Regardless of whether or not it is a seedling you have yourself a winner. Great looking apple. Bill
In the last few years I have been seeing some Gala’s that are red and shaped like yours at our Publix. The red colored Gala taste sweet like the earlier/original Gala. Bill
Agreed, looks very nice.
I thought the same thing- looks like a nice, big Gala. But the fact that apples from different trunks seem all the same suggests that mebbe -must mebbe, mind you- a novice planted the tree too deep and you have a grafted tree as Bill suggests.
Name it a Carmine Delicious and market it!
I am in Kansas and sadly heirloom apples have been largely forgotten in the midwest. A sudden Sub zero freeze (Armistice Day Freeze) Killed off most of the apple trees here in 1940 and that was the death of many orchards here. They said you could hear trees still full of sap cracking and see trunks splitting open.
The tree come with our 100+ year old house. It is similar to many apples but, is not maching the description because of harvest time, the shape of the stem ect. I am have planted a large collection of heirlooms that I can compare to when they start producing. I planted a sucker off the tree a couple years ago that will bear additional evidence as to weather it grows on it’s own roots. Honestly, I prefer to think it is a one of a kind genetically unique seedling rather that something I can’t identify. I have been propagating it as the “39th parallel apple” because it sits exactly on the 39th parallel.
The flavor is very good and it keeps well which that with size all implys years of breeding. There are many possibilities and as you know many new varities were bred within a short distance such as staymans Winesap apple, Douglas pear etc. And who knows perhaps it’s a left over of the once popular fruit breeding programs in the area. See this article for info on staymans apple Stayman (apple) - Wikipedia. See this research on Douglas pear Douglas Pear. Google search
A. H. Griesa Experimental Grounds which was a well known nursery in the area in late 1800s early 1900s that did a lot of fruit breeding and research. Though they are best known for the Douglas pear they experimented with lots of different plants.
Your question is unanswerable, of course. Even if it seemingly had the qualities of a named variety we know, it could be a seedling of that apple and happened to have picked up a lot of the traits, or pure coincidence (barring DNA testing)…
I always assume the odds are that multi- leader trees are seedlings, but if soil is pushed above the graft union, which can even happen with properly planted trees over time, multiple scion shoots could emerge below the ground, especially if the above ground tree was badly injured by extreme cold or perhaps various pitfalls of old age.
I manage a lot of trees like yours and often graft them over to desirable varieties if there was no hitting the jackpot and the apples the tree produces are mediocre or worse. Even if the apples are good, big apple trees tend to produce more fruit than what you can use of a single variety unless you make cider.
I have several trees that grow(some have now died ) just like the one you have pictured that are leftovers from a similar scenario that happened in the 30s when the temp here reached a record breaking -53. They are named varieties and were of fruiting age when the record cold killed(or severely damaged to the point of being removed ) all the other trees from that orchard . Now I have no idea if the trees were grown with multiple trunks on purpose back when they were planted or if it developed over the years ( not all the leftover trees are/were that way). I can say that they were growing that way as long as I can remember and I am pushing 50.
I tasted the apple and its exceptional for both taste and size. It stores very well. Its a winner even among great apples.
You can name it and patent it and let someone else try to prove it is an established variety.
Seriously, it the apples are that good the tree probably resprouted from the scion just above the union. Or it is the very rare chance seedling winner and could be patented.
What makes me think its a cultivated variety and not seedling is the redness. The odds of getting a totally red, large, tasty apple from such an old tree - from a time before red was “it” for apples - seems small. Not impossible of course, just small. It looks something like Jonathan. If its a seedling maybe thats one of the parents.
It’ll be nice when its true identity is finally pinned down, or at least narrowed down, but in the meantime, you’ve got a good horse. Ride it!
It resembles some of the Galas and ripens about the same time. The stem is different and I think it may predate Gala which was patented in 74’. I was thinking it was possibly a Northern Spy seedling that was often used for rootstock.
Here’s an online apple identification key that might produce an answer.
Hope this helps.
Your apple does sort of look like a Gala (color) or a Jonathan (splotch on top). Also shaped a bit like Red Delicious. What a mystery…
Stayman Winesap is an awesome October apple, which originated in Kansas, but your apple looks nothing like it.
39, contrarian that I am I bury the graft whenever possible. I’ve read of burying the graft to gain a bit of cold hardiness, (not really why I do it) in the aftermath of a devastating freeze event that may have been a planter’s motivation. I wouldn’t be surprised if you eventually sort out that it seems to be a known named cultivar. Beyond that it is a pretty apple. When does it come ripe?
Sorry, ripens with Gala so fairly early huh. Should’ve read everything.
When you bury the graft of something like 7 or 111 the consequences may never materialize. It depends on whether the scion freely roots from bark and its level of vigor and probably how long it takes to send out roots. Once a tree is fully fruiting it is less likely to return to full youthful vigor.
I would be careful not to bury scions of varieties like Red Delicious, Gala and Northern Spy that generate root primordia as a matter of course all along the older bark, unless a lot of vigor was no problem and I had all the time in the world to begin harvesting fruit.
What a great list!
Does this delay fruiting beyond what is typically seen with the roostock?
I can see this method being valuable in the far north where tree size is stunted and winter-kill is often an issue. In a warmer climate you could end up with a monster sized tree. There are old seedling trees in my area that have multiple trunks that can easily be 20+" in diameter near the base and 30+’ high. Of course I have one seedling that has only one 6" trunk at around 12’ high. A true seedling is a crapshoot. In this case you’re cloning a know variety, but I’m not sure were you could get information on its relative vigor if it were on its own roots.