Here are the few apples I’m growing in my small southern California yard. The biggest disease pressure I have is fireblight. I end up pruning off about 50-75% of my Fuji every 2 years, but the tree is still surviving and producing annually somehow. What apple varieties do you recommend for fresh eating and fireblight resistance? I’d like to spread my harvest if possible. I love my goldrush, but that’s the extent of tart apples I’d want. Thanks!
Arkansas Black apple
Virginia Winesap apple
All on M111
I am in southern middle TN, and FB is a real issue here… especially if you or your neighbors have lots of bradford or douglas pears.
I lost a Red Delicious, Fuji to FB, and one other variety… don’t recall the name of it now.
I have a Macintosh that is near 20 years old, and it lived thru all those others (plus several pears) dieing of FB and never got it. I don’t see Macintosh listed on (disease free or resistant apple variety charts)… but mine has sure been a survivor, no disease issues at all.
With Disease resistance in mind a couple spings ago I started 3 new apples… Akane, Hudson Golden Gem, and Gold Rush. They are looking good so far…
I like Liberty, which is a small-medium sized apple that could pass for Macintosh. Good resistance to fireblight, very productive, challenging to prune. Stores reasonably well. We love them out of hand, find they make excellent applesauce, good pies, and great cider. Also has some resistance to rust and scab. But, a really codling moth magnet.
Low chill doesn’t seem to be a problem for apples. I get flowers every year from all my varieties, but production exploded after I added my goldrush. I assume the pollen from goldrush must be really potent but I have no way to confirm that. Even the flowering period/group assignment doesn’t really apply as they all bloom sporadically throughout the growing season after the initial bloom. My Fuji tree can be overly sweet some years even when they’re still fully green, but it’s at least 15 years old and able to survive the fire blight onslaught from the neighborhood’s ornamental pears so far.
I’m thinking of adding Sansa (as an early apple), Hudson, and open to others. I’ll look into the varieties everyone has suggested, thank you!
I planted Ashmead’s Kernel, Hudson Golden Gem, Fuji, Newtown Pippin, Liberty, Wickson Crab, and King David. They are two years in ground this year and I have apples on my Ashmead’s Kernel already, which I would suggest adding to your list. I’m in San Diego by the way and I would say ignore chill hours, they are meaningless for apples.
This is really interesting to me. I have no personal experience with growing apples below Zone 4, so my question was based on generally accepted wisdom, not on experience. But it’s a pretty amazing report, given the amount of work that has been done in horticultural circles around the world to defeat chill requirements in apples.
I am curious - do you know what sort of chilling hours your climate does produce? That’s not directly determined by zone, and maybe you’re closer to the having the requisite chill hours than I imagined.
I know there are a bunch of different chill hour models out there and I’m unable to use any of the free online calculators ever since they stopped using wunderground data, but my neighbors’ weather stations clocked 850 hours this past winter if I’m strictly counting every hour below 45 degrees from November to February. I did this by manually reviewing each recorded temperature every hour from November to February, and it was consistent between three weather stations on my block. My neighborhood is about 6 miles from the beach, but elevated at 1000 ft in a small valley near a lake half a mile away. I have no idea what influences what, but I can tell you that I get way more chill hours than some of my friends who are two miles away. I get consistent harvest from fruits that are labeled 500 chill hours and I hardly ever venture growing fruits that require more than 500. Apples are the sole exception, and I’ve been able to get fruits every year since adding goldrush.