Apples and the cold (on the tree)

marknmtOctober 19, 2013

I'm trying to understand how to guage how long my apples can hang on the tree as the overnight lows work their way down.

Most of my Liberties are off, but as I gradually pick and eat the remaining few I find a little watercore (not objectionable to me) and an improvement in flavor. I'd like to leave them a little longer but don't know what they'll take. I think they'll lose texture as they get too cold, but the cool mornings, down in the middle twenties, are giving the flavor a chance to develop, too.

Carousels (Cameos), Yellow Delicious, Stayman's Winesaps, and my one Rubinette are still hanging; they're just not ready yet and I don't want to take them any sooner than I have to. ( I also have Rhode Island Greening but can't believe it might make it. I need to remove it altogether, I guess. Just not suited for this climate.)



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Konrad___far_north(3..just outside of Edmonton)

It will take a little time to know, as a rule,..when the first one's drop it's time to pick.
Regarding cold temperature,..some varieties can take it better then others. I just picked the last today and they looked great, even with many night temperature below freezing, around minus 4C, 24F

    Bookmark   October 21, 2013 at 2:19AM
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I picked the last 8 bushel I had last night as forecast was to
get in the low 20's. The thermometer read 22 degrees this
morning at dawn. I did not want to take a chance but I always thought apples could handle it to around 24 degrees
before damage depending on the amount of sugars in them.

I picked red delicious and Northern Spy last night. Wow!
The spies are giant sized. I tried them in strudel this past
weekend and am very impressed with their size and cooking qualities.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 11:41AM
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I just finished picking my last apples. Not that many to pick after six years but my trees are really establishing themselves, for which I am happy. I pick 14 good sized Jonagold's and 7 Enterprise. The Enterprise were very small and sunburned (bag on) so that some of the apples look barely red, they look gold. A few are deep red. I can already tell they will not be ready to eat or cook with for a bit. It was such a hot summer, but that didn't help the development of my apples on the whole. They were all undersized this year except for the Jonagold's which look like nice apples. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Mrs. G I just picked my Jonagolds and Enterprise today. Not to impressed with Enterprise, but the Jonagolds are right up there with me with flavor.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 5:05PM
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My Enterprise were a good size. I left them on the tree thru a slight frost last week but not the freezier one last nite. I don't think you can leave this one on too long.

Having lost my applesauce tree, I did a mix of Enterprise and Gala for apple butter today. The dark skins of the Enterprise turned the pulp bright pink, almost like Konrad's red fleshed apples. The pulp is quite a bit too mealy and dry for applesauce, but it did well for the butter.

    Bookmark   October 22, 2013 at 5:08PM
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John and Itilton. I think the Enterprise have to be stored for a few weeks before their taste can be judged. That is what I have read and learned from this forum. I wish I knew how to keep my Enterprise from scorching. Surround? Am missing one Jonagold as my husband ate it. As you can see it is so frustrating that after six years, this is all I have harvested from these two trees. Thank goodness I have 30 fruit trees! One day I'll be swimming in fruit and screaming uncle! I will make applesauce from the Jonagolds, but I'll just have enough for Thanksgiving.

Itilton, my Enterprise, for the few that I get have never been mealy. Just very juicy with very thick skin. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 7:54AM
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Strange because my Enterprise is loaded with big dark red apples and the Jonagolds are also loaded on their third year in the ground. Enterprise was a bareroot purchase and the Jonagold was a Home depot purchase. I just grabbed the Jonagold as a wim, but it has turned out to be one of my favorite apples.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 9:33AM
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True, Enterprise benefit from storage. But I think this improves the taste, doesn't firm up the texture. These had been on the cold porch for about a week, not long enough to produce results.

It's strange because they're such a hard apple when fresh. They make a great baked apple. But I'm not so sure about pies. And if it had been the only variety in a batch of applesauce, I would have had to add juice.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:05PM
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Many of my Liberties either fell on their own or were very close and came off easily when I picked them, but I left as many as possible. Those still on the tree are taking on a much more complex acid/sweet balance, with a nice pear flavor. It's been dropping into the 24 F range, and we're getting frost most mornings. Judging from the weather service's charts it doesn't linger there very long, but it will stay below freezing fairly long.

I think the longer you can leave them on the tree the better, at least as far as immediate eating is concerned. I gather from reading here that they'll keep better if picked earlier, and I assume that there are some changes to flavor during storage. Now I need to learn how to manage ethylene gas in storage.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 12:11PM
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Jonagolds were ripe here a month ago. All I have left are Goldrush and Granny Smith. Thirdy year Goldrush produced an amazing crop of extra large, very flavorful apples. I hear they improve in storage, but I can't imagine these being better.

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 2:14PM
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Marknmt, I would pick the apples at this point. Mine always sweeten up a bit and become tasty (jonagold and enterprise) after they are in the house for about three weeks.

John, I am so jealous. All of my trees are really coming along slowly. They are healthy as can be but I have noticed how few bees I have. I have tons of flowers and crabs for pollination it should not be a problem but pollination seems to be my biggest issue. I'll post pics this fall after my fall clean up and mulching is done. Finally my Italian plum prune was loaded with plums. I even had three apples on a one year Mott's Pink apple. Jonagold is one of my favorites too. All of my trees are bare root. I"m expecting my last five trees this next spring. Then I am done. Mrs. G

    Bookmark   October 23, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Well, it's forecast to drop to 21 in a few days, so anything that is remotely close to edible at this stage is coming off- a few Yellow Delicious, the Carousels, probably the Winesaps. I doubt the RI Greenings have a chance no matter what I do, so I won't worry too much there.

Been a good year though- must have roughly 200 lbs of Liberties. Some crow damage but kept the bugs under control.

    Bookmark   October 24, 2013 at 5:11PM
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