Golden Russet on 2 sites

alan haighNovember 13, 2013

I was planting some trees way upstate CT today where I had planted some last year. On a couple of those trees there were a few apples still hanging, including a couple of Golden Russets. Pulled one off and tasted it and it had the perfect balance of acid and sugar but temps had dropped down to 20 the night before and it was still frozen.

On my way home I ate the rest of it and it was such a perfect apple- noticeably superior to the sweeter and grainier ones from a tree on my own property this year. Better, actually, than any of this variety I've eaten from several trees at other sites just south of my orchard.

It could be because the roots were damaged from transplanting, or it could be the difference of being one zone colder, but given that folks north of me rave about this apple my guess is the more northern location suits it.

Location, location. Especially for heirlooms, I think.

Interesting how much cold it took without losing texture.

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Glad to hear this, I live in Massachusetts and just planted two trees this spring. Just pulled a Gold rush out of my fridge and the taste blows me away, love tart sweet apples. Does Gold Rush taste similar?

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 5:29PM
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alan haigh

You mean Golden Russet? Down here they are usually much sweeter than Gold Rush but the one I ate up there had a similar acid sugar balance but different texture and a bit more sugar- Rush is so hard. Come to think of it, it was juicier than Golden Russet is down here also.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 8:37PM
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Yes I planted two Golden Russet I bought from Orange Pippin last year. They're pretty small trees I don't expect to get any apples for two more seasons.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2013 at 8:43PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)


Last Friday I too picked some very good Golden Russets from NW CT (Averil Farms in Washington Depot). Since they had some mild freezes (down to 25-25.5 per the owner), they were selling the PYO apples at a discount ($1/lb). I picked 10 different types (>70 lbs total), but got the most Golden Russets, as I remembered how good they were last year from this orchard. Now, after seeing how good the Golden Russets are again, I'm wishing I had picked 90% GR, rather than just 30-40%.

There were only 3-4 trees (that I found) of Golden Russets, as they started grafting over some Red Delicious a few years ago. Some apples were still hanging, but I also "picked" a bunch which looked like recent falls and were still in good condition. They are quite firm (almost hard), with good dense flesh and sugar sweet juice. Their brix has ranged from 17-20, with most in the 18's. I think they've passed Goldrush as my favorite apple. My Goldrush seem to be too variable. Maybe this will change was the trees get older, but I often have half a good apple, with half an OK apple. SweeTango is also in competition for the top spot, but I'd really like to be able get them somewhere other than the grocery store and at less than 2.5-3$/lb.

While the freezing doesn't seem to have done them any harm, most do have watercore. I'm not sure if this is due to the cold, or just how ripe they are. I also bought some Roxbury Russets in their market (which they picked before the freeze) and they too had watercore, though it was shaped a differently (see the below pic which has one of each). The Roxbury are pretty good, probably tops compared to the other types I picked, but don't have the same sweetness as the Golden Russet (the Roxbury have been in the 15-19 brix range, with most in the 16's).

Of the PYO, the Fuji, Mutsu, and Ida Red (one I hadn't liked much in the past- full ripening seems to help) have been the best (in the ~15 brix range), with Baldwin (lots of red without lots of flavor) and Spigold (large, with weak flavor) being surprisingly disappointing. I also got some organic apples from their market. Florina Querina was impressive, dark red, with good crunch and 15.8-17.5 brix in my first sample.

Top: Roxbury Russet (picked before freeze)
Bottom: Golden Russet (picked 11/8, after 25 degree freeze)

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 12:40PM
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alan haigh

The watercore has to do with all the clear days of the growing season, I think. It seems to coincide with very high sugar. I've read that the Japanese consider water cored Fujis the ultimate.

I've never seen so many varieties with watercore as this year. Had freeze damaged and over ripe Ashmead's Kernel today that had it. It was from grafts I made on seedling apples on top of a mountain near Canaan, CT. The apples were still good a month past picking time and slightly softened from freeze. This year as many varieties had apples with watercore as those without. Very strange.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 6:06PM
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I had some watercore on Liberty apples this year -first time.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2013 at 7:36PM
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