Red foliage in fruits such as pears and apples = red flesh?

Could it be so simple that red foliage = red flesh or peel? Many fruits seem to have red pigmented skin or red pigmented flesh if they have red leaves. Could be much easier to isolate pear seedlings if it’s this simple. What is your experience?

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Seems to be in the case of apples. I know @SkillCult plants tons of apple seedlings and one of his recent videos suggest that the red fleshed apples he grows has redder foliage than the others. I think that’s one of the ways he selects seedlings for testing.


Here are a couple of recent pics of apples from a seedling tree I have ( same seedling I have talked about before ) . No outward indication that it should produce red fleshed apples. No red foliage , no red wood and flowers are not pink. However I do have many seedlings growing now that do have red foliage and red wood that it will be a few years to know if they produce red fleshed fruit.


Lovely. How does it taste?

It is a mostly sweeter apple that is pretty decent tasting. I am not good one on describing the taste of apples and not enough apples on it the last two years to pass them around and judge peoples reaction to them yet.

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interesting topic. Figuring out for the best seeds you, can do this by a good preselection ( see pic)

I don’t know if this technique can be used for apples too, i’am curious I haven’t tested before.

On red colored mutant pears this preselection works very well for me.
all highlighted seedling germs with the color pink became trees with red colored foliage, on the other hand, all-white germs show normal green-leaved trees

so far trees are still in juvenile stage next year 5 leaf, growing on their own roots, I forgot to grafted on rootstock.


Gorgeous trees! Grafted to a mature tree in two-three years you could eat your first pear. I can’t wait for you to post how they turn out. There are only so many mature trees here and it’s never enough to graft all of the seedlings on them. I’ve forgot to graft on rootstocks before as well and something like ohxf333 fruits very quickly. Life can be very busy at times and breeding trees like you’ve done is admirable! Raising pears from seed like you have is a very long term project! I’m shocked to see you strategically breeding pears! Impressive!


I was out hunting apples again today and found a few more red or pinkish fleshed apples . One is a crab that is about as red fleshed as I have found so far and none of them have reddish leaves or wood. One thing I can say is the red flesh must be fairly inheritable as they tend to grow in close proximity to each other .
On Alcedo’s experience with red seedling germs , I kind of was looking at the same thing with my apples . The problem was the ones I wanted to follow to see about red leaves got mixed up with all my other seedlings when they were planted. I plan on being a little more organized next spring and watching for red sprouts and keeping them separate.


There must be a great way to identify them but like you I cannot find any distinguishing marks on yours to know your apple is a red flesh. I’m going to look again.

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I think I counted a dz red leafed and wood seedlings in my growing beds out of a few hundred. I plan on grafting them onto established trees to speed up the time it takes to produce apples from them. Not expecting much but want to see what they produce. I posted a decent red fleshed apple I found the other day on a thread I started titled the next great apple variety #2 . I picked two buckets of them today for cider and can save seeds if any one wants to try growing them .
BTW I have three red leafed pear seedlings out of about a dz I sprouted this spring!


I just watched skillcults new video of a seedling he just got first fruit from and he crossed grenadine apple with golden russet. Grenadine is almost all red fleshed. The resultant apple didn’t have a single trace of red fleshed color nor did it have any russeting at all. He thought the apple was pretty decent but didn’t have any characteristics of the parents. That is what makes apple breeding so difficult.


Of my 15 Opal apple seedlings this year, one has striking red autumn foliage. This one may be a keeper just for it’s ornamental value. I am interested to see what type of fruit it bears compared to the others.


About 200 of my 1,300 apple varieties are red fleshed. And that is only counting a few of my red fleshed crosses, the rest are all commercial releases. . I have dozens of unnamed red fleshed seedlings growing from my crosses every year that I do not count in my apple variety total. One of the signs I look for in the hundred or so new seedlings that I grow every year is reddish tinged leaves or bark or cambium. Not all red fleshed apples by any means have red leaves or red cambium but when I see those traits in my seedlings that is a good sign to me. My most popular cross to our UPic guests is one I call Derek’s Pink Dream and is Pink Pearl x Golden Russet, another is Lisa’s Gem from Pink Pearl x Black Gilliflower. The last couple of years I have let people pick from a cross of mine that I call Ruby Sipper that is a cross of Rubaiyat x Golden Russet. And another called Red Heart which is a cross of Red Devil and Hawaii.

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I am VERY interested in getting some RED FOLIAGE ornamental edible fruit trees. Regarding inheritance, RED for fruit and foliage-seems that some Chinese researchers did a loci locator and are going for BOTH fruit AND ornamental foliage and did their research on MAX RED BARTLETT and Red Zaosu, their sports showed strong genetic that maybe SOMEONE can do a CRISPER on? Perhaps some one has a link to some grad student looking for work?

I couldn’t find anything on red foliage apples. I have SOME red tints forming on my Shinseiki, and I bought what was listed as red foliage (hasn’t for me) Burfords Red Flesh.

I found some of Neils Hansens old PRE USDA ARS stuff to try-I am working now on the scionwood database for apples and pears.

I have (1) MY tiny cordon orchard in Central Ohio, and want to re create the home orchard-now gone due to Black Walnut poisoning of neighbors, Downriver Detroit with hopefully some “jesuit” fruit trees-some originals or seedlings now some 300 years old and 60 feet or so pears are the only ones left and I should like to try some historic fruits IF any tolerate walnuts, and the dryland micro climate retry of Hansen’s 1880 onward Steppe plants which might make it where we ripped out a couple of miles of redcedar and the water table bounced back to the 1881 levels.
Raintree carried Hansens Red Fleshed crab (primary cross) again supposedly wonderful foliage. Hocking Hills is doing some experiments here in OH, and I pulled this from their site re some cultivars they must have got from USDA ARS.
Royal Raindrops crabapple best fall color
Upright, spreading crabapple with purple cutleaf foliage and orange-red fall color.
Brandywine good fall color
Purple Prince good fall color
Hocking Hills orchard-makes some of their own pink fruit crosses-I haven’t interacted yet re ornamental qualities of their orchard fruits…
GMAL 3563 (Kazakhstan) Wild PI 600458 x M. sieversii (Open-Pollinated) cross. Large, ribbed bright crimson skin. Flavor acidic-sweet with pleasant aroma, white flesh with pink inside which is different than most.
GMAL 3781 (Kazakhstan) GMAL 3781 x M. sieversii (Open-Pollinated) cross. Medium greenish yellow apple with light pink flesh.
PI 613969 (Kazakhstan) Red flesh apple.
PI 629318 (Kazakhstan) Red flesh apple.
PI 629319 (Kazakhstan) Red flesh apple.
PI 633918 (Kazakhstan) Red flesh apple.
PK.14 (Tamboz, Russian Federation) Medium size fruit with red skin. Red flesh on the outside, white on the inside.

THis is some more info re plants I haven’t seen yet.
Beautiful Arcade X Fluke 38 Crab red by Dr. Neils Hansen, of South Dakota
BURFORD RED FLESH(mine is Small red apple One of the venerable Tom Burford’s discoveries, Burford’s Red Flesh is one of the many varieties pioneered by seventh-generation orchardist Tom Burford of Virginia. Fall foliage is a glowing, awe-inspiring orange-red. Mine has some small apples but the flavor wasn’t so great, and foliage hasn’t shown any glowing colors yet. It is in the 3rd year.
NO foliage info for Centennial Crab=Dolgo X Wealthy , Detroit Red, Dolgo Crab (a Siberian crab by Hansen), Geneva= dark red mahogany foliage Dark red flesh,seedling of Niedzweckyana. dark red mahogany foliage. Dark red flesh on the outside edge and around the inner core, very tart flavor. , Niedzwetzkyana= first year for me-Hansen collected it from Russia) Large bright red apple with brilliant red flesh. The most striking fall colors in our nursery!, Hmm, I will see if it dous a sourwood or sassafras flame out but no tinge on it or burfor yet.
Redfield=(Wolf River x Niedzwetzskayana Red Crab) 1938 NY 1938 bronze leaves and red blossoms qualify it as an ornamental; highly resistant to scab;
Winekist (Hansen Cross Dakotas 1949 Unknown cross, red-fleshed apple ready in The tree and fruit show a close resemblance to the Red Vein Crab apple trees.The tree is bushy with leaves having a dark cast. The blossoms are red and the wood is pink. Fruit is medium sized and wine red in areas, with stripes of darker red. The stem is long and slender. The cavity is deep and steep. The basin is shallow and slightly buy obviously lobed. The flesh is very juice, coarse and almost a beet red, a real eye popper. The tart flavour is not one you would go out of your way for, but it is quite edible especially for a red flesh.

It would be very interesting if other folks would try their hand help build up some really superior fall foliage apples for dual use. I bought my own Niedzwetzskayana to try crossing to my Calville Blanc d’Hiver and Rubinette tree.


I hope to try my hand in future IF I CAN manage to limit deer problems in urban fence restriction zone.


Jumping in here since you mentioned my orchard, Hocking Hills Orchard, but it looks like you say I grow Royal Raindrop, Brandywine and Purple Prince which I do not. Out of my 1,400 varieties of apples just over 200 varieties are red fleshed though so I have quite a few.

In short anything Nels Hansen developed has reddish hued leaves, Albert Etter developed varieties do not. There are exceptions t o everything so if someone knows of a variety that does not fit this yep no doubt.

Most of the varieties from Kazakstan have reddish hued leaves as well.

What is now marketed as Burford Red Flesh I bought from Burford Brothers in the 1980’s when they sold it as Clifford and it has reddish leaves.

When I do my crosses in the Spring and then check on the seedlings the next year I always look for reddish hued leaves because odds are that fruit is going to have red flesh of some kind, not always but usually.

Now on my red fleshed pears not one of them has reddish hued leaves, they are all green normal looking leaves.


Hedwigiae (from Geneva) has beautiful reddish/bronze foliage. The one I picked last month was fairly small, very red and tart. Let’s just say the raccoons found them to their liking about a week ago…


I figure there’s more info out there, so I’m bringing this old topic back to the fore.


@KYnuttrees is looking for Red Zaosu, I believe.
Early Crisp Red Fragrant Zaosu Pear
Do you know of a scion source?

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Thanks, my next batch of Lucy Glo seeds will be germinated on perlite in cool conditions so I can see pigments.

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Wow, this forum seems promising. I am no avid apple breeder - I just started out my tree growing a few years back, and happened to do a batch of Red Delicious seed.

One of the seedlings had a strong red color, which I thought was a deficiency at the start, but later I found out there actually was such a thing as red leaved apple trees :joy:

Well, the tree must be about 5 years now - but still no flowers though, so it’ll be interesting to see the resulting fruit when it flowers.