Need advice on Jonathan and Yellow Delicious apples, please

mamuang_gwApril 21, 2013

Hello Apple growers,

Next Sat, my town will give out two apple seedlings, Jonathan and Yellow Delicious, for free (part of the Arbor Day celebration).

I've searched old posts on this forum, not many people talked about them.

Do you think they're worth planting? I appreciate your input either pros and cons on these two varieties.

I admit I am tempted to get them because they are free. Maybe, I could use them as rootstocks!!!

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alan haigh

Do you mean trees started from seeds of Jonathon and Yellow Delicious or those trees on seedling rootstock.

If they were started from seeds they probably aren't worth planting for you as fruit will likely no be very useful and certainly not at all like parent apples. If they are on seedling rootstock they will require more space although both varieties are naturally somewhat dwarfing.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:39AM
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Jonathans seem to be more susceptible to scab around here, and also really, really need to be thinned to get big fruit (not that a Jonathan ever gets big). Great flavor though.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:19AM
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I think they are on seedling rootstocks. I'll check if they look like they are grafted.

Dz - where are you located? Intensity of disease can be more or less, depends on locations. Thanks for the warning, though.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 9:47AM
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I'm in S PA. Seedling rootstocks mean you have an apple tree, period. Good for bloom, usually, good for making juicy apples, maybe.
If you get 100 seedling trees and only save the ones that produce good fruit, then you can cut the other 98 down.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 2:50PM
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If they turn out to be seedlings, I will (attempt) to graft a couple of varieties I like on them instead.

I don't have a lot of space left in my yard so I have to be selective and creative!!! Thank you for your advice.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2013 at 8:45PM
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I grew Jonathan as a child since the lot my parents bought came with some very old standard apples left from a turn of the 20th century orchard.

I love Jonathan! Despite the fruit being small, it is great
to eat fresh or cook with. A bit tart but nice. It is not a
great storage apple as susceptible to the dreaded "jonathan spot" in cold storage. Keeps fine til

Golden Delicious has fallen out of favor yet I still enjoy one grown East of the Rockies (big difference than those
grown on the west coast). This variety really needs to
be hand thinned as small sized goldens usually never amount to a quality apple on flavor. Great apple to cook
with or eat fresh. Makes a great pie or strudel, just cut
way back on sugar when you cook with them.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:42AM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

If they told you what the varieties are, I'm sure they are giving you grafted trees. The real problem might be, you probably won't be able to find out what the rootstock is, so you will have no idea how big they will get. Dwarf rootstocks will only grow to about 9-10 feet, semi-dwarf will grow anywhere from like 12-15 feet, and seedlings can grow 30 feet high. And the trees are typically just as wide at maturity as they are high -- they kind of grow in a globe shape unless they are well pruned to do something different.

Also, the bigger the tree (based on the rootstock), the longer it takes to crop. Dwarf trees will begin producing apples at 2-3 years old. Seedling trees can take 8-9 years. Semi-dwarf is in between, maybe 4-5 years. I hope you are patient.

Both of these apple varieties are great for eating and for cooking, also excellent for juice. Neither one keeps very long -- you'll need to use them up before winter, or sauce or juice them and freeze.

Go ahead and plant them, and have fun!

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 11:51AM
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Thank you everyone for your input. I help me have a better idea what I am getting into.

I'll get them and see what they are, grafted or not grafted. I keep all my trees 10 ft and under, so far, so good.

Anyway, I will plant them. If I change my mind later, I could dig them up and give them away.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2013 at 6:13PM
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