Help with apple tree. (pics inlcluded)

mldao(9)August 14, 2008


Can anyone tell what type of apple tree I have? It's 10 years old and really only started producing about 6 years ago. It produces apples from June - September.


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It is not always easy to identify an apple from a photograph. Experts usually include a description of the flavor and texture of an apple when describing it, so you might want to tell us how your apple tastes - i.e. sweet, sweet/tart etc.

The color of your apples looks like one of the older strains of Gala to me, though the shape of the apples is more elongated than the Galas I grow. One or another strain of Golden Delicious is also a possibility, which would be more consistent with the shape. Apples grown in one part of the country can sometimes take on quite a different appearance from those grown in another, even when they are the same apple. So it might be helpful to those trying to identify your apple if you told us where you live, which I am assuming is someplace in northern California.

June to September is an unusually long picking window for any apple, and that may be due to your location and climate. But from looking at your apples, I would say they are ripe and ready to pick right now if that photo was taken recently. Those apples look pretty close to fully mature, and apples picked and placed in cold storage before they are dead ripe on the trees will keep much longer.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 4:04AM
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afss(5b ?? Nova Scotia)

i was thinking maybe a red delicious before ripening?

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 5:34AM
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Scott F Smith(6B/7A MD)

Those bumps on the bottom also make me think red delicious.


    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 9:39AM
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Except that Red Delicious stripes as it ripens, and does not develop areas of pink blush. However, I agree about the RD shape; that's what has me puzzled.

Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 11:09AM
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definitely not red delicious,
pink/red patches on these apples don't reflect RD colour although
the shape at the bottom is similar to RD.

no matter of the kind but it is very attractive
eye pleasing apple,
i would like to have it

    Bookmark   August 14, 2008 at 2:30PM
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Hi all,

Thanks for taking the time to reply to my post. I live in South Orange County, CA about 8 miles from ocean. The apples have a sweet/tart taste, very delicious. We tend to pick them before they're fully ripe so I'm not sure if they would be sweeter if fully ripen. They don't have a red stripe when ripe (not that I can see). The bottom of the apples have 4 bumps if that helps.

They are definitely an eye pleasing apples.

I can post pictures of the actual fruit if that helps. I;m leaning towards Gala but I'm not an expert by any means.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:04AM
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calistoga_al ca 15 usda 9

Having lived in an area where Red Delicious were a big part of the fresh apple market and many growers grew what were called 'Double Red' variety none of the variations ripened as these appear. There was virtually no local market for RD as they are not highly regarded as a good eating apple. The major market was the US government which bought them for the military. The claim was made that "soldiers will only eat a RED apple". RD once ripe is mealy and dry and they must be picked early. The county AG commissioner would announce the day picking could begin and the growers were 'at the ready to pick'. Al

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:10AM
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Definitely a delicious variety, of some kind.
1)the bumps on the bottom give it away.
2)"Type" is the term used to refer to the length to width ratio in the Red Delicious deal. That much type is extraordinary and I can't see that happening with a complete chance seedling of other parentage. That much type is something that Red Delicious growers would kill for. And believe it or not Red Delicious is still being grown and sold, in some cases, for good profit. Some places like Russia, Mexico, Thailand, and Vietnam still like a pretty red apple with type and pay for it.
There are, or at least were, many strains of Red Delicious that were blushed rather than striped. There were even strains like Redspur that apparently had a blushed and striped version.
I can't see any Gala in that apple. The early Gala was blushed orange and not red. Gala is generally round. But some have a little type.
Type usually requires cold nights to show up. I would think it would require a nursery to select a strain to get that productiveness and type. I would not think of Orange County, CA to be a climate conducive to producing this much type. This might be a chance seedling or a tree damaged and coming up from roots. When trees are sold on seedling most of those seedlings, at least from around here, come from orchards of Reds pollinated by Goldens. That would explain the type and productivity.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:01PM
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geraldo linux: Thanks for the information. I compared it to a Gala and your're absolutely correct. The Gala is much rounder then my apple. This tree was planted 10 years ago and I wish my landscaper would have given me the name of it. I'm not sure if, when or how to prune this tree.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 4:39PM
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could it be Kandil Sinap? I've never seen one in person but the apples above have the elongated appearance that the Kandils are apparently known for. They are from Turkey so I'd expect they would grow well in CA.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 5:37PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX


Have you ever seen or grown Criterion? That's a cross of Red Del, Golden Del, and Winter Banana. I had it a long time ago. It's the only apple I've ever seen that color. And, as well as I remember, it had that long typy Red Del shape. Those apples are too typy to be a Red Del in my opinion. Even in the best, cool climates commercial growers must spray their Red Del to get that typy of a piece of fruit. In most areas of California, a Red Del would be a shorter, sqatter apple. I think you were saying the same thing.


Your fruit is clearly not Gala. I don't think it is Red Delicious either but that is a much better bet than Gala. Red Delicious is sweet not sweet/tart but that might be location or personnel preference. Criterion was grown some in Washington State. Main problem for the commercial trade, as I recall, was bruising.

The Fruitnut

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:15PM
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Fruitnut, right on all, ok most, counts. The apple has bumps so I think it clearly has Red Delicious parentage. And yes, no one that I know of would get that kind of type even if they sprayed with Promalin. And grew the apple in the best locations of Washington State. That apple has exceptional type, by any standard.
I grew Criterion years ago. What a PIA, at least from a commercial viewpoint. It just doesn't look like Criterion to me. If it bruises just by looking at it, then it might be some kind of Criterion but I just don't think so.
There was a variety called Firmgold years ago that could look close to that apple if grown in good sites.
Storkace might be on to something. I had thought of Kandil Sinap at first, but dismissed it as it just doesn't look like my KS. But these apples can look quite different if grown in different sites. My KS has a woody texture that I don't care for. Turkey has different sub climates.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 8:47PM
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Where have you been? I thought you might have fled to Mexico.

I have both Kandil Sinap and Criterion here, and neither is a good match for the mystery apple, at least as grown in Northern Virginia:
Kandil Sinap:

[IMG] 1_75dpi.jpg

More Kandil Sinap:

[IMG] 5_50dpi.jpg

Criterion with Red Delicious:


Don Yellman, Great Falls, VA

P.S. I am not sure these images will appear. If not, better luck for me next time.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 10:17PM
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Your tree is Anna, a low-chill variety developed in Israel. It should have exploded in blossoms in January, and do not be surprised if it starts blossoming again in a few weeks. If you thin them out they can get quite huge, and the quality is decent. The ones in the sun will turn red but the shaded ones are still good.

They only plump out like the above photo if they get pollinated; you can tell by the seeds inside (the pollinated ones are fat, while the unpollinated ones are little shells).

Your tree could use some pruning this fall.


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 12:58AM
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Hi Don. I have been real busy trying to make a living. And building a house. We have been thinking of spending the winter at Lake Chalapa, Mexico.

Applenut seems awful sure of hisself, no IMHO or nuthin!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 3:00PM
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(Geraldo- If you're right, you can afford to be. If you visit Chapala, make sure to visit Ajijic.)


I just now saw your post about not knowing how to prune it.

You need to thin out that bushy growth and cut off all the branches that are growing inward toward the center of the tree. Anna is a spur-type that will overload skinny branches, so you want nice low-angle crotches coming almost straight out from the tree. Do not worry about pruning wrong, as you cannot hurt this tree. Do this after the second smaller crop ripens, around November before it goes dormant. In February thin the grape-sized apples hard; one per cluster, a hand's-breath between apples. The resulting nice fat apples are easier to make pies out of. By the way, despite being widely grown in the tropics, Anna is grown by Richard Fahey in upstate New York, zone 4. They force blossoms in January for floral arrangements.

The skinny ones that are kind of hot-air-balloon shaped are the ones that didn't get pollinated. You may want to plant a Dorsett Golden nearby, both to pollinate the Anna better and its also a great apple in its own right.

Dorsett Golden


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 5:01PM
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afss(5b ?? Nova Scotia)

i was under the impression that any fruit not pollinated would shrivel up and drop off well before it reached any size.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 8:07PM
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I've heard that too, but it is not true with these apples. If you look closely at the Dorsett Golden apples above, you will see that there are no seeds, just miniscule brown specs where the seeds should be, which is the case with 90% of the apples on the tree. If they get pollinated both the seeds and the apple fatten up.

Since it and Anna blossom mid-January, there aren't many pollinators around, and sometimes they blossom a couple weeks from each other. But that doesn't stop them from setting a ton of fruit, a trait that endears them to growers in the tropics worldwide.

On the other hand it is a bit annoying; it means every blossom will set an apple, meaning a ton of thinning every year...


    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 11:15PM
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My tree explodes with blooms towards the end of March beginning of April. I think you're correct that it's an Anna tree. I checked the apple trees at my local nursery and the majority of them are Anna. I printed out your pruning directions and taped it to my fridge. Thanks so much for your advice and help.

Thanks to all of you for taking the time to reply.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2008 at 7:25PM
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