Rusty Coat Apple

Hi All,
I was looking at Scott’s list of apple varieties and their performance in hot and humid climates and saw a description of Rusty Coat. Does anyone know which apple he was referring to. There are several old varieties that go by that name, including Keeners Seedling and Andrews. I’m interested in late ripening varieties with high tannin. I’m in the North Carolina piedmont.

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We just called it Rusty Coat. I had only two trees left after 100 years. A stripedy stayman and a “yellow” rusty coat. Brown canvas color is a better description. And this one WAS RUSTY, like biting through 220 grit sandpapered skin. When the bite came out, it was crisp, white white flesh and juicy sweet.

Get your polydent right before the bite. I remember it being late summer on the tree, but heck fire, that was only 50 years ago if my memory serves me well?

You might check with the very wonderful folks near you in Reidsville, Century Farm Orchards and up my way, Big Horse Creek north of Jefferson.

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I bought Rust Coat scions from the late Tim Hensley, 25 yrs ago. Not sure what befell the tree I grafted, but it’s no longer here. I presumed it was a Russet apple variety.

David at Century Farm and Ron at BHC both offer Keener Seedling. I grafted one of Ron’s scions here, and the resulting fruit indeed matches your recollection.

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The Keener Seedling I’ve eaten here is definitely on the dry side, not at all what I’d call juicy, did not wow me as an eating apple. Zone 7B.

Juicy sweet taste, flesh lends to dry bite.

Sounds like the consensus is it is Keener seedling that Scott mentioned as being tannic. I think rusty coat could also just be a term used for all similar apples with heavy russet. Lee Calhoun also has a Andrews rusty coat originating in Chatham county. My question is does the Keeners have enough tannin to make it worth trying as a cider variety. Always on the lookout for tannin producing apples that can grow well here. I have ordered scions from both David and Ron, and both do have Keeners. I have never seen it mentioned as useful for cider though.

It doesn’t have enough juice in the flesh for me to have used it for juice volume, but the taste lends well to cider as it is dry not acidic imo.

And the one here was not just russet, it was sandpaper peel. Get what you plant.

I think most likely it is it’s own named variety, it is a distinctive apple variety, and I haven’t picked another anywhere like it. Old timey for sure. You will know it spinning on your palm.

For that cider matter, the Limbertwigs taste so good for cider, but they don’t make juice volume. All the new turks making ciders are buying them up, hope they go broke when they could blend some much better brews. It’s a fad!

Have you given Harrison a try? Ron grows it in Ashe County. I think it’s classified as a bittersweet.

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In the old days Harrison and CampfIeld were like Rogers and Hammerstein

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I believe that Graniwinkle was another classic cider pairing.

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I do have 2 Harrison trees but they have yet to fruit. Being a northern apple I’m not sure that it will take the heat of the piedmont but I’m giving it a try. Campfield is also on my list to try but it’s also a northern apple.

Both Harrison and Campfield were grown extensively in the Mid-Atlantic region. Albemarle Cider Works outside Charlottesville, VA has a large orchard section of Harrison. It grows fine in the Piedmont.

Charlottesville is quite a bit cooler though than than where I am down in Alamance county. It is on the mesic side of the mesic-thermic line (soils-wise) and is really very good apple country. We have more disease and rot problems here. It could adapt very well, many apples that do very well here have come from the North, but only time will tell.

See the other thread where I mention Yates … that is your apple if you want an apple that will take the heat and produce awesome bittersweet juice. I should say I have not used it for cider yet myself, but I have used maybe 50 other apples for cider and am pretty good at estimating how an apple will work. I have two Yates on MM111 and hope I will be up to my ears in fruit in a few years.

Thats what my Rusty Coat was like as well. Note that it also had good tannins so in theory it could work for cider.

I agree that a variety of tastes go into cider, but we make 25+ gallons a run and dry flesh doesn’t make much juice.

Don’t ever sell me pink lady for cider. It makes volume but it’s insipid as making love in a row boat. (And that’s one I can’t tell the punch line). So a balanced mix is always a good mix, 2 bu sweets, 2 bu tart, two bu high sugar, then 2 for nuance flavor. We use field boxes rounded up, 1.3 bu each, red del, staymen, yellow del, rome or limbertwig or what’s at hand. .

NC stopped us from selling raw juice without pasteurization. So that cut out the little guy unless he has $50K to spend on machinery.

Wisconsin makes noises about doing that, too. Not only would that cut out the small retail outlets, but also it would put custom pressers out of business because the bulk of their volume is from small retailers, leaving the hobbyist without any way to get his crop converted to juice except to press it himself, which is pretty dismal in a dismal-economist’s sense. … and, anyway, raw, unpasteurized juice tastes better. … and, besides, who wants to outlaw wild fermentation? Geez! Common knowledge indicates that fermentation kills off the objectionable bugs such as E. coli, which seemingly is the main culprit.

In addition, people harvesting apples can transfer manure or other contaminates to the apples still on the tree if their hands touch the rungs of the ladder where dirty shoes or boots have been.

This is what passes for erudition: You have to obsess about your neighbors’ cats and dogs going potty under your trees.