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 Any suggestions as to what this apple is? 
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 am
Posts: 7
Location: Florida
Post Any suggestions as to what this apple is?
I've been visiting my parents over the holidays, and it suddenly dawned on me that I have no idea what the apple tree near their house is. My knowledge of apples is limited mostly to a handful of commercial cultivars and whatever random bits and pieces I pick up here and there, so I'm hardly the most qualified to make an identification, and I was curious if any one has any guesses. Here's what I know about it:

- It's a minimum of 40-years old, but judging by the size now (and in earlier photos) it's probably not too much older than that...maybe 50. I think it's a little small for a tree that age, but maybe it's on a semi-dwarfing stock or neglect has retarded it's growth.

- The people they bought the house from claimed to have planted it, so it seems likely to me that it was a cultivar and not a seedling (though they could well have planted a seedling, but it seems like you're going to plant one apple tree right by the house you might want it to be a good one.)

- It has small/medium sized green-yellow fruit (I've never even seen a blush of red or orange), which is rather high acid but fairly sweet. Makes wonderful applesauce.

- It's very early: late July in western New York.

- It's fairly self-fertile. I don't know of any other apple trees anywhere else nearby, and it consistently sets quite a heavy crop (I suspect fruit size would be better if it was thinned somewhat).

- It appears largely impervious to disease. In the 25 years I've been paying attention, I have no memory of it ever having any sort of disease on the leaves or shoots, just a few assorted rots on the fruit, generally associated with bird peck damage. The lack of disease may be associated with the lack of nearby apple trees, but I still think it unlikely that a tree could go unsprayed for half a century and not get something if it was susceptibile. I've seen horrifying fire blight develop under similar conditions.

- I don't see any sign of a graft union, but it's not that surprising it's hard to find on a 40+ year old tree.

Anyway, any thoughts? I don't have any pictures, or I'd show them to you, so I don't really expect any definitive answers, but I'd welcome suggestions.

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Mon Jan 02, 2006 2:32 pm
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Joined: Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:27 pm
Posts: 3
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The apple you describe could possibly be a Yellow Transparent. It is a very early ripening variety, makes wonderful sauce. It is green turning to yellow as it ripens. It has a very short life once it is ripe - but because it is our first apple of the season we welcome it. Ours has no problem with insects or disease. Yellow Transparent was imported in the 1870's from Russia, specifically because it was cold hardy.

Joanie


Fri Feb 24, 2006 10:54 pm
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Joined: Sun May 15, 2005 2:22 am
Posts: 7
Location: Florida
Post Thanks!
I did a little reading on 'Yellow Transparent' and looked up a bunch of pictures, and I'm pretty convinced you're right. Although trees that have actually been pruned as orchard trees look quite different from the sprawling monster in my parents' yard.

Thanks for the help...my mother will be pleased to hear what it is.

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Sat Feb 25, 2006 1:06 pm
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