Anyone else grow these?
â€“ Thatâ€™s a Wolf River
apple! Iâ€™ve a few left hanging, and theyâ€™re the local black bear's
favorite. This week they amazed some new friends as I gave away a couple of heaping boxes. â€œWow, theyâ€™re giant,â€ followed the next day by, â€œThose apples were great!â€ â€¦and, â€œHere,â€ I baked this for youâ€â€¦
I wouldnâ€™t call them â€˜an eating apple,â€™ theyâ€™re too dry for my taste. So theyâ€™re definitely not a â€˜juicing apple,â€™ though Iâ€™ve never added them to the mix.... But they are one of the best baking apples of all, seconded by everyone whoâ€™ve gotten their hands on them.
I may have told this story before, but as a presentation to my childrenâ€™s first grade classes I had their teachers send home flyers describing the collecting and storing of scion wood - which that Spring Iâ€™d graft each of them a tree. I believe only one scion arrived, so dry and brittle I had to secretly dispose of itâ€¦ But not to fear, Iâ€™d let them know thereâ€™d be some of my choice, which was the Wolf River.
- (not 'mine,' but close)
Itâ€™s another of my most consistent bearers, likely second to Stayman Winesaps
. Itâ€™s a moderately sized tree, and though surrounded by both aerial crown gall
, it shows no sign of either. The apples are enormous! A couple of years ago it had a poor crop, late frost / wet spring I suspect â€“ and only had a couple dozen apples, as opposed to several hundred. They were massive!!
The one Iâ€™d taken to the HOS All About Fruit Show
took second place in our biggest apple
contest â€¦the winner was the newest addition to the largest apples breed, a â€œStark Jumboâ€ I believe â€¦gurrrr
For years Wolf Riverâ€™s were the largest of apples, and I suspect, the most useful of themâ€¦ I met one of those â€˜one-timeâ€™ first graders at our local high school, he asked me if I remembered that â€˜little treeâ€™ Iâ€™d made for him? I lit up - â€œHave you got any applesâ€ I asked? â€œHave we got apples,â€ he answered, â€œTheyâ€™re Biggons!!â€ â€¦not all those trees made it â€¦ but Iâ€™ve no regret having made the effort to produce and distribute them. And â€“ our Home Orchard Society
had donated the rootstocks.
Wolf Riverâ€™s have a natural waxy sheen and keep very well on the tree. I purposely leave a couple dozen as theyâ€™re also the Varied Thrushâ€™s favorite appleâ€¦ about now. A branch might be all youâ€™d need, or want, but itâ€™s a tree I wouldnâ€™t go without