I thought I would post a report on the Monark apple variety. I have been getting crops on this tree for about 7 years now.
This variety is relatively easy to grow. The tree has a slight weeping tendency which I think leads to early bearing. Monark bears large crops every year for me. Not too prone to fungus of any sort. I spray 3 times a year and these apples have pretty much no fungus at all. It seems to do fine in years that I forget to spray. The only downside is that it starts to drop fruit before they are ripe. Expect to lose 1/4 to 1/3 of your crop to early drop
I started picking this year about a week ago maybe August 3. This was probably a week earlier than most years as we have had a hot summer. I am in zone 6a near Ann Arbor, MI
Now for the tasting report. To me this is by far the best of the early ripening varieties. The apple is suitable for any use including sauce, baking and fresh eating. My wife made an Apple crumble a few days ago that was outstanding
Eating some of them today I find them somewhat complex at least for early apples. Monark here is mostly balanced but slightly tart. To me it has a strong apply/fresh cider flavor. I would also consider it to have a bit of green apple/Jolly Roger candy flavor. The texture is nice and smooth but not mealy. I am really enjoying apples with this texture as I have become tired of the super crunchy types and really tired of honey crisp (great textured apple but I have just eaten too many of them over time and I’ve had enough)
Monark stores better than most early apples. I expect them to last at least 2 weeks in the fridge maybe longer. I will report back on this later.
I find myself finishing one of these and wanting another one right away. It could be just because these are the first fresh off the tree apples I have had since last November.
The only other early apple that I like is Williams Pride. I find many of the other early apples like Lodi and yellow transparent to be a complete waste of effort and I can’t understand why anyone would grow them. Put a Monark in the ground and you will be happy
Excellent review about the Monark apple. I agree with everything you said about the Monark apples.
I have had my Monark tree planted about 7 years. In fact I have only had years of fruit bearing. Last year I had a lot of great fruit. This year was a bad year for all my fruit trees, a late freeze/frost right at blossom time. Still I did get some Monark apples this year but not close to as many as I got last year.
Great all around apple especially being an early apple. Beautiful big red apples. They do last a lot longer than all the other early apples that I have ever had or seen.
No fungus but you have to spray to keep the bugs away. I could not spray mine in time and a lot are deformed.
You are right about the early fruit drop. Last year was not an issue for early drop, that I can recall. This year at least 1/3+ dropped. My Monark apples lasted more than 2 weeks. Probably closer to 4-6 weeks. I deliberately kept some in the fridge to see how long they would last. They were still good at 6 weeks.
You are right again about eating one and wanting another one. Big apples and delicious. I had more compliments about this apple than a lot of others.
I have a chance to get a Williams Pride. I have not known any one to grow them around me. Is it a worthwhile apple to grow?
Thanks for the reports. It is interesting that both of you are in more northern zones and MonArk has been known as a southern apple. Great to hear it works in zones 5 and 6 as well. I have one growing now and hope to taste it next year - deer and squirrels depending.
Williams pride is an awesome apple. I do not grow it because I have a friend nearby that does. Much different than monark. Balanced but slightly sweet. Berry/fruity notes. Slightly red flesh at times.
Great fresh eating but also my favorite sauce apple.
This is one of my Monark apples off my tree this year. They get redder but this one was more on the inner part of the tree since we had a frost/freeze this spring right at the time of the tree blooming.
I love apples (and pears) that weep. They are MUCH easier for me to prune. They don’t seem to send up water sprouts nearly as much as other trees. My Monark consistently bears much more than all my other trees.
I thought my tree might make a few apples this year, but there weren"t any flower buds yet. Excited to hopefully taste it next year though hopefully.
I harvested my first Arkcharm, the other U of Arkansas release, last year and was very impressed. It was crazy precocious, productive, and also extremely delicious, especially for such an early apple. It’s a shame they quit their apple breeding program.