Winter Banana can have a cool, smooth yellow color, and is graft compatible with some pears. Otherwise, I don’t see the appeal
I apologize for bringing up Winter Banana apple on the Best Tasting Apples thread. It is not the best tasting apple, not even close.
@Lizzy, thank you for your offer of White Winter Pearmain. That is what interests me. I will contact you in the winter?
While we don’t eat many Winter Banana apples fresh, we’ve found that (at least in our climate) they make a very tasty cobbler. A number of friends who’ve tried it before request it specifically now.
Some people love Winter Banana though. After an article on my orchard appeared in Ohio Magazine 10 years ago a woman in Indiana called me and started talking about growing up in Indiana and this great apple she remembered eating as a child and she wondered if I might grow it? Winter Banana I asked? Yes she said! Easy enough to guess since that is where she lived.
I have mailed her a box of Winter Banana apples every year for the past 10 years.
Had a Suncrisp from the fridge today. What a nice tasting apple- sweet and pretty tart, but has almost a tropical fruit undertone to it, almost like banana. Nothing like them. We got these from a local orchard, the second year we’ve tried them.
I liked them so much last year, I planted a SC tree back in April. Hope they taste just as good as these. But, will have to wait a couple years at least to find out.
Sure! Just PM me in winter.
So far, my favorite apple this year is Esopus Spitzenburg. Beautiful, hard and crunchy with the highest levels of sugar and acid. Gold Rush is almost ready, and will probably be just as good to my palate off the tree, but superior to ES out of storage in a couple of months- but it won’t be as beautiful.
My wife prefers Honeycrisp and Jonagold. As grown here, there really isn’t all that much difference between those two, especially some of the more recent JG intorductions.
Winter Banana according to my taste is only an average apple unless I don’t have any other types around and then it becomes my best apple. Just joking a little. It is just average tasting to me but I keep a few limbs growing for interstem use and it appears to be a good pollinator. Bill
We are going to the orchard on Friday to load up on some apples. I know I like the Stayman Winesaps. Any opinions on these other options; Braeburn, Fuji, or Rome.
I also found an orchard about 45 minutes away that has Gold Rush, but they are not ready yet.
I have found Suncrisp to be reliably great in my orchard, and with no drawbacks such as alternate bearing etc. It is grafted to a tree with Steeles Red and Suncrisp has officially won the battle, the Steeles Red is coming off this winter. Steeles Red is a fine apple but is not a standout.
Glad to hear it’s done well for you. Does it have a pretty good resistance to the various diseases where you’re at, compared to your other varieties?
My tree is on G30, and was a 11/16 feathered whip. It has grown pretty well since April. I hope it will produce something in a couple years. I planted a G30 Roxbury Russet last year, and outside the Winesap I got from Lowe’s, it has been my best apple tree as far as growth is concerned. I know cultivars and rootstocks can vary, but I like its vigor.
I also planted a Zestar on G30 this year, it’s done OK, but not as well as the Suncrisp. But, it wasn’t feathered like the SC.
Yes, its done great on all counts. One big problem I have is apple rots as I don’t like doing cover sprays all summer, but Suncrisp only had a few rotters. It also got relatively fewer PC bites on it. I don’t get much scab anywhere so I can’t really gauge it on scab resistance.
And weirdly, my Suncrisp just doesn’t get up the brix to be world class. It does have that slight anise quality you love and I don’t.
Speaking of which, I had a still hard but dead ripe sweet 16 a week ago or so that was so licorice to be completely nauseating. I like the apple before it gets truly ripe.
One of the best-tasting apples I’ve had recently was a Williams Pride from a local orchard. Sweet, tart, juicy, with a rich kind of berry-like flavor and a really nice firm-crunchy texture, and good looking to boot. I’ve got considerably less apple-tasting experience than many of you, but for me, this was really a wow.
So, I went back and got a few more, and they ranged from just ok to meh to just about bleh. Apples came from the same orchard, and given the size of the orchard quite possibly the same tree, and they were all eaten (or partly eaten) within about three days. I was under the impression that WP kept pretty well for an early apple, but I think I’ve read that it also ripens over a fairly long period, so maybe that accounts for some of the variability?
I’m curious to know if anyone else has any insight into this variety. After eating the first one, I was thinking I should really try and grow them, but after trying the next three, I was feeling considerably less sold on that idea.
I use the Winter Banana as a pollinator in my orchard.
What zone are you on, what state? Just curious. I have a Esopus Spitzenburg planted in 2016. I tasted a few apples from an order I placed from an online orchard. They were great. I hope mine taste as good. I know these are hard to grow and get decent results. I figured I would at least try one tree out for a few years. I can always graft something else on it later on.
Z6- a bit up from NYC. This is one of the orchards I manage and the apple is not difficult here- at least at this site. I can’t grow N. Spy at the same site- the fruit gets corking and big splits while I have no difficulty with it at other sites- this site has a wet clay loam. I manage Spitz at another site further north and it is reliable there- but it is also clay-loam- rich and deep corn soil. By next year the grafts in my orchard should begin bearing fruit. My soil is silty and much thinner.
I’ve had WP for several years now. On a good year, it is very good, on a wet year like this one, it is not good, bland and a bit foamy.
When it did not set fruit in the spring of 2016, I thought it went biennial on me. Found out that WP flower buds are not very cold hardy esp. when we had a warm winter followed by cold snap in March 2016.
After eating WP this year, I move it down my list. This year, I like Frostbite and Hoople’s Antique Gold. I am waiting to try my Gold Rush in a couple of weeks.
I had a Sweet 16 that was firm but headed towards soft/mealy today. When picked, the apples from my dad’s tree had mega licorice flavor. Both the licorice and cherry flavors have mellowed considerably in storage. My wife would not eat apples from my dad’s tree because of the licorice flavor. She found the Sweet 16 seconds I purchased for cider acceptable, with no licorice flavor.
My dad’s Sweet 16 tree is on a well-drained but rich mollic loamy sand, and we had a full-blown drought going on when I picked them (Labor day). I suspect the soil at the orchard that I bought the Sweet 16 is more clay loam and they weren’t in the drought area at that time. So I wonder if water availability has an impact on the licorice flavor?