Duchess of Oldenberg apple - opinions

I was looking to plant a Duchess of Oldenberg apple tree. The descriptions I had read on a few nursery sites sounds like it would be what I need to fill in that ripening period. Of course these sites give you all the pluses but no minuses. If anyone is growing this variety please let me know how this apple is doing for you.
Thank you for your input.


i don’t have any growing but they grow wild here on old farmland. i pick them for sauce. rarely do they have disease. make great pies and sauce. i like them fresh but most think they’re too tart. very hardy trees and I’m in a cold , wet environment. they sell several sports of duchess on fedcos website that were sourced in my area. I’m grafting several scions of it on my y. transparent and sargents crab next spring.


I would visit the orange pippin website. They have detailed descriptions of the apples and tree habits for a bunch of apple trees. I have added the link for the Duchess of Oldenburg below. There are several tabs for each apple. The “fruit id” tab has information about fruit description, tree habit, and fruit uses. The “review” tab has reviews from different people who grow and eat the apple-for example Duchess of Oldenburg has 4 reviews and each review also gives the location of the reviewer. Locations are helpful since how apples do and taste is often location dependent. Hopefully, this helps.

Apple - Duchess of Oldenburg - tasting notes, identification, reviews



they are a great resource.

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Hard to find around my area anymore. My grandmother had a tree years ago. So did the orchard I once worked at. I found them to be very tart and somewhat soft. Nice to make that first pie of the season with (ripened around August 10th). Not a long keeper. The fruit will not hold its shape well when cooked.


TY. I figured the Duchess of Oldenberg did not keep long being a “summer” apple. According to TOA it is a “fair” keeper. Better then the rest of the summer apples they have available. The rest of them have a “poor” keeping rating.
I need an apple tree that fits into the late summer period, around August. I have Summer Rambo and Monark apple that ripens a little earlier. The Summer Rambo is a huge apple that is very dry. The Monark is too young still, so no fruit as if yet. The rest of my apple trees ripen later. I started getting some Sunrise Fuji and some Idared apples to use in the latter part of September. I am still picking fruit off of those two trees. I cannot seem to find a decent keeping apple that is not mush once picked. That being an apple that does not turn too soft, mealy, and mushy from the time it takes to pick it and bring it inside the front door of my house.
Anyone that has had this apple or has this apple currently to give me actual " hands" on info really does help decide if I will put this apple in my orchard or not. I hate to waste the time, effort, and orchard space on an apple this is not one my family will enjoy.

Some of my “favorite” early apples are Ginger Gold, Zestar, PaulaRed. These have replaced other old time early apples like Vista Bella, Dudley, Quinte, Melba, Milton, Beacon in my area.

I went to a local orchard offering Sansa in late August. WOW! I cannot say enough how much my wife and I enjoyed Sansa. So beautiful and such a nice flavor for fresh use. Ginger Gold and Sansa are my two most favorite early apples. Ginger Gold works well as a cooked apple too.

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Yuck! Sour and mealy in central Ia.

That was what I was afraid it would be. I had read only one other place that they get mealy. My family hates mealy, soft apples. I hate to waste a tree space on an apple they will not eat.

I had read it was a good " baking" apple but if it does not hold it’s shape the pie filling becomes like mush. Yuck. I know the Brits like their pies like that, not us here in the colonies. :laughing:

So its like Bramley? Might be good for apple sauce or apple cake. I like my cooking apples sour.

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I like cooking or even baking apples to be sour. Adds some nice contrast to the sweetness of the sugar. Bramley’s are a definite Brit favorite. They do turn to a " creamy puree" as they like to say.

Our Red Duchess is one of our best trees. Tart, not very sweet, especially good in sauce and for drying. In good years like this one, the size and firmness is outstanding.

Most of our trees are biennial but our Duchess sets a full crop every year.

Seems to be disease resistant. We do a very low-spray program and get good apples and a healthy tree.

Very cold tolerant. Our coldest temps are usually around -20f to -30f. And while they are known as a “summer” apple, ours don’t get good and ripe until mid-September. We just picked the last of them a little over a week ago. Maybe has something to do with our last frost usually being last week of May…


That sounds about like our weather here in SW Ohio. We can get really low temps in the winter, -20f or lower, at times for a week or more. Then we can get frosts/freezes in May. May 15th is supposed to be the last " frost date" but it can be later in some years. This year was one of those later frost date years.
How does it do when the summer months are really hot? We get temps in the 90’s in August. Some years we get the 90’s in July through some of September. This year we had 90’s in July and now through September. We are still supposed to get some 90’s this week and next week. Some apples get fried on the tree since it so hot. Makes them mealy and sometimes pretty tasteless. Our humidity is overbearing as well in the summer.

I’m not sure. We’re at almost 2000’ in central Vermont, so a hot day here is 80f.

That may make a difference if I were to grow one here. We can gets months of 90+ degree days here. At times we can gets weeks of those temps. It make bake the apple right on the tree. Like this summer, we have had no rain since before August and the temps were in the 90 to 100 degrees at times. I noticed some apples were very dry when I picked them, almost mealy. Normally they are not that dry.

I grow it and its progeny, Dudley, here in Maine. Both are early season cooking apples, not all that great out of hand eating but very nice for pies and sauce, etc.


How the Dudley apple? I appreciate the input. I figured since the Duchess of O was an early apple I was not figuring it was a really great apple. Usually the earlier ripening apples are pretty much used for apple sauce and some pies. How is the Duchess of O in pies? Does it stay firm or does it melt away to a slurry?

Both are tart, Dudley produces larger fruit, and both cook down pretty quickly, or go soft in a pie.

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TY. I appreciate the information.