Liberty apple's storage limits reached

marknmtMarch 25, 2014

I stored perhaps 150-200 lbs. of Liberties in poly bags in the refrigerator. I have ten or so lbs. left, and those are mostly showing brown core.

The fruit held its flavor well, especially the ones harvested a little short of full ripeness, but became mealy fairly soon. Still had good crunch though.

I might be able to bake with the remaining apples- I'll try it tonight when I make spare rips.

Kinda surprised that they held as long as they did.

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What is your overall opinion of Liberty and what other apples do you have?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:42AM
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I have the Liberty with parts of the tree grafted over to Gala, Yellow Delicious, Winesap, Carousel, Montana Red, State Fair, Haralson, others that haven't borne. The Liberty is the greatest producer by far.

I like Liberty to eat or cook with when it's good. It makes a good cider. Some years it's good, but lately seems less so. The fruit is a poor keeper, and the tree, although healthy, vigorous, and exceptionally productive, is a bearcat to prune well. It seems to be very popular with codling moth. I wish I'd gotten a more traditional tree, since this is the one I essentially learned on. But I like the tree and the fruit and I'm gradually bringing it under control and trying to work more of it over to Rubinette, Sweet Sixteen, Karmijn d'Sonneville, Prairie Spy, Jonagold. It's a funny looking tree!

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 9:59AM
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thapranksta(Mid TN 7A)

How long did they last exactly?

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 2:02PM
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From the first of October until now. I let some hang on the tree too long for best storage- a full two weeks longer, I think. Actually, they are still edible, at least some are, but the mealy quality and the brown core are turnoffs. Probably could have gotten more time out of them if I had gotten the temperature down a little lower, but I was afraid of freezing them and was a little over cautious. I had them in tightly sealed, non-perforated bread (polyethelene) bags.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 2:35PM
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Liberty apple for me is a plum curculio magnet. It may be useful as a trap crop or a way to detect the first plum curculio damage. I have found it to be a great cropper but the flavor is harsh if you prefer a mild apple.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 3:26PM
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I have never found the flavor harsh, and right now, after mellowing since October, it's not quite as sharp as I prefer. I like Jonagold, for a reference point. I find my Liberties to be less assertive than Jonagold. But this will vary depending on where you are, what your season was like, and what you like. So it goes!

I have to make a correction to my original statement. I just opened the last 10 pound bag with the intent of making pie fruit of them- my wife tried one and insisted we eat them out of hand instead. So there's a few more day's worth.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 7:16PM
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How do you like the other apples? I have the same tastes as you, I love Jonagold. I am specifically wondering about your Harelson and State fair. I have 3 young trees and doing a little franken work on a couple of them.

    Bookmark   March 25, 2014 at 10:34PM
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Haralson is a great apple here, as is one of its parents, Wealthy. Complex flavors, not so firm as Winesap but hard enough. State Fair is one of the Minnesota apples and is suited for a fairly short season. Good, but not my favorite.

As for the other apples Gala is a nice early apple and keeps well for being so early. Later apples seem to do better here. Carousel (Cameo) is good, just like in the store, keeps well. Yellow delicious is quite good here and keeps well. I'm optimistic about Rubinette but have only had one and wasn't blown away by it.

I'm excited to get Jonagold and Prairie Spy up to speed and plan to graft those higher on the tree when I have enough scion to do it. Sweet Sixteen is a very good and somewhat unusual apple. I have good scions for Karmijn d'Sonneville and am intent on finding a good spot for it. Like the Rubinette it's part of the Cox's Orange Pippin extended family.

Part of my logic in starting with Liberty was that I wanted a tree that was fundamentally healthy (read vigorous and disease resistant) to support my compulsive grafting! And except for my ignorance and the Liberty's curious growth habits it has worked out pretty well.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2014 at 11:31AM
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