Apple varieties

westgate(8b Brit.Col.)October 4, 2007

I know this should go in the "Apple" forum, but I thought, since we all deal with our damp climate, someone out there might recommend the best small apple tree for a suburban garden on the coast. We used to be commercial growers in the Okanagan Valley, but time and varieties have changed and the climate is quite different here. What about Gravenstein, Blenhaim Orange, Braeburn, Sandow Spigold or Bramley Seedling? Any recommendations?

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aftermidnight Zone7b B.C. Canada

For a cooking apple Bramley Seedling does well in my area. Gravenstein and Cox's Orange are another two that do well in our climate. Those are the three on your list I'm familiar with. Of course one of my favorites the Mac, hates our climate.


    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 3:01PM
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"Best" is going to be a matter of taste, as there are a good number of apple varieties that grow very well west of the Cascades in our cooler, damper conditions. And you will need cooperation from neighbors or a second tree yourself to ensure the cross pollination needed to produce fruit.

Raintree Nursery in Morton, WA has spent many years growing and evaluating a whole range of different fruits for their performance in the mild PNW and offers recommendations for some of the most popular and robust culitvars. Standbys that always make the cut are Chehalis, Liberty, Spartan and Jonagold, generally considered all purpose apples. Gravenstein is a perennial favorite but offers its own challenges - not the most disease resistant, non-pollinating and a biennial bearer. Personally, this is my apple of choice because of taste and lack of commercial availability - I just put up with its quirks :-)

WSU's Research and Extension unit at Mt. Vernon also trials a wide selection of fruits for their suitability for the NW. Recommendations are published in a brochure "Apple Cultivars for Puget Sound".

Here is a link that might be useful: WSU Mt. Vernon

    Bookmark   October 4, 2007 at 10:12PM
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knotz(8/PNW SWWA)

The Melrose Apple for sure...I LOVE mine...You can eat or bake with them and they are self pollinators...A little hard to find, but on the west side of the mountains, mine grows great.


    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 7:08PM
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Just to clarify - Melrose is not self-fertile and does require a second variety for cross pollination. Since its bloom time is rather late, another late season bloomer is recommended for this purpose. With only a couple of exceptions (most notably Queen Cox), no apples are self fertile and all require a second variety for pollination. Triploids like Gravenstein, Jonagold and Bramley will not provide pollination.

FWIW, pollination services do not need to be provided by a second tree in your garden. Just one in the neighborhood will suffice, provided its bloom time coincides. Even crabapples can pollinate fruiting apples. My small garden accomodates only one apple tree, my Gravenstein, but the neighbors also have fruit trees and the gravenstein reliably produces fruit based on the pollination from these other, neighborhood trees.

Here is a link that might be useful: apple pollination chart

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 10:21AM
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knotz(8/PNW SWWA)

Interesting gardengal...I guess you can't believe even the best highly rated master gardeners...When I bought this tree, 12yrs ago at this garden center, the owner, who was this master gardener, told me it was a self pollinator...

Thanks for the info...

    Bookmark   October 6, 2007 at 7:26PM
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knotz, the title "Master Gardener" doesn't necessarily bring with it superior knowledge. Or even adequate knowledge :-) What one gets out of the program is directly related to what puts in, as it is with any field of study. I've known master gardeners with as a complete a hort understanding as you could hope for with a degree program and others that couldn't figure out that you planted green side up :-) It all depends on the individual. However, it is a bit disconcerting that a nursery owner doesn't know the most basic information about the product he/she sells. To be a nurseryperson AND a master gardener and not know apples need a pollinator to set fruit (and even so-called self-fertile varieties will benefit from a second tree) is a double whammy.

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 10:55AM
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knotz(8/PNW SWWA)

I guess we must rely on our own research, huh??

Thanks for your input :)

    Bookmark   October 7, 2007 at 11:59AM
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tallclover(Zone 8 Maritime Pacific NW)

Here's a list with photos from my best growers -- on the westside of the Cascades, near Seattle

Here is a link that might be useful: List of the Best Apples I Grow in Seattle

    Bookmark   October 24, 2010 at 10:54PM
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hemnancy(z8 PNW)

I too like Liberty the best! Such a great apple, great-tasting applesauce from even tiny green apples, like the Ein Sheimer I used to grow in sunny San Diego. I also like William's Pride, an early apple, since it is big, red, and tasty, and somehow because it is early it rarely has any codling moth damage. Sweet Sixteen, with a nutty taste, and Freedom also didn't have much codling moth this year, we took apples to a cider pressing party and made cider, and I cut many in half and found only a few with damage.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2010 at 6:03PM
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