Calville Blanc D'Hiver report from Michigan

I thought I would give my best report about my Calville Blanc D’Hiver. This is my second report after the earlier report on Ark Black. I feel it is very helpful to read about successes and failures especially if someone happens to be in the same or similar growing zone. I’m near Ann Arbor, zone 6a

  1. At my house, Calville Blanc ripens late in the season. I picked mine near the end of October. I was able to time the harvest well this year as I had a large crop and was able to sample them over a number of weeks prior to harvest.
  2. Calville Blanc here is relatively disease prone compared to my other varieties. Lots of different fungus although no scab. Lots of orange lenticels which I think are caused by scale. Maybe dormant oil next year. This variety seems not to attract bugs as much as some other varieties in my orchard.
  3. The tree has grown well and is not too vigorous. Less pruning than some of my others.
  4. I feel this by is far my best baking apple. My mother bakes Tarte Tatin with it and it is wonderful. The fruit seems to change to a beautiful gelatinous marvel that keeps it’s shape. I also shipped some to my sister who is an excellent baker and also makes Tarte Tatin. I was a professional baker in a previous life although I was primarily a bread baker. (I have been a pastry chef too at times). I feel it is simply the best. I am guessing these have a lot of pectin
  5. As a Dessert Apple, so far I am not impressed. I was eating some today, and they have nice texture and a good sweet tart balance (more tart) but little complexity. Maybe they will get more complex in a few weeks or months in storage.

That’s my assessment. These are definitely a keeper for me, in fact now that I am getting a full crop every year, I might change over my Northern Spy as I probably don’t need 2 baking apple trees, or I might by a press and make cider with the spies.


Nice report! It is one of the best baking apples and sounds like you know how to bring out the best in it. I would keep your NS, it is a great all purpose apple that I cherish for fresh eating cider and sauce.

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I agree with Jesse. I would keep the Northern Spy, unless it is not producing or is producing awful apples, it is a great apple where I am at. In fact it is probably my favorite one I grow, so far. I my opinion, the NS is a great all around apple. I was tempted to put more than one in my orchard but held back to see what the other varieties I planted will produce first.
I do have a Calville Blanc d’ Hiver planted as well. I am in 5b zone. It seems to be a stunted variety , growth wise, and it is in it’s second year of producing anything at all. I think perhaps the stunted growth is because of the rootstock I have it on. I had maybe 6-8 apples off of it this year. I had to pick them earlier than necessary because the deer were eating all my apples. Not enough time to buy all the netting I needed to get to protect the trees.

One of the reasons I am considering taking out the Northern Spy is because it is easy to get around here. All of my neighboring orchards grow it. I tend to grow apples that are not easily available. I will probably keep it for at least another year and see if it makes good cider. I could also top work the tree and leave a branch or 2.

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How does the balance compare to a tree ripened Granny Smith or Bramley Seedling? I’ve read that they should be kept a month in storage for best flavor. BTW, how long do they store for baking use? I haven’t seen much mention of that in descriptions.

Do you grow Rhode Island Greening and, if so, how does it compare in your locale?

Thanks for the report. This is one of the cultivars that I recently added to my orchard so I am looking forward to some great apple pie in my future.

I do not grow Rhode Island Greening but a small commercial orchard just down the street from me does. It is very, very old orchard called Lutz Orchards. Bill Lutz recently passed away and now his daughter runs the orchard. They also have a really cool very old apple sorter/polisher.
Anyway, every few years I get some Greenings from them. This is my favorite apple to make apple dumplings with. Greenings hold up really well when baked whole and they are a nice size for the baking pan I use. I would probably grow Rhode Island Greening if my neighbor didn’t have it.


I’ve got a RIG growing now. It is in it’s second greening in 2017. I was hoping to get some apples off of it next year. It did sounds like a lot better apple than the Granny Smith my wife likes. I wanted someone heirloom instead. I like making apple dumplings and I needed something that could be used for that and also a tart apple for eating as well. I hope it does as well and tastes as good as I keep hearing about. Thanks for the info.

Hi Mike,
In my mind Rhode Island Greening is a similar apple to Granny Smith, but I find it far superior.

My Calville blanc d’hiver


That is what I am hoping for. TY for your comparison between the two. I hope I get a few apples on it next year.

They look great. I had two larger ones on my tree this year and three small ones. I like the ribbing on the bottoms.