Blacktwig apple disease profile

Anyone have good or bad experience with Blacktwig old Southern apple, for fire blight in a hot, humid place? Debating whether to graft it. Tom Burford’s great book says susceptible to the major diseases. I don’t spray so am being careful. Thanks for any reports.

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Mine always did fine, I had the variety for 7-8 years and had few FB problems on it. Its a very hard late apple so could be good for low input orcharding. No spray is another matter, not sure how you are going to be able to do that with any apple once the curculio and codling moth show up in numbers.

Thanks Scott. I ziplock bagged my apples last year and it worked well, no damage of any kind. I hear Plum Curcurlio can get to work sometimes before you can bag the fruit. If that happens I have a bag of Surround clay. Is curculio just cosmetic damage?

Ah, I didn’t realize you were bagging. If you are fast enough you can avoid PC but you need to bag as soon as the petals fall for that. PC will turn the fruits into small gnarled unevenly ripened things if not controlled. It varies how many years it takes for this to happen, you may do OK for quite a few years. PC damage is clearly visible and what you can do is before doing any bagging survey the whole orchard and start bagging on the most PC-visited spots (they are highly local). Only bag unbitten fruitlets in a cluster, often they will miss one of a cluster.

The main problem I had with bagging is at some point hours of bagging was going to turn into days of bagging. If you don’t have that many fruits to bag its an excellent option.


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Thanks- useful tips. Imagine I’ll shift to clay as apples multiply.

I had a Mammoth Blacktwig for a few years before the rootstock succumbed to phytophthora root/crown rot. I live in a hot, humid area (West Georgia) and it did get minor fire blight. It also got nectria twig blight. No cedar apple rust, though, which is a major problem here.

Many sources list this as the same tree as Blacktwig, but the descriptions as far as flavor are highly variable. Maybe there is more than tree using the same name.

Before the tree died I grafted some over to new rootstocks, and will probably have a little scionwood next year if you are interested.

Thanks Haldog for your information and offer. I have scionwood here trying to decide whether to graft. May put on a small limb as a test. I’m comparing about fifteen heirloom apples with eight or so moderns for taste, blight, rust resistance. Should have interesting results in a couple years. Right now Buckingham and Blacktwig are on the bubble, as they say.

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Anyone else have information or thoughts to share on whether Blacktwig and Mammoth Blacktwig are different apples or two names for the same apple?


From what I gather, someone could write a book on the confusion over the years among Arkansas Black, Blacktwig, Mammoth Blacktwig and Paragon. 100 years ago Paragon was grown here on Md’s eastern shore.

How did the disease resistance on the blacktwig turn out for you?

I just planted one this week.

Any apples yet? :slight_smile:

I gave up on Blacktwig for some reason so can’t report on taste. Was so long ago I can’t remember.

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I grew black twig for about 8 years. Mine was relatively disease free although I spray 4 times per year.
Black twig seemed to have less problems than others. I removed it because it did not always ripen here in zone 6a and because it is similar to Arkansas black which I like better.