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Does anyone here have experience with these apple tree varieties from Georgia?

 
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I was just looking at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia apple tree varieties (some of which are part of the Georgia Heirloom Apple Collection):

https://tinyurl.com/y7cdy6j6

What's surprising to me is that most of these are not mentioned the UGA extension discussion of apples for the home garden:

https://tinyurl.com/yc9oaonq

Does this mean these varieties are not suitable for an urban food forest environment?

If anyone has any experience with any of these varieties, please let me know. I want to buy one or two apple trees this year for use mainly to have a pectin source, to dehydrate, to make cider, and for applesauce. It's very humid here and a roller coaster between too wet and too dry, and I know apples can be a real pain to deal with. I want one that will involve the least pain!

 
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Location: Zone 7b/8a Temperate Humid Subtropical, Eastern NC, US
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Diane Kistner wrote:I was just looking at the State Botanical Garden of Georgia apple tree varieties (some of which are part of the Georgia Heirloom Apple Collection):

What's surprising to me is that most of these are not mentioned the UGA extension discussion of apples for the home garden:



My local university publication also doesn't mention hardly any apples that will grow in my area unfortunately. Sadly, for the ones they do mention, they've probably sprayed them like crazy too, which makes it not very applicable for us growing them without fungicides and pesticides. I wish we had better local evaluation of good apples for our area.

Does this mean these varieties are not suitable for an urban food forest environment?



I would guess that they just haven't evaluated very many,  

If anyone has any experience with any of these varieties, please let me know. I want to buy one or two apple trees this year for use mainly to have a pectin source, to dehydrate, to make cider, and for applesauce. It's very humid here and a roller coaster between too wet and too dry, and I know apples can be a real pain to deal with. I want one that will involve the least pain!



I'm currently growing Terry Winter (supposedly, haven't had any fruit yet) from that list. It's only on its second year of growing, and I had very high hopes for it, but it appears to have gotten some type of disease, and both new growing tips on the tree have been affected and died back a few inches. I'm hoping it's just a one time thing, and that it will recover and be good going forward, but I fear the worst.

Qualities that may be valuable to look for in apples for our areas are; late ripening varieties (avoids rotting and insect pests during our hot summers), thick skinned varieties (harder for insects to cut into the apples and damage them), resistant to fireblight and mildew (seem to be the main disease issues here).

I've had a hard time finding good apples that meet all of these qualities, but I refuse to give up, lol.

I'm hoping to breed some good new varieties that will thrive here, from varieties that have 1 or 2 of the beneficial characteristics above.

Wouldn't it be cool if the Southeast was a major apple producing region one day!

Hope this helps a little bit,  and hope you get some tasty apples soon Diane!
 
Diane Kistner
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This is very helpful, Steve. Yes, it would be really great to be able to grow apples well here. I think you're probably right about there just not being much information. Your list of diseases and pests and the late-blooming thing are most helpful. Thanks.
 
Steve Thorn
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Here's a photo of the tree.

On second look, I think it may be fireblight.
Terry-Winter-apple-tree-with-fireblight.jpg
Terry Winter apple tree with fireblight
Terry Winter apple tree with fireblight
 
Steve Thorn
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An update on the tree above.

It looks to have healed nicely on its own, and has two vigorous shoots coming up to replace the old ones!
20200624_203307.jpg
[Thumbnail for 20200624_203307.jpg]
 
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I thought heirloom apples would be great, but the ones I tried were fussy, inconsistent from year to year, tended to have scab, and seemed more vulnerable to critters.   So lists are good for research, but maybe the best way to tell is go around locally in late summer, see which old trees -- which could be heirloom, or at least vintage -- are healthy and produce well, either get cuttings from them or find out if the owners know what they are.  Take a magnifying glass with you and really look at the leaves, and whatever damage they have on them, closely.

It is good to plant some newer, reliable fruit trees so you can be pretty sure that after 5-6 years they will produce well and be as disease free as possible. They will keep your spirits up when the other trees are looking iffy.

Try to stay skeptical about heirlooms, because if you commit to an apple tree it could be 5-6 years before it produces, and if it doesn't work out, you've lost a lot of time.
 
Diane Kistner
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Cristo Balete wrote:I thought heirloom apples would be great, but the ones I tried were fussy, inconsistent from year to year, tended to have scab, and seemed more vulnerable to critters.   So lists are good for research, but maybe the best way to tell is go around locally in late summer, see which old trees -- which could be heirloom, or at least vintage -- are healthy and produce well, either get cuttings from them or find out if the owners know what they are.  Take a magnifying glass with you and really look at the leaves, and whatever damage they have on them, closely.

It is good to plant some newer, reliable fruit trees so you can be pretty sure that after 5-6 years they will produce well and be as disease free as possible. They will keep your spirits up when the other trees are looking iffy.

Try to stay skeptical about heirlooms, because if you commit to an apple tree it could be 5-6 years before it produces, and if it doesn't work out, you've lost a lot of time.



This is excellent advice, Cristo. Thanks.
 
Cristo Balete
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Get the cuttings from them in the spring, BTW.  They are eager to grow, and the increasing day length encourages growth.

I had an experience with raspberries when I was growing and selling produce.  I wanted to grow types that were different from what everyone else was growing, heirloom, old style had to be better, right?  Not necessarily :-)  

So instead of the reliable and great tasting Heritage raspberries, I tried everything else, which just didn't work in my fussy clay soil and cool summers.  So I had no raspberries at all.  If I had done a couple of a few types I would have at least had raspberries while I was experimenting with the others.
 
Steve Thorn
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A big thing I look for when selecting a fruit tree to grow, is where did it originate from? Sometimes this information isn't available, but a majority of the time it can be found. If it originated in a similar climate to mine, then there is a good chance that it will probably do well here!

Sometimes ones from completely different areas will do well, but this seems to be pretty rare.

A lot of the heritage apples and other old fruit trees will have info on where they originated from available as part of their history as an old preserved variety. A lot of the new varieties will also generally have this information available too, as they were created at a university breeding program or other breeder, however there is a strong chance that these trees were sprayed with all kinds of toxic gick, so the trees may not really be tough or adapted to the local climate, just sprayed instead.

Most of the new popular apples and other tree fruits do really bad here in general, and just seem really weak overall, like they were selected just for looks and the ability to be shipped, with no concern for the health of the tree (I assume most were ).

I personally prefer the older fruit tree varieties, from over a 100 years or more ago if possible, when a lot of trees were still grown without being sprayed with lots of bad stuff. Varieties that were just randomly found (and a lot were discovered this way, especially older ones), seem to also be tough and resiliant.

For me, trying to find apple trees that do well here, has been a little like trying to find a needle in a haystack, but I know they exist, and I hope to create lots of new varieties that will thrive here too from the tough varieties.

Best of luck Diane, excited to see if any turn out good for you!
 
Diane Kistner
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Maybe these Georgia Heirloom apples, then, might actually work well, Steve. You've encouraged me to maybe try a few.
 
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