Apple Pollen, Various Varieties

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Apple Pollen, Various Varieties

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Apple Pollen for would be apple breeders. These are varieties that I find interesting enough to consider breeding with, and most of them I have used before. These can be shipped in a regular envelope, so shipping is cheap. If you want them sent overseas, we'll figure out the shipping, but it should cost the same as a letter since I'm putting the pollen in small, flat ziplock bags. If you are overseas, just order and we'll figure out the shipping later. Proceeds will be earmarked for my apple breeding project.

I have saved until the following spring and used it to make successful pollinations, but I can't say how often that will work, or how it is best stored. I think it is best to plan on using it this year if the timing works out for you.

See the variety descriptions below. Use the drop down menu to select varieties. I don't have a lot of any of them, so only a small amount is included, about 4 to 8 blossoms worth of pollen per bag. If used carefully, that can make a lot of pollination in most cases, as very little pollen is needed for each flower. Some varieties produce very little pollen, notably Williams' Pride. I can't even guarantee that it is a pollen fertile variety actually, but it has a lot of promise, so I collected it anyway. I have used the pollen of the following varieties successfully for sure. Wickson (excellent pollinator), gold rush, maypole, pink parfait, chestnut crab, king david, lady williams, rubaiyat.

See my apple review video playlist for more on many of these varieties: If it’s not listed here, I don’t have it, probably because it isn’t blooming this year, so don’t ask :)

GoldRush: This is a favorite of many home and small scale growers, including a lot of fruit enthusiast collector types. It should be picked in the fall and stored until it's ready to eat. I would go so far as to say that it is never ready to eat off the tree. It keeps incredibly well, even into the following winter, though that's not advisable. It also carries some disease resistance and is all around a great grower with a good form. It seems completely resistant to scab here. Watch my reviews HERE & HERE

Maypole: This is a red fleshed crab apple. It grows as a dwarfed column. The flesh has a lot of tannin and wild harshness to it, but it is also highly flavored when ripe. I've been using it in crosses, mostly with very sweet crabs like Wickson and Chestnut. Many of the seedlings show the Columnar trait as well. This is a wildcard as it carries an unrefined set of genes, but I've given it a try because of the intensely red flesh and red flavor. I think this one might be especially worthy of consideration for breeding cider apples. I suspect that the columnar form might lend itself well to intensive cultivation.

Pink Parfait: This is a great apple with a terrible name. It hangs on the tree into the winter and has first rate texture being crisp, light and juicy. The flavor is laced with honey and faint strawberry. The flesh is not very red, but it is the best redfleshed apple I’ve had overall in terms of it’s fine dessert qualitites and it still carries the red fleshed gene. I’ve been using this one a lot in the hopes that if mixed with other red fleshed apples it will reinforce the red fleshed trait, while carrying with it other fine dessert qualities that are uncommon in red fleshed apples. If we could get an apple of this quality with deeply red flesh and intense red flavor, I will die happy. It is also beautiful. Pink Parfait gets scab, but not as bad as rubaiyat.

Rubaiyat: This one is just as red as Grenadine. The flavor is not as intense or as complex, but it is still both of those and outstanding at it’s best. Rubaiyat is a beautiful apple and the texture is very good to even excellent when at it’s best, though it goes mealy eventually. It gets very bad scab being one of my most susceptible varieties. I have used this a lot, because though of it’s combination of intense flesh and great flavor and very good texture. It is undoubtedly a more refined dessert apple than Grenadine, but still rough around the edges.

Lady Williams: This is my latest apple to come off the tree at Feb. 1st. It is a very good dessert apple with plenty of sugar and good fruity flavor when ripe. The flesh and texture are firm and crunchy, bordering on hard. Lady Williams is descended from Granny Smith and is parent or grandparent of the now famous Pink Lady, aka Cripp’s Pink. I have never picked it early and stored it, but I’m sure it keeps well given the incredible keeping qualities of it’s relatives. An excellent apple for people in milder climates to work with. It seems to go through temperatures as low as 20 degrees f without a hitch and walking out through the snow or crunchy frost to crunch your way through one of these at their peak of flavor, ripeness is priceless. This is a class of apples that should receive more breeding attention. They are not necessarily that interesting to commercial growers unless picked early, but for home growers it spreads the season of first quality fruit very late.

Chestnut Crab: This is one that ends up on a lot of favorites lists. It has a bright and lively, effervescent flavor with high sugar and plenty of balancing acid. The flavor overall is just excellent and very rich. It is small, but not as small as Wickson. A first rate apple at any season, but ripens in the late summer when first rate apples are very rare.

William’s Pride: Speaking of first rate summer apples, this is one. We say good at any season to let people know that we are not only comparing to early apples. Williams Pride has excellent texture and flavor. It is large and beautiful and early, ripening in August here. It also carries some disease resistance genes and that is always good. To top it all off, Williams Pride has a tendency to red flesh. It can have anything from light blushing inside to mostly pink. Probably a great apple to cross with any other red fleshed apple to bring in quality traits with the possibility of reinforcing the red flesh outcome. These bags have very little pollen in them and I can’t guarantee this is even a fertile variety. I should know by the end of this season whether it is pollen fertile or not.

Wickson: This is the sugar apple with sugar allegedly as high as 25%, which is just nuts for an apple. Like Chestnut Crab, it also makes many favorites lists, often at the top. The flavor has been described as malt, effervescent and champagne. It’s a type of flavor found in other crabs, such as Trailman, and many of Wickson’s relatives that were bred by Albert Etter such as Vixen, Muscat de Venus and Amberoso. It is also present in my Wickson seedling, BITE ME!

King David: This is one of the great American apples as far as I’m concerned and it should get more play. It is a gorgeous dark red apple with lively cider-like flavor, plenty of sugar and a great balance of acid. It makes Excellent hard cider and at it’s best is a first rate desert apple and will get your attention when you bite into it. The flavor is cider like with spicy undertones.

Kerry’s Irish Pippin: This has stood the test of time as a richly flavored early apple. Most early apples don’t have this kind of flavor and dessert quality, but Kerry reminds of an aromatic style of English Dessert apple. It is not as rich as many later apples, but it is very good. Here it falls short of both Chestnut Crab and William’s Pride in the early season, but it is good enough that I’ve done some crosses with it, and I think it is worth considering putting it in the mix for someone working on high quality early desert apples, a class of apple that is sparsely populated at this point.

Sunrise: This is another early apple that is promising. Like Kerry it can fall a little short on richness, but what it does have is worth eating. It is a light refreshing apple with mild flavors reminiscent of green grape and sugar cane. I had a specimen last year that was grown in full sun. It was the best I’ve ever had and renewed my interest in this apple.

Ashmead’s Kernel: This is one of the great English dessert apples and frequently ranks high in taste tests. It is a russet type. It is a pretty early apple too, so it could have a place in breeding quality summer apples.

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