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

Descriptions of more than 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 list and describe about 100 varieties of trees, including apples, pears, peaches, plums, cherries, and apricots. However, for all but a few varieties, we only have one tree. We have concentrated on cold hardy varieties, varieties largely forgotten now but venerated in past generations, and some for their flavor or quality, especially in fresh cider.

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

See also this page of links to other apple resources.


The table is divided up by season 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, Calamoutier, Calville Blanc, Chestnut Crab, Cox's Orange Pippin, Connell Red, Detroit Red, Dyer, Esopus Spitzenberg, Germantown, Golden Russet, Gravenstein, Grimes Golden, Haralson, Holstein, Honeycrisp, Hubbardston Nonesuch, Hudson's Golden Gem, Jefferis, Jonagold, Karmijn de Sonnaville, Keepsake, Kidd's Orange Red, King David, King of the Pippins, King of Tompkins County, Kinnaird's, Ladies' Sweeting, Late Strawberry, Liberty, Lodi, Macoun, Magog Redstreak, McIntosh, Mother, Northern Spy, Northfield Beauty, Orleans Reinette, Pitmaston Pine Apple, Porter, Pound Sweet, Primate, Rambo, Red Canada, Redfield, Redflesh, St. Edmund's Russet, Smokehouse, Sops in Wine, Stayman, Starkey, Striped Harvey, Summer Pearmain, Tolman Sweet, Westfield Seek No Further, Wickson, Winesap, Yellow Bellflower


AUGUST

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit Uses

Pick

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Lodi
(Improved Yellow Transparent)

(Montgomery x Yellow Transparent),
NY
1911

nf GRIN op


large


classic shape, with a little more tapering


mild, on the tart side of sweet-tart

cream; thin & tender skinned


greenish cream

tender, moderately fine-grained, dry

Culinary, especially sauce

early August
(never yet in July here)


naturally large, upright

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

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

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

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


American Summer Pearmain
(Summer Pearmain)

(parentage unknown)
US
before 1800

cf nf GRIN op

medium


blocky


very rich, pleasantly sweet-tart

dull purplish red marbling over
greenish yellow; smooth skinned


yellow

tender, very fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating

throughout August


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; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: fair keeper (better than most among early apples).

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

Ratings: Downing: best; Bull09: vgb*; Beach: 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)

(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1600

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, moderately fine-grained, moderately dry

Culinary
throughout August

naturally large, upright, dense




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

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

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

Ratings: Downing: good; Bull1897: 5-6/*; Bull09: g*; Beach: good; NY1907: _ (Superseded by better varieties); Baker: IL; Barry: "delicious"/"pleasant"; Bridgeman: handsome; Bunyard: flavourless, of no particular merit; Elliott: vg; Cole: neither excellent nor profitable; 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.


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

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

GRIN op

medium to large


roundish, ribbed, often lopsided


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

red stripes & splashes over orangy yellow; thin skinned


cream

semi-firm, very fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

from late August through mid September

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; slow to bear; triploid (does not pollinate); may drop fruit prematurely; susceptible to scab & powdery mildew; subject to winter damage; Fireblight: 4-5. 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; 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; 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; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - first class; Yepsen: "outstanding".

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


Primate
(Rough and Ready, North American Best)

(parentage unknown)
NY
1840

GRIN

above medium to large


classic shape, often ribbed

rich, refreshing, spritely, on the sweet side of sweet-tart

light greenish white with yellow tinge & crimson blush; thin skinned


white

fine-grained, soft to semi-firm, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

late August through early
September

large, upright spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); early bearer; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: tends toward biennial. Fruit: very tender, bruises easily.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over a few weeks; differing reports on productivy from very productive to light bearer. Fruit: not uniform in size.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 9**: Beach: vg to best; NY1907: *dH (Tree characters poor, valuable for dessert and local market); Baker: NY (12), Barry: "excellent dessert sort"; Elliot: best; Hansen:*: vg to best, "one of the best summer dessert apples for the family"; Hayes; Hedrick: vg-best /1922: vg-b, "choicely good"; Lear: not rated, but listed by Fitz among best 6 summer apples; Lowther: best; ME94: best; Michigan, 9.3.5: best; Ont: 7/6/6/_; Ragan: vg-b; Scott: 1; Thomas: **(valuable); Warder: best; Waugh: vg; Woolverton: dessert vg-best, cooking fair, commercial value - third class.

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

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


Northfield Beauty

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

late August to mid September

medium, spreading

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

Faults: Tree: Fireblight: 4. 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.

EARLY SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

medium to large, upright-spreading

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

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

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

Porter
(parentage unknown)
Massachsetts
before 1800


Porter
GRIN

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

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 shape remarkably well.

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

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

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vgb*; Beach: g-vg; BC: vg; NY1907: *dkH (has many merits); NY1914: g-vg/**; Baker: NY (20), RI (6), VA; Barry: "excellent flavor"/"sprightly, highly esteemed" AL; Bridgeman: spritely and agreeable; Buffalo; Burford; Cole: excellent; 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; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - third class.

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

Dyer
(Pomme Royal; Golden Spice)

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

 

large to very large


slightly flatter

rich, spicy, spritely sweet-tart

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


yellowy white

fine-grained, very crisp, very juicy

Fresh eating, cider

throughout
September

naturally small

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

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

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

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 9-10**; Bull09: vgb*: Beach: vg to best; NY1907: _(one of the finest dessert apples, but not a good commercial variety); 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: best; 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
GRIN op

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

naturally small

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); annual, good pollinator; resistant to cedar rust; Fireblight: 1. 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

?

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Autumn Crisp
(was NY 674)

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


Autumn Crisp

medium to large


classic shape
on the tart side of sweet-tart

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


white

very firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary

early to mid September

naturally small

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

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

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Jacobsen.

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

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

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

GRIN op

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

naturally small



Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); annual; resistant to scab; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: exceptionally, explosively crisp.

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

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

Ratings: AA: *; Browning; Burford; Jacobsen; Kramer; Manhart: vg; 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

nf GRIN

medium


classic shape


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

naturally very large, upright, open

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

Faults: Fruit: not a good keeper.

Merit or fault?: Tree: fruit ripens over long season.

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


MID SEPTEMBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

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

nf GRIN op


small to medium


somewhat elongated


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

small to medium, upright-spreading, open

Merits: Tree: late blooming protects it from frost damage; Fireblight: 3. 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* ; Alwood: "most excellent quality for table or culinary"; 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; 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.

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


Kidd's Orange
GRIN op

medium to large

classic shape, slightly ribbed


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

medium, spreading-drooping



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

Faults: Tree: susceptible to scab & canker; requires thinning for large sized fruit. 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: *****; 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 des Reinettes, Reine de Reinettes, Golden Winter Pearmain, Frogstar)

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

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

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

King of the Pippins
GRIN op

small to medium

somewhat elongated, sometimes lopsided


mild, 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

mid to late September

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: Fireblight: 5. Fruit: quickly browning flesh.

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

Ratings: AA: ***, Barron: first quality; BC: nr; Buffalo: 2nd rate; Bunyard: distinct flavour; Elliott: unworthy; HSL: 2; Hedirck: good [but seemed to be describing a different, late winter apple]; Hogg: unequalled by any other of its season; Jacobsen; Kenrick: (first rate; no garden should be without); Pomologie: *****; Prince; Ragan: g; 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 or may not be the same as the Dutch and the French Reine des Reinettes or the Reine de Reinettes sold in North America. King of the Pippins may or may not be identical to the original Golden Winter Pearmain. I've also seen speculation that the Clarke Pearmain grown at Monticello was the same apple. We have both a King of the Pippins and a Reine de Reinettes.

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

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

Size,
Shape
& Flavor
Color & Texture
of Skin
& Flesh
Rambo
(Winter Rambo, Delaware, Bread and Cheese, Seek No Further of Pennsylvania)
(parentage unknown)
Delaware or Pa.
before 170
0,
possibly before 1650

fg

 

medium


distinctively flatter shape


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

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; Fireblight: 4; subject to winter injury. Fruits: variable skin coloring; red does not always develop well

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

Ratings: Downing: vg; Bull97: 5-6*; Bull99: 7-8*; Bull09: vg*;  Beach: g/vg, particularly desirable for dessert; NY1907: _dH (Tender tree; productive to a fault; excellent quality.); Allen; Baker: NJ (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; Cole: one of the finest; 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; Warder: vg; Waugh: good; Wilkinson: vg; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking good, commercial value - third class.

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

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

(parentage unknown)
UK
before 1870

St. Edmund's Russet
GRIN

medium


flatter shape


rich, sweet, complex

russeting over greenish yellow; thick skinned


pale cream

firm, fine-grained, dry

 

Fresh eating, cider

mid September

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

Faults: Tree: tip bearer (requires special pruning). Fireblight: 5. 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

Keepsake
(MN 447 [Malinda open pollinated] X Northern Spy)
Minn. 1936, released 1979

keepsake
GRIN op

small to medium


irregularly shaped


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

red stripes over yellow; slight bloom; thick skinned.


creamy yellow

firm, coarse-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating, culinaryr

mid September

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

Faults: Tree: somewhat of a shy bearer. Fruit: not pretty.

Ratings: A21: g/vg; BBG; Burford; Jacobsen; Y.

Redflesh
(Hansen's Red Flesh)

(Niedzwetzkyana x Elk River)
South Dakota
introduced 1928

GRIN



crab


elongated


astringent

red; thin skinned


red flesh through-out

firm, coarse-grained, moderately dry

Cider-blending, jelly

mid to late September

naturally small

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z3 or 4); beautiful red buds and pink flowers; greenish bronze foliage; Fireblight: 3. 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.

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

(parentage unknown)
colonial French Canada
before 1790

 

large to very large


flatter shape, ribbed


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

white, occasionally stained with red

tender, coarse-grained, juicy
Culinary, cider


mid to late September

medium, roundish, dense

Merits: Tree: hardy (to z4); late blooming protects it from late frosts; Fireblight: 1. 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; 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.


Late Strawberry
(Autumn Strawberry, Fall Strawberry)

(parentage unknown)
Aurora, New York
before 1848

fg GRIN

medium


classic shape, often ribbed


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

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


yellowish white

crisp & fine grained, tender, crisp, very juicy.

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid to late September

naturally large, spreading, open



 

 

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

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

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

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

Special: .

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

GRIN op

medium


slightly flatter shape


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

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; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: subject to cracking; subject to shriveling when overmature; not prized for cooking & baking; has reputation in North America of not measuring up to fruit grown in UK.

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

Ratings: Beach: vg to best; NY1907: +dH (desirable for the home orchard); NY1914: vg-b/+ ; Barron: first quality; BC: vg; Browning; Bunyard: "generally considered to be the richest flavoured of English Apples"; Hedrick: vg-best, +, desirable for home orchard; 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: After we planted our first Cox, we promised its first apple to an ex-pat English friend, and five years later we followed through on our promise, even though it was one of a two apple yield. The tree died the following winter. We
are on our third successive tree, so I believe what the experts say that the tree can be hard to grow in North Eastern US.

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

nf GRIN op

large


slightly flatter shape


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

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; Fireblight: 5. 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

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

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

nf op

variable: medium to very large


slightly flatter shape


very intense, extreme sweet-tart combination, complex, distinctive

orange red over yellow, with some russeting; rough skinned


creamy white

semi-firm, moderately coarse-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

late September

naturally large, upright-spreading

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

Faults: Tree: slow to mature; biennial; triploid; susceptible to scab and canker; may drop fruit prematurely, especially in warmer climates. Fruit: subject to cracking.

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

Ratings: AA: [**]; ; Manhart; Phillips: ""; Seattle24.

Special: declared Denmark's national apple in 2005.

Jonagold
(was NY 43013-1)

(Jonathan x Golden Delicious)
NY
1968


Jonagold
GRIN op

large

classic shape


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

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; subject to winter injury; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: soft texture in some climates.

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; Brooklyn; Browning; Burford; Jacobsen; Manhart: vg/b; 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.

McIntosh
(McIntosh Red, Mac)

(Fameuse open pollinated, possibly with Detroit Red)
Ontario
before 1820

nf GRIN op

medium to large


round


mild, but complex; on the sweet side of sweet-tart

red with dark red stripes over white and green; thin skinned


white

semi-firm, fine-grained, very juicy

 

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late September to early October / may be used immediately; good keeper (into December).

naturally large, upright



Merits: Tree: annual; heavy cropper; very resistent to cedar-apple rust; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: highly aromatic; good for multiple purposes.

Faults: Tree: susceptible to scab, powdery mildew; may drop fruit prematurely. Fruit: bruises easily.

Merit or fault?: Tree: sources disagree on susceptibility to fireblight. Fruit: not as crunchy crisp as most modern tastes seem to prefer.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: **dkM; NY1914: vg-b/**; NY1916: 4; AA: ***; Brooklyn; Burford; CG: 45|22|23|90; FB208: HR(DM); FB1001; Folger: *$H (5 regions); Jacobsen; Pomologie: *****; Traverso: T-T; Way; Yepsen: "a flavor that many prefer to Mac".

Special: The classic all-purpose Northeastern apple. Replaced Baldwin as the most widely grown commercial apple in the 1930s Now in decline, commanding under 5% of US production. Numbers are higher in Canada, where it is the national apple.

Macoun
(Macintosh x Jersey Black)
NY
introduced 1962

nf GRIN op

small to medium


classic shape


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

naturally large, upright



Merits: Tree: annual; heavy cropper; Fireblight: 3. 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; Manhart: vg; Pomologie: *****; Seattle24; Traverso: T-T; Way; Yepsen: "a flavor that many prefer to Mac".

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

Redfield
(Wolf River x Niedzwetzskayana Red Crab)
NY
1938


Redfield
GRIN

medium


classic shape


rich, 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

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 scab; Fireblight: 3. Fruit: red juice, excellent for colorful cider blending; makes good tasting, eye catching pies.

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

Merit or fault?: not recommended for fresh eating

Rating: Burford; Jacobsen.

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

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


Liberty
GRIN op

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

reports vary

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

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

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

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

King of Tompkins County
(King, Tompkins King)

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


King of Tompkins County
op

large to very large


classic shape, slightly ribbed


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

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 & scab; subject to collar rot; Fireblight: 4. 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; 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; Woolverton: dessert vg, cooking vg, commercial value - first class; Yepsen: "aromatic, rich-tasting".

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


Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Antonovka
(the People's Apple)

(parentage unknown)
Russia
before 1750

nf op

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: slow to mature; Fireblight: 4. 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 nf GRIN op

small to medium


classic shape, slightly ribbed


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

medium, spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: annual; self-fertile; good pollinator; often heavy cropper; resistant to scab, 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; fruit not uniform in size; quality variable due to soil (better in sandier soils) and climate (reputation poorer in north), susceptible to scald; subject to collar rot; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: very susceptable to bruise marks; doesn't keep long before going soft.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 7-9**; Bull99: 9-10**; Bull09: vgb**; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: _ [* in Hudson Valley region] dkHM (beautiful and of high quality but not adapted to latitude of New York); NY1914: vg-B/*; Alwood: "well known as the standard of quality"; Barron: sweet; Barry: /"rich,spicy,"; Brooklyn; BC: vg; FB: HR(D); Hansen*: best; Hedrick: vg-best, beautiful and of high quality, not always reliable; Heavy: "sweet and spicy...evocative of nutmeg and white pepper...sharp bite...touch of numbing astringency;" Lowther: vg; 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.

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


Pitmaston Pine Apple
GRIN op

small


elongated & tapered


sprightly, sweet

golden, russeted; rough, thick skinned


yellow

firm, fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, cider

last week of September into October

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

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

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

Ratings: AA: [no stars]; BC: nr; Burford*; Jacobsen; Ragan: [described but not rated; Scott: 1; Y.

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

medium


classic shape


intense, sweet, complex

yellow;
tough,
thick skin

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

Fresh eating, cider-blending

late September into October

medium, spreading, dense

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

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

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

Smokehouse
(possibly Vandevere open pollinated )
Pa.
1837

Smokehouse
GRIN

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

naturally large, wide spreading, dense

Merits: Tree: annual; early bearer; holds fruit well. 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; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: variable skin coloring; red does not always develop well; flavor described as too mild in some taste tests; can go mealy.

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

Ratings: Downing: good; Bull97: 5-6**; Bull99: 6-7/*; Bull09: g*; Beach: good; NY1907: _dkH (cultivation is not being extended in New York); AA: *: Baker: PA (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
(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1830


Hubbardston Nonesuch
GRIN

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

medium, upright-spreading, dense

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

Faults: Tree: thinning required for good sized fruit & to prevent biennial bearing; susceptible to winter injury; subject to collar rot; may drop fruit prematurely; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: skin can become greasy; not prized for pies or other baking; loses flavor in storage.

Ratings: Downing: vg-b; Bull97: 8-9**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: vg to best; NY1907: **dkM (fruit handsome and of highest quality); NY1914: vg-b/**; NY1916: 7; AA: *; Allen; 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
GRIN op

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

naturally small, spreading

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); early bearer; Fireblight: 2. 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: AA: *; Brooklyn; Burford; FB1001*; Manhart: g/vg; Yepsen: "a hardy apple [that] has proved popular with northern growers".

Tolman Sweet
(Tallman Sweeting, Talman)

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

GRIN


medium


classic shape


vinous, decidedly sweet

pale yellow, with distinct brown line from top to bottom; tough skinned


yellowish white

firm, moderately fine-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late September into October

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

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

Ratings: Downing: scarcely second-rate (rich, sweet flavor); Bull97: 6-7**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: g to vg; NY1907: * [** in northern NY]dkH (hardy, vigourous, reliable. Varies in keeping qualities.); NY1914: g-vg/**; NY1916: l/sp; AA: **; Allen; Alwood: "quality is rich, sweet...excellent for culinary"; Baker: NY (6), MA (12), RI (20), CT (6), Cen. OH, MI; Barry: "rich and very sweet"/"highly valued" W; BC: good; 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.

EARLY OCTOBER

Variety

Origin & Date

Image Sources

Fruit

Uses

Pick

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Pound Sweet
(Pumpkin Sweet)

(parentage unknown)
Connecticut
before 1845

GRIN

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

naturally large, upright-spreading,

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

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

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

Ratings: Downing: good (very valuable for baking and stock feeding); Bull97: 5-6*; Bull09: vg**; Beach: g to vg; NY1907: * [** in northern NY]dkH (hardy, vigourous, reliable. Varies in keeping qualities.); NY1914: g-vg/**; NY1916: l/sp; AA: [no stars]; Baker: *; Barry: "valuable"; Bridgman: "excellent for baking"; Burford; Cole: very rich and sweet [he also warned that many large apples called Pumpkin Sweet were inferior; Eliot: good , "only valued for baking"; FB113: R;  Hedrick: good, **; Hooper: 3: Kenrick: good; Lowther: g; 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
(possibly Golden Delicious x unknown russet)
Oregon
discovered 1930

GRIN


 

large


elongated & tapered


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

naturally large, upright-spreading

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

Faults: Fruit: splits when tree is young.

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

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

Briggs Auburn
(parentage unknown)
Maine
before 1850

Briggs Auburn
me

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

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: quality and flavor have been reported as quite variable from year to year; not highly regarded for cooking or baking.

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

Yellow Bellflower
(Yellow Belle Fleur, Mrs. Barron)

(parentage unknown)
NJ
before 1800


Yellow Bellflower
GRIN

 

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

medium (but unven in size); somewhat spreading and drooping



Merits: Tree: well adapted to different climates. Fruit: valued for multiple purposes.

Faults: Tree: slow grower; bears fruits variable in size; may drop fruit prematurely; quality variable due to soil; susceptible to scab; Fireblight: 5. 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*; 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

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)

(probably English Russet seedling)
NY
before 1750

Golden Russet
GRIN

medium
classic shape

sprightly, sweet, complex

yellow russet;
rough, tough, thick skinned

cream

firm, coarse-grained, moderately juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid October

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.

Faults: Tree: tip bearer; since blooms early but requires long season, can be challenged by frost in both spring & fall; Fireblight: 5. 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; 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. There are claims that it is very high in Vitamin C, but that is true of all acidic apples 


Starkey
(Moses Starkey, Vassalboro Ribston)

(possibly Ribston Pippin open pollinated)
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

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: _*; 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 Fireside open pollinated) Wisconsin

GRIN

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

medium, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); heavy cropper; fruits tolerate fall frosts and mild freezes; resistant to scab, cedar apple rust; Fireblight: 2. Fruit: highly aromatic; 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.

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 1700


Ashmead's Kernel
GRIN op

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

creamy white

semi-firm, coarse-grained, moderately dry

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid October

medium, upright-spreading




Merits: Tree: resistant to scab, powdery mildew. Fruit: very crisp; very juicy; 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?: Tree: Fireblight: 2-5. Fruit: 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; 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.

Orleans Reinette
(Reinette d'Orleans, Pomme Madame, Reinette Triumphant, Court Pendu Blanc, also shortened to Orleans)
(parentage unknown)
France
before 1775

GRIN op


medium


wider shape


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

naturally large, upright-spreading



Merits: Tree: very hardy; bears fruits uniform in size. Fruit: highly aromatic; excellent keeper; resistant to scab.

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: 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: 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."

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

GRIN

small to medium to large


classic shape


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

medium, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: annual. Fruit: highly aromatic; 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; Fireblight: 5.

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; 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, also shortened to Seek)
(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1800

nf GRIN

medium


classic shape, but irregular; slightly ribbed


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

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; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: variable skin coloring; red does not always develop well; not recommended for cooking; doesn't keep well

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

Ratings: Downing: vg or best; Bull97: 8-9/*; Bull99: 8-9**; Bull09: vgb*; Beach: vg/b; NY1907: *dM (a favorite dessert apple); NY1916: l/sp; AA: **; Allen; 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
(
either name singly or more simply Spitz)
(parentage unknown)
NY
before 1790

Esopus Spitzenburg
GRIN op


med-large


blocky, slightly ribbed


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

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; quality variable due to soil and climate -- requires rich, fertile soil; susceptible to canker & scab; Fireblight: 5.

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*; 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. Albemarle Pippins (as he called Newtowns) made much more money for him in the export trade, and he planted the orchard for profit. Once among top ten leading apple varieties grown in New York State


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

GRIN

 

small


classic shape


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

naturally large



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

Faults: Tree: may drop fruit prematurely; susceptible to powdery mildew; Fireblight: 4. 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

Tree Size & Shape

Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Baldwin
(Woodpecker)

(parentage unknown)
Mass.
before 1740

Baldwin
GRIN op

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

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); subject to winter damage; thinning advised to avoid limb breakage; susceptible to scab & powdery mildew; Fireblight: 4. Fruit: needs to be grown widely spaced on trees well open to the sun for full color and richness.

Ratings: Downing: vg; Bull97: 5-6**; Bull09: vg**; Beach: good to vg; NY1907: **dkM (standard winter apple of New York); NY1914: g-vg/**; NY1916: 1; AA: **; Alwood: "of high grade and fine quality"; 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; 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
(The Pie Apple)

(thought to be Wagener open pollinated)
NY
before 1800


Northern Spy
GRIN op

large


classic shape, slightly ribbed


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 October

naturally very large, upright, dense

Merits: Tree: very hardy (to z3); late blooming protects it from frost damage; reliable bearer; late blooming protects it from late frosts; Fireblight: 2-3. 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; 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: "Spies for pies!" is still shouted out today; 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

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.

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
GRIN op

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

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. Fruit: natural gloss gives handsome appearance; does not bruise easily; highly aromatic.

Faults: Tree: not reliable every year; Fireblight: 5.

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/+; AA: **; Brooklyn; Browning; Hedrick: good,+, appears promising as a commerical sort; Keil: listed among top varieties for stewing & jelly; Lowther: best; Phillips: "Spritely flavor much like Winesap. Versatile apple"; 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
GRIN op

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

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; Fireblight: 5. Fruit: prone to cracking.

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

GRIN

medium to large


classic shape


rich, on the tart side of sweet-tart

red bloom or stripes
over green,
prominently dotted;

tough, moderately thick skinned


greenish cream

semi-firm, moderately fine-grained, juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

mid to late October

naturally large, spreading, open



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

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

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

Ratings: Beach: g/vg; NY1907: _dM (Not adapted to New York conditions); AA: *; Brooklyn; Browning; Bull99: 8-9X; Bull09: vg?; Burford; CG: 43/18/23/84; FB113: &*; FB1001; Folger: *$H (10 regions); Gould: one of the most important (for Pa.); Hansen: best; Heavy: "texture...off-putting...but the flavor was divine — gentle and floral, evocative of violets"; Hedrick: good-vg, not adapted to NY; Jacobsen; Keil: listed among top 6 winter varieties for dessert & top for baking; 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

naturally large, upright-spreading

Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; excellent keeper, does not shrivel nor lose flavor; Fireblight: 2. 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 ("the finest winter sweet apple, for the dessert, yet known"; Bull97: 7-8*; Bull09: gvg*; Beach: vg to best; NY1907: **dkM (one of the most desirable of the sweet apples); NY1914: vg-b/*; Allen; Baker: MA(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

Tree Size & Shape


Merits & Faults

Ratings

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

Braeburn
(probably Lady Hamilton open pollinated)
New Zealand
introduced 1952

GRIN op

medium


elongated


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

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


creamy to rich yellow

firm, moderately fine-grained, very juicy

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late October

medium, upright



Merits: Tree: early bearer; fruit hangs well. Fruit: does not bruise easily; excellent keeper.

Faults: Tree: biennial, Fireblight: 5. Fruit: turns brown in storage.

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

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

cf fg GRIN op

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

medium, roundish, dense



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

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

Merit or fault?: Tree: young trees are reliable & heavy cropper; but decline noticeable in reliability & fruit size as trees age; irregular, straggling growth. Fruit: subject to sweet water core.

Ratings: Downing: vg; Bull99: 7-8*; Bull09: vg*; Beach: g/vg; NY1907: _dkM (Both tree qualities and fruit poor in New York); Bull97: 7-8/**; AA: **; Alwood: "has no superior among red varieties [on the right soil]"; Baker: PA (20), VA, KY, OH; Barry: "fine for cider"/"rich"; Bridgeman: high rich flavor; Brooklyn; BC: nr; Burford*; CG: 43/20/25/88; FB113: NE*&; FB208: R(DKM); FB1001; Folger: *$ (7 regions); Gould: magnificent; Hansen: vg; Hayes; Hedrick: good-vg, tree characters and fruit poor in NY; Hooper: 2 to 1; Jacobsen; Keil: listed among top 6 winter varieties for dessert & top for stewing, pie, baking & jelly; Lear: 9; Lowther: vg; Lewelling; ME94: vg/*; Michigan1879: vg, 6.6.4; 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".

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



medium to large


somwhat flatter shape, sides sometimes unequal


rich, well balanced

yellow with bright red blush and carmine splashing,
some russeting at top;
thick, tough skinned


yellow

firm, moderately coarse-grained, crisp, juicy.

Fresh eating, culinary, cider

late October to early November

medium, open, spreading

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

Faults: Tree: requires long season.

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

Special: Because my father called this variety Germantown, I've listed that name first. In most sources, Doctor is the preferred name. Named after Christopher Witt (1675-1765) – called DeWitt in some documents – who was an astrologer, mystic, herbalist, orchardist(?), self-taught doctor, clock- & telescope-maker, musician, painter, instructor in the "Arts & Mysteries of Chymistry, Physick & the Astral Sciences," slave-owner (his slave was freed at his death and made his principle heir). It is not clear if Witt develeped the variety or just was the inspiration for its name.

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

cf

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

medium, spreading, but irregular

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

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

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

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

GRIN



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

medium to large, upright-spreading, open



Merits: Tree: heavy cropper; very hardy for a "Southern" tree; late blooming protects it from late frosts; reliable bearer; resistant to scab & cedar apple rust; Fireblight: 3. 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.

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

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


NOTES

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

Flavor
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. Some of the best flavored apples have a complex quality that may or may not be called spicy. Some conjure to mind a flavor reminiscent of other fruits, commonly pear-like, pineappley, or vinous. Distinctive flavors can affect different tasters differently. Westfield Seek-No-Further, for example, is highly prized by some, but I have also heard it nicknamed "Westfield Eat-No-Further." My wife can recognize its slight astringency, but I can't. What is wonderful about taste tests with a group of people is the wide range of preferences. 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. What makes taste test so much fun are the widely varying opinions. In our 2016 taste test the apple variety with the most votes for #1 was Autumn Crisp. In second were Jonagold and King David. Others getting votes for #1 were Connell Red and Hubbardston Nonesuch. However, in terms of overall rating, although Autumn Crisp and Jonagold finshed first and second, none of the others finished in the top five.

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.

Picking Dates
Harvest dates are based on when we've picked that variety at our orchard and estimates provided by other orchardists here in the Finger Lakes and further away in a similar climate zone. Since we have yet to have consistant harvests from most of our trees, and the weather always seems to be so fickle and the ripening order is never quite the same from year to year, and since I am still bad at deciding when to pick each year, the ripening dates are estimates only.

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. 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.

Merits and Faults
My own observations as well as several resources have been used to compile merits and faults. The apple database created by Cornell's New York State Agricultural Experiment Station in Geneva in cooperation with the National Germplasm Resources Laboratory's Germplasm Resources Information Network has been especially valuable, although I have found some internal contradictions, and our orchard has many varieties not found there. Fireblight is in bold because of devastation it can cause to an orchard. Almost half of the apple varieties have been given a Fireblight rating of 5 (very susceptable), and this is based on their own study, and there are no apple tree varieties entirely resistant to fireblight. However, other lists, including those from a study done by Janna Beckerman of Purdue, a Colorade State factsheet, and the Midwest Tree Fruit Pest Management Handbook have less dire numbers. My rating combines those of these and other resources.

KEY to the sources for Apple Images

Pictures are of apples from our orchard. Image sources are included when no picture is available: cf=Century Farm Orchards; fg=Felix Gillet Institute; me=Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA); nf=National Fruit Collection at Brogdale (UK) GRIN=National Germplasm Resources Laboratory's Germplasm Resources Information Network; op=Orange Pippin Apple Varieties.

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."
  • Allen=among the list of Best Varieties of Apples for Cultivation found in Richard Lamb Allen's (revised by Lewis F. Allen) New American farm book, 1908. List included 30 varieties most widely cultivated, not specific to a particular region.
  • Alwood=William Bradford Alwood, Orchard Studies. III. Notes on Some of the More Important Varieties of Apples. Bulletin 130. Virginia Agricultural Experiment Station, November 1901.
  • 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, probably for hardiness.
  • 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].
  • Cole=S. W. Cole, The American Fruit Book, 1849.
  • CG=R.J. Barnett. "Quality in Apples," Country Gentleman, November 10, 1917 [Ratings dessert quality-50/cooking quality-25/keeping quality-25/total-100.
  • Eliott = F. R. Eliott, Elliott's Fruit Book, 1858.
  • FB = Farmers Bulletin – FB113=US Department of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 113: The Apple and How to Grow It, by G.B, Brackett. GPO: 1909 (NE=recommended for the district that includes New England, New York, and Pennsylvania; NE* recommended for commercial as well as family orchard; &=recommended for another part of the country); FB208 = US Department of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 208: Varieties of Fruits Recommended for Planting, compiled by W.H. Ragan. GPO: 1904. [Ratings (HR, highly recommended, R, recommended, and T, recommended for trial; D=Dessert (desirable for eating in a fresh or uncooked state), K=Kitchen (has good cooking qualities), M=Market (is good bearer, has fine appearance, possesses firmness and keeping quality, C=cider) are for District 2: Nova Scotia, most of New England and NY, northern NJ, PA, OH, & IN, and the lower peninsula of Michigan; FB1001 = US Department of Agriculture. Farmers' Bulletin No. 1001 (1920): Varieties of Fruits Suggested for Planting in 14 different districts of the US (* indicates variety was including in District 1 (colder portions of New England and New York) or District 2 (whicg includes the Finger Lakes)).
  • Folger=John Clifford Folger & Samuel Mable Thomson. The commercial apple industry of North America, 1921. [* among top 12 commercial country wide (80% of all apples); $ most marketable, fetching best prices; H good for home use as well].
  • Gould=H.P. Gould. "Some Comments on Important Apple Varieties," in Annual Report of the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, 1910.
  • Hansen=Niels Ebbesen Hansen's chapter on apples in J. L. Budd's American Horticultural Manual, Volume II: Systematic Pomology, 1903. A star indicates the variety is winter hardy, based on N.E. Hansen's A Study of Northwest Apples, South Dakota Agricultural College, 1902, in which Hansen included the same ratings, but only include the winter-hardiest of apple varieties.
  • Hayes=Grown by Rutherford B Hayes at his Spiegel Grove estate after he left the Whitehouse
  • Heavy=from a review of heirloom apples in the blog Heavytable.
  • Hedrick=U.P. Hedrick and G.H. Howe. Apples: Old and New, New York Agricultural Experiment Station Bulletin 361, 1913 / U. P. Hedrick. Cyclopedia of Hardy Fruit. Macmillan, 1922. Quality rating, star rating for Central Lakes district of NY, notes. Further comment form the 1922 book only when different or additional information was provided.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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: May 9, 2017
URL: http://www.sagehenfarmlodi.com/ourapples.html
Background image of cidering by Laura Low.