Apple Varieties Input Requested

They’re different, but not wildly so. If I had to choose between them, it’s be Myers’.

I grow most of these, though not all. It looks like a good mix to me. I didn’t like Cinnamon Spice as much as I’d hoped, and didn’t keep it. I think Suntan is great, but it bears poorly for me and seems to be a bug magnet, so I don’t often recommend it now.

Antonovka is a worthy cooker.

You can get one from FedCo in Maine.

As much as I like unusual and strong-flavored apples, if I’m strolling around my orchard, I’m most likely to pick a Grimes Golden or Spigold to munch on. Later in the season, it’s a Stayman. Very late, it’s Katharine and Pink Parfait. When properly ripened, all these knock my socks off.

I agree with @BlueBerry that a red-fleshed apple or two would be a good addition to your orchard. Pink Pearl is a good early one, and Rubaiyat a good late-ish one. I’d recommend Pink Parfait as the late one, but I’m not sure that your season is long enough for it - it ripens in December here. They’re not just attractive, as the pigment that provides the color also adds an unusual berry-like flavor. Trees of Antiquity has all of these. Another interesting and unusual (but quite different) pink-fleshed apple is Strawberry Parfait. Neil has that one, too.

Some other varieties with interesting flavors that you might consider: Sweet 16, Frostbite, Hawaii, Freyberg, Milo Gibson, Pitmaston Pineapple, Hudson’s Golden Gem, Ananas Reinette.


I’m a big fan of Myers Royal Limbertwig. Victoria not as much and haven’t fruited a White Limbertwig yet.


Jerry, wouldn’t apples adapt to my weather - they don’t know what month it is, do they? How many months does pink parfait need?

If you have patience, Spi-Gold will knock your socks off. A fabulous apple but with Northern Spy parentage will take its sweet time to bear fruit. You can bend branches, notch buds, keep pruning to bare minimum, buy on a precocious rootstock, to induce fruiting.

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We don’t pick it before the beginning of December here, and often a little later. @SkillCult grows it up near Ukiah, a good distance north and a bit east of us, and I think that he picks it two or three weeks later than we do. He’s at a higher elevation, too, and I remember seeing a video of a snow-crusted PP hanging on his tree there, so they’re tough enough to withstand some cold. Steven might be able to give you a better idea of what your chances are to ripen it in Shingletown. I would hesitate to speculate.

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Big thumbs up on Stayman… We have a bushel of them in the fridge now. Will likely put another bushel in and be eating on them until spring…

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I’m at 1800 feet, zone 9 a or b, the colder one. I can start eating Pink Parfait in November sometimes, on the leading edge of ripe, but pretty good. It has a very cool property of reaching ripeness, then hanging on the tree in good condition, as if it is in cold storage. I’ve eaten it as late as february in excellent condition in a late year. What extremes it will hold up to cold wise is unknown. I can see solid frozen hoses and ice on the standing water night after night, with not much deleterious effect on the fruit. some will crack, especially at the top and start to rot, but they are pretty durable.


Victoria is a pretty apple. Sweeter than most LTs. Hence also known as Sweet Limbertwig.


Would M-111 be considered “precocious”?

Not usually, no. More precocious than seedling rootstock, but less than most of the more dwarfing stocks and even B-118. On the other hand, it’s a very popular choice here on the West Coast because it’s drought-tolerant and well-rooted enough to stand up well to wind without permanent staking. I’ve tried other options here, but now every apple in my orchard is on MM-111 roots, and I just keep them pruned down to 8 feet or so without much trouble.


Here’s Spigold on dwarfing G-11 rootstock. Might not be self-supporting but is precocious. I don’t know this rootstock so research further.

I didn’t want to go below “semi-dwarfing” because I heard it dwarfing shortens the tree’s lifespan.


I think I will stick to M-111.

A leaning tree would drive me nuts. The house could be a mess, but somebody better level that crooked picture on the wall lol.


I decided against the Victoria Limbertwig. I did add Api Etoile. :grin:

Between the two, I would choose Epi, too.

Chiming in from 4700’ with a few opinions. While I’m on the other side of the Sierra, I suspect our summer and fall day/night temps are similar, though wet season precipitation will be vastly different. Our soils probably differ too, though maybe not enough to be a big concern. Anyway, with due respect to Jerry and others who’ve generously shared their knowledge, I would think my experiences with many of your proposed varieties are likely to be closer to what your own might be. If that reads as pompous or dismissive, that is not my intention.

I’ve fruited many of the varieties on your list, some of them many, many times, others just once or twice. Here are my impressions. I’m including the rootstock they’re attached to, at least those I recall off the top, since I’m nowhere near my orchard map as I type this.

Calville Blanc d’Hiver ( B118) - quite productive and excellent, though something of a bug magnate. Good enough that I planted a second tree.

Belle de Boskoop (G890) - grafted this year, so I’m still a few years away from fruit. I expect it to do well.

Kidd’s Orange Red (G30) - not nearly as productive as its cousin, Rubinette, and much less interesting to eat. It’s quite sweet and nice enough, but needs more acid for my palate.

Rubinette (MM106) - excellent productivity and taste. In my top 5.

Grimes Golden (MM106) - spotty production—seems more prone to frosting off in spring than other Golden Delicious-like apples. It tastes good, but I like other varieties in the GD family better, although I haven’t run across any with the unique extra flavor of Grimes, so if that’s what you’re after, it’s worth growing.

Golden Russet (MM106) - a bit of a challenge to grow, as it’s quite vigorous and is a vertical grower. It doesn’t really like my growing conditions, and cracks, corks and rots regularly, and also is mostly super sweet without the acid and complexity I read about it having elsewhere. American Golden Russet/Bullock is much better here, excellent, in fact.

Ashmead’s Kernal - I’ve had bad luck with Ashmeads thus far, though it’s been my fault, not the variety’s. Still probably a couple years away from trying it.

Fireside - never grown it

Westfield Seek-no-Further - never grown it

Kind David (G890) - harvested my first crop this year on a 5th leaf tree. Excellent!

Suntan (B118 and now G890) - reputedly about as boldly flavored as Karmijn, which was mentioned in a post or two in this thread. It’s been a difficult variety here, mostly cracking, rotting and dropping on the B118 tree, which died this spring after 10-12 years. I’m generally not a fan of B118, as its reputation for leaning as well deserved, and it often has odd graft unions with certain varieties. I won’t use it any longer. Anyway, when Suntan does produce, as it did somewhat this year on a young G890 tree, it’s outstanding, the boldest flavored apple I’ve ever tasted. Karmijn, on the other hand, never produced a quality fruit in the 15 years I grew it—maybe the worst cracker, rotter and dropper I’ve ever grown, but I held out hope it would give me good apples and that’s why I kept it so long. I think Suntan is worth the effort.

Cinnamon Spice (G30) - vigorous grower of pretty, but terrible flavored apples, sweet with no accompanying complexity, and certainly never cinnamon. The flesh was always soft and woolly. I top worked the tree to better varieties years ago.

Now considering:
Api Etoile - small limb grafted to one of my Calville Blanc trees. It hasn’t been very productive, although it did deliver a large crop this year of nicely shaped apples that were high acid with decent sugar levels, but without much complexity. If you want an apple with matching acid and sugar levels in a similar flavor category, you might consider Zuccalmaglio‘s Reinette. It’s a beautiful apple that is quite sharp off the tree, but develops some lovely fruity flavors in storage.

Wickson (B118 and G890) - again, the B118 tree has issues, but Wixon is it a fantastic apple. Grow it!

Orleans Reinette (G30) - one of my favorite apples. It cracks and rots some years and is seriously biennial (by reputation, everywhere) but when it’s on, it’s amazing! Worth growing.

Staymen’s Winesap G890) - produced its first crop on a young tree this year, and it was mediocre, but I had it before on a tree that died, and it was very good, so probably just an off year this season or a young tree getting up to speed.

White Limbertwig - I have five limbertwig varieties, Smoky Mountain, Brushy Mountain, Red, Black, and Victoria. Brushy Mountain is easily the best tasting, and most productive of the five I grow. I have not grown White or Myers Royal.

Goldrush (G890 x2, MM106). Excellent and productive, although it isn’t vigorous. I’m going to put it on MM111 this spring, which is super vigorous here and requires far more work to keep at 8’ than any other rootstock. Thought I’d never graft another tree to it, but Goldrush just may need it to produce best here.

I agree 100% with Jerry’s recommendations of Frostbite, Sweet 16, Hawaii, Freyberg, Pitmaston Pineapple and Ananas Reinette. Milo Gibson fruited for the first time here this year and wasn’t memorable, but that’s far too small a sample size to rule it out. Hudson’s Golden Gem has fruited many times and before this year was about as bad a cracker/corker/rotter as I’ve grown. This year I had a number of nice apples from it, but it’s not my cup of tea. It definitely tastes like a pear, but the acid levels, almost non-existent, are too low for my palate. If you or others in your home enjoy that flavor profile, it’s probably worth growing (my wife likes it, so I will keep it).

Pink Parfait produced its first crop, but almost all of the 30 or so fruits cracked and began dropping in early September. Even so, they tasted pretty good. I’m hoping the cracking is a tree maturity issue. I don’t think it will need to hang until November or December to be excellent here.

I can make other recommendations, if you like.


Stayman Winesap and Ark Black are not similar enough to each other, IMO. Two different types of apples and ripening types. Ark Black needs to be stored to ripen correctly. The Stayman Winesap is ready to eat and use right off the tree when ripe.

@DragonflyLane I feel I should add a recommendation for you, Claygate Pearmain. It meets your standard as an apple with big flavor and has proven itself in my orchard for more than a decade. It is annually productive in all but the worst late frost years, vigorous, and tastes amazing. It also holds the distinction of being the sole apple variety in the single best apple pie I’ve ever eaten. My wife is an excellent baker, and her apple pies are legendary within my family. She’s made great apple pies from many different apples out of our orchard, but that CP pie stands out in my memory.


Thank you! I did not pick a pearmain yet, or a reinette.

It sounds like an amazing apple!

What does pearmain mean? I found out limbertwig and kernel means discovered as a seedling.

Thank you for that information. :grin: