Belle de Boskoop Apple- how many years before fruit?

Who has gotten Belle de Boskoop to bear apples? How many years did it take? If it’s like Northern Spy, i.e. forever, I’ll skip it.

I just panted both on G41 to be trained to espalier. That should cut the time in half.

Fluffy- Thanks. I graft on Geneva 30 said to be precocious. I get fruit spurs in second year on G30 for many varieties I’ve tried. Boskoop on G30 might take what, three to four years? That’s doable.

Great advice TheFluffyBunny.

Where would you like to be?

Fluff, very well said. We have BdB on standard or semi rootstock doesn’t appear like we’ll see fruit anytime soon. It’s not bothered by insects or disease but it really hasn’t grown much either. Perhaps we’re too warm here in SLC but it is one of the few we have that I’ve considered tearing out. Without substantial growth this year I will replace it. About the only one that seems as miserable here is Gravenstein.

I have two 15 foot pomegranates of an inedible variety that I look at every day. I just tell myself, if I had planted other fruits when I planted them, I would have a yard of fruit by now. My exwife thought I would get bored of the idea. Now my second and future wife has to deal with my impulsively filling the yard with rootstock.


I would topwork those and eat some good fruits in a couple of years.

Yes the heat thing was speculative on my part. The hard truth is that trees from a couple of vendors have outperformed those from others by a wide margin. Interestingly those that seem to have the best stock also prove the most reliable to order from.

My Red Boskoop (a red sport, from Raintree) finally fruited this past fall in year #5. It grew the largest by far of the trees I have on M27. It had a lot of flowers in year #3 (no set) and #4 (a few set, then dropped early). The fruit is also very large, probably in the top 2 of the 20-25 varieties I’ve fruited. It also had a nice strong flavor and 18-19 brix (and an outlying 22.5). It was quite insect damaged, right up there with Ashmead’s Kernel- maybe the bugs go for strong flavor too.

1 Like

Sounds good. I’ll put on a couple grafts then in future try bending down and/or ringing bark to speed it up. After last year’s grafting marathon I swore I wouldn’t graft this year but the number of varieties I just have to have seems endless. Will be little room for food in the frig. Friends think I’m nuts.

1 Like

I graft, therefore I am.


Like new varieties, some heirlooms are tough- some are easy. Unlike many new varieties, a lot depends on where you are trying to grow them- that is, they tend to be more region specific in terms of producing quality apples.

I doubt many people outside of New England have tasted a real good Baldwin or even Macoun.

But then, my Honeycrisps are seldom all that good either.

Belle de Boskoop spurs up and bears heavily and will runt out of allowed to bear too much too soon. Either put it on a more vigorous rootstock or pick the apples off the first two years to encourage a bigger tree. My M27 is 3’ tall and I have to cut spurs off of it or it will break branches. There is very little new growth.


That’s strange. My Boskoop on M27 is the biggest of all my M27’s, 7-8’ tall, while most of the others are ~4’. It is almost B9 sized. I would have said to plant it on a more dwarfing stock.

This was six years ago, it never did get much bigger than this, just grew more branches and spurs.

My BdB on Bud-9, is trained to an espalier and has not fruited these past three years. I am anticipating light production in 2016. I believe that BdB may grow larger in moist clay soil. My espalier is at the top wire at the end of year three, and will have to be pruned heavily this summer to stay in bounds.

My Belle de Boskoop was planted in 2012, fruited for the first time in 2015. I think it’s on M111 semi-dwarf rootstock, though it’s very vigorous and would be over 12 feet tall by now if I didn’t prune it. I’m in 9b/16 and we had a super hot summer last year, which didn’t bother the tree or hurt the fruit quality.

I probably shouldn’t have let it fruit so soon, because several thin branches were badly bent from the weight of the fruit (which got very large) and had to be pruned off this winter.


How do you rate flavor?

They were more tart than sweet and mild in flavor, but it’s always possible I picked them too early or that the juvenile tree isn’t producing its best fruit yet. For me, the virtue of Belle de Boskoop is the texture. It’s very dense, which means they’re not so fun to bite into raw, but they are awesome for baking. I made one pie and some apple sauce which were as good as it gets. Didn’t try juicing them, but I would expect it to make a good cider too.

1 Like