Here comes the 2018 apple & pear harvest!


Thanks Clark! I will take comfort in knowing nothing will be wasted. Windfalls and those with severe sooty blotch will be turned into sauce, pie or cobbler. Windfalls too badly bruised are fed to the pigs or steers.

Some of my “good” N.W. Greenings just ended up being fed to the horses by mistake as my daughter grabbed the wrong bag and fed them to the horses at the riding stable she works as. I was not so happy but I hope they enjoyed them. I guess I have to “mark” my bags of apples now on to prevent such mishaps by family members who cannot tell windfalls from good apples.

The good news is that I now have an outlet for my windfall red delicious. Since they do not work well for cooking, they will be saved for the horses to enjoy.

It still strikes me as odd to be feeding fruit to cattle but I suppose years ago it would have been quite common for farmers to do so especially with bitter seed grown varieties primarily grown for hard cider. They sure seem to enjoy them as they come running in a hurry for them. A great way to turn unwanted fruit into pork and beef.


Your sooty blotch I would call zero relative to what I have. I’ll try to post some pictures of the Rubinettes I recently harvested - the tops were nearly black on many of them. They still taste great, I have no problems eating them with the blotch and I can’t taste it at all even with a severe infestation. For my family I scrub off the blotch with a scotch pad. Here the bug and rot-damaged apples are what goes into the pot.

Usually I don’t do disease sprays after June, but this year I did two sprays and I still got the worst blotch I have ever gotten.


Really nice looking apples. Which varieties are your pictures of? From Top to Bottom?
I am in zone 5b and my apples did not seem to have any sooty blotch and we had horrible rains early in August, two days we had about 6" of rain total. Then more rain off and on during August. The fruit was really small before those rains since we had a drought for about a 6 week period. I imagine you are in Michigan, correct?



I am in Wisconsin. The previous photos posted were (top down): Cortland, Haralson and Macoun. I did not post a photo of the ugly apples with sooty blotch so here is one of my NW Greening. I will take comfort in the fact that 80% of the apples are ok and only 20% with blotch.


@MikeC, those RZ look very nice. What kind of flavor, texture do they have?

@spartan, your apples look great, how would you rate them? I have a Cortland and Macoun (not fruited any yet), and are curious to how yours turned out.



I grafted my Cortland and Macoun onto sprout free crabapple rootstock so it was a bit of a wait to get a decent crop but they are now bearing nicely. Not sure what their ultimate size will be but the rootstock was available were I work so I took advantage of it.

We picked the last of the Cortland and NW Greening last night. Thought we were done only to find the Red Delicious were ready too. Finally gave up when we could no longer see what we were picking. What a harvest! So far we have picked 14.5 bushels of apples and still more to go. This year will be a new record for my hobby orchard.

You ask how I like Cortland and Macoun. Cortland is one of my favorites as large fruit, heaving bearing and good for cooking and eating. They only keep to around Thanksgiving time before getting too soft to eat fresh.

Macoun tastes very similar to McIntosh but with a much stronger Mac flavor. I find it very enjoyable. The bad news is that it is very biennial bearing and drops a lot of fruit before fully ripe (worse than McIntosh does).
I can see why most commercial orchards would not want to grow it but for me I can put up with the nuances for such fine flavor. I made a batch of windfalls into applesauce and it was good.


I got to try one Claygate Pearmain yesterday. Crispness may have suffered from hanging on too long, but the flavor was top notch. I’ve only tried a few heirlooms so far, but I’d compare this to a milder, sweeter version of Ashmead’s Kernel with a bit of pineapple flavor. I didn’t get a picture, but it was dull red/orange and russeted. Very good.


Thanks for the reply and pics, wow, what a harvest. Looks very nice. What will you do with all those? Do you make any cider with your harvests?

I hope we get some apples next year off of some of our trees, they ought to be big enough by now. Our Macoun has put on a lot of growth this year, so we might get lucky next season. Our tree wants to send its branches straight up, so I’ve had to pull them down. Hope that induces some fruiting next year.


I had been looking at getting a Claygate Peramain. However, I had not seen a recent actual tasting description. Sounds like a good one to perhaps get for my orchard.


Since I had to pick the RZ earlier than necessary ) animals or people stealing my fruit off my tress) I put them in the fridge. I wanted to wait a while to actually taste them. The one I had last year, only one was produced last year, it tasted very good. I remember that much. It is a VERY dense heavy apple. It is the most dense apple I have in my orchard, so far.
I need to let these sit in the fridge for about a month or more. I will taste one in a few weeks and see if they are ready to be eaten. I have a few smaller ones I will sample over the weeks in between.


Picked the 8 ripe Fujis toay. Thus endeth the 2018 orchard season


What variety is your Fuji? Mine has not quite ripen yet?


afaik, it’s just generic Fuji, but it does get a bit redder than I’d expect

Once my Frankenfuji starts bearing, I think I’ll take out this runty tree. I’m fairly certain I have some of it grafted onto the other tree


I have a Rising Sun tree and a Red Fuji graft. You’ve given me a good idea. I should have a Franken Fuji tree. That’d be cool. Thanks,


Here’s one of my Fujis - somewhat flattened in shape with a bloom on the skin that gives it a blueish look


Claygate Pearmain breakdown—OR—more info that you really need or want, my specialty. I’ve wanted to write at some depth about this apple for a couple of years now, but am glad I waited, because I learned even more about its quirks in my environment this year.

I live in the high desert Great Basin, where it’s hot and dry all summer but nights are cool and humidity is always low. This has been my most consistent apple since the oldest trees in my orchard began producing in 2010. It has cropped at some level all but one year since then and usually bears a (comparatively) heavy crop. I have it on a three wire espalier, with ~ 24 linear feet of limb for fruit bearing. I let it carry approx 100 apples this year, but it could have carried more.

CP is a pretty weird variety. It ripens across five or six weeks and delivers at least two vastly different apple types that I call Type 1 and Type 2. T1 is one fairly large while T2 is significantly smaller. Each generally has fairly unique qualities that seem related to their size (see photo #2 from 2016 below).

T1 usually has a slightly shiny, smooth skin with a red blush where it faces the sun, has little to no russet, is juicier, has softer, coarser flesh, is less sweet, less intensely flavored and two dimensional (sweet-tart), ripens earlier and does not keep well—five weeks at best before it’s unpleasently soft, usually sooner than that. It begins dropping large, attractive apples in late August/early September. Most of the T1 crop, which makes up approximately 30% by number but closer to 50% by weight, is finished within three weeks.

T2 usually has some level of russet (never full) and the skin that isn’t russetted is mostly dull and blushes a pretty orange where it faces the sun, is less juicy, though still pretty juicy, has much firmer, denser flesh, is intensely flavored with higher Brix and keeps up to three months when refrigerated in plastic.

There might be a Type 3, “discovered” this year, with characteristics intermediate to T1 and T2, but I’m pretty certain I’m already overthinking this apple, so why add another level of complexity to something I’ve already made numbingly complex (it’s an apple, damnit! and a good one).

Just to throw a little wrench into my observations, the first photo below is a T1 in all respects except for the time I picked it, Oct 8, and it’s complexion, definitely T2ish. I was severely disappointed when I bit into a soft, juicy, but not especially complex apple.

The final two photos are T2 apples picked this year on September 20 (on right) and October 10 (left). They are much different flavor-wise as of today, October 17. Note the much more yellow flesh of the latter specimen. That apple is also far more complexly flavored, having a much fruitier flavor to go along with similar acidity to the earlier harvested specimen. Brix on the later apple is 22 and 19 on the earlier, though it’s worth noting that I measured 24 Brix two weeks ago on a 9/20 harvested T2, so we’ll see how well the harvest dates correlate to Brix as the weeks progress. I suspect the earlier harvested T2 will keep longer and will note how that bears out in the next two to three months as I compare apples from the two harvest dates side-by-side.

I don’t know if it will perform similarly in Ohio as it does here in Western Nevada, but I highly recommend CP if you live where it is hot and dry like much of he western US. This is one of the few English russet apples I’ve cropped that is not bothered one bit by my growing conditions.

I use them in apple butter, pies and for fresh eating and suspect they would be excellent in cider production as well.