Limbertwig confusion

Hopefully We can clear up some of the Limbertwig confusion on this thread, starting with;

In the link below there is no mention of a Hillside Limbertwig in Dan Bussey’s list. Is there any publication which mentions this variety?

Another one that has me confused is Smokey Mt. Limbertwig. In the same list #57 it is listed as Ramsey’s Smokey Mt. then at #75 it says Smokey Mt may be the same as Ramsey’s Smokey Mt. Dan says it is likely Ramsey’s Smokey Mt…my confusion actually comes from people are selling a Ramsey’s Limbertwig, is it actually Ramsey’s Smokey Mt. and everyone is just shortening the name.

I got myself more confused by trying to type this out so I will leave it at that for now.

There is more.


In his 1986 catalog Rev. Morton mentions two of his main scion sources for rare limbertwigs: R.J. Howard of Morristown, TN (40 limbertwig varieties in his collection!!) and Bonnie Weaver of Laager, TN- source of the most unusual limbertwig varieties.

Are these people still alive? Do their children have their orchards? I have no contacts in TN, who does?

@greyphase, @thepodpiper I don’t think there ever was a Hillside Limbertwig. The TOC misnamed Hillside Limbertwig came from Nick Botner who got it from Steve Kelly who has “Hillside” but no “Hilside Limbertwig.” I suggested to TOC that they correct the name.

Lee Calhoun’s book says Rev Morton sold “Smoky Mountain Red.”

See attachment below: in 2016 I listed all the Limbertwigs in Henry Morton’s 1986 catalog showing both Smokey Mountain and Smokey Mountain Red. We should file this somewhere safe:

55 Limbertwig Apple Varieties and Scion Sources.docx (180.0 KB)


Excellent information.

I also believe that the Hillside Limbertwig is a misprint. Hopefully in a few years I can report on just what the apple looks and tastes like.


On Steve Kelly’s list he has a Victoria Limbertwig and a Victoria Sweet Limbertwig but no mention on Dan’s list of Limbertwigs of a “sweet” version.

Sweet Limbertwig is a synonym of Victoria LT, as far as I can tell.

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I am very close to East Tennesse and have never really heard of Limbertwig apples until I joined here :man_shrugging: I would love to know more about these apples and would very much like to try to graft some of the different varieties! I have been searching on here in the different threads for info and since these apples came from the general area I live in I would love to find a local source for them. I will try to source scions for these by next year and see what all I can come up with. Love the idea of growing a variety that was created or at least propagated close to home!


Check out my post on Dec 31, 2018 in this thread:

I list all the tree and/or scion sources I could find for Limbertwigs.

Google limbertwig and Big Horse Creek Farm or Lee Calhoun for more on limbertwigs.

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Thank you @hambone for the link :+1: Heading there now!

I was talking about apples with my father in law a couple weeks back and he mentioned Limbertwig apples even before I did! I grated a few varieties of apples for him a a few of his trees and he and my mother in law are the ones that really got me going in growing things. I need to ask him if he knows anyone close by with any limbertwigs. If there are I may see if I can fins out where they live and what varieties they may have.


@Poncho65 You are in the middle of limbertwig country. See if you can find some rare ones. Good luck!


I am starting to ask around and look on Facebook right now :+1:

I am going to talk to some other locals when it is feasible (after the quarantine period is over).

Hoping to find some more varieties close by. Also Hidden Springs Nursery is in Cookeville, TN and I live in the same county as them! I have already emailed them some questions and hope to get some answers from them. Also Ruby Limbertwig was originated in Gainesboro, TN and that is just the next county over from me! @hambone


Ponch were you successful on sourcing any limbertwigs?


Yes, I sure was! @greyphase sent me a few varieties and I was successful in most of my grafts, both to rootstock and on some smaller exisitng apples that I had :+1:

As of now I have these Limbertwig varieties
Old Fashioned
Red Royal
Caney Fork
Brushy Mountain

Very excited to see how these grow in the next year but I need to get them into their permanent spots first :blush:


Hidden Springs only had 1 variety and were not as enthusiatic about Limbertwigs as I thought they might have been… but it was getting close to the end of their main season of selling and they may have just been burnt out already. Otherwise they were very friendly and did answer my questions.

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Similar… I have Myers Royal, Black, Weavers Red Sweet, Red Royal, Fall, Ruby, White, Victoria, Kentucky, and Watts Limbertwig. All young, none fruited yet, and will be interesting to try them out once they begin bearing.


Awesome glad to hear it! Keep us updated here on how they do for you. Here in northern arizona I have yet to find an apple tree that grows like a limbertwig. They are very unique thats for sure. Had some white and some old fashion this fall. Both were good. Hopefully theres many more to come. My Kentucky put on about 3 feet of growth and tripled in width in just a few months. No other tree of 100 plus varieties really even came close.


Can’t wait to hear how you find that they taste!

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So glad to hear about their growth there! I will for sure be putting updates on all my grafts this coming year :+1:

Anyone fruited some of these more obscure limbertwigs they are growing? If so have any exceeded expectations?