Apples in 7b/8a

Hi everyone, I wanted to follow up from my introductory post over the weekend with some specifics. I will be starting my orchard this winter and could use lots of advice. I’m in 7b/8a just south of Atlanta.

All of my selections need to have some fire blight resistance. It’s an annual occurrence here. Other disease resistance is nice but not mandatory. In each fruit category I would like to cover the range of the season with different varieties.

My targets:
Apple 30 – 8 planted this fall
Pear 20 – 8 planted this fall
Fig 30 – 20 planted this fall
Peach 10 – none planted
Plum 6 – none planted
Muscadine 5 – none planted
I’m sure there will be others

I’ll start with the apples. I planted Anna, Golden Dorsett, Redfree, Gala (will probably have to come out because of FB), McIntosh, Stayman Winesap, King David and Honeycrisp. All on G11. Will probably switch to G41 on future plantings.

Planning on adding Golden Delicious, Yates, Goldrush, Horse, 2 or 3 crabs, and a couple of limbertwigs. I would like your suggestions for the next 15. I will graft and plant in early March.

I would appreciate your input.

Arkansas Black would be a good addition but only if you like an apple with some tartness. Bill


G.41 is a wise choice. Yates, Goldrush, and the limbertwigs are also wise choices.

1 Like

Early fireblight resistant apples to consider:

Williams Pride
Cherryville Black

Bill, thanks for the suggestion, I do like some tartness. I will include AB.

Matt, thanks, they all look great. I especially like the descriptions of Cherryville Black.

I would recommend Pristine over Williams Pride for your climate. Pixie Crunch is a mid season apple that has done well for me in SW MO. If you can grow Suncrisp, I would highly recommend that.

1 Like

Welcome aboard!

I’m in a similar climate zone and I have found apples to be more difficult to grow than expected.

Most apples seem to be more susceptible to FB than expected based on published information. I have about 18 variety, but the only one with a high degree of tolerance to FB was Virginia Winesap. Both Old Fashion Winesap and Stayman were hit when I had an epidemic two years ago. The worse were Lodi and Summer Rambo - I removed all those trees. Gala was not impacted as much as Stayman or Ginger Gold. Pristine and Goldrush did OK. I also noticed the older trees on MM111 were not impacted as much as the 2,3,4 year old trees on B9. Based on my limited experience, older trees are less susceptible than young trees, and MM111 was less susceptible than B9. The rootstocks did not die even on the trees with the most infection and after cutting the leaders, the trees are growing back. The good news is that I had almost no FB last year.

Revised: I’d try MonArk (not Monarch), summer, tart, crisp, great taste, disease resistant. You’re gonna love King David and Black Limbertwig- real winners.

Tom Burford says these are tart or subacid and disease resistant: Magnum Bonum, Parks Pippin, Green Pippin. Hidden Springs Nursery TN sells Paducah, summer, tart, very resistant. Others: Red Rebel, Dula Beauty, Aunt Rachel, all heat adapted, disease resistant.

Hearing good things about Hunge for hot, humid areas but I can’t discover its disease resistance. One friend raves about the taste and he manages hundreds of heirlooms in NC.

Winns Mill Nursery (GA) specializes in Ga heirlooms and can advise on resistance.

Like BlueberyhillI I too lost Stayman and Winesap to FB. If you’re young I’d plant some of the above on standard roots, maybe minimize FB. I had a Golden Delicious standard- no FB in 30 years, everything else on MM106 semi dwarf got bad FB.

You might even try Belle de Boskoop altho I have not grown it, reported as tart, bold taste, and very resistant to FB.

1 Like

Pristine makes beautiful apples, but the ones I’ve tasted were way too tart for me. Maybe I haven’t had a good one yet.

Lodi is tart too, but less so (in my experience). They are delicious fresh off the tree here around the Fouth of July, but they do not keep. Lee Calhoun, author of Old Southern Apples, says Lodi does well for him in North Carolina.

@blueberrythrill Rick, sorry to hear your Lodi struggled. Must have been some really bad fireblight. I am impressed your Gala came through so nicely.

Hi Everyone,
I have yet to grow an apple tree. I am west of Atlanta and someone gave me a delicious “pink lady” apple. I am wanting to grow this apple tree if I can here in Georgia, it was off the chain good. Just enough sweet and tartness for my taste. It reminded me of a Gala apple. Has anyone tried to grow this tree in our hot and humid neck of the woods? Do tell…Thanks

There is a nearby orchard that grows Pink Lady. It is a great tasting apple and I planted one recently. From what I read it is not as disease resistant as many others are but because I like the taste I’m going to give it a try. Good luck, Bill

A small orchard near me grows the apple, but they indicated it has more fireblight problems than any other variety they grow. The apple needs a long growing season and seems to tolerate the heat pretty well. I like the apple a lot and would love to grow some, but the FB problem scares me.

Thanks Auburn and Blueberrythrill! I may be a little scared too, but I may take my chances and see what happens. I was told by a couple of gardeners not to try and grow pluots in this hot and humid environment as well, but I didn’t listen. I bought 2 pluot trees and they both did very well-especially my Flavor Supreme. (the other is a 4-n-1, FS, DD, FK & FQ.) The flavor supreme is very vigorous and I can’t wait to see what it does this year! The other tree has good vigor too, but I messed up and brought it in the house when I should have had it in the garage during the last unexpected freeze. As a result, I lost all my blooms on all four varieties, but next year will be a whole other ballgame. LOL. Anyway, back to the Pink Lady apples, I am gonna look around and see if I can find one in this area for sale, if not I will order it from another source. I know that there is a local market called “Burgers Market” that sells different fruit trees, so I will ask if they can get it for me this year…if not, I will keep going to the apple orchards.! Merry Christmas everyone!

Matt, I don’t know what you’ve been eating as Pristine but it is as sweet as any summer apple I know without much acid in the mix. I totally agree with you on Lodi and Yellow Transparent. They are quite tart until they turn soft and I consider them mostly cooking apples, although they can be quite refreshing on a hot summer day right off the tree.

Beach, I would be shocked if you manage to grow decent Macintosh there. They are more a New England apple. If you want that type, maybe you should grow Liberty. Doesn’t exactly have the Mac crunch- a kind of special form of crunchiness off the tree that is lost quickly in storage, but it is a good crisp apple that supposedly gets best quality in warmer climates. It was bred partially for FB resistance (which I learned thanks to Appleseed, I don’t choose apples for the trait). It is a fruit machine.

Besides the new Cornell rootstocks, I agree that the bigger the tree the less likely killed by FB. It’s also a good idea to dial down the nitrogen where FB lurks- it loves punky, vigorous wood.

1 Like

I agree that Pristine is very good. Of the few apples that I got this year, Pristine was my favorite. I didn’t notice any tartness. They all just had a very good “apple” taste. Mine ripened July 11th. They came away from the tree easily, so that may be a good way to tell if they’re ready. They are also very disease resistance. I’ve only noticed moderate CAR.

I’m trying to decide if I should add some Pink Lady to my order for the spring 2017.

Does anyone have experience with Firelight susceptibility on trees of the same rootstock and the same age with several variety known to get FB bad? Perhaps Gala, Fuji, Pink Lady, Granny Smith Lodi, Johnagold and so forth?

I need an apple with a well know name that ripens late along with Goldrush - perhaps Granny and Pink Lady, but i’m worried about the FB on both.

Matt, you must not be letting the Pristing hang on the tree long enough. They are sweet and just a bit tart, perfect for making ‘sugarless’ applesauce. Let them turn Yellow and not yellow-green and try again.

Blueberry- Keener Seedling, a russett ripens about same time as Goldrush, very late. Mine has not fruited yet but soon.

Blueberry, I have a 4 year old Pink Lady on M-111 that survived my bad fireblight outbreak in the spring that killed 6 - 3 year old dwarf trees and a 4 year old Suncrisp on M-111 planted next to the Pink Lady. The Pink Lady was loaded with fruit buds and the FB caused a total crop loss but the tree survived and looks to have fruit buds for next season. From my experience Pink Lady seems to be a low vigor variety - it is the smallest of my M-111 trees, and may not be a good candidate for B-9.

Ahgrower, I had a major fire blight outbreak this year and of the 40 or so bearing age varieties I am growing, the 3 that shook off the FB the best and produced a nice crop were: Williams Pride, Sundance and Goldrush. I will defer to more experienced growers but you may want to consider these varieties as you get started growing apples.

In my limited experience it seems Sundance may be an under appreciated variety, at least in humid areas, it is resistant to about all of the major diseases and my Sundance produced clean, nice size and tasty apples.

1 Like