Sweetango apple available to home orchardists?

garedneckOctober 24, 2012

After eating a Sweetango apple which was fantastic, I would like to grow them, but don't see any listed for sale by the online fruit tree sellers. It appears this tree may be under some type of patent, and is a cross between honeycrisp and zestar apples. Do you know where i can get a tree or do you think it is being sold under another name?

If not available, what would you say the odds are if i planted several of the apples i would get at least one tree with apples tasting like the seed fruit? Would it be easier to graft branches between honeycrisp and zestar apple trees hoping one branch may result in fruit tasting like sweetango? Just wait until the patent expires and then buy online?

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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

You won't be able to get SweeTango trees for a few more years. Even the big orchards can't get them, for example I think there is just one orchard in Wisconsin that is licensed to grow them. You won't get similar apples by planting the seeds or crossing your own trees -- the odds of getting a similar apple are something like 1 in 10,000 or in that neighborhood. If you want to grow your own, you'll just need to wait. I'm not sure how long, but probably very many years.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2012 at 8:41PM
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Thank you.

The apple purchased from a local grocery store was delicious , and i have to wonder at the rate the selection and quality of produce has improved at the local store, perhaps in 10 years there may not be much benefit of growing it ourselves from a taste and quality standpoint!

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 9:18PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

I was really wanting a Jazz until I tasted my first Rubinette. I have no need to look further for a really great apple now. Funny but I bought a bag of Sweetango at Sam's Club and I was not impressed at all.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2012 at 10:50PM
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dmtaylor(5a (WI))

Funny... Jazz is one of my favorite apples, too. And SweeTango was great here in Wisconsin this year, but last year I didn't think it was so great. SweeTango might be another of those varieties that are hit and miss based on who knows what factors. I am going to have to seek out Rubinette as I have never tasted it and have heard great things!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 9:06AM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

Cummins has Rubinette. I don't recall seeing it anywhere else.

Here is a link that might be useful: 2013 CATALOG

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 4:10PM
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I bought some Rubinette fruit from Applesource, a mail-order place. I loved it so much, I immediately purchased a tree and planted it even though I don't really have any more room. The tree was from Vintage Virginia Apples. They were very nice, but the tree was kind of small. I bet you would get a bigger tree from Cummins.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 7:51PM
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milehighgirl(CO USDA 5B/Sunset 2B)

My Rubinette has been my first to fruit. I got a really nice crop of about 20 apples in it's 3rd leaf. Mine is on G.11/MM.111.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2012 at 8:31PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

My notes on SweetTango:

SweetTango ($2.49/lb at Whole Foods, grown in NY)- 16.5-17.2 brix, with watercore marbled throughout. Almost 100% red, medium sized. Very good crunch and hardness. It reminded me of a Zestar, but with more sugar and with denser flesh (Zestar is breaking but light). A very good apple.

10/20- I had another (from the same batch). It was also very good to great, with a brix around 17.5.

When writing this, I decided to go looking for the 3rd (and last) apple from the 10/15 purchase. It was also all-red and medium sized. It seems that letting it sit almost 2 weeks in the fridge increased the brix a bit to 18.2-20- or it was just an outlier from when I bought it. Strangely, it wasn't any better than the first 2. In fact, it seemed a bit less intense. Still a very good apple. Maybe it was the very flavorful pomegranate I had an hour or two ago that jaded my senses.

But it was definitely a top quality apple- how often can you get fruit in the grocery store which has 20 brix? The only other apples I've seen hit 20 this year are Golden Russet (21.8 high from an orchard visit to Averill farms)) and Jonathan (just making it at 20 flat from a Farmer's market). Goldrush just missed a few days ago at 19.7, but it has 2 more shots in the next few days, as I'll pick the last couple apples before the hurricane gets here.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 1:18AM
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