Hoping someone can help ID apple trees growing in a NV ghost town based off a description provided. The ghost town was active from the late 1890’s into the 1930s or so. Although, even to this day, there are a few residents.
A flat ish apple tending to be larger on one side than the other. A green background with a red blush on one side giving way to some striping. The apple is medium to large sized. It is heavy in hand, surprisingly so for its size. The flesh is pure white, hard, very dense, fine grained. Flavor is sweet, but not super sweet, with some tartness. The flavor can best be described as richly apply, classic, old apple flavor that reminded me of the old apples from our orchard growing up in California. Those apples looked and tasted similar, but texturally were far less dense and heavy.
I don’t know the age of the trees. They were about 12-15 heigh. The branches were well spaced and somewhat spindly and far reaching. The trees had an
open, sprawling, look to them.
Any guesses? I would like to buy one. If not, I may make the drive this spring and attempt grafting.
Forgot to add that the apples were ripe October 7th when picked. The trees were growing at 6800’ elevation in a semi arid region. So a pretty hardy plant. You could tell they hadn’t had any maintenance in a very long time.
Grafting apples is a good place to start grafting. You should have successes on your first time out. So don’t hesitate! In fact, just do it- you’ll know for sure that you’re getting the right apple that way.
That’s probably the best route to go. It’s the Information Age after all, I should be able to graft with a little google help.
There are a lot of very good tutorials and discussions right here on this forum, and plenty of people who are happy to share their experiences with you. Search for them, do a fairly deep dive, and start asking specific questions. There may be members near you who would be happy to show you in person.
As Mark said apples are one of the easiest to graft. At 6800’ if you cannot go cut scions while dormant, you can cut them later during the growing season. Either way dormant or green scions can work. The main difference is that you must graft the green one within 1-3 days after cutting and they need to be kept moist and cold until you graft. With either you can graft from just before bud swell on your rootstock until early August.
Court pendu Plat might be a good place to start looking for clues on identification.
It’s partly self fertile, blooms late, crops good…only box it doesn’t seem to check is the hard/heavy apple box.
As a Nevadan, I’m curious which old mining “ghost town” you are referring to. I’m involved in an experimental project in Reno where scions from 12 local old growth (these trees are at least 75 years old, many much older than that) apple varieties have been randomly planted in a orchard grid on two different rootstocks. One of the goals of this project is to determine how decades of growth in a relatively inhospitable region has affected the adaptability of these specific trees to local conditions. At some point a genetic analysis of each variety will occur with the hope that they can be matched to a named apple (some ID’s are suspected, but verification through testing is the ideal). Since they appear to be of similar vintage, I wonder if the trees you found are related to any of the varieties in the experimental orchard.
High and Dry, just sent you a PM. I’m very interested in what you have going on and am near you.