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Golden Russet Apple


unknown parentage, likely before 1800


Grafted #2 - 2017, on wild seedling (inside fence)

Grafted #1 - 2012, on wild seedling  (NWOrch)


Golden Russet fruit 2022


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Dudley Seedlg
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Emma's Seedlg

Esopus Spitzenburg
Front Yard
Golden Russet
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Mr C
Prairie Spy


Sweet Sixteen


"Winter. Round medium-sized russet fruit. The champagne of cider apples, ripening late in fall when the best sweet cider is ready to be made: sweet, balanced, thick and smooth. Excellent eating; keeps all winter and well into spring. Several different apples have been called Golden Russet. This is most likely the Golden Russet of Western New York. Vigorous diverging upcurving tree with long willowy branches. Scab resistant. Blooms early to midseason. Thought to be from England, New York or New England, before 1800. Z4. // tip bearer with apples hanging at the ends of twiggy shoots.

2023 - #1 - Nice 3-6" new growth, finally looking for robust. Had a dozen small, mostly deformed fruit. Picked one decent large crab size fruit 10/15.

#2 - Quite sparse of leaves, especially along branches. Set one small poor fruit. The bridge graft looks good, nice healing in area. Another sucker started growing. Will let it grow to do a 2nd bridge graft when it's tall enough.

2022 - Golden Russet fruit#1 - The first (and only one) Golden Russet fruit! It was watched with great attention as it grew on the NE side, snug with its short stem against a branch. I hoped the color and location might help keep it from hungry bluejay or squirrel notice. As a new, and unknown to me, apple I didn't know when it would be ripe or its ripe color. I decided on October 6 that it looked ready, so I carefully picked this distinct, medium small, beautifully clean healthy fruit. It sat on the kitchen counter for several days while I admired it, then back it went into the cooling root cellar with the other apples.

It is reported to be an excellent storage apple but I couldn't wait. On October 26 I quartered and cored this little gem, happy to see the dark brown of the seeds stating that it was indeed ripe. We each took a slice -- ahhhhh! It was delicious, gently firm, with very good flavor. I so look forward to more. This fruit was a long time coming - ten years since we grafted it. It was the only graft of a half dozen that year that survived a late May freeze as it was in a more protected spot, nestled against the woods of our north border. It is definitely a keeper. The tree is also looking good and healthy and finally filling out into a decent size. It is a thin branched, somewhat willowy, shape.

#2 - Top is looking good, no sign of fireblight. I realized the previously partly girdled trunk, low to the ground, went farther around than I thought so I tried two bridge grafts in the spring. The first using a short sucker growing up which seems to have attached. The second was a purpose cut piece from another tree but the grafts didn't take. There is little live wood to work with but I may try again next year. Since having now tasted a Golden Russet fruit I'm even more determined to salvage this second, young, tree. This one is inside the main fence and I think gets better sun. But it was grafted five years after #1 and on a small sapling so it will likely be awhile before fruit.

2021 - #1 - Looking good. #2 - Looking good, no sign of fireblight. Spread several branches to get more even space around.

2020 - #1 - Growing nicely, better shaped now.

#2 - Continued healthy and vigorous - until fireblight hit. Only a few apples got strikes, this was one. By 7/20 central leader was brown. Cut it out. But 4 nicely spaced lower branches were all healthy and stayed that way. think I'll leave that the shape of the tree - wide growing. The branches start high enough I think.

2019 - #1 - 4/9 cut off low upright 3 yr 24" watersprout. Looking good.     #2 - Healthy, vigorous.

2018 - #1 - Decent growth this year; starting to look like a "regular" apple tree. Leaf issues but did OK. Split near bottom healing very well, almost closed.

#2 - Pruned to one leader. Very vigorous growth - ~ 4ft tall whip (3’ growth this year). Looks good.

2017 - #1 - Pruned off one shoot for scion late winter to graft on an inside fence seedling (GR#2). Looking much better, filling out though still rather thin shoots. 

#2 - Cut scion late winter from GR#1. Grafted 5/26 onto very short, small a3 wild apple/crab transplanted seedling in new east part of orchard inside fence, about 5" from ground. Vigorous, healthy 10-12" growth.

2016 - #1 - Better growth this year. Still sparse.

2015 - #1 - Pruned off low original branch. Top finally looking better, more branches. Then mid summer something (large bird?) broke top branch off! bummer, but glad to have side branches to grow. Trunk very skinny.

2014 - #1 - Skinny trunk, probably crab rootstock. Looking good.

2013 - #1 - Good growth, leaving one original branch.

2012 - #1 - Fedco scion grafted to 5 ft wild sapling transplanted from front of shop, maybe crab, thin trunk. Planted west of hangar along north windbreak/woods. Only graft to survive 5/30 freeze, nicely protected against north woods. Looking rough but alive.

copyright Susan Robishaw

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