My wife and myself both really love russet apples (basically American golden russet as that is all we can get in the market/store) and are looking to expand. We love the complex flavors. I am growing Golden Russet and Ashmeads Kernel (too close spacing I think now). I am considering Golden Nugget and Ergemont russet but am looking for other suggestions as they are very hard to find.
One questions I have an ashmeads in fairly close spacing that has fireblight fairly bad (I have had to remove a whole scaffold) - I am wondering if I should try to grow it in another better location or if it is very susceptible as it is one of the primary diseases in my yard right now.
I have a 3 yr old Hudson Golden Gem… which has not bloomed yet… so no fruit yet.
Most nursery descriptions of it make it sound really good…
below from Orangepippintrees…
Hudson’s Golden Gem is one of the best-flavored russet apples. The fruits are quite large, with a pale green skin which is usually extensively covered with a light russet. The flesh has a light crispness, and a pear-like sweetness. Like many russets, it has an interesting sweet juice quality which is very useful for cider.
I pruned it some late summer, hoping to bring out some fruit spurs… hope to get to try them next year.
It is a stout healthy tree, mine is on M7 rootstock. It has two large red cedars 30 ft of it, and is hardly affected at all by car.
A good russet is tough to beat. They tend to be dense, and honeyed, and a little sharp tasting in all the right ways. But some have that pear-like flavor that I find kind of off putting.
HGG is definitely one of those pear type ones. And some people really love that, but when I read the description of “pear” in russets, I stay away.
To my tastes, Hoople’s Antique Gold is an excellent russet. So is Roxbury Russet and Chestnut Crab (sort of russeted). I’ve added a bunch of other russets in recent years that haven’t fruited for me yet. I’m most excited about Windham Russet, Lincolnville Russet, and Zabergau Reinette.
I had a Hudson’s Golden Gem tree , it just was taken down by a beaver this year. I was anxious to try the HHC but I was disappointed in it. It tasted okay and did not keep well.
I have Reinette Zabargau apple tree as well. Very productive. I had a bumper crop last year. I made excellent apple butter from them. They are good, not crisp, but tasty. Has a dryer flesh. Once they get over ripe they have a texture like an Asian pear. Still one of my favorite apples in my orchard. I only have three apples in it this year.
I also had a Roxbury Russet and I liked it too. It is more crisp than the Zabergau. It too was taken down by the beaver. I need to replace it with another Roxbury Russet trees next year.
I currently raise trees bearing two russet varieties: Egremont Russet and MN1734. I am on the shore of Lake Michigan in Zone 5b. Probably this is fairly similar to your growing season.
• I had Golden Russet, but the tree died for reasons unknown. It was on B9. Other B9 trees have flourished, however. The tree had enough size but was never vigorous. It was difficult to prune because of its weepy nature. I didn’t care for the taste of Golden Russet for eating out of hand, but I hear that it makes a great Midwest cider. I have another start and hope to propagate it once more.
I dispute the assertion of Borrie and Chaussee that the flavor of Golden Russet is more intense than Egremont Russet. My Golden Russet, which may never have had a good season, bore fruit that tasted a grassy kind of bland.
• Egremont Russet has an interesting taste. Unfortunately for me the tree is way too vigorous because it is a shy bearer. I have failed at pruning aggressively and have consequently decided to let the tree do its own thing.
I doubt Dembski’s characterization of this apple a good keeper, but, then, I’ve never had enough of it to keep.
• MN1734 may be worth a look. It has a perfumey taste, but texture is quite woody. This may be why it has never to my knowledge been named. I think what little I harvest adds greatly to my cider.
• You might possibly like Golden Noble, too. It has a sandy skin that is very near to russeted. In a good year, the tree bears well, the flavor is nice for eating out of hand, but the crop cooks very well, too. It makes a distinctly textured sauce.
Dembski, et al., describe this as a yellow apple. The tree I have from him bears yellow fruit with a red blush. To me they’re orange.