Kidd’s Orange Red, Gala, Rubinette, and Sansa

All these apples are derivatives of the same ancestry, being descended from Cox’s Orange Pippin, but all more hot/humid summer tolerant than Cox.

In my central MD location, all have been mentioned once or twice as growing well and tasting good - would you say “grow them all” or have a particular recommendation?

1 Like

They are all pretty sweet, but Sansa is very sweet. I like tart in general, but Sansa’s sweetness taste good to me in late summer when it ripens. It’s earlier than any others here. Gala didn’t seem to inherit a lot of flavor from Cox. It is a wonderfully reliable producer of what I consider a pretty generic apple. It is a good kid’s apple, though- not too big, crunchy and sweet. Kidd’s is pretty interesting and tasty and also a reliable cropper. I’m surprised it isn’t grown commercially.

Grow them all and see what you like. I have to try Rubinette.

1 Like

I’m growing Alkmene, another Cox descendant. I just planted it last year, and it has been a very vigorous grower so far. It did set one apple this year, but it has since been removed, since it got buggy and rotted. Not that it matters, but it has been hit hard by Japanese beetles this year, but some other trees have as well.

@scottfsmith has grown Rubinette with some degree of success, and he is not too far from you.

I’ve got Rubinette and had Gala; I think Gala is a “why bother” apple and Rubinette is really, really good.

I also have Kidd’s on the tree but it hasn’t fruited yet - should next year, same for Cox’s. We’ll see how those do in the (usually) arid Montana climate, if it every stops raining!


How fire blight resistant are these? I tried a Karmijn, but it caught fire blight 4 times as a 2 foot tree. I had to remove so much wood, and then it failed to leaf out the following spring.

I have grown many of the Cox type apples over the years. Here is more or less my rating order.

  1. Suncrisp - big and beautiful looking, and flavor to match. Has good Cox aromatics, and disease-resistant.
  2. Freyburg - more like a Golden Delicious than a Cox but an excellent apple with anise overtones. Somewhat biennial.
  3. Rubinette - super reliable and super tasty sweet-sour (21 brix is not uncommon). More sour and less aromatic than Cox. A bit prone to later rot.
  4. Kidds - more a sweet aromatic as opposed to the sour of Rubinette, just as good or maybe a little better. But I have had biennial bearing problems. Rubinette also alternates but its between a ridiculous set and a somewhat light set instead of all or nothing like Kidds.
  5. Golden Nugget - a very nice early russet. It is a bit prone to watercore. It should be more widely grown, not sure why nobody grows it.
  6. Gala - this is a very nice apple in our climate, it ripens up very well. Its not as tasty as Kidds but is much more reliable and productive.
  7. Laxton’s Fortune - One of my favorite early apples.
  8. Ingrid Marie - this is too tart and prone to mealy but if you like them really tart its going to be your favorite! No problems as far as rots etc.

OK those are the successes, now for the ones I haven’t seen much in the way of eastern results on but I should try.

  1. Fiesta - I should probably try this one as its supposed to be tasty and less disease-prone. Has anyone fruited this?
  2. Alkmene - has anyone fruited this?

Now for the ones I suspect are duds but never saw the evidence myself.

  1. Suntan - several grafts died and I heard it doesn’t like the heat/humidity so I bailed on it.
  2. Cherry Cox - I heard it has similar problems as Cox but never tried it myself.
  3. Queen Cox - see Cox (my tree never fruited but its a Cox sport so is probably similar as far as rots).
  4. Karmijn - another rotter; well known to be bad in humid eastern climates.

Now for the duds.

  1. Cox itself - its the best of the duds, its not horrible but has the rotting and watercore problem.
  2. Ellison’s Orange - this apple is very inconsistent on flavor, and can be very strongly anise-flavored to the point of being a bit off-putting. Also prone to mealiness. If picked early they are better. No rot problems.
  3. Tydeman’s Late Orange - never got any good fruit off this one.
  4. Swiss Orange - similar to Rubinette but rots like crazy. I still have this one but am probably going to remove it. Even this time of year it already has rots on it.
  5. Holstein - the whole apple would turn to watercore mush. The worst!

I’m not sure where Sansa falls, my graft is about to fruit though so I will have data soon. Same for Herfordshire Russet.

Re: fireblight, I didn’t notice any strong trends but I did get some blight on many of them over the years.

Here is a nice overview of some of these apples, but beware its from California so is pretty much meaningless as far as disease info goes for eastern growers.

Here is a past thread here on a similar topic:


I have 2 Kidd’s trees bearing. To me it almost fits the “why bother” category. It’s a light cropper but every year it seems (only bearing for 2 years now, this year, 2018, will be its third). I didn’t do much research when grafting and planting. (Red delicious parent? Great now I know where the bland comes from) It’s just bland to me, no pizazz. A nice sized apple- if you like plain old sweet gala you’ll like Kidd’s. More red delicious than Cox I expect. It grows hard but upright-I’ve spent more time training limbs horizontal than on any other and now I’ve got some amazingly long horizontal beautiful branches…with two apples growing on them. I hope for the day of a blockbuster fruit set!

@HighandDry posted his reviews of the following apples on the Thinning Fruit, Easier Said Than Done thread. Instead of linking the whole thread, I just copied his reviews here so people don’t have to read through the thread.

I’d like to thank @HighandDry/Neil for his reviews. Here it is.

"While I wouldn’t want to talk you out of KOR, which fruited for me for the first time last year and was very good, if you’re looking for flavor closer to COP, Kidd’s probably isn’t what you’re looking for. It’s reputed to be on the sweeter side, and that was definitely my observation. Rubinette, which also fruited for the first time for me last year, was also quite sweet, but had a little more acid. Rather than typing wall-of-text paragraph, I’ll break down the Cox offspring that have fruited for me and my brief impressions of each.

Ellison’s Orange: Produced (past tense, as I finished grafting over the tree this spring after slowly eliminating limbs over the past four seasons) the occasional tasty, though slightly soft apple. Most of the time the apples were sweet and mushy, regardless of how early I picked them, with only a hint of their potential flavor showing up. It’s simply too hot here for this apple. I suspect the same will be true for your area.

Holstein: Such promising flavor in early drops (this tree drops tons of apples every year), but repeatedly failed to produce fully ripe and delicious apples. It also sunburns predictably in my intense summer sun. Still, that promise of a terrific apple kept me from grafting over the tree. It suddenly died this spring just as flower buds were swelling. I have photos and may post them with questions, but I think it might have been delayed scion-rootstock incompatibility. I kept some scions while dormant pruning and will graft a lim somewhere, because that promise of deliciousness… Still, I cannot recommend this for you either.

Fryburg: Nice apple, but much more like Golden Delicious than Cox. It would likely perform for you, as it produces nice apples for me most years and also produces for Scott up in MD, which is much closer to your climate than mine is.

Karmijn de Sonneville: Similar to Holstein in all respects. Drops a ton of fruit every year; sunburns worse than Holstein; rarely displays the flavor it promises; but when it does, Bang! I’ll spray Surround this year and see how that affects things. If it doesn’t help, I’ll topwork the tree in spite of the dynamite flavor I’ve had from a couple of apples (across four or five years of fruiting…how’s that for patience?). Not recommended for you at all.

Kidd’s Orange Red: first fruiting last year on a young but nicely growing tree. I let this tree carry too many apples last year and was paid back with exactly two fruit buds this spring, neither of which will carry fruit. Thin well, especially young trees. The apples are very sweet, 27-28 brix after almost two months in storage. Not my highest measurements last season, but close. They had some acid, but I’d have liked more. I love a highly flavored, high acid apple best—see Suntan below. Folks who don’t like their eyes to cross when eating an apple will love KOR, though at this brix, maybe only super sweet toothers will really love it.

Rubinette: first fruiting on a struggling tree last year, about five apples. I don’t recall them being appreciably different than KOR and my notes aren’t all that helpful with any nuance. They were super sweet with mild acid. I liked them, but hope for more acid in future years.

Suntan: fruited for the first time for me last year. Every apple (15-20) was dynamite, as in the best apples I’ve ever eaten. Explosive Cox flavor, high acid/high sugar. And it keeps too. I ate my last specimen on January 17, three months after harvest, and it remained excellent, if a little lower on acid and less crisp than at harvest (which was at full ripeness on Oct 15 for me—had I harvested two or three weeks earlier, I bet it would keep longer). I can’t speak for this apple’s consistency across years or how it performs in hot and humid conditions, but it laughed off my summer heat. I grafted another tree this spring.

Tydemann’s Late Orange: Almost indistinguishable from Esopus Spitz in my orchard, except it’s not close to as productive. I suppose it could be that there was a mix up somewhere and I’m not actually growing TLO, but the apple looks right and more or less matches its description and I think I got it from the Geneva repository, so it’s likely the real deal. I’ll probably graft over the one large scaffold I have of it because Spitz performs so much better for me.

Herefordshire Russet: Produced its first apples for me last year. Excellent in all respects except for size, but I allowed the mult-grafted tree it’s on, the previously mentioned Ellison’s Orange, to overbear and most of the apples of all three varieties on it were smallish. English russets typically don’t like my dry heat, but HR shrugged it off easily. It’s not as sharp as Suntan (few apples are, in my experience) but it’s definitely got an acid punch to go along with the typical russet sweets. It’s juicy for a russet, though compared to non-russets it’s on the drier side, it’s flavor is complex with plenty of aromatics to go with the acid/sweet and it keeps at least 2.5 months. As with Suntan, I liked it enough to graft new tree this year and topworked what remained of Ellison’s O to this variety. It’s a big winner."

Neil is in the high elevation desert of Neveda. His Suntan can handle the heat but he does not have the humid you do. I grafted Suntan this year on B 9. It grows well so far.

1 Like

Thanks Tippy, I missed that. Since he is in Nevada I really would not rely on that info for the disease aspect though. I spent many years growing Cox types that were getting raves in the west only to suffer with rots and have to pull them out.

Herfordshire Russet is another new one BTW, I have it but no fruit yet on it. I’ll edit my list above. Tydemans also was bad for me.

Looking at Neil’s reviews I wonder why Rubinette is considered sweet to him, its very sour for me. Maybe its a climate thing.

@Jhoss I would wait a few years with your Kidds, it sounds like your tree has not settled into bearing yet. My Rubinette was bad for several years and I almost bailed on it.

1 Like

I’m on the cool northern California coast, a climate is quite different from that of Maryland and Nevada, and Rubinette is outstanding here. Not a sugar bomb, not overwhelmingly sour, but an excellent tart balance between the two. It does seem to be sensitive to climate.


Scott i have been eyeing golden nugget for years. Only off put to me is short keeping. Its actually in my cummins cart right now.
Worth a bit of space?


@HollyGates told me his Tydeman’s got bad fire blight, too.

Its not as short-keeping as some varieties. I get a lot of watercore on it but its not the bad kind, its not too much and doesn’t cause it to degrade too quickly. If anything the water cored ones taste a bit better even.

The only thing I should add is I got mine from Botner and while I am pretty sure its Golden Nugget I am never 100.0% with Botner as the source.

@mamuang I had many problems on my Tydemans, but I didn’t write them down and can’t remember the details now. Fireblight sounds familiar…

Just checked Holly’s response to me. His Tydeman’s graft grew and then, failed all of a sudden. He suspected fire blight and warned me about it. So, I skipped grafting this variety.

My Suntan and Suncrisp on B9 have grown well this year. Sun Crisp is a survivor. Last year it was munched by bunny down to two buds!!! Glad it has come back. Your endorsement of this variety is welcome news :smile:

With respect to Rubinette being sweet, that’s almost a given for my apples. If I eat one that’s not sweet, I know I’ve either picked it too soon or it’s not going to be good for me. I included a Brix measurement of 28 for Kidd’s among my descriptions so nicely copied and pasted above by @mamuang (way to suck me into a conversation on this side, you schemer). Calville Blanc also measured 28 Brix and Golden Russet delivered a 29 Brix apple (highest I measured) and the other two GR’s I measured hit 27. Even noted acid bomb GoldRush measured 24 and 25 Brix during the first week of January. As you may suspect, I am a Brix braggart.

My high Brix measurements are difinitely related to climate and likely affected by my lean soil and also some degree of water deficit during ripening, even though I irrigate. Keeping in mind that I didn’t purchase a refractometer until early December—the apples I had left at that point had been in storage for at least 7 weeks by then—all of my Brix measurements were higher than they would have been had I measured straight off the tree. It’s worth noting that the lowest average Brix for a specific variety was 20 for Spitzenburg and a few others varieties I might have had only one or two to sample. SunCrisp, which I forgot to include in my Cox offspring descriptions, was terrific and delivered Brix of 20, 21, 21 and 24. Suntan, for all of it’s acid and complexity, still produced Brix between 25-27 on multiple apples: So Good!

Returning to the apple in question (finally!), Rubinette pegged 23, 26 and 27 Brix on the three apples I had left by early December, so pretty sweet but without the same acid wallop of Suntan, SunCrisp and even Herefordshire Russset (23-26 Brix across several apples). Hopefully, it will deliver more acid along with the sweets this year.

I hope H. Russet delivers for you this year and is not just another Euro russet that has all the rot problems you deal with back there. It can handle heat out here, so that’s one issue it doesn’t seem to have.


Ty. May try it as a g41. Minimal commit

Hello Neil,
You have a lot of knowledge that it’d be a disservice if I did not drag your out of the desert to share it with others here.

It looked like you picked those apples some time in Oct. Are most of them late ripening?

1 Like

You flatter me, Tippy. I know a couple of things about fruit trees, mostly specific to their performance here, which doesn’t really translate to much of the rest of the country. What I probably know best is what one should do when setting up an orchard that I didn’t do and am still reaping the “rewards” for to this day. How to be A Dumb Home Orchardist and Kill a Lot of Stuff: A Lengthy, Not Step-By-Step, Tutorial By Neil C. It would not be a best seller in gardening circles.

All of the apples I listed in my previous post except Kidd’s, Rubinette and H. Russet are among my latest ripeness and were harvested on October 15. Some years I might keep them on the tree longer if the bears let me, but last year all were ready to come off at that time. I picked H. Russet the last week of September. I remember that specifically because my wife and I took a fall foliage tour through your neck of the woods that week and I hauled a good number of HR’s and a few other varieties along with me to snack on during the trip. I think Rubinette and KOR came off the first week of October or thereabouts, because I don’t recall eating either on that trip.

With respect to high Brix, I’d liked to have measured Sweet Sixteen, always a fruit bomb for me, but it’s ripe the second week of Sept at the latest here and doesn’t store for more than a month before it starts fermenting in my refrigerator. Seriously!. Maybe I’ll pull a couple dozen off the tree at the end of August this year and see what they do in storage for six or eight weeks.


While we’re on the subject of Cox crosses and progeny, does anyone have experience to relate with Saint Cecelia?

I am preordering this book bc yes