Interesting new to you apples this year?

Whats new and interesting in your apple orchard? Here are a couple for me, all are first year fruiting so not a lot of data.

After over a dozen years I finally got some Lamb Abbey Pearmains. Thats what I get for planting a tree in mostly shade, it was from the first year I planted trees and optimism carried the day. The apples are small but really excellent, a great fruity flavor balance. They also had no cosmetic damage in this really bad rot year.

Another decent Cox type has emerged, Ingrid Marie. Its not the POW of Rubinette, its more delicate and mild aromatics. Plenty sour. It came through relatively unblemished as well. Not attractive, has dull skin and flattened shape and they were on the small side. I think Holstein is going to have to be thrown on the “Bad Cox” pile, its water coring heavily and not good enough tasting to make up for it.

In the super sweet category there is October Gravenstein, 17 brix right from the tree. I don’t know if its a sport or a seedling, but it seems enough different to Grav that my guess is the latter. Gravenstein tends to ripen too early for me, they rot in the heat. This one so far seems to be doing better in my climate.

I had a bunch of early and mid-early apples ripen for the first time, but none of them excited me much and they were also highly prone to rotting/mealiness. On the good side I can now remove many of them and make room for more later apples :smile:

To add to my own list here (nobody else has any new interesting apples??), I am now getting a few Adam’s Pearmain. This is a VERY interesting apple, it has a taste thats a cross between nutty and coconutty - nutty taste and coconutty (dry) texture. It also sets a new apple brix record for me, 20.5! Thats way up there for an apple. On top of the great taste its pretty much bulletproof - besides wasps getting at it I had no damage at all from pests or diseases.

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I wish I could post about my Api Etoile, but it didn’t fruit this year.
In searching for it, though, I found this German site that is selling an offspring of Api Etoile. That’d be fun to grow.


Ashmeads kernel is new to me this year. Definitely tastes a little like pear.

This is my first year getting more than 1 or 2 Ashmead’s Kernels. So far, they have been a bit too tart to be a pear, even at 19 brix. Maybe they aren’t fully ripe.

The apple which has most impressed me so far is one that I think a lot of people would like. Scarlet O’Hara (Co-op 25 from PRI).

  • It is quite hard with a strong crunch.
  • The brix on the few I’ve had so far has ranged from 13-16.
  • 3rd year tree with ~8 apples
  • All over red coloring, though it is a bit splotchy
  • Nice flavor: not super strong, like AK but sweet and fruity with a bit of tart.
  • I think that this was one of the trees which had a low level of insect damage (I’ll make special note next year)

This isn’t an ideal pic, given the bird pecks, but it’s what I have on hand.


I had two ashmeads fall off the tree, bit into one and it wasn’t very good.The other one. I stuck in a bag for two weeks with other miscellaneous apples to make apple sauce. When I was peeling this one my daughter and I sampled it and it was pear like.

My Ashmead’s doesn’t have that many on it (maybe 10-20), but I’ll save a few and see if it takes the edge off.

I’ve also got a bunch of other new ones to try. I had a Red Boskoop last night which was huge (4" wide x 3.5" tall) which was pretty good, though also very sharp. 16-17 brix and somewhere between firm and hard. I bet it would be great for cooking.

@scottfsmith mentioned Adam’s Pearmain above and I have a single one hanging on a graft from last spring. I have a few others with 1-2 samples which are waiting (Winston, Swiss Limbertwig, etc).

Holy ribbed-shape cow!

Here’s a pic of 4 I brought to work today.

Ashmead’s Kerenel- 21 brix. Good, but a bit harsh and acidic. I’m going to go out and pick the rest in the next day or two, then store them.

Egremont Russet- 19-19.5 brix, Good flavor, not as harsh as AK. Two different people independently told me it tasted like a pear, one of them was quite emphatic on it.

Kaz #11 (PI 614000)- 12.5-14 brix. I’m not sure this one is fully ripe- the flavor just isn’t that strong (or good). I’m going to let the other apple (only 2 on the tree) hang a few more weeks.

Scarlet O’Hara- 14.5-20.5 brix. Very good and got the most comments. Larger than the other apples. More mild than the two russets, but still a decent amount of flavor. All the SO I’ve had so far have had much higher brix near the top, than the bottom, which is a bit unusual.

Ashmead’s Kernel store very well, I had a bunch stored last year and they mellowed considerably. They can get a bit soft though. I didn’t measure brix on mine this year, thanks to the deer clearing most of my crop out.

You should store some of the Scarlet O’Hara, it is supposed to improve in storage.

No deer here (yet, thankfully- just groundhogs, rabbits, squirrels, etc), but there was plenty of bug damage on Ashmead’s Kernel. I picked the last 23 AK apples today and ~20 had some level of damage.

Another apple with lots of damage (much of it rots and fungal in nature as well as insect) is the Egremont Russet. But, I did have one today whose brix was 21-22.5, one of the highest I’ve seen. Even so, it was quite tart.

I’ve only got 2 Scarlet O’Hara left, so I probably won’t be able to see how well they keep.

Nice brix! I bet that would be a great apple after some storage.

I removed my ER several years ago for this reason - even in low rot years it did poorly.

Oh another interesting new apple this year for me is Lady Sweet. Sweet apples are a unique American thing, they are very low acid. Lady Sweet has a unique complex flavor with both perfumed notes as well as some darker berry notes. The tannins are fairly high based on how fast it browns. I am probably going to add more grafts of it for purposes of cider, there are too many good sour cider apples and you need some low acid ones to get the acid back to normal. Lady Sweet gets a “very good to best” in Apples of New York, that is the best rating of any of the sweet-type apples and I can believe it. I think there are around 15 apples total with that rating, and only one with “best” (Newtown).

Here is what Downing for example said about Lady Sweet:

We consider this one of the finest winter sweet Apples for the dessert yet known or cultivated in this country. Its handsome appearance, delightful perfume, sprightly flavor, and the long time which it remains in perfection, render it universally admired wherever it is known, and no garden should be without it.

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I know a grower near Burkittsville who removed all of his Egremont Russets. He said they were annual fireblight magnets. He spent a whole year pruning out a major strike that spread from the Egremonts throughout his whole orchard. That’s when he decided to axe them. He hasn’t had any major fireblight problems since.

Earlier this afternoon, I cut around extensive bad spots on an Egremont Russet and the remaining good parts topped 26 brix. Highest reading I’ve ever seen in an apple (previous was 23.x for Golden Russet). Too bad more than half the apple was bad. Part of it was pear-like and part of it was quite sharp. The only fruits I’ve had with higher brix are Kiwis and Jujube.

My Egremot Russet is on probation because I have experienced the same thing.

Here’s an update on a few more that I’ve sampled for the first time.

Robert’s Crab- this was a new graft that I let produce a single fruit. It is certainly a striking color. I don’t think i will be great for fresh eating, but it will make cider very interesting. I didn’t take down the brix, but I think it was around 16-17 (still not sweet). I squeezed a few drops out so you can see how it would look.

Winston- A nice crunchy acidic apple. It was taking some damage, so I decided it was time to pick it. I bet it could have hung longer. Around 15 brix.

Adam’s Pearmain- This one (the only one from last year’s graft) fell down. It didn’t have much crunch, but that could just be the sample. The flavor was also much milder (also around 15 brix).

Update on Red Boskoop- It is a very promising apple. A very large apple with lots of flavor and acid. The ones I’m picking now have a great balance to them (they were too acidic when I first posted). At least I think so- my wife called one sour tonight, even though it was 17.5-22.5 brix. Still very good crunch. It isn’t without problems though- some cracked, others have rot, some bees, and they got hit badly in the spring by PC. It is also a very vigorous tree. I have it on M27 (mini-dwarf) and it almost looks like it is on B9, while my other M27 look like small bushes (Alan’s blueberries are bigger than all my other M27).

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Thanks Bob. I also have a couple new ones to add, no pics unfortunately though.

The biggest recent surprise was Suncrisp. If they ripen fully they are quite intense on the anise flavor spectrum, something I did not expect. They have similar parentage as Freyburg (Cox and Golden Delicious), and the flavor is also similar, but Suncrisp is consistently larger, less damage-prone, and more crunchy.

Another nice apple I have not fruited in several years is Doctor Matthews. Its in the same school as Hubbardston, Abbondanza, and Worcester Pearmain, sort of mac-like but sweeter and without the rubbery skin. One particularly nice thing about this one is it was also very clean looking in a very rough year.

Speaking of rough, my Wicksons look pretty horrible now. They got a lot of bug damage, and many are cracking now. In good years they come out OK but many years are not good years for them.

As I commented earlier I’m blown away by Karmijn d’ Sonnaville. Can’t provide brix readings, so you’ll have to rely on my subjective opinions.

It’s a cross of Cox’s Orange Pippin as the female parent and either Jonathon or Belle de Boskoop as the male. Which hasn’t been determined. A self-sterile triploid and poor pollinator that needs a long season, it’s worth waiting for. You can read this for more complete information and others opinions:

We had a hot spell early this summer and I think it benefited all my apples (tomatoes too!) so this year may be atypical. I think it compares favorably to any of my favorites, including Jazz, Jonagold, Haralson … I can’t think of anything that beats it. It’s sharp, loaded with complex flavor, crisp and firm and juicy. I’ll have pictures in a couple of days, but mine look a lot like the ones in the Orange Pippin entry. It’s head and shoulders above Fuji and to my mind is better than Honeycrisp, especially in terms of flavor and complexity of flavor. Still not able to comment on aroma, more’s the pity!


I just remembered I left one off my list above: Spigold. I was not expecting much from this apple and it took forever to fruit, but wow is it nice! It has a unique flavor quite far into the grape side. The apples are gargantuan. They seem to need some time off the tree, the skin needs to get greasy before they are the best to eat. I like the greasy skin because its a good guide of whether they are ready. This variety is known to take forever to bear, and I can vouch for that. But its well worth it.