Campfield Apple

I have read that it was makes a world class cider when blended with Harrison. I was wondering if anyone grows it and can give a review and possibly supply a good amount of scion I am wondering if it will do well here in the midwest with very hot humid summers.

I have it but its not fruiting yet. I think it is a must-grow if you are doing traditional American cider as it is lower acid and there is a serious shortage of low-acid apples in the US “cider greats” list. I expect a lot of people putting in big cider orchards now are going to wake up in a few years and realize they put in too many acres of sour stuff.

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I guess I will roll the dice and plant out 15 or 20 of them. My orchards are turning into experiment stations.

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I ordered a campfield for next year. Looking at the data from wsu cider Apple trials, it appears to hold its own versus European bittersweets. And presumably better adapted to our growing conditions. It also makes sense looking at the combo with Harrison. Now, time will tell if the numbers translate to a good cider in real world growing conditions, but it’s all an experiment for me at this point, planting a wide variety to see what works for my site.

The attached paper has a lot of good data. Last couple pages presents most recent year in easier to read bar graph format. Interesting to note the large variations in varietal data in different years.

A pet peeve I have re US nurseries - I wish they would be more precise in their descriptions of North American cider apples, perhaps classifying them the way Europeans do (bittersweet, bitter sharp, etc). I had to hunt and peck the Internet for a long time before I found this good potential US bittersweet. I think one of Scott’s posts was the first place I saw it mentioned. Thanks Scott!

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Thanks for sharing that link. It is very helpful. Ideally I would like to make cider using apples that don’t require additional sugar. That will make this list of potential apples pretty short.

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Yes thanks for that link @GardenGekko , I had not seen it. On that list, Campfield is about the highest in tannin of the apples that are not European cider apples - yet another reason to stock up on it (Hewes is also similar; but, its too early for me). One big downside of the US cider apples is most are very low in tannin as can be seen from that list. I wish WSU was growing more US ones so we could see the tannins on them, there is not much reliable data.

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Yes, at least for that one year that they graph out, Campfield is superior in tanins to many of the well known european bittersweets - Amere de B, Bedan, Chisel Jersey, Dabinet, Kingston Black, Yarlington, etc etc…

And Hewes is comparable or better than kingston black. It looks like the perfectly balanced cider apple…

I have a few Hewes. Hoping it does well in the HRV… It is growing much much better than any other variety I’ve planted. But have only had the orchard in the ground for one year so what do i know. I shouldn’t even be posting on this forum yet :wink:


I have to imagine too that there must be thousands of good feral bittersweets out there. All adapted to our growing conditions. Just need all of us to go out there and find them. And then propagate them…

I ordered Harrison and Campfield this year. I’m still learning about cider apples, but Franklin seems like another high tannin one to watch for:

BTW, Northwest Cider is selling Campfield scion for $2 ea.

@GardenGekko I think you are right about Hewes. I tried grafting some Hewes last year on M111 with very poor results. I am going to order Standard size rootstock and try again.

@SMC_zone6 Franklin sound like a winner. How would I acquire it?


Now that I think about it Hewes crab did okay on G41 for me. It was Dolgo I had a hard time grafting.

I believe Stark Bros will start selling it this year.

I looked up Stark Bros. when first seeing the name Franklin as a cider apple. Looks like a winner – and again the savvy folks at Stark have the corner on the market. They patented it. So for ten years we aren’t allowed to graft from it without violating a federal statute, unless one buys the license to do so. (I can only imagine the cost.) They haven’t yet included it for the spring offerings. Maybe not until late in the winter for fall sales?
Hewes and Campfield look like they are needed everywhere.

Last year Starks added new varieties to their website in early January. So I’m guessing that’s when Franklin will be added this year. I’ll order one.

Here is an artical about the patent:
It says Franklin has a Brix of 17.5 to 19!

Franklin could be a good apple, but unfortunately its high acid so only so much of it can be added to a blend.

Franklin seems to fit the profile of some other ‘cider crabs’ like Wickson and Hewe’s Virginia Crab- high sugar, acid and tannins in a compact package. If it has the flavor profile of the russet family that could really make it great in a blend.
I like the sound of Campfield, and will try to seek out some scion in order to add it to my orchard, thanks for drawing my attention to it, Mike.


I may be a able to send you a stick of Campfield with other trades. I ordered a large amount from NorthWest Cider Association. I would think you could even grow the European cider varieties successfully. It looks like my climate is similar to New Jersey where Harrison and Campfield come from so I am optimistic but, did see some Fire Blight on Harrison this year. Franklin is adapted to your northern climate but trying it in the Here in the Midwest may be risky.

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I wonder how late Franklin harvest is. I am sticking to later cider apples only since later apples come through much more soundly on average. Its also a lot easier to make cider in the colder fall weather. My guess is it should be a good apple for me if its late enough. The Euro cider apples contain a lot of genes from wild European malus which makes them uniquely bad for me.

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If you can find a source for Japanese apple varieties (USDA GRIN may have some) they prefer very sweet low acid apples.