Milo Gibson Apple-NOT

Anyone growing one which has fruited?
Interesting history-
I am tending a tree which seems to match up in most regards, although I haven’t detected the licorice flavor. Tree has a somewhat compact growth habit. As I was picking some yesterday, I got stung on the palm by a yellowjacket! Apples have a sweet russet quality to them, maybe after some storage time the anise flavor will develop…
They have a subtle beauty, like a sepia-toned photograph.


Good fresh eating, mild, but with a bit of acid and russety richness…


@JesseS I supplied that background info to Salt Spring after talking to Bill McKentley, former owner of Southmeadow Nursery. Milo gave scions of the apple (then named Linnwood) for evaluation to Prof. Elwyn Meader (of persimmon fame), Robert Kurle and Fred Ashworth of St. Lawrence Nurseries, all NAFEX luminaries. All gave it a two thumbs up.

I figured if those three gentlemen deemed the apple worthy of the name Milo Gibson, it was definitely worth grafting. John Bunker at Fedco raves about the apple. My grafts have not fruited yet.

Thanks for posting your tasting notes. Milo Gibson discovered, among other gems, Sunflower pawpaw variety growing in the wild in Kansas in 1970. He had a franken-tree in Oregon with over 100 apple varieties on it.


Thanks for your backround info on the finder, @hambone.
These came from a 20 yr old Fedco tree, I picked enough store some and try a variety of culinary uses. Compact growing tree had a nice crop of several bushels.
I will give the tree a much needed pruning this winter, it seems untended except for some bark stripping scars from deer. The owner and I agreed I could have the apples if I tended the trees :relaxed:. Should have plenty of scion wood if anyone wants it…


I got to try some verified MG fruit and mine does not match the flavor, appearance is close but the shape is off as well, MG has some ribbing. So, back to the drawing board on this unknown…

I may have figured out the ID to this one as Hunt Russet. It matches pictures and descriptions, and was also offered by Fedco in the past, which was where the tree was purchased from a couple decades back. John Bunker says that it could be a match. So, mystery solved. One interesting thing about the tree is the dense growth habit, almost spurry, and quite different from other russets I grow. Seems like a natural dwarf. For a small tree, it made a heap of fruit, 4-5 bushels at least. Still have a few in the cellar that have been softening and shriveled in the non-ideal storage conditions, but are plenty good enough for cooking. I will be bringing some scion wood home from this tree when I prune this month…


Interesting info on the new ID, Jesse. We have a Hunt Russet that we bench-grafted last year, and I’ve been curious to hear what other people think about it.

If I remember correctly, @NuttingBumpus has Hunt Russet and likes it quite well - he may be able to provide further corroboration for the ID.

Got love the growingfruit hive mind!

Looking at the photo, the size and shapes work for Hunt Russet. Since my area gets so much sun, my fruit (2 samples last fall & my introduction to it) were almost entirely red, with deep green skin showing at the apex (calyx end.) Light knobbiness at flower end. Flesh was rather hard, with the acid I enjoy balancing 18 Brix (or, percentage.) I haven’t yet begun to test for acid in fruit; may begin this next fall. No anise in the flavors. What I found was citrus (tangerine?) followed by rose petal, which stayed on the tongue as a long finish. High, dry heat and sun can drive flavors out of some apples, such as Williams Pride and Wynoochee Early, so I am pleased when an apple endures and succeeds!

Something to watch for in spring: Hunt Russet is a semi-spur. When I first planted the bench graft, bought from Maple Valley Orchards, Wisconsin, a single late pink bloom opened when the graft took. Last year I counted the blooms per spur: not one of 12 bore the standard seven; all less. I stripped it and kept just two fruitlets, since the tree is still so small (on P2, which I would like to re-plant and bury the graft union in order to begin growing a standard. Ground is frozen and snow remains…)

I did not cover either fruit with a footie and found no insect damage (fairly light pressure in this area; another reason I am grateful to be trying this in Spokane.)

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I sampled a couple Milo Gibson apples from our orchard yesterday from trees bearing for the first time. They were badly split like many apples this year after record rainfall. I was shocked at the taste from the damaged bland looking fruit. It was possibly the best apple I have ever tasted. I did not detect licorice flavor but, it dose have a spicy herbal like depth smoothing the sweet sharp flavor. Probably not a great apple for a production orchard but, I’m glad to have a few Milo Gibson trees.