Trying to decide between planting Trailman or Chestnut

Got the two varieties grafted but I’m running out of space… Which one would you go with? Which one would work best in a cider blend?

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Chestnut. I like Trailman too, but Chestnut in a good year is exceptional

Edited to add…Chestnut also ripens later and over a longer period (here anyway). It also stores longer in the crisper

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I agree with the suggestion of Chestnut Crab. Wonderful apple with great flavor and easy to grow. Just remember that you can’t go wrong with either and grafting is a way to get both if you’re limited to one tree.

Agree with chestnut. I would still rank trailman above most other popular apples that ive tried though. Also, out of 13 or 14 varieties trailman is my soonest to give a good crop. Its been loaded two years while even my oldest trees are still just giving a few apples.

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I will agree that Trailman is very fast to set fruit. Likely to bloom the year of grafting.

My crab preference is Wickson, Chestnut and Dolgo. But I’m planning quite a few applecrab varieties so I’m limiting others.

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Dolgo isn’t much for fresh eating IMO. Deer get to eat most of mine

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Yeah. I got it for Rootstock, jelly and wine/brandy. Also have Keegan’s Crab but it is anything but a crab. An honest 250 gram apple.

Dolgo is a great rootstock here. Excellent winter hardiness, probably not a big deal for you though.

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We tried Kerr Crab at Geneva last fall, it got dubbed the Hawaiian Punch apple. Paul liked it so I ordered one from Cummins and planted it here at the house with the intention of using this tree for scion for trees at the orchard next spring.

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I havent eaten Kerr yet. I do have several grafted trees growing. They are vigorous on seedling roots

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I wonder how Whitney is?

Whitney is better for fresh eating by far than dolgo.

I have limited experience with Chestnut; it’s a young tree that just started bearing a couple years ago. I’ve grown Trailman for decades. Trailman is hardier; Chestnut sustained significant damage this winter while Trailman was unscathed, but it was sub -40F, so that’s probably not a consideration for you. I’ve made cider that was half Trailman, but suspect Chestnut would be better for that, since it’s less acid. I doubt Chestnut is as productive as Trailman, which every year looks like a cascading fountain of fruit. Trailman also needs zero pruning; I’ve had my oldest tree 20+ years, and the only pruning I’ve done is removing some lower branches for better access, It has perfect structure, and has never broken a branch in Fairbanks, Alaska, even under the heaviest snow loads. Trailman is also tied with Altai Mountain, a cultivar I obtained from the Central Siberian Botanical Garden in Novosibirsk, as the best drying apple I have. We dry gallons of them a year and they’re like eating tangy candy. I didn’t particularly like dried apples, which I’ve generally found insipid, until I tried these two. You can’t go wrong with either–why not just graft both to one tree?

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I haven’t been able to make hard cider with Kerr because my daughter has claimed the juice from that tree. Mind you, she doesn’t like sweet apple cider, but the juice doesn’t looks like nor taste anything like apple juice. It is ruby red and it tastes like cranberries.

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Responding not to the OP but to subsequent messages, I’ve planted Chestnut but not fruited it yet. IMO, the best smallish (crab-like) dessert apple that I’ve grown is Centennial. It’s early, gorgeous (pink and yellow), tasty, and bite-sized. My grandchildren love it.

For cider, I’ve had great success with Puget Spice. But it can be eaten fresh too.

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@don1357 The juice is red? Does Kerr have some red flesh or is the color “bleeding” from the skin?