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nafex - [NAFEX] Harvesting Great Fruit in Late Dec. in Z6

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  • From: Alan Haigh <>
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  • Subject: [NAFEX] Harvesting Great Fruit in Late Dec. in Z6
  • Date: Thu, 24 Dec 2009 10:06:34 -0500

I was on a site in Greenwich CT  yesterday pruning some very old apple trees for the Greenwich Landtrust, a private non-profit dedicated to acquiring land in their community so it remains undeveloped.


One of the trees is a huge old crabapple that I doubt is anything other than a seedling, partially because it consists of co-dominant trunks that start at ground level.  Even after bringing it’s height down considerably it is about 30’ tall with a 40’ spread.


I decided to try one of the shriveled fruit on this tree and it was tasteless which I related to my assistant.  On a whim I picked another and tried it and it was truly delicious.  After that I ate several more and they were all very good- sweet with plenty of acid background and big apple flavor. 


Temperatures that had dropped below the teens on several nights and sunlight had partially dehydrated the fruit and created a very appealing consistency- just juicy enough and a little chewy.


There are a couple of small Goldrush trees recently planted on the property that still have some fruit on them so I tried a couple for comparison and even though they were palatable and probably as good as a regular apple can be when freeze-thawed several times,  they didn’t come close to the appeal of the crabs.


I remember reading an article by Richard Fayhey in Pomona espousing the virtues of apples off the tree in winter, suggesting that they could be considered an exciting “new fruit”.   I doubt that there are apples that would excite me in this form (Goldrush’s high level of soluble solids should lend itself to this treatment) but I actually think the fruit of this crab were greatly improved by the freeze-thaw treatment.


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