Apples

Arkansas Black: Originally cultivated in Benton County, Arkansas, this tart, crunchy apple ripens to a deep burgundy that appears almost black.  It is an excellent apple for cooking and canning, and under ideal conditions, can be kept for up to 6 months after harvesting.  It is a mid-season bloomer, producnig a more than adquate harvest.  It prefers warm and moderate climates and requires 800 chill hours.  It is only partially self-fruiting and requires additional trees for maximum cropping.  Recently, horticulurists have suggested that planting the Winesap variety of apple (one of its parents) with Arkansas Black will help prevent future sterility.

Braeburn:  A New Zealand variety with bi-colored skin, it is crisp, tangy, and more flavorful than Granny Smiths.  The tree prefers temperate to warm climates and requires sun exposure for the fruit to ripen properly.  The fruit has a keep time of 3 months or more under ideal conditions.  It is a mid-season bloomer with a late harvest (usually late October and Novemeber).  The tree reuires 700 chill hours for best growth moderation.  The Braeburn, however, is susceptible to a disease called "Cedar Apple Rust," and gardeners should be watchful for any signs of the disease.

Fuji:  Cultivated in Japan, this "all-American" favorite is a hybrid of the red deilcious and the Ralls Janet.  The tree produces crisp, sweet tasting apples, sometimes with a greenish blush to the pink to light red skin.  It is a late bloomer (Mid-April to May) with an even later harvest extending through November to the first parts of December in some zones.  While partially self-fruiting, Fuji apple trees produce the best when block-planted with a Galas or Granny Smith.  The tree requires about 700 chill hours for best results.

Gala (Original): A New Zealand variety cultivated from Golden Delicious and Kidd's Orange-Red, it is a highly flavorful, sweet-tart apple, excellent for desserts.  While it prefers temperate, drier conditions, the Gala does well in warm climates.   It has a minimal chill time of around 500 hours.  It is a mid to late season bloomer with an early harvest, usually 2 to 3 weeks before Red Delicious.  It has a keep time of 2 to 3 months with flavor fading the longer its stored, though the sweetness remains.  The Gala is VERY susceptible to a disease known as "Scab", and gardeners should watch for any signs of the disease.

Granny Smith: Perhaps Australia's most famous export, the Granny Smith is the most recognizable apple in the world.  With its firm flesh and tartness, it makes an excellent cooking apple.  It is self-fruiting and loves hot climates with long summers, making it an excellent choice for the Central Valley.  It has a prolonged bloom season making it a great pollenizer for other apple trees.  The Granny Smith requires a chill time of 500 to 600 hours.  Though mostly disease resistant, the Granny Smith tends toward biennial fruiting, meaning that it may "skip a season" for bearing fruit.

Honeycrisp: Developed by the University of Minnesota, the Honeycrisp can tolerate cold winters while enjoying the benefits of warm climates.  The fruit is juicy, crisp, sweet, and highly aromatic. Though slow growing, it is fairly disease resistant.  It offers a harvest as early as Semptember.  The fruit can be kept and used for upwards of 3 months under ideal conditions.  It should be noted that Honeycrip trees should be planted in pairs, as they are not full self-fruiting, and they require a pollernizer such as the Gala.  They can be temperamental about soil quality depending on the climate.  Not recommended for amateur gardeners.

Pink Lady®: Originiating in Western Australia, the Pink Lady is a hybrid of the Golden Delicious and Lady Williams varieties of apples.  It is extraordinarily crsip, sweet-tart, and distinct in flavor.  It is an excellent choice for a fresh snack as well as cooking.  It prefers hot climates.  The fruit is a gorgeous reddish-pink when ripe. It is fairly resistant to most diseases and requires a low chill time of 400 to 500 hours.   The tree offers a long bloom period with average growth rate and a harvest in late October to November. It is partially self-fruiting, but performs better with other pollenators.

Apple Baby Genetic Dwarf: Crisp, sweet, red apple - excellent quality even in hot inland climates. Glossy, russet-free skin. Heavy bearing 8-10 ft. compact tree. August. 700 hours. Pollenized by Garden Delicious or other apple. USDA Zones 4 - 8. 

Ghost Apple: For the apple lover seeking a truly unique variety, the new Zaiger Ghost apple is in a category by itself. With totally white skin, these white flesh apples hang on the tree like floating goblins. The sweet sub-acid flavor was a taste pleaser at several fruit tastings. A heat-loving apple, Ghost harvests at the beginning of July in central CA. Though still experimental, it has an estimated chill requirement of 500 hours. Apple with midseason bloom required as pollenizer.

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