Today, we took delivery of bare-rooted heirloom apple trees. The nursery owner uses grafting wood sourced from organically grown or wild trees from old orchards. We asked for the trees to be grafted onto Northern Spy rootstock because it grows well on our clay soils. The aim is to enjoy different apples across the seasons and also to play our part in preserving the older varieties.
According to the info sheet, Vaile Early is reliable and fruits in January. I grew Egremont Russett in a previous garden. I love this apple – its golden brown skin and distinctive flavour. Always had good crops, so I have high hopes for my new tree. Priscilla is new to me but it comes recommended as a good mid-saeason variety, as being disease resistant and a good keeper. Two late season varieties new to me are Liberty – an American variety I understand to have been produced by Cornell University orchards about 1978 – which is described as disease resistant in our region and which stores well. Merlin’s Golden Late is described as a local seedling cross between Granny Smith and Golden Delicious.