Club Apple Question

Well research is very expensive and for agriculture there is less public support for funding so researchers are going to concentrate on developing apples that have a higher chance of commercial success.

Myself I would like to see apples with “peardrop flavor” developed. Some sort of modern Ashmead’s Kernel only it looks pretty (so it will sell) and is disease resistant and easy to grow. But developing unusual apples is very risky although the rewards if successful are very high.

People tend to forget ironically that Honeycrisp was such an apple. Developed to be a cold tolerant apple but unfortunately it turned out that it bruised easy and was difficult to grow commercially. It was however different from commercial apples available at the time. So consumer demand created high prices and that in turn drove growers to plant it.


I broke down and made the drive to try a few of them. Not too bad but nothing mind blowing in my opinion.


Honeycrisp…first tasted from a farm orchard retail stand in Hendersonville NC at least 10 years ago. Tree ripe. Wonderful, wonderful apple!
(Those at Walmart…not so much…even though premium priced.)

Hard to beat a Fuji for growing or for eating…unless you prefer tart apples.


There are some apples [trees] that you can buy that include a disclaimer that you agree not to clonally propagate or even breed them. I have to wonder how enforceable that is…


Seems like that’s just a hollow attempt at making you buy more trees from them.

Yeah… I mean… I can buy the apple at the store and get a whole bunch of seeds…

My understanding is that if the patent is expired like on Ambrosia, The clubs can’t stop people from propagating it. You just need to change the name so your not infringing on their trademark if you sell the apples or trees.

I’m sure the club growers contract prohibits them from distributing scion or propagating trees. I think the would have a hard time enforcing this on third party’s. I doubt a court would be sympathetic about the clubs trying to extend their intellectual property past normal patent or trademark law.


Definitely not enforceable on third parties; contact is only binding on its signatories. I was commenting on the added restriction against using the club apple as breeding stock parent; that use is outside the patent realm, and would only be a contractual agreement between the club and a licensed grower.

The reality is that, absent a major commercial enterprise, none of the restrictions are enforceable. If a home grower grafts a patented variety, nobody would ever know. Even a small farmer’s market or you-pick producer could easily get away with it, just give it a different name. I guess there would be some risk of getting caught, but anybody could just say “some guy gave me scion and told me it was a “soandso” apple. I’m not advocating theft- I think we can all pay our $2 royalty per tree- just stating the obvious.

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What you do is just grow out a dozen and then just graft them all to a tree… might take a few years but you might get something very close or you might get garbage or something brand new. I know i’ve grown out a few seedlings and one has purple leaves and tiny fruit and one has huge blooms and is some sort of crab. I have another that i think is very similar to honeycrisp (fruit i tried last year) but the stupid tree just wants to grow into a giant and i have to keep chopping it back down. I have a few grafts on another tree of some seedlings but no fruit yet.


Did you try ‘Jazz’, by any chance? I got a few of those last week - and they were very good. Extremely crisp. Sweet enough, but also a bit tart. I had tried them before - (last year I think) - and they were nothing to write home about. This year - great.

I used to love Braeburn . . . but they’ve ‘degraded’, and I don’t see too many of them in the groceries, anymore.

I’ve been doing the Apple Sampler Taste Test, too. I’ll buy 2 apples, of several different varieties. Gala and Fuji were just mediocre. Not much intensity to their flavor. Envy was pretty good. Opal - at the beginning of their season, was a good one. But, for my taste . . . nothing compared to the NY apple that Costco had last year. Ruby Frost. I hope that they carry them again this year. It kept very well, too. I bought 2 flats and they lasted for months and months.

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I think the short answer is that supermarket varieties just aren’t that great. They’re selected for resilience, appearance and ability to be picked and trucked a thousand miles, not really for taste so much.

Crimson Crisp is PRI Coop 39. It may still be under patent protection, and the name is trademarked by PRI, but I’m not sure it is the same as a club apple where there is a cartel controlling the distribution of the fruit and trees. Co-op 39

You can get Crimson Crisp from Cummins, Stark Bros, and ACN. I haven’t had any this year yet, but they have a nice citrusy flavor in some years.

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