Chikn's 2017 fruit year

Greetings to all who care to read this. This was the first year that I have had fruit on the majority of my apples and my impressions of them. Yes, I’m copying Scott’s work, no more sincere flattery than a plagiarist, but we live in different parts of the nation.
To start the season off we had a freaky little hail storm that left drifts of pea sized hail in a 2 block radius, driven by 60-70 mph winds. This left most of the nickel sized fruit shattered, not the usual hail dents but the fruit was exploded, new to me. I’m not sure if this changed the flavor of the fruit but left many of the remaining fruit ‘weird shaped and colored’ at harvest. The summer turned out hot, dry, and extended.
Muscat de Venus: This apple surprised me. Purple, yellow, and orange when ripe with a very prominent grape flavor. Very nice crunch and a good mouth feel. I was very happy with this apple and will be making further grafts with it.
Golden Russet: Badly damaged by hail, a lot of partially rotted fruit. Still, my favorite apple color, the golden sun spot is my absolute fave! Dropped early and were quite acid but the few I could rescue were very good with the typical GR chewiness.
Royal Empire: Every year this tree produces a spectacular crop. Dark red apples with nice size, very pleasant sweetness, little disease damage and minimal insect problems. A great favorite of kids. Makes a good sauce and crisp but doesn’t hold it’s shape for baking, not a real good cider apple but what an eater.
Wickson: Suffered badly this year, rotted very badly and was not a pleasant eat on the few I was able to save. 3rd year I was not to happy with these apples. I will be top working this tree to a better apple this spring.
Rubiayat: 1st year fruiting. Very hard apple, dropped early. Sour and not a pleasant eat. Top half of the apple was white fleshed, bottom half of the flesh was bright, solid pink, most surprising.
Roxbury Russet: This apple has an insect problem for me. My only apple to have much problem with insects in my spray schedule, 3-4 early insecticide and fungicide sprays and a mid summer spray for June beetles. Pretty beat up from hail with rot and a funny bitter taste from the hail damage? Productive and I think I pick it to early.
Baldwin: What a great apple Baldwin was for me this year. Cooker, juicer, and out of hand were excellent this year. Limited hail damage. A sweet, sparkling cider from Baldwins disappeared in a couple of days. Most tasty!! I’ll be grafting more of this apple.
Orleans Reinette: Excelled in sweet sour balance, heavier russet than I expected but were good eaters.
Piano Jonathan: I don’t care for Jons. Never have, until a friend of mine in far SW Ia. gave me a few of these apples to sample. A very old family apple that Marty makes his money on, good keeper and sweeter than most Jons. Very crispy for a Jon, too. I call it Piano because Marty is 4x world champion olde tyme (ragtime) piano player. Nice, pretty apple.
Arlet: Good extender apple for cider, Bright clear, yellow with a glowing pink spot, pretty.
Razor Russet: Yellow delicious sport that was badly damaged by hail, same funny taste that Roxbury had.
Spigold: Very tall tree, don’t remember the fruit taste, not a good sign.
Kidd’s OR: Only 2 apples which dropped early.
Ashmead’s: 5 apples, all dropped early, 1st fruit on a 5th leaf tree, 'bout broke my heart.
Karmijn dS: 1 apple, dropped early.
Goldrush: Still have one in the fridge from 2015. I haven’t been as impressed with this apple as many of you have, I may pick them too early, late November or before a heavy freeze.
Airles Pink Flesh: Another surprising apple! Very nice eater, balanced and surprising color. Ugly apple until you bite it and then it’s so pretty inside.
Chestnut Crab: Have I said before, this is a very, very good apple? well it is. 4 bites of apple heaven! More grafts this spring.
Macoun: Vigorous tree, lost all the apples, sets in clusters of 3-4 apples.
Kingston Black: 5th leaf. 4-5 apples a year, regrafted last year.
Gala: Small yellow apples with a mild red stripe. Oversets by 100% and needs heavy thinning. Hornet magnet, very sweet, bland. 15 y.o. tree to be top worked this spring.
Egremont Russet: 2-3 golf ball size apples a year on a vigorous 5th leaf tree. Rots bad. Top work this spring.
Chieftain: This is a superb apple, my favorite. Fantastic sweet/sour balance, color, production, disease resistance, storage, and hang. I know, I’m a homer for this apple, but it really is that good. It’s a JonXRD (the real RD) and it works well. It’s never been pushed in the industry but if you get a chance, go ahead try it. I bud or graft this apple for my friends who want trees.

I want to thank Scott, Alan, Fruitnut, and so many others who have worked and mentored so many of us through this site. You all are our heroes, how many fruit trees have been planted because of you guys. Thanks Scott, for the permission to copy your work. I’ve blabbed too long.:grin:


I am curious About the 2yr old gold rush in your frig. .?
Is this a case of poor house keeping ?
A science experiment ?
A reflection of how much you like this variety ?
Just could not eat them all ?
Saving it for your grandkids ?
Or just a " really" good keeper ?

What does a 2yr old gold rush look like ?
Tast like ?
Just curious !


Nice report. Thanks

Nice report. Sounds like you have an impressive collection of apples.

Thanks for the report, I’ve heard a few good things about Chieftain I will have to try it.

Glad to know it I’m not the only one who doesn’t love Goldrush (nice apple, but not great).

Nice selection of apples & an interesting report! This information is useful to me since your not as far away. I’ve found our fruits are very different flavored sometimes than those of growers in other places. Some Kansas fruits seem more intense in flavor than fruits from other places. The Wickson is a very good crabapple in those other places they are grown. I would love to try growing a few apples from your collection since your fairly close by.


All fantastic questions, I had one of 2 that I saved this spring, crunchy and still tart, no wrinkles, looked the same as the day I picked it. The last one I have will wait till it starts to noticeable deteriorate, hasn’t yet.


That is amazing !

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Thanks for the detailed report. Sorry to hear about all the hail damage, must’ve been a bad storm.

I’ve heard good things about Chieftain, and Baldwin, so I might have to try grafting some of those in the future (no, I’m not asking for scions!).

Good, because I’m grafting all that I have!:slight_smile:

Thanks for the report, Phil! It is especially invaluable to me since I’m just 80 miles east of you. Sorry about your hail (I didn’t have that problem, though it was moderately hot and very dry this year for me too). I got to try several of my grafted apples this year. Here’s my mini report:

Chestnut - Fantastic! Very sweet, nutty and with enough tartness to balance. Crunchy, delicious. Great early apple.
Rubinette - Sweet, sour, aromatic, crisp…everything I want in an apple. Great apple. My new favorite apple.
Goldrush - Superb. Very sweet (got some at 18 brix), deliciously tart, very crisp and crunchy. My only knock on these is the skin is a bit thick, but I had to search really hard to find a flaw. Still have a few in the fridge and can’t wait to get home and devour them. Strangely (presumably due to the drought) some of these ripened as early as mid-Sep (but I enjoyed those straight from the tree). The bulk of the crop was harvested Nov 9th before a freeze in the mid teens. Not as aromatic as Rubinette but store better. Grafted a standard rootstock to GR this spring thinking I’d plant it somewhere for the deer, now I’m not sure I’m willing to share.



Scott, you wanted updates on Muscat de Venus. It has been a fireblight magnet! Its grafted to b118 so any rootstock resistance isn’t there. Tip bearer. 20+ apples this year, 2019.


Took this apple off and regrafted to Chieftain, Sweet 16, and Royal Empire.