I really haven’t had too much trouble with disease. I saw some fire blight in 2023 for the first time but it sounds like that was a problem everywhere. Oddly enough it was really only on my jon-a-red. As soon as I saw it I would cut it out. Nothing major. I had some issues with cedar apple rust on the tree but was able to get it under control in 2022 and 2023 seemed to be much better after modifying my sprays. The leaves are much smaller than my other trees. Decent amount of blooms. The apple seems to be a medium sized apple that is somewhat tart. Maybe a bit more tart than a regular Jonathan. The flesh is firm. I like them for fresh eating but we usually make a lot of pie filling out of them since they aren’t as popular to give away. The size of the apples seems to really be affected by properly thinning. I wasn’t as diligent in 2023 and they were small.
Melrose is also my best taste apple.
Grew them for years during my Chicago years.
I posted this on a different thread some years back. It is still my favorite photo of my apples: Claygate. This tree is a triploid, which was an aspect I avoided until getting several other diploids to provide pollen sources for the bees to deliver. Complex (nut & cheese overtone) tart, sweet & juicy. The tree needed better pruning direction than my lack of experience could direct until last year. I cut it way back & reserved a likely central bud. It responded well to treatment & I hope for an actual crop of Claygate in '25.
Sometimes you find a winner…
Unfortunately my one graft of Claygate died the first summer, after extending 4 to 6 inches. FB I think.