[NAFEX] russet apple varieties

Judson Frisk jlfrisk at iowatelecom.net
Thu Dec 11 19:42:43 EST 2008

I have grown American Golden Russet, English Golden Russet, Ashmead's
Kernel, Hudson's Golden Gem, St. Edmund's Russet, Fall Russet, Roxbury
Russet, and Zabergau Rennet.  My favorite is probably Ashmead's Kernel and
American Golden Russet.  Roxbury Russet did not do well here.  It seemed to
be like Swaar, a highly rated apple that did not do well in our climate.
None of them are great low care apples as they suffer from insects in an
organic orchard.  The St. Edmund's apple (since lost) was a summer apple
here and usually was a very short season as was the Fall Russet.  With the
hot summers of SW Iowa, most summer and early fall apples do not do well.
This year we had a cool summer and fall so the early apples actually lasted
longer and tasted better.  I like to use my apples for drying and most of
the russets are my most flavorful dried apples.  Zabergau Rennet tends to
brown in drying as I do not put anything on my apples when I slice them
before drying.  They are still flavorful and it is easier to fill a tray for
drying with large apples.  I do not care for the flavor for fresh eating of
Zabergau Rennet.  Hudson's Golden Gem tastes like a pear in our climate.  It
usually has a short season so I just eat it fresh.  I know the russets were
known for long term keeping but I find that apples with a slick skin like
Chieftain or Paragon keep better for me.   Judson L. Frisk zone 5 SW Iowa.



From: nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org
[mailto:nafex-bounces at lists.ibiblio.org] On Behalf Of Alan Haigh
Sent: Thursday, December 11, 2008 8:09 AM
To: nafex at lists.ibiblio.org
Subject: [NAFEX] russet apple varieties


It's gotten a bit slow here so it seems a good time to renew the frequently
brought up subject of relative merits of apple varieties- this time I'd like
to focus on russets.  The reason for this is that I'm relatively
inexperienced growing russets and am interested in other members experience.


The first russet that drew my attention I incorrectly identified as a Golden
Russet.  The tree is a reliable cropper, the most of all the varieties in
the orchard it is located.  The quality of the fruit is very good, a little
grainy but not excessively so, with lots of flavor, rich and aromatic.  It
is just juicy enough.  If I grew only 10 apples it would probably have to be
one of them.


As soon as some Golden Russets began to bear that I had purchased from Adams
County Nursery I realized my mistake and went to the books.  Although this
is often a less than reliable solution in confident identification I feel
certain that the mistaken tree is a Roxbury Russet.  


If I was to go by the literature alone, I would assume the Golden Russet to
be a superior apple, but as grown here I think the Roxbury is a better tree
in the home orchard and would probably be superior commercially as well.
Golden Russet is such a codling magnet that along with its tendency to crack
and its shy bearing habit, it doesn't seem like even a close second.
However my experience is inadequate, as I said earlier, so I'm interested in
input from other members.


I've already mentioned in earlier posts that I'm very fond of Hudson's
Golden Gem and this variety was widely endorsed here by others as well.  


I noticed that I have a couple of St. Edmonds Russets in my nursery which is
a variety that receives glowing reviews in the few references I have on my
book shelf.  Is anyone out there growing this variety?  Comments welcome.


My location is southeastern NY, Z.6 where Golden Russet used to be widely
grown commercially, especially a a juice apple.

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