Who’s growing it? Where are you? How does it perform for you?
Literature says it is a parent of the vaunted Fuji. It also suggests it is a tasty productive variety that is not resistant to disease, but highly tolerant. The fruits purportedly come through cleanly even if the tree is dinged by fireblight or scab.
It is documented to have been grown by the Virginia planter, Caleb Ralls. Unsubstantiated rumors that he sourced it from Thomas Jefferson, who sourced it from the French Ambassador, Monsieur Edmond-Charles Genet.
I find this speculative history of the apple very interesting. In one of the first assertions of American independence: Ambassador Genet demanded U.S. aid at the onset of the French Revolution. Loathe to enter into foreign entanglements, President George Washington refused. Genet threatened to circumvent, so Washington denounced his efforts and requested the French replace him as their ambassador. After a change in power, the French sought to capture and punish Genet. Washington allowed Genet to settle in upstate New York where he retired as a gentleman farmer.
What are YOUR first-hand experiences with the Ralls Genet apple? Does it taste good? Is it a troublesome host of apple diseases which then build up and kill neighboring apple trees? Please dish…
I tasted it at a Tom Burford tasting at Monticello. Can only remember it was pretty good, can’t find the notes I took. You might check the tasting results for Monticello apple tastings- they rank the top apples for each year, is on internet somewhere.
I’ve got it on B118 or M106 and it’s growing well heading into its 4th leaf. I thought it might make a few fruits last year, but it failed to set even as Hall, grafted to the Ralls tree a year later, set five fruits (beautiful, but disappointing flavor wise - lacked acid). Perhaps I’ll be able to answer your question 10 months from now. I’ve got scions, if you’re tempted. This is the Red Ralls sport from the Geneva repository, so not the original.
Ralls is supposed to be a parent to RD.
Ralls a parent of Hawkeye/ Red Delicious? I don’t believe that is true. RD’s parentage is not known.
The Japanese crossed Ralls with Red Delicious to produce Fuji.
I’m trying to remember where I saw that, if I can find that I’ll let you know.
Jefferson was a fanatic about documenting what he planted, where he planted it and how much it produced. The information is contained in his “Farm” book and “Garden” book. I could not read his handwriting in the hardbound books in the library, but the online versions are easy to read. Nothing about the Ralls Genet apple in his books, but a lot about the mysterious Taliaferro apple which may be extinct.
I believe both Lee Calhoon a Tom Burford agree that Jefferson did not give the trees to Caleb Ralls.
Tom Burford’s orchard was located in Amherst County, Virginia which is the same county where Caleb Rall’s farm was located. The Tobacco Row Mountain area of Amherst County has a long history of growing fine apples.
From our tasting this weekend it was one of a handful that I made note of. Not knowing it was a parent of Fuji, it reminded me of a rich Fuji in sweetness, texture and flavor and struck me as an apple I know my wife would like.
I have a couple trees of it. Not bad but not one of my favorites. Reliable yet light producer. Has been producing fruit at my place for 10 years I think.
Has this been an apple that produces lightly every year that you can remember?
I am glad you mentioned that fact that it probably was not a true story with Jefferson. I had read that as well a while back as well.
pretty much so but it is reliable.
Murky- Did you go to a Tom Burford tasting recently? Wherever it was, what was your favorite?
No, this was the Home Orchard Society near Portland, OR. And we only had 100 or so apple varieties this year, but a few hundred pears.
Here is some useful info on Ralls Genet from an orchard/ciderworks located just down the road from Jefferson’s Monticello. and about 45 minutes north of Amherst county, Virginia where the apple is said to have originated.
Fruit | Albemarle Ciderworks & Vintage Virginia Apples.
Ginger Gold is another apple that originated from that same part of central Virginia.
TY for the link. I did not know they were that close to Monticello. My daughter and I had signed up for a grafting class there with Tom Buford. However, my family and I came down with intestinal flu just a few days before I was supposed to go there. Talk about bad timing. I was really looking forward to meeting Tom.
I have bought a few trees from them last year. They have nice nursery stock and are really nice to work with. I had as few questions about some of the apple varieties and they were very helpful. Fast replies on email.
Sorry you missed the grafting class at Vintage Va apples with Tom Burford. Burford along with the fellow from Penn State presented a class on small orchard production a few years ago at Vintage Va Apples which was excellent. I took his grafting class too. He expects 100% success when bench grafting. Like you, I have found everyone there is very knowledgeable and extremely helpful.
How did that Ralls do for you? Did it ever fruit and if so how is it? Thanks!
Apples yes. Pears yes. Don’t even think about it with Pecans or Walnuts. I consider it a very good year when I get 80% and am not a bit bothered if it goes down to 60%. Granted that I am “field” grafting instead of bench, but success rates with bench grafting of difficult species still won’t hit 100%.