This is a wild apple that I'm evaluating. It's a seedling apple tree originally growing in the Deerfield Valley just over the VT border. The original tree is huge and gnarly, four stems coming from the ground. It supports tons of live wood. Both spurring flower-heavy growth as well as younger, more vigorous shoots come from the wide canopy. One of the best climbing trees, no less.
It's a late-season bittersweet (Oct ~20th optimally ripe) that satisfies all the criteria that a cider apple needs to have to be considered for propagation. It is scab resistant, many of its leaves remained at harvest, in stark contrast to the majority of wild apple trees in NE this year. Cross sections of fruit from this year's harvest reveal snow white flesh, pearmain-like consistency (hard/dense but cleaving). It is a superior sweating apple, resisting rot for over 2 months in common storage, (open bins in a barn), and is still good for fresh eating at that point. The fresh fruit is very sweet, almost no acidity, and not a grand expression of tannin. After sweating about 2 weeks, a soft bitterness and long-chain tannin appears, intensifying after fermentation. It's an apple that the Normans would be envious of!
Scroll over to the 4th picture to see tell refractometer reading from this year's OF harvest. 20.5 Brix ain't bad from the rainiest year on record. (It hasn't been this high before but has not been lower than 16 from the OG tree). I've harvested from this tree 3 years in a row ('16-'18) and made cider each year with this apple as the dominant variety in a blend. It has performed beautifully post-fermentation. Featured in my 2016 "Fridgelifter," 2017 "Old Fertile / Nailbiter (a 50/50 series blend), and this year's harvest is all going into the Carr's Ciderhouse Wild Apple Blend. Very proud of how it's worked out in bottled form.
I have already distributed several bundles of scionwood to my customers who grafted wildlings from the Gnarly Pippins collection in Spring 2018, and scionwood will be on sale again by the linear foot this winter.
#wildapples #pippinprofiles #gnarlypippins #scionwood #grafting #foraging #pomology #citizenscience #cider #bittersweet