Orchard Visit with Alan


I’ve been thinking about this since you posted a few weeks back, Alan. And now I’m wondering if I have the real Ashmead’s Kernel or not. Can you talk a little more about this? What is it that Cummin’s sells as Ashmead’s Kernel and who has the real deal? Thanks


Cummins version is fully russeted while the other has just a bit and is more a yellow and red apple. The “actual” AK is lopsided while the Cummins version is a symmetrical as any apple. The Cummins version also has protrusions- sort of warts while the genuine AK does not. Cummins ripens in early Oct with Macoun while the true AK ripens in late Oct with Jonagold and Red Delicious.


This is a little confusing. I don’t remember where I got my AK, but it wasn’t Cummins. Mine are very strong flavored even more so than GoldRush.


If you check Stephen Hayes Youtube on Ashmead Kernel, you can compare. His looked like your russeted ones.


Whenever I watch Stephen Hayes’ Youtube about his favorite apples, I want to graft them. A variety on my radar now is Olean Reinette.


I went to his and checked when I read Alan’s description.


I know I like the Winter King, May Queen, Kids Orange Red
And a bunch of others. He’s got great first hand experiences with how they do.


The only problem we face is climate. We are in New England but I don’t think our climate is like England’s :slight_smile:



My Cummins version has no orange in the coloration and neither do yours. When I look on the internet for photos of this variety some are fully russetted and some are orange-red with a bit of russet- they look like completely different apples. Yours look like mine before they become ripe and lose the green caste to become a golden russet- much like Golden Russet but with an almost opposite taste because of all the acid.

The picture provided above may look like the apple I suspect is the genuine AK, but they say it ripens in early Oct, like the Cummins version. Some day I hope to solve this mystery, but meanwhile I’m getting the small amount of wood I haven’t summer pruned from the orange-red version and grafting it to a tree or two in my orchard- if it ain’t AK it is still a great apple and will probably store better than the Cummins version because of later ripening. They have identical texture.


Maybe I picked mine early? They came off easily, but maybe weren’t ripened enough. I enjoyed how they tasted so picked them. I did find one about month later on the tree and it seemed fine and tasted great. I’ll watch and keep them on tree longer.


Sounds like what Fedco has on their site.


Perhaps the Cummins version is a sport of AK. Is there any russetted apple that tastes similar to AK? I just ate one and it still has that acid I like more so than a lot of my Goldrush. One difference that I noticed was I read it was a shy bearer, mine isn’t, it fruited within The second year also the third and about fifty the fourth. I thought it was my incredible skills that it fruited so well. :stuck_out_tongue:


What rootstock is yours on? Mine is on 7 and sends out a riot of wood and has had a lot of barren years. I think I may finally have it under control, but will judge it next year. The real thick pieces of annual wood are like water sprouts that keep the energy from spurs, so I now spring prune the tree AND summer prune it to keep light on spurs. A weak soil can also help calm down excessively vigorous trees as can water deficit- which is beyond control in the northeast.


B9 rootstock grown as a tall spindle. Both of my AK have grown to about my ten foot height in Cape Cod soil nothing added at planting fertilized once a year. They don’t grow a lot of limbs compared to other trees in my tall spindle planting which some growers might be bothered by, but I don’t need maximum amounts compared to other varieties. I believe I got them from Orange Pippin and remembered that they had very high grafts which I liked for planting purposes keeping them fully dwarfed on my system.


I have never grown any fully dwarf apple trees for long- I don’t even manage any less vigorous than 26 these days. Judging from 26, and reading, I feel I can assume that training issues on full dwarfs are much less complicated than on more vigorous trees. The main issue tends to be keeping them adequately vigorous, Too heavy early cropping can runt them out and be very difficult to reverse, judging from what I’ve read, although on 26, cutting back spurs usually works- eventually.


Yes I’ve runted out a few B9 apple trees, one was a Goldrush that I just got rid of and a Golden Russet, both on very poor soil which may of been part of the problem.


Goldrush functions on 111 like vigorous trees do on 26. It’s like ordering shoes where sizing tends to run small- with Goldrush, order one size up. People tend to underestimate the influence of the scion because guides about relative vigor of rootstock tend not to take that into account, or just represent trees with “average” vigor.

However, Golden Russet does have average vigor, it just has a very strange growth and bearing habit.


I had to laugh when reading this, your experience had been mine with my AK. Your pictures look like my AK, and Alan’s description above of the Cummins version (warty, earlier ripening, fully russeted) match my apple. I purchased my tree from Schlabachs on B9. Whatever this apple is, its one of my favs.


Looking at my AK with no leaves on it I’m surprised how many apples I got. Very few limbs coming out of it, but reached its 9 to 10 foot limit in my Tall Spindle group.


I only have about 8 AK left, but they have already mellowed in flavor almost like a pear in taste and texture.