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Old 04-16-2015, 11:42 PM
 
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If so, which cultivars did you try and what zone are you located in? There's a variety called Magnum Bonum that is a low chill "Old Apple" variety that is supposed to be tasty and relatively disease free. Was wondering about anybody's experiences here.
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Old 04-17-2015, 06:40 PM
 
Location: North Idaho
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I bought a bunch of bench grafts of old varieties but lost them all in one bad winter.

The only heirloom that made it is Arkansas Black. It's supposed to be so hard that the birds won't eat it. Unfortunately, I've got some really determined birds in my neighborhood and my first crop was only one apple and they had that damaged months before it was ripe. So, I don't know how good the apples are.

Chill hours are not even a consideration around here. I need apples that are ripe before a hard freeze. I really like Zestar for good flavor and early ripening, but that is definitely not a heritage apple.

The low chill apple that I hear recommended is "Anna". I am pretty sure that is a modern apple.
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Old 04-17-2015, 11:12 PM
 
Location: North West Arkansas (zone 6b)
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The blacks are best for cooking. Some folk love eating them fresh but I find them firm yet mealy
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Old 04-18-2015, 12:52 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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We have: Cortlands, Esopus Spitzenburgs, and Golden Russet apples, along with many other newer varieties in our orchard.

We are zone 4 / 5.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:00 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
We have: Cortlands, Esopus Spitzenburgs, and Golden Russet apples, along with many other newer varieties in our orchard.

We are zone 4 / 5.
How are they taste wise? What about disease susceptibility and fruit yield? I know they're all different but just a little curious. I have a winesap and it has a unique, tart flavor but the fruits are not large. The tree is in zone 7.. That's why I was focusing on the low chill hour heirlooms.. Even still there is fruit drop during the very hot, humid summers.
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Old 04-18-2015, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoaminRebel View Post
How are they taste wise? What about disease susceptibility and fruit yield? I know they're all different but just a little curious. I have a winesap and it has a unique, tart flavor but the fruits are not large. The tree is in zone 7.. That's why I was focusing on the low chill hour heirlooms.. Even still there is fruit drop during the very hot, humid summers.
Cortland Apples are an annual producer of heavy crops. They are good for eating and cooking.

Esopus Spitzenburg apples are A choice dessert and culinary apple, slightly acid, crisp and juicy. Excellent acid source for cider.

Golden Russet apples are excellent for eating; and keep all winter and well into spring. Good as sharp acid source for cider.

There is no 'best' variety of apple tree. Every variety is different. It depends a great deal on what you want from an apple.

I selected our apple trees first by harvest season; one group of trees that ripens mid-fall, and a second group that ripens in late fall to early winter. Secondly we selected one variety in each group that produces an apple known for high sugar content, and two varieties noted for tart or acid content. Our hope being to spread out the harvest a bit, so as not to over-load us with apples all at once. And also to provide two different blends of apple juices for fermenting cider.

We have not seen any issue with disease, or lack of yield.
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Old 04-18-2015, 10:00 PM
 
1,964 posts, read 2,702,696 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Submariner View Post
Cortland Apples are an annual producer of heavy crops. They are good for eating and cooking.

Esopus Spitzenburg apples are A choice dessert and culinary apple, slightly acid, crisp and juicy. Excellent acid source for cider.

Golden Russet apples are excellent for eating; and keep all winter and well into spring. Good as sharp acid source for cider.

There is no 'best' variety of apple tree. Every variety is different. It depends a great deal on what you want from an apple.

I selected our apple trees first by harvest season; one group of trees that ripens mid-fall, and a second group that ripens in late fall to early winter. Secondly we selected one variety in each group that produces an apple known for high sugar content, and two varieties noted for tart or acid content. Our hope being to spread out the harvest a bit, so as not to over-load us with apples all at once. And also to provide two different blends of apple juices for fermenting cider.

We have not seen any issue with disease, or lack of yield.
That's good! I've seen cedar apple rust and fireblight, but they seem controllable with spray. Sometimes I also get the feeling there was not sufficient overlap for cross pollination with some of the cultivars I chose. Hopefully with the two new ones I have that issue will be resolved. Redfree is a new variety that is supposed to grow well in the South.. ugh.. too many choices..
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