Need some help here

Hi everyone! Like the Tile says I Need Some Help Here…

I Live in Virginia usda zone 7b - 8a (I’m in the borderline) and would like to get some scion wood but don’t know what varieties are insect or disease resistant or low maintenance on,

I would appreciate any tips and comments, thanks for reading my post.

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Well, you have to plant Esopus Spitzenberg because of the Thomas Jefferson connection. I don’t know this apple because I’m too far north for it. You can check with local nurseries.

Here’s one.

Here’s an experimental farm that’s planted heirloom apples.

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I may be misremembering, but wasn’t Esopus Spitzenberg was the one that Jefferson was never able to grow at Monticello, in spite of multiple attempts, because it didn’t take to the Virginia climate? Might well be happier in @CRhode’s neighborhood (pretty sure Fedco in Maine carries in, so it must be decently cold-hardy).

@Ruben : The thread(s) on Scott’s Apple Experiences may be very useful to you. Scott is in Baltimore, so his trees face some of (though not perhaps exactly) the same challenges that yours might.

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Thanks for the info @JinMA James, I would look at Scott’s apple tread.

Oops! I’m a county south of you and I planted a Spitzenburg 2-3 years ago. Hasn’t flowered yet. Maybe this spring…(fingers crossed) Do we not have enough growing days?

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Just saw THIS one. I am just a wee bit south of @CRhode and have one planted- no fruit yet… Thanks for the intriguing info.

@Ruben: No problem! Here’s a link to what seems to be the most recent update:

@HerbTarlek: In Apples of North America, Tom Burford notes that Jefferson “repeatedly planted Esopus Spitzenburg at his Monticello fruity but never succeeded with making it a productive variety.” Burford reports that in warmer regions it is highly susceptible to fireblight and moderately susceptible to scab, canker, and collar rot, and also prone to Jonathan spot. Cummins Nursery in New York simply says that it is “susceptible to just about all the common diseases.”

However, Fedco says that it “vastly prefers New York and New England to Virginia,” and @alan grows it successfully in his part of New York, and speaks very highly of it. I don’t know whether anyone here can speak to their experience growing it in the Upper Midwest, but it seems like it would be likely to do better there than it would in the South.

Here’s a link to Burford’s description:


My experience with Spitz is at 3 much different sites, one an hour north of me another half an hour south- those sites in an agricultural clay loam, and mine a fast drying silt. It is less susceptible than Macintosh to scab, which is easily controlled with myclobutanil anyway. It isn’t particularly susceptible to Marsonina leaf blotch, a new pest here. I’ve never gotten any fire blight on it, but FB isn’t that big a problem here at most sites.

It tends towards producing healthy and vigorous foliage and is early cropping and not prone to biennial bearing. It’s dark red color and white “stars” make it unusually beautiful. What I’m not impressed with is its storability as the apples from my fridge are already becoming mealy- I had one yesterday that I spit out. I have Goldrush laying around in my basement that are starting to wrinkle but keep tasting better with age.

Next year I will attempt to pick some a bit green as see how they do. It does surprise me that it is often said to be inedible off the tree and achieves greatness in storage. This is the second year I’ve clearly found that not to be the case with ripe-picked fruit.


I have had Spitz growing here for quite a while and have gotten few apples. First I lost it to blight, then I had it in a spot with too little sun.

@Ruben, for the peaches and plums I wrote up another report,

Overall I would say the biggest disease problem with apples are rots, half of all varieties rot too much in the mid-Atlantic. Pears also can have rot problems but they are overall easier. For peaches and plums brown rot is the main problem so you need varieties resistant to that. My favorites are all pretty resistant as I suffered with a lot of rot and removed any variety that was a problem.


Oh one more thing, I now am making a list of “bulletproof” apples, ones that get very little skin rots or other issues. These are the kinds of apples you need in the heat. Here is my current list.

  1. Hunge
  2. Blenheim Orange
  3. GoldRush
  4. Fuji
  5. Gala or Kidds Orange Red (Gala is more reliable though)
  6. Reine des Reinettes
  7. Yates
  8. Cherryville Black (late summer)
  9. Ginger Gold or Pristine (summer)
  10. Limbertwigs (Myers Royal, Black, Kentucky from my direct experience)

I just picked my last apple of the year yesterday, a Yates I had missed. It was still hanging on the tree in great shape, a bit soft in flesh though from the high teens we got.


Demski, Kring, and Company of Maple Valley Orchards north of Gillette, WI, offer “Spitz” whips but not scion wood. Strange! But then I had to wait a couple of years before Kingston Black was available, so not all varieties they grow are continually available as scions.

I grow twenty different trees on my backyard. I chose most varieties from tastings and the rest came from Tony’s advice about what would work in Sheboygan. We never discussed Esopus Spitzenberg. I wanted Yellow Transparent, but Tony wasn’t forthcoming about that even though it’s said to be a cold-hardy but early ripening apple. Too short a season and not enough heat, I suppose.

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What is weird about it to me is that Spitz produces a lot of nice annual shoots of good diameter- more so than most varieties. Some types grow very wimpy wood.

Scott- Have you grown Enterprise, MonArk or Freedom? I have all three here 7B Maryland, only Freedom has fruited., a decent apple, trouble-free so far. Friends here very happy with their Enterprise. I got MonArk once in a gift box from Wisconsin and loved it- summer, crisp, a bit tart.

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I never tried Freedom. Enterprise had thick skin and boring flavor, I pulled it. MonArk is a good summer apple, I still have that one. It is probably as bulletproof as Ginger Gold or Pristine.


Thank you @scottfsmith , @hambone , @alan @CRhode for you tips and recommendations and sorry for the late response between work and building my greenhouse on my free time and Christmas shopping I haven’t have enough time to check back here.

Thanks again, now I need to find some scion wood.
Merry Christmas everyone.