Evaluating Winesap types

Most of the Winesaps in my orchard turned out to be something else due to an error with wood on my part. However I have Winesaps, Arkansas Black and Stayman in my nursery and all of these trees tend to produce fruit without much spray input.

Assuming Adams County Nursery has the ID’s right, Winesap is my least favorite of the 3 and the other two I like about equally. Ark B. is supposed to be hard as rock at harvest but this year the ones on my trees are simply very firm and not nearly as tart as advertised (without storage). They are the most attractive of the three but I still consider it a tie with Stayman because of the latter’s superior size.

I will be adding AB to my orchard by way of grafting next spring.


The AB I purchased locally was hard but had a very good balance of tart and sweet, I finally have enough wood to add a few more grafts this winter. It might be a little more tart than most would like but it was excellent for my taste.

Stayman is my pick of the Winesap type apples that I have tried. I love the sweet/tart flavor and the texture. My problem with Stayman is the fact that the apple tends to crack after a period of very high rain fall. So far, the Virginia Winesaps have been almost immune to fireblight, but the trees are not very vigorous and the apples are not great for fresh eating. I have seen a lot more fireblight problems on Stayman and Old Fashion Winesap. The OFW are much later and much larger than the Va Winesap and eat a lot better.

1 Like

Stayman Winesap does really well down here.

I Think Arkansas Black is the seedling of Stayman or Winesap.

I was at my local Home Depot store today and they had their fruit tree prices marked down to half price. There was several dwarf Staymen Winesap trees in what looked like 5 gal. containers that appeared to be in good condition. The one I purchased was about 1.25" in diameter just above the graft. I know that there is a risk of getting a mislabeled tree but I don’t think it is. Half price and then a 10% veterans discount. $12 dollar tree. Bill

I tasted my first winesap from a local grower yesterday. it was a nicely balanced full taste. The flesh had a lot of what I would describe as red vanes in it. Its appearance prompted me to search for winesap images. It is apparently highly variable in appearance with many subsets. I found the following when searching the USDA’s apple plates: Stayman Winesap, Golden Winesap, Howsleys Winesap, Red Winesap, York Winesap, Sweet Winesap, Black Winesap, Seeando Winesap and Fall Winesap.

my apple looked most like the red winesap.


I believe Stayman is a seedling of the original winesap.

Stayman is a phenomenal apple in Oct/ Nov. I had some today from a local orchard. They taste best right out of the refrigerator. Somewhat firm crisp texture. Super juicy sweet apple-grape flavor.

They are beautiful apples. Large smeary lenticels and a filmy bloom. These photos don’t capture it, but in darker light, they exhibit a more purplish overall appearance which is very attractive.

I am growing it on Budagovsky.9 but my own tree hasn’t fruited yet. It is supposed to be a tough rugged Triploid.


I bought mine at Homedepot and it’s got about 75 apples on it. Is it better after storage. It seems similar to its child Arkansas Black, maybe better. I’ve grafted over AB because I just didn’t like it. This seems better to me and I like having some heirloom apples in my little orchard. Is it good for baking?


Have you tried Arkansas Black after it is in storage fir a while? I was told that it would taste better
that way, a storage apple.

I had one fresh off the tree, hard like rock, tart with some tannin (I thought so at the time). Could manage only two bites out of it.

I’ve had one AB out of storage and was very impressed with it- it was mid-winter. I hope I haven’t put too many of them in my nursery based on an anomaly. I actually prefer AB to WS off the tree but don’t consider either worth growing on that basis. Stayman is more appealing to me off the tree.

You must have very strong teeth :smile:

AR is the hardest apple I have tried off the trees. Maybe, the one I tried was not as ripe as the sign said.

They do color very early, I will try one on the tree now as my nursery trees are full of them. They bare very young compared to other varieties on equivalent rootstock.

Yes I’ve stored them and wasn’t too I impressed with them. I’ve grafted over my AB to Fuji, hudsons golden gem and a mystery one from a neighbor.

They are a stone picked and eaten.

If it’s good for pie or cider I’ll keep it.

We got some nice Stayman’s from the orchard a couple days ago. They had a good crop this time, didn’t have the splitting issues they had last year. They also had regular (or Starks, as they called them) Winesap, but we didn’t get any.

Some pics of some Stayman’s:

They are still pretty firm, but have a very good flavor, lightly tart, but sweet, with that “vinuous” flavor of a Mac type apple. The skin is a bit chewy, tho. The texture and flavor reminded me a bit of an Arkie Black, but much better tasting.

We got some AB from the orchard last year, and they were rock hard, and never got real sweet in storage. So, we didn’t bother with them this year.

Our biggest apple tree is a Winesap from Lowe’s, a semi-dwarf, according to the label. It was about 6ft tall when planted a year and a half ago, and it is now about 9-10ft tall. I hope we’ll get some fruit off of it next year, it’s surely big enough to handle a little bit of production.

1 Like

I love Stayman, but just about every apple on every tree split every year! The Apogee that I spray for FB reduction makes the problem worse and the Staymans may go away.

Yeah! You got your hands on a good batch of Staymans. They’re awesome, right? Keep them in the fridge. After they go soft, they lose their luster. A cool crisp October Stayman is where it’s at!


Homedepot seems to always have Winesaps. Was yours marked as Staymans? I’ve never seen them marked as that.

1 Like