800


Porter

ng

medium


elongated and tapered, asymmetric


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

bright yellow, with dull orange
or red blush; tender skinned


creamy white

semi-firm, fine-grained, dry

Culinary, especially baking

throughout
September / may be used immediately; may keep through November.

2016: September 10

medium, roundish, dense

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

Faults: Tree: slow to bear; may drop fruit prematurely. 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/**; Baker: NY (20), RI (6), VA; Barry: "excellent flavor"/"sprightly, highly esteemed" AL; Bridgeman: spritely and agreeable; Buffalo; Burford; Cole: excellent; Can; dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - third class; 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; ME94: best/**; Michigan1879: vg, 7.6.7; Ont: 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

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

Dyer
(Pomme Royal; Golden Spice; Woodstock)

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

op ng

large to very large


slightly flatter

high flavored; rich, spicy, spritely sweet-tart

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


yellowy white

fine-grained, very crisp, very juicy

Fresh eating, cider

throughout
September / may be used immediately; may keep a month
.
2016: no fruit

naturally small

Merits: Tree: usually annual, early bearer; moderately resistant to fireblight. 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); AFC 11/1 NY (excellent, having but few equals); Baker: RI(20); Barron: worthless; Barry: Top20, "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; ME94: vg; ME08: best; Michigan, 8.8.4: best; Ont: 7/5/3/_; Prince; Ragan: vg-b; Royal: 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.

Chestnut Crab
(Malinda X Siberian Crab)
Minnesota
1946


Chestnut Crab

small (but large for a crab)


flatter shape


rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

yellow orange with red stripes,
some russeting, bloom


yellow

semi-firm, fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, cider, jelly

throughout
September / use immediately; may keep a month.
2016: no fruit

naturally small

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); annual, good pollinator; resistant to cedar rust; highly resistant to fireblight. Fruit: prized for cider blending & jelly; very juicy.

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

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

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?

MID SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh
Twenty Ounce
(Cayuga Redstreak)

(parentage unknown)
NY
before 1840

fg nyst

very large


blocky, but asymmetric


mild, on the tart side of sweet-tart

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


yellow

firm, coarse-grained, moderately juicy

 

Culinary, especially baking

mid September / may be used immediately; may keep into November.

medium, upright, dense

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); heavy cropper; bears early; 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; very susceptible to fireblight; susceptible to apple scab. Fruit: not favored for fresh eating.

Merit or fault?: Tree: limbs droop rather than spread.

Ratings:
Bull97: 6-7**; Bull09: gvg*; Beach: good for culinary, 2nd rate for fresh; NY1907: **kM (One of the best of the fall varieties); NY1914: g/**; NY1916: 8 ; Barry: "one of the very best large apples"/"brisk, always fair and handsome" WL; BC: good; FB208: HR(KM); FB1001*; Bunyard: of value only for pot culture; Cooking: G/G/fr/E!; Folger: $ (1 region [WNY]); Hansen: good; Hayes; Heavy: "bold, tart, grapelike flavor with an earthy, musty, peachy finish. Quite a rollercoaster"; Hedrick: good,**, one of the best fall varieties for home or market; Hooper: 2; Jacobsen; ME94: vg/*; Michigan1879: good, 5.7.9; Michigan1890: good, 5.7.9; Ont: 2/8/7/8; Prince [under Cayuga Redstreak]; Ragan: g-vg; Scott: 2; Thomas: * (second quality, very showy, profitable); Warder: good; Waugh: fair; Wilkinson: g to vg/*; Woolverton: dessert poor, cooking good, commercial value - first to second class; Yepsen: "is best enjoyed in recipes".

Honeycrisp
(thought to be Macoun X Honeygold, but may actually be Keepsake, open pollinated)
Minn.
1991

aa ny op st

large


classic shape


sprightly, on sweet with a hint of tart

red & orange over yellow, dotted;
moderately thick skinned


cream

very firm, coarse-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating

mid to late September / use immediately; may keep into December.

2016: no fruit

naturally small



Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); annual; moderately resistant to fireblight % scab. 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: early bearer or slow to mature (we've had very different results).

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

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.

Jefferis
(Jefferies)

(unknown)
Pennsylvania
before 1840

ea nf ng sf st

medium


classic shape


high flavored; rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

light, dark and orangy red
over yellow-green,
occasional trace of russeting,
thin skinned


pale cream

semi-firm, fine-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating, culinary

from mid September through early October / use immediately; may keep 2-3 months.
2016: no fruit

naturally very large, upright, open

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); early bearing; very prolific; annual; resistant to scab & powdery mildew; moderately resistant to fireblight. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: slightly susceptible to collar rot. Fruit: not a good keeper.

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

Ratings: Bull97: 8-9/**; Bull09: vgb**; Beach:vg; NY1907: *dH (excellent for the home orchard); Barry: /"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; Michigan1879: vg, 9.6.6; Scott: 1; Smith: solid reliable early apple...with a nice fruity flavor, 9th overall top: Thomas: (very pleasant); Warder: best.

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


Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Mother
(American Mother [in the UK])
(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1850

nf ng op sf st


small to medium


somewhat elongated


high flavored; intense, distinctive, on the sweet side of sweet-tart, complex

red stripes over yellow; 
thin skinned


cream

semi-firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating

from mid September through early October / use immediately; may keep through December.
2016: September 11

small to medium, upright-spreading, open

Merits: Tree: late blooming protects it from frost damage; moderately resistant to fireblight. Fruit: prized as one of the best tasting fresh eating apples; non-browning flesh; highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: slow to bear; 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. Fruit: almost melting flesh

Ratings: Downing: best; Beach: vg-best; NY1907: *dH (Tree characters poor. Appearance and quality of the best); Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: b* ; Baker: NY (20); Barron: first quality; Barry: "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; Hooper: 2; Jacobsen; Keil: "undoubtedly the finest apple of its season" & listed among top summer & fall apples & top for stewing, pie & baking; Lowther: best; ME94: best/**; Michigan1879: best, 8.7.6; Ont: 8/7/6/6; Potter [only American apple included]; Powell: * "one of the best dessert apples...of indescribable richness": Ragan: best; RHS1993; Royal: first quality; Scott: first-rate; Smith: rich unique taste when well-grown, 16/11 top flavor; Thomas: *(rich, very spicy); Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: best.

Special: What could be better and more American than Mom and Apple Pie together?

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


Kidd's Orange

ng

medium to large

classic shape, slightly ribbed


high flavored; rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

crimson over yellow, dotted,
occasionally russeting;
thick skinned


deep cream

firm, moderately fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

mid to late September / use immediately; may keep through December.

medium, spreading-drooping



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

Faults: Tree: susceptible to scab & canker; requires thinning for large sized fruit. Fruit: may be dull colored.

Merit or fault: Tree: slow to bear or precocious (depending on source). Fruit: has tendency to russet

Ratings: Burford*; Manhart: vg; Phillips: "Deep aromatic overtones surpass its rich sweetness"; Pomologie: *****; RHS1993; 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
(Reine de Reinettes, Golden Winter Pearmain, Frogstar)

(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1800

King of the Pippins

ng

small to medium

somewhat elongated, sometimes lopsided


high flavored; sweet-tart, complex; may have slight astringency

red and orange
stripes dominant over yellow;
thick skinned


greenish pale cream

firm, fine-grained, moderately dry

 

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

from mid to late September / use immediately; may keep through December.
2016: no fruit

medium, roundish, dense





 

Merits: Tree: certain & abundant cropper; grows well in many different soils; resistant to scab. Fruit: highly aromatic; rich flavor; prized for nutty character in cider blending.

Faults: Tree: very susceptible to fireblight. 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]; Hogg: unequalled by any other of its season; Jacobsen; Kenrick: (first rate; no garden should be without); Lindley: "[one] of our best...high flavoured"; Pomologie: *****; Prince; Ragan: g; RHS1993; Royal: No. 1 desert, first quality; 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 be the name of several unrelated apples. It may or may not be identical to the Clarke Pearmain grown at Monticello. The English Reine de Reinettes (King of the Pippins) may be the same as or different from a Dutch Reine des Reinettes (Queen of the Pippins). The Golden Winter Pearmain may or may not be the same apple as the King of the Pippins currently being propogated. There is further speculation that Reinette is a pun on Rainette, or little frog, because of those apples' thick, spotted skins, or derived from "renatus" or renewed, meaning grafted, not grown from seed.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Redflesh
(Hansen's Red Flesh)

(Niedzwetzkyana x Elk River)
South Dakota
introduced 1928

ng



crab


elongated


astringent

red; thin skinned


red flesh through-out

firm, coarse-grained, moderately dry

Cider-blending, jelly

mid to late September / use immediately; may keep through October.

naturally small

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z3 or 4); beautiful red buds and pink flowers; greenish bronze foliage. Fruit: rich in health-beneficial anthocyanins

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.

Rambo
(Winter Rambo, Delaware, Bread and Cheese, Fall Romanite)
(parentage unknown)
Delaware or Pa.
before 170
0,
possibly before 1650

fg

 

medium


distinctively flatter shape


high flavored; rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart, complex, distinctive

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


yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider, jelly

mid September/ may be used immediately; may keep through February.
2016: no fruit

medium, upright-spreading, open



 

 

Merits: Tree: grows well in many different soils; 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; slow to bear; of questionable hardiness in northern climate; brittle wood; susceptible to fireblight; slightly susceptible to collar rot; 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 (20), PA (20), KY, 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; Can; dessert vg, cooking good, commercial value - third class; Cole: one of the finest; Cooking: E!/E!/G/G; 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; Hogg: 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; Michigan1879: vg, 7.5.4; Ont:5/1/2/5; Prince; Ragan: vg; Scott: 1; Thomas: *(fine flavor, often excellent); UIll: vg; VT; Warder: vg; Waugh: good; Wilkinson: vg.

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.

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

op ng

medium


flatter shape


high flavored; rich, sweet, spicy, spritely, complex

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


deep cream

moderately fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

mid to late September / use immediately; may not keep beyond November.
2016: no fruit

medium, upright-spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: moderately resistant to fireblight. 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. Fruit: subject to cracking, especially in early years; subject to shriveling when overmature; fruit color can be poor; not prized for cooking & baking; subject to early ripening, yielding mediocre flavor; 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; Kramer; Lowther: vg; Manhart: vg/b; Ont: 9/3/7/10; Pomologie: *****; Potter; Ragan: vg; Royal: No. 2 desert, first quality; 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: Has a reputation for being hard to grow in northeastern US. We can attest. After we planted our first Cox, we promised its first apple to an ex-pat English friend. It took six 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, and still have had no more than those two apples.

Holstein
(Holsteiner Cox)
(Cox's Orange x unknown)
Germany
1918

nf op st

large


flatter shape


high flavored; rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart , complex, distinctive

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


deep yellow with tinge of orange

semi-firm, moderately coarse-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

mid to late September / use immediately; may keep through December.
2016: no fruit

naturally large, upright-spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: resistant to scab; moderately resistant to fireblight. 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 mature; biennial; triploid; susceptible to scab and canker. Fruit: subject to cracking.

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

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Burford*; Phillips: "Highly aromatic with a good sugar-acid balance"; 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.

LATE SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Jonagold
(was NY 43013-1)

(Jonathan x Golden Delicious)
NY
introduced 1968


Jonagold

st

large

classic shape


high flavored; rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

yellow with red stripes; red may or
may not be prominent;
tender skinned

yellowish-white

firm, moderately coarse-grained, very juicy
Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late September / may be eaten immediately and used through December

medium to large, 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; very susceptible to fireblight; subject to winter injury. Fruit: can soften quickly, especially in some climates.

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Brooklyn; Browning; Burford; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg/b; RHS1993; Seattle24; Traverso: F-S; 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.

Macoun
(Macintosh X Jersey Black)
NY
introduced 1962

aa nf ng ny op st

small to medium


classic shape


high flavored; intense, on the sweet side of sweet-tart, complex

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


white

semi-firm, coarse-grained, juicy

 

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late September / may be used immediately; may keep through November

naturally large, upright



Merits: Tree: annual; heavy cropper; moderately resistant to fireblight. Fruit: highly aromatic; very crisp; good for multiple purposes.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to powdery mildew; may drop fruit prematurely. 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; Pomologie: *****; Seattle24; Traverso: T-T; Way; Yepsen: "a flavor that many prefer to Mac".

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

Redfield
(Wolf River x Niedzwetzskayana Red Crab)
NY
1938


Redfield

medium


classic shape


rich, very tart, moderately
astringent

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

white & red

semi-firm, moderately fine-grained, moderately dry

Culinary, especially baking; cider-blending

late September into October / use immediately; may keep through December.

naturally small, 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 fireblight, scab, and disease. 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: Selected because we thought it might help create an unusual cider. The pinkest apple seed I've ever seen was from an underripe Redfield.pink Redfield seed

Pitmaston Pine Apple
(parentage unknown, likely an English Golden Pippin seedling)
UK
before 1785


Pitmaston Pine Apple

ng

small


elongated & tapered


sprightly, well balanced, but on the sweet side of sweet-tart.

golden, russeted; rough, thick skinned


yellow

firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

late September into October/ use immediately; may keep through December.

small to medium.

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

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

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

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Barron: first quality; BC: nr; Bunyard: "neglected on account of small size, but its distinct and delicious flavour should give it a placein the gardens of connosseurs; Burford*; Jacobsen; Ragan: [described but not rated; Scott: 1; Y.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

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


Liberty

st

medium


classic shape, but
variable


mild, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

red very dominant over yellow,
slight bloom; thin skinned


white

semi-firm, coarse-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, especially sauces; cider

late September/ may be used immediately; may keep through January.

medium, spreading

Merits: Tree: annual; heavy cropper; very resistant to scab, fireblight, and disease. Fruit: highly aromatic; considered by many to be highest quality of the varieties bred for disease resistance.

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; Yepsen:"first among...disease-resistant varieties".

Special: Named by several authorities as the best tasting of the easy-grow, disease resistant apples.

King of Tompkins County
(King, Tompkins King)

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


King of Tompkins County

st

 

large to very large


classic shape, slightly ribbed


high flavored; rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

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


yellow

semi-firm, moderately coarse-grained,  juicy

Fresh eating; culinary, especially baking; cider

late September / may be used immediately; may keep through February

naturally large, spreading, open

Merits: Tree: annual; very resistant to scab. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate; although has some self-fertility) slow to bear; may drop fruit prematurely; wood can be brittle; susceptible to mildew, fireblight, scab, & collar rot. Fruit: waxy skin becomes greasy in storage.

Merit or fault?: Tree: partial tip bearer (pruning challenge). Fruit: subject to sweet water core. 

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: **dkM; NY1914: vg-b/**; NY1916: 4 ; AA: [no stars]; Baker: NY (12), IL; Barron: first quality; Barry: "beautiful"/"rich, vinous" W; Bunyard: of excellent flavour, very delicious when well grown; Burford; CG: 42|18|23|83; Cooking: G/E!/VG/VG; dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - first class; 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; Lewelling; ME94: vg/*; Michigan1879: vg, 7.6.6; Michigan1890: vg, 7.6.7; Ont: 8/10/10/10; Powell: * "at its best, it is well named"; Ragan: vg-b; Royal: first quality; Scott: 1; Seattle24; Thomas: ** (rich, high flavor); Warder: vg; Waugh: vg; Way; Wilkinson: vg; Yepsen: "aromatic, rich-tasting".

Special: We live only twelve miles from where it was first grown in Jacksonville, NY. Once fourth leading apple variety grown in New York State. My Dad's favorite apple from his youth.


Antonovka
(the People's Apple)

(parentage unknown)
Russia
before 1750

nf ng

large


flatter shape


on the tart side of sweet-tart; rather dry

greenish yellow; tough skinned


creamy yellow

semi-firm, coarse-grained, juicy

Culinary

late September

naturally large, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: very hardy (ironclad, to z2 or 3); often heavy cropper. Fruit: highly aromatic; does not bruise easily; good keeper.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to fireblight. Fruit: quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: 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; Pomologie: ***; Ragan: poor; Woolverton: quotes Hansen's good

Special: Primarily used for standard sized root stock.

Grimes Golden
(parentage unknown)
WV
before 1800

cf ea nf ng op sf st

small to medium


classic shape, slightly ribbed


high flavored; intense, sweet, complex

yellow, some russet;
tough,
moderately rough skin

pale cream tinged with orange;
texture is between soft & crisp,
moderately coarse, & very juicy

Fresh eating, cider-blending

late September into October / may be used immediately; may keep through January, but may go soft and wrinkly. Storage ability variable due to bruising.

medium, spreading, dense

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

Faults: Tree: slow to mature; may drop fruit prematurely; susceptible to scald & collar rot; subject to frost due to early blooming. Fruit: not uniform in size; may not develop as good size, color and flavor in NYS as farther south.

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/*; Barron: sweet; Barry: /"rich,spicy,"; Brooklyn; BC: vg; cooking: VG/E!/VG/fr; 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; Manhart: vg/b; ME94: vg/*; MI: vg, 978; Ont: 9/2/6/7; Pomologie: ****; Powell: * "a great acquisition"; Ragan: vg-b; 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

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Smokehouse
(thought to be Vandevere open pollenated )
Pa.
1837

Smokehouse

large


somewhat flatter shape


mild with rich overtones, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

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


yellow

semi-firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late September / may be used immediately; keeps through February.

naturally large, wide spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: annual; early bearer; holds fruit well; moderately resistant to fireblight. Fruit: 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. 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 (6); 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; Michigan1879: g, 5.7.8; Ont: 3/6/4/6; Powell: "quality rich and juicy"; Prince; Ragan: g; 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.


Hubbardston Nonesuch
(American Blush

(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1830


Hubbardston Nonesuch

ng

large


flatter shape

sprightly, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

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


pale cream

semi-firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

late September / may be used immediately; may keep through January, but best through December; loses flavor and becomes greasy in storage

medium, upright-spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: bears early; heavy cropper; annual; relatively immune to apple scab. Fruit: natural gloss gives handsome appearance; non-browning flesh.

Faults: Tree: thinning required for good sized fruit & to prevent biennial bearing; susceptible to winter injury & collar rot; very susceptible to fireblight; may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: skin can become greasy.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: good keeper, but 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; Baker: MA (6), NJ (12), MI; Barry: "fine"/"popular and valuable" W; BC: nr; Bridgeman: excellent flavor, worthy of extensive cultivation; Buffalo; Burford; CG: 37|20|20|77; Cole: excellent; FB113: NE; FB208: HR(DM); Folger: ^ (0 regions); Hansen: vg; Hedrick: vg-best, **, fruit handsome and good; Jacobsen; Kenrick: *(most superior); Lowther: vg; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: best, 9.5.9; Michigan1890: best, 10.5.9; Ont: 7/8/8/8; Pomologie: ****; Powell: * "noble"; Prince; Ragan: vg; 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".

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

Haralson

medium


somewhat elongated


mild, evenly balanced

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


white

firm, coarse-grained, moderately juciy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late September / allow to mellow 2 weeks before fresh eating; may keep into March

naturally small, spreading

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); early bearer, highly resistant to fireblight. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to cedar-apple rust &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. Fruit: flavor best after aged in storage; subject to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but lead to decay at core].

Ratings [for Haralson or Haralred]: Brooklyn; Burford; FB1001*; Manhart: g/vg (to Haralred, its sport); Yepsen: "a hardy apple [that] has proved popular with northern growers".

EARLY OCTOBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Pound Sweet
(Pumpkin Sweet)

(unknown)
Connecticut
before 1845

ea ng sf st


very large


classic shape, ribbed, often irregular or lop-sided


decidedly sweet, peculiar

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


yellowish white

firm, coarse, moderately dry

Culinary, cider

early October / may be used immediately; may keep through January.

naturally large, upright-spreading,

Merits: Tree: Hardy; early bearer; reliable heavy cropper. 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; 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; Michigan1879: g, 4.7.6; Michigan1890: g, 2.8.4; Ont: -/4/1/-; Prince; Ragan: g; 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.

Hudson's Golden Gem
(parentage unknown)
Oregon
discovered 1930

aa sf st


 

large


elongated & tapered


high flavored; intense, sweeter than other russets, complex

fully russeted gold over green;
thick rough skin

pale yellow

firm, moderately coarse-grained, very juicy
Fresh eating, cider-blending

early to mid October / may be used immediately; keeps through January.

naturally large, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: annual, if thinned; resistant to scab & mildew; moderately resistant to fireblight & scab. 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; Manhart: vg; 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".

Briggs Auburn
(parentage unknown)
Maine
before 1850

Briggs Auburn

large


flatter shape


mild, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

yellow, blushed;
tough skinned


creamy white

semi-firm, moderately coarse-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, especially sauces

early October / may be used immediately; keeps through Jamuary.

naturally large, spreading, dense

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

Faults: Fruit: not highly regarded for cooking or baking.

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

Yellow Bellflower
(Yellow Belle Fleur, White Spitzenburg, Mrs. Barron)

(parentage unknown)
NJ
before 1800


Yellow Bellflower

st

 

medium to v. large


distinctively elongated,
ribbed


rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

pale yellow
with brownish red blush;
thin, tender skinned


yellowish white

firm, moderately fine-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

early to mid October / allow to mellow 2 weeks before fresh eating; may keep into March

naturally small to medium; somewhat spreading and drooping



Merits: Tree: very resistant to fireblight; resistant to collar rot. Fruit: valued for multiple purposes.

Faults: Tree: slow grower; bears fruits variable in size; may drop fruit prematurely; susceptible to scab; quality variable due to soil. 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 for a few weeks.

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: RI (20), CG: 40/18/18/78CT (12), NJ (12), KY, IL, MI; Barron: first quality; Barry: "rich"/"breaking, spritely, sharp" W; Bridgeman: alike excellent for dessert or cooking, Unimpeachable; Burford*; Cooking: VG/VG/G/fr; 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); Lear: 10; Lowther: vg; Lewelling; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: vg, 8.10.7; Michigan1890: vg, 8.10.7; Ont:8/7/5/5; Pomologie: *****; Powell: "every way an excellent fruit where it is at its best"; Prince; Ragan: vg; 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.

MID TO LATE OCTOBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Golden Russet
(American Golden Russet or Golden Russet of Western New York)

(possibly English Russet seedling)
NY
before 1750

Golden Russet

st

medium
classic shape

sprightly, sweet, complex

yellow russet;
rough, tough, thick skinned

cream

firm, coarse-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid October / allow to mellow 2-3 weeks before usng; may keep into April or later

medium to large, 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; high in sugar and Vitamin C.

Faults: Tree: tip bearer; very susceptible to fireblight; since blooms early but requires long season, can be challenged by frost in both spring & fall. Fruit: not pretty; quickly browning flesh.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: russet quality.

Ratings: 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; NY1907: *dkH (hard to pick; of excellent quality); NY1914: vg/*; NY1916: 8 ; AA: **; Allen; Baker: PA (6); Barron: first quality; Barry: "of the finest quality"/"valued for table or market" W; Bridgeman: in great repute; Brooklyn; BC: vg; Browning; Buffalo; ; Burford; Cooking: nr/p/nr/nr; 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); Lowther: vg; Lewelling; ME94: vg/*; Michigan1879: vg, 8.5.9; Michigan1890: vg, 9.5.10; Ont: 9/8/8/9; Pomologie: ****; Powell: "very rich"; Prince; Ragan: g/b; 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; 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 a century ago, and it is uncertain with of them is or are the modern Golden Russett. 


Starkey
(Moses Starkey)

(possibly Ribston Pippin open pollinated or x Black Oxford)
Maine
before 1820

me

medium
classic shape

sprightly, sweet-tart

red crimson, prominently dotted;
tough, but thin skinned


pale cream; tender & juicy

Fresh eating

mid October / allow to mellow 3 weeks before fresh eating; may keep through March

naturally small, 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: _*; AA: *; 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.

Connell Red
(Red Fireside)

(thought to be red sport of Fireside (McIntosh x Longfield)), but may be open pollenated Fireside) discovered in
Wisc.
1956

ea

very large to huge


classic shape


rich, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

red, with waxy bloom;
moderately thick skinned.


white

firm, fine-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating

mid October /
may be used immediately; may keep through April

medium, upright-spreading

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

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

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.

Ashmead's Kernel
(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1740


Ashmead's Kernel

st

small to medium
a bit flatter than classic shape, but irregular
high flavored; intense, sweet-tart, complex, distinctive
yellow russet;
rough, thick skinned

creamy white, can be tinged with green

semi-firm, coarse-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid October / allow to mellow 3-4 weeks before fresh eating; may keep through January

medium, upright-spreading




Merits: Tree: resistant to scab, powdery mildew. Fruit: very crisp; highly aromatic; prized for tartness in cider blends.

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

Merit or fault?: flavor best after aged in storage; russet qualities.

Ratings: AA: ***; Barron: first quality; Brooklyn; BC: nr; HSL: 2; Bunyard: valuable for late use, but a poor cropper; Jacobsen; Kramer; Manhart: vg/b; Phillips: "Each bite offers an intense aromatic sting of sharp and sweet"; Potter; Ragan: good; RHS1993; Scott: 1, one of our very best; Smith: a more flavorful version of Golden Russet, 10/8 top flavor; Seattle24; Traverso: F-T; Yepsen: "short on shine but long on flavor".

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

Tolman Sweet
(Tallman Sweeting, Talman)

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

ea ng sf st


medium


classic shape


vinous, decidedly sweet

pale yellow, with distinct brown line from top to bottom & blush or red blotches; thin skinned


yellowish white

firm, moderately fine-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid October / may be used immediately; may keep through December.

medium to large, spreading-drooping, open

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

Faults: Tree:very susceptible to fireblight. Fruit: quickly browning flesh; bruises easily; short keeping quality for a late ripening variety.

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; Baker: NY (6), MA (12), RI (20), CT (6), Cen. OH, MI; Barry: "rich and very sweet"/"highly valued" W; BC: good; Cooking: p/pr/p/nr; 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; ME94: vg/**-_; Michigan1879: g, 4.7.6; Michigan1890: vg, 6.8.6; Ont: 2/7/5/6; Powell: "market generally glutted"; Prince [in list of inferior kinds]; Ragan: g; 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.

Orleans Reinette
(Reinette d'Orleans, Court Pendu Blanc, Winter Ribston. Often shortened to Orleans)
(parentage unknown, one parent likely Court Pendu Plat)
France
before 1775

aa, ea,


medium


wider shape


high flavored; intense, complex, zesty, citrusy, nutty, & honeyed

orange-red & yellow-green blotches & streaks, russetting around stem & netting or overlaying fruit;
thick skinned

creamy, yellow white

firm, fine-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating, culinary, cider, dried

mid to late October / allow to mellow 2 weeks before fresh eating; may keep through January

naturally large, upright-spreading



Merits: Tree: very hardy; late blooming protects it from frost damage; bears fruits uniform in size. Fruit: highly aromatic; excellent keeper; resistant to scab.

Faults: Tree: irregular bearing; may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: susceptible to fireblight; shrivels in storage and loses flavor.

Merit or fault?: Tree: ripens over several weeks; shy or good cropper (reports differ). Fruit: does not bruise easily, but tough skin; flavor best after aged in storage; russet qualities.

Ratingss: Dowling: [described but not rated]. AA: **; Bunyard: of the highest flavour; Hogg: of first quality; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg; Ragan: described, but not rated; Scott: high quality [with problems], Way: 14.

Special: early 20th century British pomologist and gourmand Edward Bunyard offered this praise in The Anatomy of Dessert: (1929): "This stands of all apples highest in my esteem."

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Red Canada
(Canada Red, Steele's Winter Red, Old Nonsuch, Welch's Spitzenberg

(parentage unknown)
Connecticut or Massachusetts,
early 1800s

ng

small to medium to large


classic shape


high flavored; rich, bright, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

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


greenish cream

firm, fine-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid to late October / allow to mellow 2 weeks before fresh eating; may keep through March or longer

medium, upright-spreading

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

Faults: Tree: requires rich, strong soil; 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: *; Barry: Top20, "one of the best"/"superior" WG; Cole: fair to excellent; Cooking: G/fr/VG/fr; 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; Michigan1879: best, 7.8.10; Michigan1890: vg, 8.5.10; Ont: 6/6/7/8; Powell: * "a very superior fruit"; Ragan: vg; Royal: In Top30 desert, first quality; Scott: 1; Thomas: (rich, high, excellent flavor); Warder: best; Woolverton: good, commercial value - second class.

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

aa nf sf st

medium


classic shape, but irregular; slightly ribbed


high flavored; rich, sweet with some astringency, complex, distinctive

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, moderately dry

Fresh eating, cider-blending

mid to late October / allow to mellow a week before fresh eating; may keep through January

medium, roundish, dense, dense

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

Faults: Tree: very slow to bear; susceptible to fireblight. 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; Baker: NJ (20), OH; Barry: "rich and excellent"/"rich"; BC: nr; Buffalo;Burford; FB113: NE; FB208: HR(DM); Folger: ^ (0 regions); Hansen: vg or best; Hayes; Jacobsen; Kenrick: no*(excellent); Lewelling; ME94: best/*; Michigan1879: best, 7.3.5; Michigan1890: best, 9.3.7; UIll: vg/b (one of 17 of "greatest promise for general usefulness"); Ont: 7/7/7/8; Powell" *; Prince [under New England Seeknofurther]; Ragan: vg-b; 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.

Esopus Spitzenberg
(Æsopus Spitzenburg)

(parentage unknown)
NY
before 1790

Esopus Spitzenburg

st


med-large


blocky, slightly ribbed


high flavored; intense, sweet-tart; complex

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


deep cream

very firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

throughout October / allow to mellow 3-4 weeks before fresh eating; may keep into May.

naturally small, upright, open

Merits: Tree: bears fruit of uniform size. 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 bear; biennial; shy bearer; may drop fruit prematurely; susceptible to canker, collar rot, scab & fireblight; quality variable due to soil and climate -- requires rich, fertile soil.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens unevenly. Fruit: flavor best after aged 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; Baker: CG: 48/24/23/96; CT (12), OH, MI; Brooklyn; Barron: second quality; Barry: Top20, "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*; Cooking: nr/G/nr/nr; 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); Kramer; Lewelling; Lowther: best; Manhart: vg/b; ME94: best/*; Michigan1879: Ont: 9|7|9|10; Phillips: "Sweet and nutty, with spicy aromatic flavors more commonly associated with European apples, backed by a lively acidity"; Pomologie: ****; Powell: * "most highly esteemed"; Prince; Ragan: b; Royal: second quality; Scott: 1, truly delicious, unsurpassed; Seattle24; Thomas: *(nearly unequaled); Traverso: F-T; 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 and were subject to disease and fungal infection in the warm. humid Virginia climate. It was less profitable than the Albemarle Pippins (as he called Newtowns), especially in export trade, and he planted the orchard for profit. Once among top ten leading apple varieties grown in New York State


Wickson
(Wickson Crab, Etter Patent #724)

(two crabs, named after and possibly related to Spitzenberg & Newtown)
California
developed by Albert Etter much earlier, but introduced in 1944

aa ea ng

 

small


classic shape


high flavored; intense, spicy, sweet/tart/sharp, complex

dark red over yellow; thin skinned, waxy


white

very firm, fine-grained, juicy

 

Cider, fresh eating

mid to late October/ may be used immediately; may keep into March

naturally large



Merits: Tree: bears early; annual; heavy cropper. Fruit: highly aromatic; very crisp; non-browning flesh.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to powdery mildew; may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: subject to cracking

Merit or fault?: Fruit: flavor may be too sharply intense for some to enjoy.

Ratings: AA: ***; Brooklyn; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg.

Special: Only modern apple developed specifically as a cider apple. Etter recommended it for apple champaigne.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Baldwin
(Woodpecker)

(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1740

Baldwin

large


classic shape


rich, sweet-tart

multiple shades of red stripes
& mottling, dominant over yellow; tough skinned


greenish cream

firm, moderately coarse-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating; culinary, especially baking; cider

mid to late October or into November / allow to mellow 2 weeks before fresh eating; may keep through March

naturally very large, upright-spreading


Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; long lived; grows well on a variety of soils; bears fruit of uniform large size; moderately resistant to fireblight. Fruit: excellent keeper; does not bruise easily; attractive in shape & color; prized for quality for multiple purposes; revered for excellence as cider base.

Faults: Tree: slow to bear; more strictly biennial than most other varieties; triploid (does not pollinate); below average for Northern tree in hardiness; subject to winter damage; thinning advised to avoid limb breakage; susceptible to scab & powdery mildew. 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: **; AP: good; Allen; Baker: NY (6), MA (6), RI (6), NJ (6), PA (6), OH; Barron: first quality; Barry: "profitable"/"popular and profitable" WL, Unimpeachable; Bridgeman: most agreeable; Brooklyn; BC: good; Buffalo; Burford; CG: 40/20/22/82; Cooking: nr/p/nr/nr; FB113: NE*; FB208: HR(KM); FB1001*; Folger: *$H (5 regions); Hansen: vg; Hedrick: good-vg,**, standard winter apple of NY; Hooper: 1 (where it succeeds); HSL: 1; Hayes; Jacobsen; Keil: listed among top varieties for stewing, pies & baking; Kenrick: *(excellent); Lear: 9; Lowther: vg; Lewelling; ME94: vg/**; Michigan1879: vg, 6.9.10; Michigan1890: vg, 6.9.10; Ont: 2/5/7/8; Pomologie: *****; Powell: * "when well grown, ...very rich; Prince; Ragan: vg; Royal: first quality; 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.

Northern Spy
(thought to be Wagener open pollinated)
NY
before 1800


Northern Spy

st

large


classic shape, slightly ribbed


high flavored; sprightly, on the tart side of sweet-tart, complex

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


pale cream

semi-firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating; culinary, escpecially baking; cider

mid to late Octoberr / may be used immediately; may keep into January, but storage quality varies due to bruising

naturally very large, upright, dense

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); late blooming protects it from frost damage; reliable bearer; moderately resistant to fireblight; late blooming protects it from late frosts. Fruit: highly aromatic; classic apple flavor; natural gloss gives handsome appearance; prized for multiple purposes, especially pies; excellent keeper, if not bruised.

Faults: Tree: very slow to mature; requires long season; susceptible to scab, bitter pit; quality variable due to soil. Fruit: subject to cracking; susceptable to bruise marks.

Merit or fault?: Tree: partial tip bearer (pruning challenge). Fruit: color can vary; bruises easily, but stores well if carefully packed.

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; Baker: NY (20), RI (20), VA, MI; Barron: first quality; Barry: Top20, "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; Cooking: E!/VG/VG/VG; FB113: NE*&; FB208: HR(DKM); FB1001*; Folger: *^$H (4 regions); Hansen: vg-b; Hayes; Hedrick: vg-best,**, highest quality, a standard; 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; Lewelling; Manhart: vg/b; ME94: best/**; Michigan1879: best, 9.9.10; Michigan1890: best, 10.9.10; Ont: 8/10/10/10; Powell: * "has taken its place quite at the front of winter varieties"; Ragan: vg-b; Royal: first quality; Scott: 1; Thomas: **(highest quality); Traverso: F-T; 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: once the third leading apple variety grown in New York State.


Striped Harvey
(parentage unknown)
Maine
before 1800


medium


classic shape


sprightly, tart

red stripes over yellow


yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid October / may be used immediately; may keep through March

medium, roundish, dense

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

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.

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

st

medium


classic shape


very rich, sprightly, spicy, complex flavors

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

yellow

semi-firm, fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating; culinary; cider

mid to late October / may be used immediately; may keep through February

naturally large, 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; highly resistant to fireblight; resistant to collar rot. Fruit: natural gloss gives handsome appearance; does not bruise easily; highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: not reliable every year.

Merit or fault?: Fruit: coarse flesh; 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/+; Brooklyn; Browning; cooking: p/nr/nr/nr; 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"; Pomologie: ****; Powell: [not in his book; but in a essay, he wrote that it was first rate if we can believe what the good judges, the Stark Brothers say]; Smith: very good classic American red apple; Yepsen: "a sleeper".

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

Calville Blanc

st

medium


elongated, prominently ribbed; often misshaped


intense, sweet, spicy, complex, distinctive

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


yellowish-white

semi-firm, moderately fine-grained, dry

Fresh eating, cider

late October, sometimes earlier / allow to mellow 2-3 weeks before fresh eating; may not keep beyond December

naturally small

 

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

Faults: Tree: slow to bear, slower to bear good quality fruit; shy bearer, susceptible to powdery mildew. Fruit: prone to cracking; short keeping quality for a late ripening variety.

Merit or Fault: Fruit: ripens over several weeks; odd shape; can look blemished when it is not; flavor best after aged 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"; Hogg: rich, lively, agreeable flavor; HSL: 2; Jacobsen; Kenrick: no*(worth cultivating); Manhart: vg; Pomologie: ****; Prince; Ragan: p; Royal: first quality; Scott: 1, valuable kitchen fruit; Thomas: (valueless here); Traverso: F-T; 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.

Stayman
(Stayman's Winesap)

(Winesap open pollinated)
Kansas
before 1875

aa sf st ta

medium to large


classic shape


rich, on the tart side of sweet-tart

deep red bloom over stripes
over greenish yellow,
prominently dotted;

tough, moderately thick skinned


greenish cream

semi-firm, moderately fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid to late October / may be used immediately; may keep into April.

naturally large, spreading, open



Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; resistant to scab and cedar apple rust; late blooming protects it from late frosts; resistant to collar rot. 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: differing reports on resistance or susceptibility to fireblight. Fruit: subject to sweet water core [provides special burst of flavor, but can lead to decay at core]; may not develop as good size and color in NYS as farther south.

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; Cooking: p/fr/nr/nr; 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; Kramer; Manhart: vg; Powell: * "a decided improvement on the old Winesap"; Ragan: vg-b; Traverso: F-T; Waugh: vg; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: best; Yepsen: "winey character...more accessible".

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

(parentage unknown)
NY
before 1825

 

large


elongated

sweet, spicy, distinctive

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


whitish, can have slight yellow tinge

moderately fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

mid to late October / may be used immediately; may keep into April.

naturally large, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; moderately resistant to fireblight; excellent keeper. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Fruit: slow to bear; 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; 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(12), 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; Michigan1879: vg, 5.7.6; Powell: "exceedingly good at times"; Prince; Ragan: g-vg; Royal: worthless; Scott: 1; Thomas: *(agreeable, fine); UIll: best; Walker: #21; Waugh: good

LATE OCTOBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick/Keep

Tree Size & Shape


Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Braeburn
(thought to be Lady Hamilton x Cox's or Granny Smith)
New Zealand
introduced 1952

aa cf fg ng op sf st

medium


elongated


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

striped red and orange red over yellow,
prominently dotted and motled; moderately thick skinned


creamy to rich yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late October / may be used immediately; may keep into April

medium, upright



Merits: Tree: early bearer; fruit hangs well. Fruit: non-browning flesh (except in storage); does not bruise easily; excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: biennial, unless thinned; needs a hot summer for full maturity; susceptible to powdery mildew; highly susceptible to fireblight. Fruit: turns brown in storage.

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

Ratings: AA: *; Brooklyn; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg/b; Pomologie: *****; Yepsen: "a match and then some for [other popular new varieties]".

Special: The tree was growing near the house when we arrived in Lodi, growing somewhat intertwined with small fruits. It was only this year that I determined it was a Braeburn.

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

aa cf fg ng op sf st

small to medium


classic shape


sprightly, tart, somewhat astringent, complex

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


greenish yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late October / may be used immediately; may keep through April or later.

medium, roundish, dense



Merits: Tree: early bearer; fruit hangs well; resistance to scab and cedar apple rust, collar rothighly resistant to fireblight. 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: 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: **; Baker: PA (20), VA, KY, OH; Barry: "fine for cider"/"rich"; Bridgeman: high rich flavor; Brooklyn; BC: nr; Burford*; CG: 43/20/25/88; Cooking: VG/fr/nr/G; 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; ME94: vg/*; Manhart: tart g-vg;Michigan1879: vg, 6.6.4; Hansen: vg; Ont: 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; 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".

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

aa nf ng sf

medium to large


somwhat flatter shape, sides sometimes unequal


rich, well balanced

mottled red and purple
red over yellow,
some russeting at top;
thick, tough skinned


white tinged with yellow

very firm, moderately coarse-grained, juicy.

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late October to early November / allow to mellow 2 weeks before fresh eating; may keep through April

medium, spreading, but irregular

Merits: Tree: very hardy for a "Southern" tree; early bearer; late blooming protects it from late frosts; resistant to collar rot, scab & fireblight; reliable bearer, even if somewhat biennial. Fruit: highly aromatic; very good keeper.

Faults: Tree: triploid (does not pollinate); requires long season. Fruit: may not develop as good size, color and flavor in NYS as farther south.

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; 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.

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

(probably Winesap x Limbertwig)
Arkansas or Tennessee
before 1830

aa nf ng sf

large


classic shape


rich, on the tart side of sweet-tart

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


cream to pale yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late October to early November / allow to mellow 3 weeks before fresh eating, may keep into April

medium to large, upright-spreading, open



Merits: Tree: very hardy for a "Southern" tree; late blooming protects it from late frosts; reliable bearer; resistant to collar rot, scab, fireblight, and cedar apple rust. Fruit: excellent keeper.


Faults: Tree: Irregular bearer, often shy; requires long season; slow to bear; may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: skin is slightly bitter; texture softens in storage; may not develop as good size, color and flavor in NYS as farther south.

Merit or fault?: Tree: differing reports as shy bearer or heavy cropper. 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: *; Browning; Bull1897: 7-8/*; Burford; Cooking: VG/fr/nr/nr; 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; Powell: "vigourous, productive, and very hardy"; Traverso: T-T.

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

cf sf

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

tender, fine-grained,  juicy

Fresh eating

late October to early November / allow to mellow 3 weeks before fresh eating, may keep through May

naturally very large, spreading, open



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 fireblight and cedar apple rust. 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.

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.

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


NOTES

Alternate Names
Most names have long been standardized, but a century ago and longer as trees spread across the country, regions and individual orchards used their own names for apple varieties and there could be much confusion.

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
The old term for sweet-tart was sub-acid, and a well-balanced sub-acid apple was much prized. As tastes and expectations have changed, more recently developed apples tend toward the sweeter side of the scale. 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. The best flavored apples also have a complex quality that some might call spicy or somehow special. A few have a distinctive flavor and aroma that make them stand out, but not always for the best. Westfield Seek-No-Further, for example, is highly prized by some, but by others is nicknamed "Westfield Eat-No-Further." My wife can recognize a slight astringency in it, but I can't. What is wonderful about taste tests with a group of people is the wide range of preferences. Sweeter apples usually win, but many folks rate sweet apples low. Kidd's Orange and Jonagold received the most 10s in our 2014 apple taste test, but neither finished  on top. The leading complaint from those who didn't like them was that they were too sweet and didn't have enough apple flavor.

Tree Shape and Size
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.

Pick/Keep
Harvest dates vary and even the ripening order is never quite the same from year to year. Picking times listed are estimates based on patterns established here in the Finger Lakes. Earlier ripening apple varieties are usually best straight off the tree and do not keep well. Later ripening varieties should be allowed to mellow before enjoyed, but will be available for a much longer time. Keeping ability is based on ordinary refrigeration or old-fashioned fruit cellar conditions, not that of chemical or the latest controlled atmosphere storage technology.

Blossom Dates
Blossom dates are not listed except where very late blossoming varieties are noted in the merit section for helping avoid damage of late frosts and very early blossoming varieties are noted in the fault section as prone to frost damage. Most early harvested varieties are also early blossoming, and most varieties will blossom for 9 to 12 days so even earliest blossoming varieties will overlap with all but the latest blossoming varieties. In 2016, perhaps due to a cold snap in the spring, all varieties pretty much blossomed at the same time, even such extremes as the Lodi and the Northern Spy.

Sources for Apple Images

Pictures are of apples from our orchard. Image sources are included when no picture is available:  aa=Adam's Apple blog; cf=Century Farm Orchards; ea=Eastman's Antique Apples fg=Felix Gillet Institute; me=Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA); nf=National Fruit Collection at Brogdale (UK) ng=National Germplasm Resources Laboratory's Germplasm Resources Information Network; ny=New York Apple Country; op=Orange Pippin Apple Varieties; sf=Slow Foods American Heirloom Apples; st=Seattle Tree Fruit Society.

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 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 many 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."
  • 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 for summer, autumn (A), winter (W), garden (G), and "large and beautiful" (L). "Unimpeachable" indicates the best choice for Western New York, but what exactly he means by unimpeachable is not explained.
  • Beecher=comments from Henry Ward Beecher in his Pleasant Talk about Fruits, Flowers and Farming.
  • 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].
  • CG=R.J. Barnett. "Quality in Apples," Country Gentleman, November 10, 1917 [Ratings dessert quality-50/cooking quality-25/keeping quality-25/total-100.
  • Cole=S. W. Cole, The American Fruit Book, 1849.
  • Cooking=Ava Bertha Milam & Harriet Barbara Gardner. Comparative Cooking Qualities of Some of the Common Varieties of Apples Grown in Oregon, 1915. Categories in which apple varieties were rated were pies/sauce/dumplings/jelly. Although numerical ratings were also provided, listed here are only the ratings, poor (p), fair (fr), good (G), very good (VG), or Excellent (E!) in each catagory. Some apple varieties were not rated (nr) in some catagories.
  • 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); ^ declining in commercial importance; $ 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.
  • Hogg=Robert Hogg. British Pomology, London, 1851. Hogg was the premier British pomologist of the mid-19th Century.
  • Hooper=E. J. Hooper. Hooper's Western Fruit Book: (1857)
  • 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).
  • Kramer=One of 9 apple varieties worth hunting down, according to Julie Kramer of Bon Appetit
  • Lear=Missouri orchardist O.H. Lear's flavor rating from 1-10, as recorded in James Fitz, 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.
  • Lindley=John Lindley. Pomologia Britannica, 1841.
  • 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].
  • 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 based on flavor and other desirable characteristics, such as growing.
  • 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.
  • Ont=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.
  • 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 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).
  • 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.
  • 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
  • RHS[year]= Winner of the Royal Horticultural Society Award of Garden Merit for a particular year.
  • Royal=Royal Horticultural Society. British Apples Illustrated, 1888. Included is a descriptive catalog of apples exhibited in 1883 and 1888 and a list of the top 120 apples selected by exhibitors from through Britain for desert or culinary use.
  • 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 2015 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.
  • 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 (jrhenderson9@ gmail.com).
Last modified: September 9, 2016
URL: http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/ourapples.html
Background image of cidering by Laura McCormick Low.