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Sugarwood scion, Grenadine x Wickson. Auction is for scion pictured, approximate diameter 5/16"
This small apple with cider potential seems to be a very heavy producer of small apples with very red stems. I have seen it produce some pink flesh, but I would not count on it producing much of it consistently, though who knows, it may in some climates. It is one of the sweetest apples (in not the sweetest) I’ve measured in my orchard ranging up to 28%. It has a hint of Wickson’s malty savory flavor, but it is subtle. It is probably fruitier than Wickson, and possibly even sweeter. The flesh tends to be very woody, but the juice seems to come out easily and super clear. If I had to design a perfect flesh texture for pressing, it would pretty much be like the flesh of Sugarwood. It hangs well on the tree and ripens on the late side. It is also very durable. It's parent Wickson is very prone to cracking and many years the whole crop is lost when fall rains begin. In fall 2021, we had over 10 inches of rain after probably the worst drought in living memory, and cracking was not an issue in Sugarwood. I just walked out and picked up several off the ground on Feb. 24th and they are quite edible, very tasty and in pretty good condition. In my climate, the fact that it hangs on the tree and keeps ripening even after it is ripe enough to pick, is a bonus. I can leave them until I'm ready to pick and press, v.s. being on their schedule. People in very cold areas be warned that this variety may be late ripening and that could be an issue. Given it's apparent durability though, it may be fine to pick and ripen off the tree before pressing.
Many seedling apples would be good to throw in a cider blend, but this is one of a few in my trials so far that seems to have legit cider potential. It is not a tannic spitter though. When very ripe, the flesh can approach edible and the flavor is quite good, but it should be considered a juicing and cider apple. It could also be very good for wildlife and stock feed, since it ripens late, is durable, high in sugar and hangs well.
From a dessert apple perspective, this variety is of no interest, although, when very well ripened, I wouldn't be surprised to find a few people munching on them. To cider makers and all those hunters out there planting feed plots for game, as well as for those interested in growing tree crops for stock feed, it could be of great interest due to some fairly unique properties combined in one fruit. It also has potential in breeding more apples for both of those pursuits. I would be thinking of crossing it with more apples that have good cider properties, like higher tannin and more aromatic flavors. For stock and game feed, crossing it with even later hanging durable apples, like primitive crabs, to increase sugar levels, size and extending the feed season. It also has the red flesh gene, which is likely to express in later generations, especially I would think when crossed with other RF apples.
I have several seedling varieties available on auction this year. Sugarwood, Appleoosa, January Russet, Hard Candy Cider, Vanilla Pink and Tomboy. All have made appearances over the years in content on my YouTube SkillCult channel. Auctions are 5 days long, and will end 3 minutes apart in succession late Saturday the 18th and Sunday the 19th. If you win it, pay for it, otherwise, all is fair in love and auctions ;) Proceeds mostly go to my land fund so I can buy a new homestead laboratory to keep breeding apples and carrying out other horticulture and self reliance educational and research projects.
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