Scotts apple variety experience summary 2005-2015

Tony, that would probably be Kidds Orange Red. Many of the older apples are not so crunchy which rules them out. For example Mother is even more fragrant than Kidds but is not particularly crunchy. Kidds is a parent of Gala and is somewhat similar.


After reading reviews on Wickson on other sites I am thinking about growing one. Do you think it is worth growing here in Maryland? Also there seems to be confusion between the naming of Wickson and Crimson Gold. Who would be a reliable source to get Wickson from? I see Cummings carries Wickson.

Funny you should mention that… I just chopped down my last Wickson tree last night. On some thread here I posted pictures of my Wickson this year, let me find it.

They crack like this fairly often, and most of the crop was ruined this year. It also is highly prone to cedar apple rust. I don’t think it is good at all for Maryland. Even when they were good I didn’t find much to do with them, they do have a unique taste but are very chewy so after an apple or two they are not so exciting for fresh eating. They probably would be a good pie apple, but they stay extremely firm when cooked and may stay too firm. For cider they certainly are good. I could have used the above guys in cider but the bits of rot will put an off flavor in cider if there is too much of it.

Thanks Scott, That certainly saves me some trouble. I will try something else.


Thank you for this personal report on your varieties!

I live in Georgia, zone 8a, so I’m sure the info doesn’t translate perfectly, but it’s a lot closer to my climate (hot, humid) than many lists I’ve seen.

I was thinking about a Goldrush, and your positive experience confirmed my decision to order it. Easy to grow and great tasting sounds like a winner.

(I also ordered a Galarina, which you haven’t grown, just because everyone in my family loves Galas.)

And finally, I was going to play it safe and order another of the newer disease resistant varieties, but I decided to order a Rubinette instead, thanks to your glowing reviews. Hopefully it gives me some good fruit, but I’m much more excited about trying this than ordering, say, a Liberty (which you say is a bug magnet anyway) or an Enterprise.

The other apple I was thinking about ordering was an Akane (for early fruit) but your experience steered me away from that. I can imagine your problems with it would only be magnified here.

And now, I’m also thinking about a Black Limbertwig. I had thought about it (having a native Georgia apple tree in my landscape appealed to me) but never knew anyone who grew it, and didn’t want to buy it without some reports on it. But now, I’m thinking maybe I might try to find some scion wood of this and see how it goes.

Thanks again for sharing your experience! It is very helpful.


I don’t have any particular reason for the most looking forward to trying a winesap, perhaps its the name, elegance sounding but it peaks my curiosity. It will be probably at least 2019 before I taste one but am a bit let down you didn’t get to taste this one. I feel robbed… LOL! :wink:

I should add that I immensely enjoyed this read as again I love everything apple. Though I’m in W Michigan, I’m happy to hear your thoughts in & around Maryland.

I have a Winesap tree that I got from Lowe’s last year. It was about 6ft tall when I put it in the ground in May. Soon after that, it got its leaves stripped up to about 4ft up and some branches damaged by a deer, so I put 4ft fencing around it and all my other fruit trees. But it recovered nicely over the summer and grew almost two more feet, and put on some new branches.

Since it’s so big now, I might let it set a few fruit next year; none of other apple trees are that big yet, so no fruit for them next year. My next tallest tree is a Grimes Golden, at about 6ft, but doesn’t have many branches.

I did sample some Winesaps from a local orchard, and they were in my top 5 out of maybe 30 varieties that we sampled. Big fruit, slightly crisp, but juicy with a good sweet/tart balance. They don’t keep a real long time, but that’s OK. Now whether my Winesap produces similar fruit we’ll have to see.

BTW, there are other Michiganders on this forum, @Drew51, @chartman, @Sue-MiUPz3 and @Chills are just a few, so they could offer some comments on your choices.

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Mar '15

Scott, you might consider trying the Pink Lady “Maslin” strain. It is supposed to ripen a few weeks earlier than the original “Cripps” variety. One of the local orchards here grows it, and it tastes great at November harvest. The apples are a bit smaller, but I think they have a superior flavor & texture, and keep better in cold storage. Sometimes Willow Drive carries it.

Thanks Matt, I’ll add that one to my queue of varieties I want to try.


Did you end up adding that variety Scott?

No but its on my list. In the past I grafted too many apples to the same stock so now I just “virtually add” them, I put them in the queue and they eventually make it to the top as I remove other varieties. One advantage of this is I often get overly excited about a variety, now instead of already having that guy grafted when I cool on it I can just delete it from the queue … a lot less work overall :slight_smile:

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So your saying you have like a apple netflix exchange. :slight_smile:

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I don’t have a winesap (in fact never tried one either)… Add it to the list eventually…

I only have a honeycrisp (poorly sited has bloomed but not fruited yet,

A Liberty … Fruited 2 years much better last year than its first

A Sweet Sixteen… Fruited in a pot ( I kind of forgot it) hasn’t fruited since I severed the roots and put it into the ground. It gave us 3 of the best (and largest) apples I’ve ever had.

And a Gimes Golden that is horribly sited and has never bloomed or fruited (and its 8 years old). After all that time, it’s still only about 6 feet tall too.

When I got into this I focused on things I couldn’t get in stores and that wouldn’t likely require spraying (hazelnuts, pawpaws, mulberries, etc)

My wish list for apples is small right now, I have had limited success with grafting (persimmon last year) and I would like to add Rhode Island Greening to my Liberty. Why that variety? Simple, I’m originally from Rhode Island (though I cannot recall ever having tried one)…anyone got one of these?


I grow it as well as get some off old trees at a local orchard. I like it. As a baking apple, it really excels, but I enjoy eating them out of hand, as well. It does not have the complexity of flavor of, say, Ashmead’s Kernel, but it is a good to very good tart dessert apple. It’s been disease free for me. Compared to what is said online about it, I have found a little less of an tendency to be biennial, but not as long a storage life (I may be picking them too late, though, as I let them ripen on the tree for fresh eating).

I wondered if it was less likely to be targeted by insects and diseases, or if it was able to be grown without modern pesticides and anti-fungals only because the vectors for such things was decreased in the past ( due to smaller orchards and less pressures from fewer introduced issues. ( many pests we battle are from elsewhere now a days)


My Rhode Island Greening is productive and fairly disease resistant thus far. I use it for pies. I usually just use Surround soaked footies although I got hit hard from caterpillars last season. I will look at scions possibilities. I usually let it over produce and get scrappy scions. It is on B9 in a container. I picked it initially as Greening is an old family name of mine.

Reading through your experiences, Scott, I’m thinking I will look into try to get and graft Hooples Antique Gold, Rubinette, and maybe Kidds Orange Red onto existing tree(s). I was already planning on adding Williams Pride. I know WP has some disease resistance; do the others as well? We will be doing minimal spray/as much organic as possible so I’m trying to avoid bringing in anything very disease prone. (Right now we have Liberty, Sundance, Pristine, Gold Rush, Pomme Gris, Dolgo Crab, and Honeycrisp. . .the last is my husband’s favorite so we have to give it a try. We also have a big unknown apple that we want to graft other varieties to.)

How has Pitmaston Pineapple handled disease pressure? I saw you said some English apples didn’t work for you. My climate is probably pretty similar – Shenandoah Valley of Va.

I like most apples. . .I like everything from Golden Delicious to Gala to Pink Lady. But I definitely prefer the flavor and sweet-tartness of apples like GoldRush and Pink Lady.

In my orchard I find the varieties touted as disease resistant are not all that much better overall. So, WP was officially bred as disease-resistant, but it got bad water core so I didn’t keep it. The primary goal of the disease resistant breeding programs is scab, but I don’t have much problem with it – it gets hot early here and the scab usually fries in the heat.

The ones you mention have all been pretty reasonable for me. About half the English apples I tried were not good but the other half were good. Pitmaston Pineapple I have had bad luck on rootstock so I don’t have all that many years of fruiting on it but when it did fruit I had few problems with it.

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Scab isn’t too big a concern for me unless a variety is super susceptible. I’ve seen CAR destroy a tree though, and of course fireblight is a concern.

I just don’t want to bring in something that will be very likely to fail, or worse, be an infection harbor. You always seem to note if something gave you a lot of trouble so that’s why I asked about those varieties specifically.

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@scottfsmith, any more experience with American Summer Pearmain?
My graft took on a tree of mine, still waiting for fruit. Slow grower, spindly growth.

We waited nine years, only to discover it wasn’t actually an American Summer Pearmain (why we don’t use Antonovka for our own grafting and no longer buy from nurseries that only use Antonovka). Nothing three years after we planted a replacement on B9, so we, too, are waiting. However, I think we might have a better experience once fruiting starts here in the Finger Lakes than Scott has in his location.

At some point I removed most of my summer apples, I realized I didn’t need too many as they are just for immediate eating. I removed ASP then. Looking at my logs, the main downside was it never set a lot. The flavor was good, what I call “creamy”, also aromatic and sweet. But it was also not consistent in quality from fruit to fruit. So I pulled it out. The only early apples I have left are Pristine, Ginger Gold, Early Joe, and State Fair. The first two (P/GG) and the second two (EJ/SF) are sort of similar pairs so I really could be OK with just one of each of those. All of these four I like a lot. I also still have Laxton’s Fortune, Goden Nugget, MonArk, and Cherryville Black, those are several weeks later though.