Kazakhstan Apples

My comment in the seedling apples thread reminded me that I should check out my Kazakhstan apples.

Here are the 3 earliest ones. Later this year, I hope to fruit 614000 (13.5 brix, very late) and 613978 (14.3 brix, mid season). I also grafted PI 650944 (a 16.6 brix, larger med-early apple) this spring.

PI 613958- Per ARS, this one is supposed to be a very early apple. I only have one this year and just picked it. It was large (2.9" wide x 2.5" tall) and the brix ranged from 12.5-14 (ARS lists 10.1). The flavor was mild and surprisingly sweet for an early apple. It had enough juice for me to take a brix reading, but is very dry as apples go. I sampled a Williams Pride after and it felt like a watermelon in comparison. ARS says that it has a hazelnut/banana flavor. I don’t detect any banana, but I did taste a bit of nutty flavor after a while (not in the first couple bites- it kind of built up). Not that obvious, but it definitely isn’t a clean refreshing flavor. Nothing bit it this spring, but it looks like something took a few nibbles when it was close to ripe. The seeds were 2/3 brown, but I bet it would be too soft if I let it fully ripen. As it was it was firm, but not crunchy.

PI 613954.02- Another very early apple which I only have one of. This apple is much smaller (2" wide x 1.5" tall) and mildly sweet. It is about average in terms of juice (somewhere in between the WP and the 1st apple). The flavor is much more like a normal apple. It fell off the branch at my slightest touch and the seeds were all black, so maybe I could have picked this a bit earlier. It would have a better texture too- this apple was medium firm (a bit softer than the above), and not crunchy. But, the main drawback on this one is size.

GMAL 4049.c- I haven’t picked these yet, but will probably try one in a few weeks, as there are 4-5 of them on the branch and ARS labels it 20-30 days before Delicious. ARS has brix measurements of 13.8 and 19 for this one, so I am looking forward to it.


Nice looking apples! I was not at all familiar with these varieties. Thanks for sharing!

Beautiful apples! Love the look of the first apple, really pretty.

I grafted a couple of the 614000 on B118 rootstock this spring and want to try some other ones next year. Thanks for your comments on these apples. Very interesting.

Very Interesting! Do you know how much breeding research is taking place with apples from Kazakhstan?

ALL apples are believed to have descended from Kazahkstan trees. :laughing:


I was wondering if the plant breeders were using these apples to develop new improved apple varieties that may have desirable characteristic like insect or disease resistance.

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I know, Blue. Sorry for my snideness. Just wanted to point out that Kazahkstan is the historic epicenter of where all apples originally came from, for those who may not have already known that.

I think Cornell has been doing some reseach in the areas you describe. One thing they discovered is the genetic precurser for all red-fleshed apples, which trace back to a handful of red-fleshed apples they found in Kazahkstan sometime during the last century.

For the humid East, I believe the PRI program has used some of the native crabapples (Malus Florabunda) to breed disease-resistant apples suitable to grow east of the Rockies (Williams Pride is a product of this effort).

Yes, they have (are). I’m thinking either Cornell or Minn. has made several trips there to collect apples from a forest which were then brought back and field grown for future breeding efforts. There is a video somewhere on youtube about it and I’m thinking it was Cornell’s program under Susan Brown’s direction.
I’ve heard nothing of any results though.

I have high hopes for future breeding of insect and disease resistant apples. There are a lot of bright folks working on it, but to be honest, I kinda expected better (and more) results than what is being brought forth. I think the primary emphasis on apple breeding right now is to follow the Honeycrisp trail.
As much as I love Honeycrisp I think government monies should be mandated in the direction of DR, since that would be of greatest value to the people of the nation imo.
Cornell seems to be operating from more of a “for profit corporation” than a education and research program it seems. Everyone else it appears is beginning to follow their lead.

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I read somewhere about the attempt to incorporate these Kazakhstan apples into new improved varieties and was hoping something had been released. I know these plant breeding efforts take a long time, perhaps a dozen years or more. I have a bunch of the PRI apples. I like the Apples but they have not met my hopes in terms of better disease control, especially fireblight.

Yeah…I read the same. Today with genetic mapping I’d think things would move along much more quickly and with somewhat less random results. Folks just don’t work as hard as they used to and their lack of productivity has been somewhat made up for with modern science, but in the end, there is just less breeding being done, at least in America. Furthermore it seems breeding efforts are more directed towards copying some version of Honeycrisp, or novelty type things like apples with red flesh. So far, they’ve done nothing but strike out with the red flesh thing as far as breeding one that also tasted good enough to be market viable.
In my expansive reading on the subject it’s clear to me that way more work has been done with the red flesh than all the D/IR work combined. The PRI program, it seems, was the last great run in that venue.

Does anyone have additional data on Kazakhstan apples? Was curious how resistant to fireblight, CAR, etc. that they are? I’ve been searching the ARS grin database trying to glean some information http://www.ars-grin.gov/cgi-bin/npgsold/swish/accboth?si=0&query=Kazakhstan&btnG=Go!&filter=0&as_sitesearch=ars.usda.gov&ie=&output=xml_no_dtd&client=usda&lr=&proxystylesheet=ARS&oe=&.x=0&.y=0

I ordered the following Kazakhstan Apples and wanted to follow up to see how yours are performing?
PI 613953 KAZ 96 03-07 Malus sieversii 2 Scion GEN Remove Note
PI 613954 KAZ 96 03-11 Malus sieversii 2 Scion GEN Remove Note
PI 613957 KAZ 96 03-14 Malus sieversii 2 Scion GEN Remove Note
PI 613958 KAZ 96 07-07 Malus sieversii 2 Scion GEN Remove Note
PI 613999 KAZ 96 08-17 Malus sieversii 2 Scion GEN Remove Note
PI 614000 KAZ 96 09-02 Malus sieversii 2 Scion GEN Remove Note
I’m hoping they are as fireblight tolerant as they are reported to be. How has production been?

I got a few last year, but this year was pretty rough for apples in general and I didn’t get much of anything. I think I lost some due to the hard early frost. Then I lost a lot to insect and what was left got eaten by critters. The only one which came through with an appreciable amount (more than 1-2 in a tree) of apples was Sundance.

I haven’t had fireblight on any of my apples, other than possibly blossom blight. So, I’m not in a good position to judge how resistant the Kaz ones are.

I’ve been adding them for the past few years and have quite a few by this point. I’m probably done adding apples for a while (Kaz or traditional), until I get a better idea how what I have is performing.

2013 Cummins:
Sieversii Malus #11 (614000)
Sieversii Malus #13 (613978)

2014 ARS:
KAZ 96 03-11 (613954)
KAZ 96 07-07 (613958)
KAZ 96 08-13 (4049.c, seedling of 600619)

2015 ARS:
Kaz 96 08-17 (PI 650944)

2016 Trade:
Kaz, PI- 650994
Kaz, PI- 613998
Kaz, GMAL4030.n

2016 ARS:
KAZ 95 08-04, PI 613975
KAZ 96 08-17, PI 613999


Thanks Bob I hope you have a better year next year. Can’t wait to see those kaz apples in full production!

Some of my Kazakhstan Apple grafts did great and others did not. I’m really looking for easier apples to grow in Kansas and I hope these will be what I’m looking for.


I have a Kazakhstan graft that is a couple of years old now , it kind of looked like it may have spurrs trying to form.

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I had an MN 80-15-30 (PI 651006) grafted to dolgo rootstock in 2015 produce a couple apples last fall. It would have probably had more if I let it, but I didn’t want to let the tree put too much energy into fruit. The apples were crunchy and nicely sweet/tart. Nothing phenomenal, but a tasty apple.


Hi there – I’m curious how your KAZ 96 09-02 did. It got an intriguing description (and cool painting) here: @pomme_queen Instagram profile with posts and stories - Picuki.com “a pale yellow fairy with blushy strokes of Easter-pink towards the stem; sweet like super-ripe honeydew melon, so ripe you eat the rind too. It’s sweetness gives way to a subtle waxy bitter note towards the end, but not bitter enough to you from eating more.” Did yours live up to all that?

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Have not got apples from it yet. @BobVance have you got apples from this type?