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 Wolf River Apples? 
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Wolf River Apples?
Anyone else grow these? Image – That’s a Wolf River apple! I’ve a few left hanging, and they’re the local black bear's favorite. This week they amazed some new friends as I gave away a couple of heaping boxes. “Wow, they’re giant,” followed the next day by, “Those apples were great!” …and, “Here,” I baked this for you”…

I wouldn’t call them ‘an eating apple,’ they’re too dry for my taste. So they’re definitely not a ‘juicing apple,’ though I’ve never added them to the mix.... But they are one of the best baking apples of all, seconded by everyone who’ve gotten their hands on them.

I may have told this story before, but as a presentation to my children’s first grade classes I had their teachers send home flyers describing the collecting and storing of scion wood - which that Spring I’d graft each of them a tree. I believe only one scion arrived, so dry and brittle I had to secretly dispose of it… But not to fear, I’d let them know there’d be some of my choice, which was the Wolf River. Image - (not 'mine,' but close)

It’s another of my most consistent bearers, likely second to Stayman Winesaps. It’s a moderately sized tree, and though surrounded by both aerial crown gall and anthracnose, 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 – and only had a couple dozen apples, as opposed to several hundred. They were massive!! The one I’d taken to the HOS All About Fruit Show took second place in our biggest apple contest …the winner was the newest addition to the largest apples breed, a “Stark Jumbo” I believe …gurrrr

For years Wolf River’s were the largest of apples, and I suspect, the most useful of them… I met one of those ‘one-time’ first graders at our local high school, he asked me if I remembered that ‘little tree’ I’d made for him? I lit up - “Have you got any apples” I asked? “Have we got apples,” he answered, “They’re Biggons!!” …not all those trees made it … but I’ve no regret having made the effort to produce and distribute them. And – our Home Orchard Society had donated the rootstocks.

Wolf River’s have a natural waxy sheen and keep very well on the tree. I purposely leave a couple dozen as they’re also the Varied Thrush’s favorite apple… about now. A branch might be all you’d need, or want, but it’s a tree I wouldn’t go without :wink:

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Fri Nov 27, 2009 2:49 am
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2006 1:49 pm
Posts: 220
Location: Rochester, WA
Post Re: Wolf River Apples?
I have a 2nd Wolf River planted from Raintree nursery. The first just never grew right. It lasted 3 years and didn't grow a foot taller. I think the rootstock didn't like my rocky ground. I plan to try grafting it onto one of my established trees. I have only heard great things about Wolf River. Thanks for sharing your experience with them Viron.

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Mon Nov 30, 2009 11:06 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Wolf River Apples?
GK, One reason I selected Wolf River's for ‘the kids’ was that the tree’s not enormous, only its apples. My tree's far older than I am, likely planted by my Great-grandfather. From the size of the surrounding orchard trees, they must not have discovered or used dwarfing rootstock back then. So I suspect the tree's naturally compact. Mine sits in some very rich soil; I have that and clay, but few rocks.

I’d baby yours, apparently they can be long lived. And I’m glad you didn’t give up, they fill a baking niche around here, and if nothing else, are just fun to show off :mrgreen:

As for sharing my experience, you’re welcome. Apples have such lore, I’m more than happy to add to it!

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Wed Dec 02, 2009 5:40 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:58 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Just east of Tacoma WA
Post Re: Wolf River Apples?
The Wolf River is certainly big, but............. There are a lot of better tasting apples. It is also fairly disease resistant. For a much better tasting big apple, I would suggest Melrose. When well-thinned they are big as King apples, and keep a lot better.
Another 'big' apple is Canada Griese, a russet.

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Sun Dec 13, 2009 5:23 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Wolf River Apples?
I rarely take a bite of my Wolf Rivers, they’re a baking apple around here. I’m told they hold together extremely well, along with a few other baking qualities I’d not have recognized.

With that waxy sheen they keep surprisingly well. Best of all, they’ll hang on the tree for over a month, ready to use at any time. Resistant to everything in my orchard but ‘worms,’ they’re a nice sized tree. I wouldn’t recommend them as your only apple tree, but if you’ve got some extra room they’d be a great addition. They’re certainly easy to get rid of :D

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Sun Dec 13, 2009 8:50 pm
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Joined: Thu Dec 25, 2008 3:58 pm
Posts: 131
Location: Just east of Tacoma WA
Post Re: Wolf River Apples?
I wonder if it is a Triploid?
If not, would be fun to use it in breeding to a more highly flavored apple like Hudson Golden Gem or McIntosh.
It certainly is a better 'big apple' than the Buckley Giant.

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Wed Dec 16, 2009 1:53 pm
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Joined: Thu Jan 27, 2005 11:27 pm
Posts: 1154
Location: Yamhill County, Oregon
Post Re: Wolf River Apples?
I’ve never noticed it in a Triploid lineup… but I don’t know that it isn’t. It’s semi-isolated in my yard/orchard though sitting very near a Hudson’s Golden Gem! It would be a very interesting apple to plant out some seeds… I’ve got the room, and the water, but too many deer :?

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Fri Dec 18, 2009 5:29 pm
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