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  • From: Richard Moyer <>
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  • Subject: Re: [NAFEX] PRI apples; east TN experience
  • Date: Sat, 30 Oct 2010 22:32:35 -0400

Donna and all. We have fruited a number of the PRI releases, for each
of the last 15 years in East TN. Purchased from Ed Fackler,
selections on his recommendation. All planted on MM111 rootstock into
loam soil, shredded leaves applied yearly as mulch, pruning, thinning
and orchard sanitation practiced. Traps set for apple maggots,
coddling moths and coddling moth larva. Only 1-2 trees of each. Here
are our family comments below those already posted:

Anton, Thank you for this wonderful list! My comments follow each
> variety. Donna

>Wms. Pride, inedible, can't remember about CAR
> That's it for WP. Those who like it may have different tastes from me. You
> let us know if you change your mind in the next couple of crops. (You can
> be practicing your topgrafting skills in the meanwhile.) I really do think
> the apples were correctly identified at the farmers mkt because the college
> age kids selling them were right there with Burnt Ridge's trees for sale and
> owner present. I don't think he's going to let them sell the wrong fruit as
> advertising for his trees.
"Just asked four of them, and WP is a favorite apple of several of my
teens, the favorite for one girl and one boy. They say 'Ideal
sweet/tart balance, crisp and juicy.' Ed Fackler for years noted in
his catalog how well this one did in SE KY. For us, has been one of
the most freeze resistant, hence reliable bearer, when many other PRI
blooms froze out. No CAR. Limb angles excellent, very little
spreading needed, least pruning needed of the PRI selections we grow.
For most years, little or no thinning needed in our program.
Extremely fireblight resistant, equal or better than the other PRI
selections we grew. Beautiful finish with zero spray. Some years
gets watercore in extreme heat, treated this with calcium around
dripline. Hence one of 4 PRI apples we've planted at our new farm.
Best early apple we've encountered. This is one of two we sold for
summer CSA baskets, to customer approval. (The other was Redfree.)
>>Liberty, usu. a favorite apple, but mealy this year. no CAR.
> Very good, I liked the Liberty apples a friend gave me, so that implies I'll
> like what you like.
"Liberty very reliable, equal to WP in escaping late freezes. But
bears way too heavily, as compared to WP, and also pushes itself off
the tree before fully ripe, as the stems are too short. The more we
thin, the larger the fruit, and then the more they tend to push
themselves off the tree before ripe. Some growers have removed Liberty
because of this short stem causing so much fruit drop. I would
hesitate to plant Liberty unless are you willing prune and thin it; in
our experience most other PRI apples need less pruning and thinning.
Note Liberty fruitset is very reliable for David Lockwood at
Crossville? exp. station on Cumberland Plateau. Donna, I suggest you
check with David if not already, for he has trialed Liberty along with
other apples in a rigorous manner, with multiple trees over multiple
seasons, in a location very near yours. I would trust his (and Ed and
Anton's) observations over the same apple grown in Washington State or
Chicago area. To each their own.

>>Goldrush, excellent this year in flavor and texture, even just off the
>>tree. In years past, it took some time to mellow in the fridge before it
>>was very good. Nice sweet/tart balance. susc. to CAR.
> This one sounds really good, from what everyone has said starting I think
> years ago with Ed Fackler. I suppose that it might could stand the CAR at
> our place better than other trees because at least it won't be suffering
> with scab. Also, I can spray sulfur and copper, those don't bother me, it's
> just the petrochemicals that make me sick. I could put it on a tree further
> away from the big cedars. Oh, no, there may be no such place.
"My wife's favorite. But if life gets in the way of pruning well,
spraying for CAR and thinning early, there will be years when most or
all of the apples don't develop flavor and color, even with the season
length of TN, because there won't be enough leaf area per apple. Ed
and Charlotte have noted that a single spray for CAR is all that's
needed to manage CAR for Goldrush. We've only sprayed copper 2-3
years out of 15 which shows how regularly I control CAR. The years we
don't spray, it's hit and miss whether we get good apples vs. firm
'tree potatoes'. Here at our new place, I plan to spray our young
Goldrush for CAR, for the flavor and keeping qualities are worth it.
Our experience: like Asian Pears, this apple simply does not develop
flavor unless thinned well and CAR is controlled during severe years.
>>Enterprise, usu. good flavor, tough skin, can't remember about CAR
> This one should be CAR res, Lucky sent me a scion but no take. I guess from
> what ya'll have been saying that tough skin will help prevent bug attack. I
> was concerned it might be a bit bland, but if you like it I'll try it. Even
> in our own record breaking heat this year I suppose you and your Enterprise
> tree would have found it blessedly cooler here in Tenn Z6 than your Z8.
"Second favorite for several of my kids. Very late ripening and very
disease resistant including CAR. But delayed precocity means waiting
years longer for this one to bear. And, it's even worse than Liberty
for wanting to be a huge tree, hence demands LOTS of pruning when on
MM111. The opposite of WP regarding Enterprise being slow to bear and
needing lots of pruning. All this pruning invites fireblight, so our
Enterprise tree now has major lesions on some large limbs. But still
a very healthy tree, one that multiple kids can climb around and rest
in while eating its apples. Sets less fruit than Liberty or Goldrush,
so not as much thinning needed. Skin is thick, but coddling moths
don't care. One of our most affected by coddling most, perhaps due to
second and third generations that no longer have WP, Redfree and
Pristine to choose from. Largest of our PRI apples, so lots still to
share when coddling moths in the core."

Brief note on Redfree: still sizes up very well when life gets in the
way of fruit thinning, at times 2-3 large apples touching each other.
My Goldrush merely sizes up to golfballs under similar neglect.
Redfree a very upright grower, needs training to manage this tendency.

Richard Moyer
Sold 'Sung Hui' persimmons, autumn olives and Chaenomeles quince at
market today.

  • Re: [NAFEX] PRI apples; east TN experience, Richard Moyer, 10/30/2010

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