Scott's apple variety experiences through 2018


I put in 5 Ribston Pippin this last spring and another 5 Cox Orange Pippin. Hoping that the Cox does well. I’ve only tried it on one occasion but what an experience I had sampling that Cultivar.


I have a Pink Lady apple tree planted in 2017. This is the first year with a considerable amount of fruit even though the tree is still small. My question is when do the Pink Lady apples get their reddish blush ? These are more green, but judging from their size and the fact that it’s September I think they may be ripe.


Pink Lady here don’t ripen until November (if they make it at all). Your zone is warmer but it still sounds like you should wait longer.


Here are a few pictures. I am in zone 10. Will they get the characteristic reddish blush when they are ripe?


Here in 5a/b, Ribston has done very well. Large semi russeted, sweet/tart, apples. I will be regrafting more as my tree fell victim to a wind storm.:frowning:


My Ribston Pippin trees took a girdling along with a number of my other trees from my friendly local rabbits this past winter and it sure did throw a turd in the punch bowl lol… I gotta keep the faith with them though because they seem to have bounced back from the cutting of the central leaders on them I had to do to make them grow better.


For me, Pink Lady apples start coloring up in October and I harvest them around New Year. I’m in Zone 9b.


Wow , thank you Scott for such a incredible report. I live in 8a Atlanta, Ga. I wonder if you have any info to share about Liberty and Freedom apples. I thought these 2 apples would better suit my climate but you have opened my eyes to so many more varieties. I must rethink my selections. Great job again on this report.


Hi Marvin, all the disease resistant breeding was done for more northern climates and with a primary focus on apple scab. Scab doesn’t like heat so in the south the standard disease resistance breeding is not really all that helpful. The main thing you need is rot resistance which is not something that is as bad of a problem in the north so relatively little focus on that in the breeding programs.

At some point I came up with a list of the most “bulletproof” apples from my personal experience with them, it looks like I didn’t put that above but here is the current take on it:

  1. Hunge
  2. Blenheim Orange
  3. GoldRush
  4. Fuji
  5. Gala or Kidds Orange Red (Gala is more reliable though)
  6. Reine des Reinettes
  7. Yates
  8. Cherryville Black (late summer)
  9. Ginger Gold or Pristine (summer)
  10. Limbertwigs (Myers Royal, Black, Kentucky from my direct experience)


What issue does Hoople’s have that made you not put it on the "bulletproof’ list?


All of the Golden Delicious relatives are a bit prone to rot. Not bad but only the truly bulletproof get to be on the bulletproof list!

This year the biggest new impression was Kentucky Limbertwig, it was not tasting so good previous years but with very late picking plus storage time it is a really nice apple. Plus it is incredibly bulletproof - it doesn’t even get sooty blotch or flyspeck to speak of. That apple definitely belongs on the bulletproof list!


Oh, OK. From your descriptions I was thinking Hoople’s would be a tree you could almost ignore and still get good fruit. Sounds like it still may be, even if there’s a little bit of rot. I’m further north so that should be less of an issue.

There’s some of that here. Here, around the corner there are a couple of apple trees planted on the side of the road that have been totally neglected. There is a Gala that, when it produces apples, produces tons of almost perfect apples that are a little on the small side. I think the year it didn’t produce any apples could have been blamed on a later Spring frost than usual.

I hope you have time to put out another apple/peach/pear experiences post for 2019. Those are posts I look forward to.


Yes I would say for you it will be bulletproof given you are a little cooler. It is the best of the GD relatives as its russet helps with skin diseases.

I unfortunately have little to report on apples this year, I had to raise the fruiting plane out of deer range and removed most of my fruiting wood to do so. That plus groundhogs crows etc and there was not much to harvest. I did get another seedling fruiting, I am calling it Pucker Bomb - it is 21 brix but you wouldn’t think so eating it as there are so many sours in it. Anyone who likes super-sour apples should ask me for some wood this winter.


Any idea what its parents are?


I didn’t keep track carefully but I think Spitz or King David is one of the parents as those are the only two red apples I planted seeds of. Pucker Bomb looks sort of like a Gala.


It sounds like you might have a real winner. I wonder if the apple will mellow out/improve in cold storage.

Maybe those who have said that you shouldn’t grow apples from seed, because the odds against getting a good one are astronomical, are wrong.


From my limited experience they are doing much better than the predictions. Only three have fruited and two of the three are interesting. The other interesting one is Pineapple Gold, a Pitmaston Pineapple seedling.

I wonder if the reason for this is that most commercial apples are grown in mono-variety blocks with crab pollinators, so most seedlings will be half crab if you are using grocery store apples.

I am sure the Pucker Bomb would mellow out in storage, but I didn’t get enough to store this year (the wasps were on them severely, they knew they were sweet). Still, it is not a super exciting apple to me given how sour it is, and there is also not much to the flavor besides sweet and sour. It will probably get removed eventually.


Thanks again Scott for the information provided. I am in the process of selecting 2 trees and this is most helpful. Especially that info on rot and scab. I will definitely emphasize rot resistance when researching. Any other disease or fungus you think my affect trees in the Atlanta area? Thanks again


So glad to hear there’s hope for blah, meh Kentucky LT.

How long did you store in frig? I still have Black Limbertwigs hanging.


They have been in for 2-3 weeks now. They need a lot more but based on past experience they will be really good in a few months. They have the flavor, just too much starch instead of sugar.