Old Fashioned Limbertwig Apple

Wow figgrower, nice list of apples. I have 2 two year old Black Amish on M7 and a Dula Beauty on M7 planted just this fall. Have you gotten any fruit from these varieties yet? and if so what’s your opinion on them?

Fig- Yeah, nice collection. I share your preference for strong sweet/tart. Which of yours have you tasted that fall in that category? Any clear favorites? So far I put Goldrush and King David in strong sweet/tart category, both favorites here. Have you tasted your Dula Beauty, Red LT or Smokey Mtn LT?

Black Amish fruited for me in 2015. This was its first year, and I got four apples. I picked most of them too early, and they had a rather bland cardboard-like flavor. The last one was very good, mostly on the sweet side. Definitely not my favorite apple, but nice for a change of pace (maybe a 6 out of 10). Dula Beauty has not yet fruited for me (probably in 2016).

My favorite apples to date are Orlean’s Reinette, Egremont Russet, Ashmead’s Kernal, Gold Rush, and Roxburry Russet. Dula Beauty and Smokey Mtn Limbertwig have not yet fruited for me. I am estimating that they might produce in 2016. Red Limbertwig was grafted the same year, and has produced an abundance of small apples. I am hoping they will be larger as the tree matures. The tree may need to be more heavily thinned. Red Limbertwig is a storage apple, so it needs to fully ripen on the tree, and then hold in storage for best flavor. They were mostly sweet, but slightly more complex than Black Amish (maybe a 7 or 8 out of 10). Joseph, when well ripened, was a really good sweet/tart eating apple. It took a while to mature, and was a firmer apple. It seems like it might do well in storage for several months.

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Thanks Fig for your taste reviews, look forward to comparing our yet to bear varieties next couple years.

Are all of the Limbertwigs storage apples? I have only fruited Black Limbertwig and Myers Royal Limbertwig and they both are better after storage. I am going to hold some Black Limbertwig well into next year to see how they are then, they are very good right now and they are not showing any signs of breakwdown so look like a long-term storage apple. I am also storing Keener Seedling; they need to be eaten now as they are starting to get a bit mealy.

figgrower, I posted my apple experiences here http://growingfruit.org/t/scotts-apple-variety-experience-summary-2005-2015 if you didn’t find that thread yet.

Caney Fork LT doesn’t seem to be a storage apple. Victoria Smokey Mtn, and Virginia have not fruited for me yet.

Fig- How’d you like the taste of Caney Fork? Tom Burford writes about “the distinctive limbertwig taste” that apparently can’t be put into words. I found a couple sentences buried deep in the internet reporting that Caney Fork was the hands down favorite apple of an elementary school given various apples at lunch.

I really liked Caney Fork after it was fully ripened. If it is picked too early, of course, it is relatively tasteless. All of my Limbertwigs so far are producing very small apples (probably due to the age of the trees). I’m sure that will improve with time.



I salute your good taste in apples! A hearty welcome to the group.

Thank you!

I did not realize that there are so many Limbertwig apple varieties. After reading all the good things about this variety I feel good about my recent purchased of the last Limbertwig apple an old friend had yesterday. It is a Smokey Mnt. Limbertwig. Has anyone fruited it and what was your opinion of it? Thanks, Bill

Ron Joyner of Big Horse Creek Farm (sells heirloom apple trees/scions):

“Limbertwigs we have grown over the years, show excellent resistance to fire blight and most other common apple diseases. Equally impressive about Limbertwigs are their adaptability to almost all climates and soil conditions. They can be grown very successfully in cold mountain climates as well as hot, humid areas in the Coastal Plains. We are very partial to Limbertwig apples and can highly recommend them for your region in MD.”

My limited experience with the Limbertwig family is with 8 Swiss Limbertwig as part of a Belgian fence. I purchased them from Century Farms Orchard they have been in the ground since 2012. In the fall of '15 these were the best apples I ate. E. Spitz fruited well as part of the same planting as did Calville Blanc. Both good but not quite as good. Limited fruit set on Hudson’s Golden, Stayman, and Cripps Pink all ok but not really close. Bought several bushels of local Jonathan’s for cider and some of those were pretty tasty but the Swiss was the season’s champ. In a good year the local Fujis are honeyed and delightful but weren’t spectacular in '14 or '15. Picked the Swiss the 3rd week of October here in the heart of Salt Lake City. The only caution I would mention is that I did lose 3 of them that first year to fireblight while the Calvilles and Spitz in the same fence were unscathed. No outbreaks since. At least here they ripen late enough and are hard enough that they may be winter keepers but I used all we harvested rather quickly, so I can’t offer anything about that. As to flavor, very much like E. Spitz just better (at least this year).


I planted 7 varieties of Limbertwigs on G202 & M7 rootstock in the fall of 2014. Hopefully in a couple more years I’ll be able to report on my experiences with them.

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Vine- Thanks for your report. Did the Swiss LT survivors also get blight, just to lesser extent? Does Belgian fence reduce air circulation? I looked at a photo and it did not appear to do so.

My limbertwigs are starting their third year, no signs of blight but they haven’t bloomed yet so will see.

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Hambone, we’re in a mature old neighborhood and airflow is perhaps less than ideal but I don’t think that was the biggest part of the problem. I think it was just vigorous growth combined with perfect blight weather and yes a couple of the others got hit and made it through. I did use a copper spray in the aftermath but they have not been sprayed since except with foliar fish and kelp emulsion so I don’t think it’s a weak variety. I should say also that when I plant apples I put 4 or 5 pounds of bonemeal in the bottom of the hole so that first year there may have been a fair bit of nitrogen available. Even though we are in a semi desert climate our springs tend to be wet with '15 being no exception and it hasn’t happened again. It has grown well with lots of spurs and seems pretty happy. Very nice trees with medium size tasty apples. To sum it up, if it is an apple you’re considering I wouldn’t shy away because of tree health concerns.

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If you get a copy of that catalog PLEASE let me know. I would gladly pay for a copy as well.

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@figgrower Fig- did you eat any Dula Beauty this year? Love to hear your description of taste, texture, disease tendencies. Thanks. Steve

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Limbertwig Collectors: Virginia Limbertwig. My master list of Available Limbertwig Varieties and Sources unintentionally left out Virginia Limbertwig, scions available from Steve Kelly and trees from Foggy Hollow Orchards (Oregon): Virginia Limbertwig Apple