Best tasting apples


limited experience as I have had the oldest of my Golden Russets in the ground only a few years but they are slow to get going…mine are on either B9 or B118 …disease/ bugs generally speaking is just OK…they are one of my very favorite apples to eat …so a must for me. I am also trying out other russets…Ashmead’s Kernel sounds like a treat …in my experience slightly more problematic than Golden Russet…slow to get going and somewhat slightly more attacked by rusts spots and leaf curling bugs…I also have Hooples Antique Gold and Hudson;s Golden Gem which I believe are also russeted but not quite in the same class as classic russets (small dense dry super sweet and tangy)…but are rather larger milder apples…tho I havent had any fruit yet to say so myself. Hooples seems fairly healthy…Hudson’s somewhat less so. …from what I can tell…I have 3 Hooples in very different locations and only one Hudson’s.


sounds like one I grafted from a tree close to here…I tried to identify it…again…almost pointless but I tried…it suggested that it was possibly a predecessor to the red delicious (note I don’t particularly care for red delicious…skin too tough…too sugary sweet and not enough tart for me…which is not to say that my favorites are all alike …they are not at all …but there you go) this apple was not shaped like a red delicious either…it was not angular or elongated…it was round like a ball and slightly squat…red all over good size but not huge…and so good to eat…sorry that’s not much help is it ? you are looking for a named variety that is like that…Melba or Rome Beauty ?..I personally found Rome Beauty bland but the descriptions suggest otherwise…


Breaburn is one of my very favorite apples overall that I have bought from the store.( Fujis too…sounds like we have similar favorites)…nice and crisp…not overly sweet , but juicy…It was top of my list when I first started buying trees…but I resisted getting trees because I read that they are not an easy one to grow. I also backed off ordering a Spitzenburgh and changed my tree order for the same reason…both apples that I would really like to grow. I did however get a Rubinette….another apple that tops the taste tests…and it is also disease prone I have read…we shall see…so far so good.


I would say Fuji is one of the easier to grow.
I have a mislabeled “not Macintosh” that is probably my healthiest tree growing organically, but Fuji ain’t far behind. I have 2 Fuji, one isn’t bearing yet, one was planted on M7 in 1991.


I would have thought in Kentucky you would be at least 2 zones warmer than me…you must be up in the hills ? I will have to give Fuji another look…it’s a favorite .love the crispness! It may be too early for me to say as it is just my first year with Trailman crabapples…one put in last fall and one this spring…but I forgot to mention, they also look very healthy…spotless leaves. My Enterprise also looked good for it’s first leaf out this year.


Andrew, I’m sure the apple will survive…you have a ‘lake affect’ that keeps your winters on the mild side. The question might possibly be if your growing season is long enough to ripen Fuji…but it’s a September apple for me. Usually a sparse cropper…but that may be lack of pollination as I sold my bees many years ago.


anyone growing club apple seedlings? id think if someone would bother to grow out 10 seedlings, chance of one or two being similar might be good? i saved some seeds from cosmic crisp to try to grow, thinking about grafting them all to a single test tree in a couple years till they start producing to save space… comments?


I want to try this also .


Judging by my experience with chance seedlings presumably parented by quality varieties and the fact that breeders test thousands of combinations of varieties with great parentage before choosing a winner I think you may be in for a lot of disappointment.

Also consider that commercial growers pay a painful premium for a variety under patent. If all they had to do was grow about 100 different experimental trees via grafting a seedling to a bearing tree on a dwarfing rootsock to come up with something close to the “chosen one” one would think it would be a standard business practice given the size of commercial orchards these days. It would be such a nice way of working around a patent because if a tree isn’t a clone it is not patented.

I still like your idea and don’t mean to discourage you, but I think coming up with a winner may be a bit like playing lotto.


Had a chance to try what is supposed to be a Spartan apple. Been in storage for ~3 months.Starting to loose some texture but still good to eat (though probably not for much longer).

Spartan was supposed to be an early Mac-like variety, but I’m not entirely sure what this tree is based on the apples. The apples are a dark red with white flesh and shaped like a Delicious.The pic up on shows Spartan as Mac shaped but does not show it with a dark red color which is supposed to be one of its traits. Yet other online pics show it shaped like mine with the dark red color. Just curious if anyone here grows Spartan and can say what it is supposed to look like.

In any case, we do like the apple. It is good for fresh eating and juice and seems to store reasonably well for a few months.


Spartan, in my experience, ripens after Mac and lacks the unusual Mac crunch, which is a Macintosh asset for a few weeks before it’s lost. Spartan has different texture, but is a nice apple on the only tree of it I manage. However, that one is on a vigorous rootstock and is difficult to manage in the deep clay loam in which it is situated. After about 15 years it is finally settling down into reasonable production of fruit instead of mostly new wood. And this is after years of tying new wood below horizontal and leaving the least vigorous shoots as uprights, but very well thinned. Northern spy doesn’t give me anywhere near this much trouble.

It is noted for being much less susceptible to scab than Mac.


I think for commercial orchards, the name is as important as the actual apples. Consumers buy based largely on name recognition, if you put a no name apple on supermarket shelves next to a honeycrisp or whatever, even if it was BETTER, it wouldnt sell much… I understand results are likely to be highly variable in seedlings, but my knowledge of breeding plants, they should all be some combination of the parents traits, some leaning more towards mother and some more towards the father, but none will be exactly the same as either gene donor. Anyone know if there is a standard pollinator being used for cosmic crisp, or each grower likely different? I might still give this a shot anyway, just to see what happens! :slight_smile:


Maybe you can get away with calling your best Honeycrisp seedling “Derek’s Honeycrisp” and benefit from the association?

I have some Fuji seedlings, but most have mildew issues. May graft to them, but might keep a healthy one or two to grow out.

Am planning to grow out some red fleshed seedlings and crosses…see what I can come up with. I’ve intentionally crossed an apple in the Honeycrisp family tree with a small red fleshed apple…if I can get the seeds to wait till spring to sprout, that will be my first seedlings where both parents are known.


" Washington State University Extension Tree Fruit Specialist Karen Lewis shows off a Cosmic Crisp apple. “You choose your pollinators based on bloom time,” she said. Based on the timing, the group had earlier planted Granny Smiths in the block as pollinators . Now, the recommendation is Snowdrift and Mt. Everest crabapple trees. Pruning/growth regulation WSU professor Stefano Musacchi has been researching the best ways to prune WA 38 trees."

I suppose best way to ensure people dont grow out seeds is to pollinate with something that wouldnt produce good offspring, like a crab… :frowning:


I believe this is a main reason why there are so few success stories from commercial apple seedlings. I don’t think growers are intentionally using crabs for this reason though.

I grew out a few seedlings without crab pollinators and they were all “OK” at least.


Then I wonder why the seedling apples growing on the edge of commercial orchards or from the roots of seedling rooted trees are rarely good.

Have you bred any true winners?


I assume they were also pollinated by crabs in many cases?

So far I have had three that fruited, and two were perfectly decent apples.


Club apple ? I have heard this on the site a few times …what does that mean ?


I posted this article a couple of times, it has good info.


Do you do your own testing for brix? Do you use a refractometer. I’m a newbie and frankly had never heard of that before