Black Twig Apple

I grafted the varieties Black Twig and Arkansas Black(spur version) onto a Black Oxford here a few years back, and I’ve been pretty impressed with the performance of these two southern apples here in zone 4b Maine. They seem totally hardy here, and the fruit ripens in time. I’d like to get Arkansas Black as the non-spur version since the limbs I worked over to the spur type lack vigor. Black Twig has been quite vigorous and produces nice winter keeper apples that come out quite clean in my no spray orchard. They really hold up quite well in storage!


What other southern apples should I trial here? I’m most interested in winter keepers or disease/pest resistant types

I like Hunge a lot, it tastes a bit like cheddar cheese which may or may not be a good thing for you. Super bulletproof! Another one I like a lot is Kentucky Limbertwig, it doesn’t taste like a Limbertwig to me as it doesn’t have that twang … it is more like a honeyed apple of the Fuji sort. Black Limbertwig is my favorite Limbertwig at the moment, but it might be too late for you. Myers Royal Limbertwig is another classic Limbertwig. All of these are super bulletproof and all are great keepers except Hunge which is average.


That’s good to know, I have 3 each of Ark Black and Black Twig and I was wondering if I they would ripen here. Mine are on M.111 and are some of my more vigorous trees. The only other one I have that I would consider a Southern Apple would be Stayman. I have it on P.18 and the trees are quite vigorous but none of the 4 have blossomed yet. My trees are Red Stayman, a red sport and I don’t anticipate they will be as disease resistant as the Arkansas Black and Black Twig once they begin blooming.

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I have high hopes for both of these varieties in Z7. I ordered scion wood for both blacks this spring.

Pomiferous indicates that “Blacktwig, Black Twig, and Mammoth Blacktwig” are synonyms. I’m growing (hasn’t fruited yet) Mammoth Blacktwig and am curious if others concur.

Gotta grow it if it originated in my state (and sounds good/interesting) :wink:

Introduced as a seedling around 1830 on the farm of Major Rankin Toole, near Fayetteville, Tennessee (in Middle Tennessee, near the Alabama border), the Black Twig was apparently the favorite apple of Andrew Jackson himself, and became one of the most popular dessert apples across the south, including Virginia. It’s easy to understand why.

Also :+1: @AndySmith on Stayman, just bought a(nother) bushel from a local fruit place yesterday. We’ll still be eating on 'em in May probably…


I have grafts of black twig and mammoth black twig. The former seems considerably more vigorous across multiple trees and I was also wondering if they were the same.


I think they are definitely different apples. North Star orchard in New York grows both varieties and they claim them to be similar but also very different. I think this has been debated for over a century now. :slight_smile:

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Top apple is Rankin Tooles black twig and bottom is Mammoth black twig. Grown side by side but distinctly different.

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Wait, what?.. North Star Orchards here in Westmoreland, NY?

Yup they grow some amazing examples of southern apples there. Check out their website. They have a lot of Limbertwig varieties to, my personal favorite.

I’m sorry I made a mistake. North Star orchards in Pennsylvania not New York.


I’m familiar with them, they’re one of my favorite “local” orchards. They have a really nice market too. I just didn’t expect you to be referencing an upstate NY orchard, it caught me off guard !

They both have the same exact name so I’m very sorry. But North Star In Pennsylvania has a lot of wonderful info on there website on multiple varieties they grow.

Well now I gotta have the other one too :wink:

That’s how I feel to. If you find a source for mammoth scions please let me know. A lot of places just list black twig and you really don’t know which one you’re getting. There’s also Mammoth Limbertwig so who knows if that’s the same or different. :slight_smile:

I grafted Mammoth Blacktwig in 2020, will check it sometime soon to see if it has any wood/sprouts to spare yet. If not I got it from a local friend who purchased it from a mail-order nursery. I just messaged him to ask which one it came from. I hope to get scions of a few additional things from him this year and can probably get more of MB if mine isn’t large enough yet.

This makes more sense :wink:

Actually not mail-order… Turns out he purchased the Mammoth Blacktwig (and a few other) trees from Tim Hensley’s family a few years after his passing. Decent sized M-111 tree he will prune next month and can save me some cuttings from. Be glad to share.

Seems like high praise from Century Farms Orchards on this variety as well: My favorite all-purpose apple