Need Help with apple id from West Virginia

Been up in West Virginia the last few days visiting our old homestead near Hinton in the southeast part of the state. While there we took a side trip up to Lewisburg to visit friends. They have a nice size property with some old apple trees. One of the trees amazingly still had a few apples on it. This was the nicest one I picked… It had a crunchy bite not mushy at all just a bit of tart but sweet as well. The flesh was yellowish, I could have easily eaten 4 or 5… Thought it might be some sort of crab…any ideas??


Do you think the red spots are lenticels that are part of the apple’s natural appearance?

I’ve seen Golden Delicious develop red spots like that when exposed to sun, though probably never to that extent. Can’t tell for sure, but that looks like a short stem, which tends to argue against GD. The tartness does as well.

My first thought was Golden Delicious but when you said crunchy with a bit of tart it made me rethink. Where all of the apples small? Might be worth harvesting some scionwood.

I initially thought it was a golden delicious as well, but the texture and flavor would say no…apples were all about that same size. don’t see any way that it could be a cross of some sort since there aren’t any other trees in close proximity. I’m definitely going to get some scions from it.

What a fabulous looking apple and it sounds delicious as well. I could use a few dozen of those. does anyone know the name?

Here’s an ID key that you can work your way through

:Identify your apple variety by comparing its identification characteristics


Thanks Hambone! What a great interactive chart. It is a great aid.

Great link, TY!!

It could still be a cross if its a rootstock or purchased as a seedling.

That guide unfortunately doesn’t have many obscure southern apples in it, Grimes was about the only one that came up in it for me.

I’ve never seen an apple like that myself, you might try some southern apple experts like Ron Joyner to see if they had any idea.

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Dern! and I was hoping for a definitive answer- that’s one unique and beautiful apple.

I just sent the apple photo to Ron Joyner and will see what he says. Agree the Orange Pippin ID key leaves out Southern varieties.

Try contacting Dr. Mirjana Bulatovic-Danilovich at WVU in Morgantown WV. She is a pomologist with WVU. I personally know Dr. Mira and can tell you she is always looking for the lost apple trees of West Virginia. If you send her all the information you have, she might have an idea for you.


Ron Joyner, Big Horse Creek Farm (heirloom apple nursery) appears to have the answer on at least the coloration:

"Without having the fruit in-hand for close examination, it’s hard to say with any confidence what’s going on with your apple but it looks just like damage from San Jose Scale insects. I’ve seen this before on yellow and green-skinned apples but not to the degree as your apple! Are all the apples on the old tree just like this?

The red coloration is caused by immature scale insects known as “crawlers”. You can usually find the adults clustered in thick colonies on the tips of branches. I did a quick search and found a picture of a damaged apple which closely resembles yours. You can see the image here - Bright red spots on yellow apples - Ask an Expert. It’s actually kind of pretty in a weird way!

Thanks for sending this along."


Thanks for all of the suggestions…should have done a better job getting pictures, probably would have helped if I cut the apple in half…@hambone I found the same info about the San Jose scale when I was looking around the interweb, pic in your link seems like a good match for the coloring…not sure the apple is the same…so, I think we can safely assume that this is some variety of yellow apple…

thanks @MollyF, I emailed Mira with the picture. will see if she has any ideas.

Wondering about Grimes Golden (old W. Va. apple) but it should ripen late Sept/early Oct.

That apple could have very well been on the tree since early October…

Looking at some pictures of the Grimes and from reading the description of the taste profile, I would say that’s probably the strongest possibility…

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I believe that is likely Tollman Sweet.
Here is a picture of one from my orchard. These are the only apples I’ve ever seen with red lenticels like this