Dual Purpose Cider Apples


Very interesting that Black Oxford excels in applenut’s climate. May try it next year.


How about Reine de Reinettes,

How are the yields for Hewe’s Crab??


Black Oxford about broke branches off. Chilling hour theory goes out the window again. This was in September before I thinned it out of mercy.


Hi Applenut. I was looking on youtube for grafting instructions and to my surprise I stumbled on to one of yours. Just wanted to give you an attaboy. You sure taught me a lot and made it so interesting while making a complicated chore more simplified that even I could understand. I just made 2 grafts on a pear just for practice using what I saw on your video. I really appreciate you taking the time to explain the grafting procedure in a way that even dumbys like me can maybe have success.


Here’s a review of the apples I feel confident in my experience to appraise- but this is in S. New York.

Arkansas Black This one does have good flavor and wants to fruit. Tree itself is very spurry so best grown on a rootstock that balances its lack of vigor.

Ashmead’s Kernel: Exceptional flavor- high brix, high acid- in an English “antique” but unexceptional productivity.

Baldwin: Really nice apple in the right weather. South of NY State things may be getting too warm for it. Not exceptional brix but a real nice acid sugar balance with classic appleness.

Cox Orange Pippin: The high acid should contribute snap but is very challenging to produce in warmer climates.

Crimson Crisp: Hmmm- certainly likes to produce good, crisp apples that I’ve enjoyed a few of but don’t have enough experience with it. Clearly very grower friendly.

Crispin: We call it Mutsu. Slow to come into bearing on a free standing rootstock. No exceptional bouquet but a very good cooker for adding sugar and holding texture. Not worth the trouble for cider, IMO.

Esopus Spitzenburg: I’m just becoming familiar with this one although I’ve had it in my nursery for a long time. I’d think it would be a very good cider apple based on how great it was here last year. Highest brix antique I measured last year with nice acid snap. It was a standout last season.

Golden Russett: I just haven’t gotten great apples from this highly touted variety but it is esteemed for it’s syrupy juice as a sweet cider apple. I’m thinking it does better a little further north. I’m sure the high sugar content helps push alcohol content though. Coddling moth, stinkbugs and birds love it.

Goldrush Great apple for everything- high brix- high acid and still real good out of my fridge and it’s almost April!. Spurry like Ark Black- well not quite that spurry, but precocious and fairly small tree relative to rootstock.

Gravenstein: This is a really good apple where it doesn’t rain during the growing season, not all that impressive here. Lots of apple essence but big and watery grown in moist soil.

Hudson’s Golden Gem: Similar to Gldn Rst but even less acid and better crunch. Mostly would add sugar to cider I’d think. Hard for me to keep from coddling moths and stinkbugs.

Liberty: A reliable cropper but I’m not sure how its qualities would contribute to cider. Not very distinctive, IMO.

Newtown Pippin: I haven’t found it terribly productive here but it certainly contributes a lot of appleness to sweet cider so why not?

Northern Spy: This is a good sweet cider apple here and a very good apple off the tree if you are’t a sweet-head. It split like crazy last year because it got too big at the orchard I manage with the most N. Spy trees, but this wasn’t a problem in the past. Sweet and sour with lots of aroma so should contribute well. Juicy.

Roxbury Russet: This should be a solid contributor. Easy to manage, likes to fruit and lots of flavor. To me, not a great eating apple, but good.

St. Edmund’s Pippin: Great if you want to start pressing early. Nice russet apple.

Tomkins King I use to manage a very old and large one that gave great crops every year until it blew over (root decline) but have found it difficult to crop well everywhere else I’ve managed it. I wouldn’t bother unless you need more Sept. apples. Very nice sweet apple and should be considering how many leaves produce each one.

Wickson: Why not go with a crab with more astringency for cider, This one is easy to eat, though, and easy to crop.

Zabergau Reinette- Strange, I have two of these that I got from Cummins, one in my orchard and one I planted in another. Mine ripens in early Sept, the other in late Oct. and the apples are very similar although the later one is more concentrated and slightly better. Very good apple and would probably be great in cider but I haven’t enough experience with it to judge it as a cropper.


@applenut How would you describe the Black Oxford taste, texture?


Hard, dense, crisp, juicy.


Really good report, Very helpful to me, confirms several of my tree picks and tells me what else I need to plant. Do you have any experience with RDR and Orleans Reinette?


Nope. Sorry.


Chestnut crabs would be a good one, but less than ideal when it comes to harvest and pressing since they have a short window.

Others that might fit the bill (though probably not great for a single variety hard cider) would be: Belle de Boskoop, Empire, Johnathan and Jonagold, Sweet Coppin, and Macoun.

Other than Belle de Boskoop and Sweet Coppin, most of these would be good to blend in, rather than rely on them as a single major component.

I love apples, and I have a taste for the sour ones, so what I might consider a non-spitter might very will be a spitter for you all. A lot of good eating apples are great for blending, but very few make outstanding single or few variety ciders. As far as those, I think you have them on there.

I’ll be interested to see how you do organically. I was contemplating that originally, but I opted for minimum spraying with conventional products since my trees are a few hours away, and I can’t get to them every week in the spring.



Winsap is often used for cider in my area.