Tree planting ideas

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WCN

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Currently I have a wide variety of trees planted on M.111 and B.118 rootstock. Most of them have been in the ground for around 3 years, though it's been a hard three year due to cicadas and deer pressure.

I want to start narrowing down my plantings to the varieties that I will primarily be using to make cider. I'm looking for you, yes YOU, to tell me what varieties you'd like to have unlimited quantities of, if you were in cider making heaven.

To help you out, here is a list of the varieties I already have planted. I have between 2 and 4 of each of the following:

Ashmead's Kernel
Brown Snout
Campfield
Coat Jersey
Collaos
Cox O. Pippin
Dabinette
Ellis Bitter
Gold Rush
Golden Nugget
Golden Russett
Harrison
Kermerrien
Kingston Black
Liberty
Major
Northern Spy
Old Nonpareil
Piel de Sapa
Repinaldo do Liebana
Rescue
Rouville
Rubinette
Solarina
Spitzenburg Esopus
Vilberie
Wickson Crab
Yarlington Mill
 

dmtaylor

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These would all be strong candidates for my cider:

Ashmead's Kernel
Dabinett
Gold Rush
Golden Nugget
Harrison
Kingston Black
Liberty
Spitzenburg Esopus
Vilberie
Wickson Crab
Yarlington Mill

I honestly don't know enough about the others to comment. But I'm sure most if not all will make good cider.

Incidentally, Golden Nugget is one of my very favorites for eating, glad to see it here.
 

Kees

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I wish I had a garden large enough to plant that many trees. However, if I had a garden like that I wouldn't have enough time to do all the work.
Fortunately plenty abandoned apple trees around and people with old trees they don't look after professionally. They let me have the apples. A bit further afield is a large orchard maintained by a charity that has many old fruit tree varieties to protect them from extinction. For 50 euros I will become a member next year which will allow me to pick as many windfalls as I like. They don't have enough volunteers to pick more than half of all windfalls.
 
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WCN

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These would all be strong candidates for my cider:

Ashmead's Kernel
Dabinett
Gold Rush
Golden Nugget
Harrison
Kingston Black
Liberty
Spitzenburg Esopus
Vilberie
Wickson Crab
Yarlington Mill

Incidentally, Golden Nugget is one of my very favorites for eating, glad to see it here.
Hey, thanks! I appreciate the input. Your list very strongly resembles a list of "Apples We Love" over at Eve's Cider webpage!
 
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WCN

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I wish I had a garden large enough to plant that many trees. However, if I had a garden like that I wouldn't have enough time to do all the work.
Any varieties you prefer to pick?
 

Kees

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daft

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I would pick the varieties that have the most tannin, and probably unsightly and sour to eat. Normandy cider is sublime because they use the opposite of the sweet bland varieties popular for eating.
 

Jhoss

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On DMTaylor's subset list. I have all these (from 1 year old to 10 years old) except Vilberie, GoldenNugget (I have GoldenRussett), and SpitzenburgEspous. The two workhorses for me are GoldRush and one not on the list Sundance, which is somewhat similar to GoldRush, maybe just not as tart and larger and juicier! Hoping for big things in 2018 as 2017 was a vacation year for the workhorses.
 
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WCN

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... The two workhorses for me are GoldRush and one not on the list Sundance...
I'll check Sundance out! What would you say that it does for your cider? Is it where you are getting your tannins?

We have 10 Gold Rush trees planted and I am a little afraid to plant more. Eve's Cidery, which produces the best cider I've ever tasted (and we get our trees from her family's nursery), has GoldRush on their "Apples to be Cautious With" list:

"This variety seemingly has good cider characteristics…high sugar and acid. However the acid can veer into a sweet tarts/ gummy worm acid out of a bag kind of flavor."
 

Jhoss

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Hi WCN - Sundance is just a base juice. If GoldRush is in the mix, GoldRush is the main flavor. So far my tannins come from crabs, American, Zumi, Chestnut, Whitney, and Wickson. The last 3 are just starting out but getting a few pounds of them - I see the last 3 as potential PLAYERS once I can get bushels of them especially Wickson that sugar rich, tart little bugger.
 

LeBreton

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Not a huge fan of Goldrush. The batches I have made with it come out very tart and are relatively flavorless. As part of a blend it can help bring acidity to a cider where malic is lacking but personally I would rather use something with more flavor and comparable acidity. Rhode Island Greening or Roxburry Russet for example.
 

madscientist451

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I want to start narrowing down my plantings to the varieties that I will primarily be using to make cider.
You already have a great collection of cider apples. What is your location? I'd like to hear how those Spanish varieties are working out.
Most cider makers can't get the varieties they want and have no way of trying different (cider) varieties to see what works for them.
Dabinet in one location will produce a totally different cider compared to Dabinet grown in a warmer or cooler climate. French varieties with high tannin (grown in Normandy) will have much lower tannin if grown in Maryland or Pennsylvania.
To make it more complicated, some varieties are susceptible to diseases and blight that they don't have a problem with in their "original" area.
So you need to figure out what varieties work best in your area and which ones produce a cider that suits your taste.
So instead of narrowing down your plantings, If you have room, keep on expanding your choices.
 
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