Winter Jon

Anyone out there have a Winter Jon that has fruited? Have you noticed any drawbacks to the variety? What is the fruit like. So far it is the most disease and pest resistant apple in my orchard, though Gilpin may come close. I am thinking of planting another but if the fruit is highly acidic one may be enough. Nothing seems to touch it other than an occasional Japanese beetle. Yates also comes close but it seems to be attractive to aphids. Winter Jon has very thick and pubescent leaves, unlike most other apples I’ve seen so this may have something to do with it. I’m curious why more people don’t grow it. I’m located in the Piedmont of NC so lots of disease and pest pressure here.


Wow. That’s an apple I’d not thought of in over 25 years… I bought a scion of it from the late Tim Hensley at Urban Homestead in Bristol VA, early in my growing career… I’ve got no idea, at this time, what became of my Winter Jon graft… or any of the other heirlooms that I got from Tim. I can’t even recall the last time I saw it mentioned in print…


I planted a Winter Jon tree last fall which has proven to be quite precocious. It bloomed this spring and, despite usually not letting a first-year tree keep its apples, I left a couple of apples which have hung on thus far.

Winter Jon is supposed to be a very hardy here in the southeast (I am located in Western North Carolina). I had fireblight this year on a number of my other trees but not the Winter Jon. Hopefully it continues to be resistant to fireblight and other diseases. I am looking forward to adding it to cider!

I have a Yates too which has also done very well. It is only two years old and has started producing. No aphid issues with it this year but a deer has unfortunately been grazing it.

If you are in the Piedmont, perhaps you have gotten some of your apples from Horne Creek Farm in Pinnacle. They have an unbelievable number of heirloom varieties and have been a valuable source for me along with Big Horse Creek and Century.

Yeah I’d say aphids have been the number one pest for the last few years. I’ve been trying to get the ants to move somewhere else but there are just too many. They seem to target certain varieties more than others, with Father Abraham being the worst. I am going to pull it out even though I was looking forward to the fruit. I planted all standards so no fruit yet. Better for the deer though cuz I have tree guards and the branches are above their browsing height.

There have been some flowers, especially on the Hewe’s Crab, which has been the fastest grower for me, but I’ve been picking them off. I really didn’t expect Winter Jon to do so well here since it originated in the mountains but it proved me wrong. I have been ordering from Big Horse Creek and Century but so far I’ve only used the Horne Creek website as a resource. Do you know if they ship? I see they have tree sale days but its a bit of a drive.

delete post

I also get some aphid pressure but it seems manageable thankfully. My own battle here in the mountains is with root-eating voles!

I don’t believe that they do ship but the trip over to their site just outside Winston-Salem is worth it. I was able to look around their orchard which was quite interesting especially if you pick up your trees in the fall when apples are ripening.

My Hewe’s Crab trees (2) slso put in good growth too.