To me about 13.5 is the line and some of mine reached that this year. However, they still can’t be stored- ones that I grow are too prone to rot for that.
Lucky for me, even a good HC is not especially appealing to my palate. I’m grateful that Goldrush and Spitz are both very grower and storage friendly apples that hold up through the months I actually need apples and are more to my liking.
I’m finishing my last nectarine this morning in my oatmeal and still have late peaches in my trees- Heath Cling still has a few days to go before even ripening and there are still a few Victoria hanging and a bushel in my fridge just picked. I’m still a month away from really appreciating the taste of apples, although I did eat an amazing Ashmead’s Kernel the other day (full russet version).
I even have some perfect Elephant Heart plums left to compensate for mediocre E. plums in storage near them.
With the challenging weather we have in the NE, the trick is to grow as many varieties as you can. That way every season will provide some excellent fruit no matter what the weather does. But whatever the weather, HC will never be taking space in my fruit fridge- they all are given away to people who love them- at least until grafts on my two original HC trees take over completely.