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MAIN OFFICE (607) 269-7664
TINO (607)-227-1799
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Cummins Nursery
1408 Trumansburg Rd
Ithaca, NY 14850

Main Crop | For the North | For the South | Disease Resistant | Antiques and Exotics  | Cider varieties | Crabapples | Wildlife Planting | Rootstocks

CIDER APPLES

These are traditional English, French and Spanish cider varieties
cultivated here at Cummins Nursery.

Barker's Classification of Cider Apples (LARS 1903)

Classification
Acid (%)
Tannin (%)
Bittersharp
> 0.45
> 0.2
Bittersweet
< 0.45
> 0.2
Sharp
> 0.45
< 0.2
Sweet
< 0.45
< 0.2

SHARP

ASHMEAD'S KERNEL Gloucester, England, 1720. A speculated seedling of Nonpareil. Harvest: mid-October, Season: December - February. An old English winter russet, medium size, golden-brown skin with a crisp nutty snap, exploding with champagne-sherbet juice infused with a lingering scent of orange blossom. Flesh is dense, sugary and aromatic with intense flavor, characteristic of russets. Winner of taste tests and has SOME RESISTANCE TO SCAB AND CEDAR APPLE RUST. Triploid.

BALDWIN (Also known as: Woodpecker) Parentage / Origin: Chance seedling; Discovered Massachusetts, USA, 1740 Harvest / Season: Harvest: Late September early-October, Season: October - Feb Description: Medium to large, yellow base flushed with orange and striped red. Juicy with sweet to sub-acid flavor, aromatic and firm. Good cider base. Usually a productive and vigorous tree. Often a biennial bearer. Triploid.

BRAMLEY'S SEEDLING  Old English variety;  the standard culinary apple of  England.  Vigorous and productive.  Late  blooming.  Ripens early October.  High vitamin C.    Considerable tolerance to scab and powdery mildew. Triploid. 

BROWN'S APPLE Makes "vintage quality" cider that is fragrant. Fruit mildly bittersharp. Mid-October ripening. Midseason bloom. Very productive but not precocious. Fruit 2" diameter. Susceptible to fire blight. Scab-tolerant. Very winter hardy, to -30F and colder.

CRIMSON KING No astringency.  Makes "vintage" cider.  Fruit larger than most English cider apples  2-1/4".  Useful as a cooker.  Triploid. England, late 14th century.   Bloom early midseason.  Heavy cropper; vigorous.  Scab susceptible.

DE LE RIEGA Recommended cider variety of northern Spain.  Semi-sharp fruit, high yields, late bloom time, late ripening fruit with orange blush over green color, good disease resistance, medium vigor tree.  Annual bearing potential. Classified as "semiacida" in traditional spanish cider. 

GOLDEN RUSSET Classic American cider apple.  High sugar.  Late ripening and very long keeping.  One of the very best eating apples.

GRAVENSTEIN Origin: Italy, early 1600's. USA, 1790. Harvest: August-September; Season: till early November. Description: Large, round to slightly flattened orangish yellow fruit with red stripes. Thin skin. Crisp, juicy, fine grained, yellowish white flesh. Known for fine flavor. Unexcelled for cooking. Makes wonderful pies, desserts, sauces, and cider. With proper storage, keeps until November. Tree Characteristics: Large, vigorous, upright tree. Triploid.

MARIAELENA High vigor tree, but precocious and productive. Moderate disease resistance. Medium sized red conical fruit. Early bloom and early ripening. High acid fruit with good juice yields. Classified as "acida" in traditional Spanish cider.

PIEL DE SAPA Name translates to Toad Skin. Recommended cider variety of northern Spain. Rough red-brown russet over pale skin. Semi-sharp, aromatic, astringent fruit ripens late season. Classified as "semiacida" in traditional Spanish cider.

REINETA DO CARAVIA High vigor spur-bearing tree, medium size green-yellow fruit, late ripening, hangs well and produces high acid juice. Moderate disease resistance, including fire blight. Classified as "acida" in traditional Spanish cider.

REPINALDO DE LIEBANA High vigor, medium sized, conical yellow apple, with astringent semi-acid juice. Moderate fire blight resistance. Classified as "semiacida" in traditional Spanish cider.

RAXAO High vigor tree, slow to begin producing. Moderate disease resistance, tendency for biennial bearing. Late blooming, late harvest. Large green fruit, turn yellow with red stripes as they ripen. Good yields of high acid juice. Classified as "acida" in traditional Spanish cider.

ROXBURY RUSSET This oldest American variety has long storage life; makes a good single-variety sweet cider.   

SANGRE DE TORO (name translates as Bull's Blood) Recommended cider apple of northern Spain. Dark red stripes over yellow, medium size fruit, ripen late October. Low vigor tree, high yield potential. Classified as "acida" in traditional Spanish cider.

SOLARINA Recommended cider apple of northern Spain.  Late bloom time, light blush over yellow when ripe, in mid October. Good levels of disease resistance, moderate vigor tree with high yield potential and biennial tendencies.  Semi-acid fruit and juice. Classified as "semiacida" in traditional Spanish cider.

SPITZENBERG ESOPUS Dessert apple for connoisseurs, also very valuable for cider. Medium large sized round, conical, orangish fruit with tough skin. Has russet dots and inconspicuous stripes. Hard, very crisp, fine-grained, spicy and juicy yellowish flesh. Rich, fruity, aromatic flavor with lively acidity. Improves radically with storage; best at Christmas. Tree Characteristics: Susceptible to fire blight, scab and canker. Tree: moderately vigorous with a willowy growth habit, cropping heavy.

STEMBRIDGE JERSEY Productive, but tends to be biennial. Mid-October harvest.

WICKSON An Albert Etter cross: Newtown Pippin x Esopus Spitzenburg. Very high Brix, up to 25, with high acid.  Flavor probably too strong for most folks to enjoy as dessert apple.  Outstanding cider.

SWEETS

BLACK OXFORD Unknown parentage. Paris, ME (Oxford County), about 1790. Black Oxford's most distinctive characteristic is its rich dark purple, almost black skin color. Occasionally there may be patches where the purple is striped and the yellow/green ground color shows through. Around the cavity (stem end) there is often a light purple splash, and there are usually numerous light purple dots. The trees tend to overbear which looks all the more spectacular, but can result in smaller sized fruit.

BURGUNDY  Parentage / Origin: Monroe/Macoun x Antonovka Harvest / Season: Harvest: September Description: Fruit is large, round, very intense pigment, almost blackish red. Solid blush without stripes. Skin is smooth and glossy. Flesh crisp, sub-acid, very good eating quality. Fruits hang well for 3 weeks after harvest ripe. Storage life is short, no more than a month. Tree Characteristics: Susceptible to Cedar-Apple Rust. 

COURT ROYAL Late ripening. Dual-purpose dessert variety; 2-1/4". Triploid. Scab-susceptible.High sugar content. Makes fast-fermenting juice, and a pure light cider.   

GILPIN 200-year-old Virginia cider apple. Late blooming; October ripening. Coarse, crisp flesh; sweet and tender.

GRANIWINKLE Always considered a first-class cider apple, Graniwinkle is also a wonderful fresh eating apple with a rich, sweet flavor. The apple originated in New Jersey in the early 1800's and was named for the grower who first cultivated it. Fruit is medium-sized with greenish-yellow skin flushed red with mixed dark red stripes and splashes. A vigorous upright tree that produces abundant crops. Ripens in September.

LEBRET England, early 1900s. Late midseason harvest; fuit 2-1/4". Bloom  early. Tree not vigorous.

MARIN OUFREY  Late midseason bloom. Moderately productive. 

NEWTOWN PIPPIN This is the apple that Thomas Jefferson made famous 200 years ago.  At Monticello, Jefferson had a large orchard of Pippins, which he had packed in barrels and shipped to England;  on the London market, these Albemarle Pippins fetched premium prices. The Newtown Pippin is NOT a beautiful apple --it's rather squat, it's only medium size, its skin color is a yellowish-green that not attractive.  Below that not-so-beautiful skin, though, lurks a gourmet's apple--rich flavor, highly aromatic, sweet/tart with a touch of pineapple.  Very firm fruit; excellent keeper. Tree is vigorous; early-bearing; productive.   

NORTHWOOD. "Vintage cider".  English, 18th century.  Bloom midseason.  Tree medium vigor.  Late harvest.  

REINETTE ZABERGAU Origin: Germany, 1885. Harvest: late October, Season: November-February. Description: Very large, gold-brown russet fruit. Crisp, white flesh. Rich and nutty. Triploid.

SAINT EDMUND'S RUSSET  This old  (1875) English variety is one of the best early autumn eating apples; ripens a month before Golden Russet.  Beautiful solid bronze russet.  Precocious and productive.  Moderate vigor.       

SWEET COPPIN Late midseason maturity.  Makes "vintage" cidre, but no astringency.  Midseason flowering. Precocious and productive.  Very low tannins.  Fruit 2-1/2".  Tends to go biennial. Tolerant to blight.   England, early 18th century.  

 

BITTERSHARPS

CAP OF LIBERTY  A bittersharp cider variety from 13-14th century England.

COLLAOS Medium vigor, with erect growth. Highly productive, annual bearing. Resistant to common diseases (except Monilinia sp) including scab and mildew. Late bloom time. Fruit is large, green, juicy, very astringent, with firm granular flesh texture. Considered semi-sharp. Skin is green breaking to yellow as fruit ripen. High juice yields of high tannin content. Very late ripening (early November). One of the preferred cider apples in northern Spain.

DOMAINES Early October maturity.  Very productive. Scab susceptible. Vigorous. 

DOLGO CRAB One of the best all purpose crab apples. Its large 1 1/2 " crimson fruit make a rich, ruby red jelly. The leaves are green and mildew resistant. The profuse flowers are white. The name means ‘long’ in Russian, and refers to the shape of the fruit. The fruit is so bright in color and abundant that the tree looks like a decorated Christmas tree when viewed from a distance. The fruit ripens in early September. The tree will grow to about 10' on EMLA 7 rootstock.

FOXWHELP Dusky red skin, flesh is considered bitter sharp. Strictly for cider.

GOLDEN HORNET Very large quantities of small (1/2-inch) yellow crabapples.  Tolerant to scab, mildew and fire blight.  Annual bearing. Much used as a pollenizer for mid- and late-season blooming  varieties. 

HEREFORDSHIRE REDSTREAK During the 17th century, Herefordshire, in the English "West Country," became famous for the quality and quantity of its fermented apple cider. This reputation was mainly predicated on the Redstreak variety, now rare, but still an excellent bittersharp for the home cider orchard. Illustrated by Robert Hogg (1818-1897), scab warts and all. A vintage bittersharp.

KINGSTON BLACK Crimson apple over yellow orange base. Bitter sharp taste. Makes the perfectly balanced single variety cider, nose considered "nutty and spicy." Flavor "citrus, apple, and butterstotch." The Mt. Vernon tasting notes read "tannins are soft, good balance, wonderful flavor jumps all over the mouth." Ripens mid-September (says Autumn) to mid-October (say the web pages).

METTAIS Productive. Matures early midseason. Moderate vigor 

PORTER'S PERFECTION Origin: England. Harvest: November. Description: English cider apple. Cream coloured, flushed dark red. Bitter-sharp cider blending quality. Tree Characteristics: Tree vigorous, heavy cropper, tends to biennial bearing.

STEMBRIDGE CLUSTER From the cider country of Somerset, England, like Kingston Black. Has proven quite precocious for Bruce Honsinger in the North Cascades, who values its tannins and acidity for both cider and pie. Ripens between Honeycrisp and Red Delicious, so presumably after Kingston Black, hardy through zone 4. Qualities of the juice not necessarily same as those given in the English descriptions, whether due to climate or genetic variation.

STOKE RED perfect tannin/acid balance. Late maturing. Late bloom. Scab-resistant. Susceptible to fire blight. Winter-hardy. Not precocious. Gary Moulton: "Stoke Red, according to Copas it is quite disease resistant and a very late bittersharp and more consistent on annual bearing; makes an excellent cider only second to Kingston Black. Tree habit was not favorable to them as it has more of a bush habit. For some of our more dense orchards that might not be a bad thing."

WHITNEY CRAB    

BITTERSWEETS

ASHTON BITTER Seedling from a Dabinett/Stoke Red cross by Mr. G.T.Spinks, Fruit Breeder at Long Ashton, 1947. Juice low-acid, medium tannin.

BEDAN Late blooming. Late midseason maturity. Precocious and productive. Disease-tolerant, including fire blight.  

BINET ROUGE Precocious and productive; a staple for French cidre-makers. Tree heavily feathered.  Late blooming.  Matures early midseason. Mildew susceptible.

BROWN SNOUT England, 1850s. Late harvest;  relatively short storage life. Late blooming;  supposedly self-fruitful.  Fruit small (1-3/4"), yellow, light wax.  Scab susceptible.Very susceptible to fire blight.  

BROWN THORN Very mildly bitter. Very old variety from Normandy, where it is known as 'Argile Grise'. Late bloom. Tree vigor medium. Late harvest. Very susceptible to fire blight.

BULMER'S NORMAN Standard bittersweet in England; originated in Normandy.  Triploid; strong grower.  Early bloom.  Mid-October harvest.   Tends to be biennial.  Poor pollen.  Fair tolerance to blight.  Scab susceptible.  Fruit 2-1/4", greenish-yellow.  Very winter hardy, has come through -40 without serious damage.

CALVILLE BLANC (Also known as: Calville Blanc d'Hiver). Origin: Introduced 1598 France or Germany. Harvest: late October; Season: November-March Description: Gourmet culinary apple of France, excellent for tarts. Good juice apple with more vitamin C than an orange.  A great cider base. Good sauce and cooking apple as well. Fruit medium-large uniquely shaped, yellow / pale green with light red dots on sunny side. Flesh tender, sweet, juicy. Aromatic, spicy flavor. Tree Characteristics: Tree does best in warm soil, against a sunny wall or bank. Precocious bearer. 

CENTENNIAL CRAB ( Dolgo X Wealthy) It originated at the University of Minnesota, Excelsior, and introduced in 1957. The tree is very productive annually, and moderately resistant to fire blight. The fruit is medium large, 4.0-4.5 cm (12-1¾") in diameter, round conic, long stemmed, with a narrow shallow stem cavity and flat basin; and it matures in mid season from searly to mid September.The skin is orange-yellow, fully striped and overlaid with red with corky lenticels, and covered with a medium purplish bloom. The flesh is yellow, crisp, tender juicy and mildly acid. Good for blending in ciders as well as for fresh eating and cooking, especially sauce. Genetic semidwarf. Excellent flavor. Scab resistant. Very winter hardy. Mid-season bloom.

CHISEL JERSEY Very astringent ,"full bittersweet". Precocious and productive. English, 19th century.  Late bloom and late harvest.  Very winter-hardy. Being heavily planted in England Scab-susceptible.  

COAT JERSEY Custom only   Vigorous tree; very productive.  Bloom late midseason.  Late ripening.  Very susceptible to scab; susceptible to fire blight. Fruit 1-3/4".   

COLORADONA Recommended cider variety from northern Spain. A full bittersweet, intermediate bloom time, ripens mid to late season (October). Medium vigor tree, bright red fruit, with high juice yields, moderate biennial bearing.

COURT PENDU PLAT Old variety known since 1613, probable origins in Roman times. The name is derived from Corps Pendu, referring to the shortness of the stem. Skin is greenish-yellow becoming flushed with orange-red with short broken stripes. A good cropper with rich, aromatic fruit with a good balance of sugar and acid. Suitable for areas with late spring frost because it blooms very late and is cold hardy.

DABINETT Seedling of Chisel Jersey. Harvest: October - November.  English cider apple. High quality juice. Tree of low vigor, does well with high fertility levels. Shade tolerant. Bears young and is a regular good producer, considerable tolerance to fireblight and scab MOST RELIABLE BITTERSWEET TO GROW; EXCELLENT JUICE. Precocious and very productive.  Makes a sweet, full-bodied cidre. Widely planted in England and France. Natural semidwarf.  Fruit 1-3/4". 

ELLIS BITTER Vigorous. Precocious and productive; tip bearer.  Late blooming. September harvest. Fruit large(2-1/4"), yellow.  Widely planted in West Country of England. Susceptible to fire blight. Scab moderately susceptible. Short storage life.           

ERNESTINA Recommended cider variety of northern Spain.  Mild bittersweet, good yields and disease resistance. Late bloom time, green fruit ripens mid season (October). High vigor tree with good annual bearing potential. 

FREQUIN ROUGE Precocious and productive.  Scab and fire blight susceptible. Matures early midseason.   Moderately vigorous.      

HARRISON Also known as: Harrison Cider, Long Stem, and Harrisons Newark. Parentage/Origin: Essex County, New Jersey, early 19th century. Harvest: October. Description: Medium in size and round to oblong in shape, the yellow skin has black dots, and the yellow flesh is coarse and dry. Once lost to cultivation, Tom Burford found a 75 year old Harrison tree in 1989 and returned this valuable cider apple to the trade. Harrison juice is viscous and dark with complex flavors and exceptional mouth feel. The apple is scab and rot-resistant, bears annual, full crops, and keeps well in storage. It remains one of the very finest apples for cider-making, either fresh or fermented.

HARRY MASTER'S JERSEY  Full bittersweet making vintage cider.  Small conical fruit.  Precocious and productive.  Late midseason harvest.  Late flowering.  Fruit 2".  Easy to turn biennial.  Scab susceptible.   England, XIX century.      

MAJOR Full bittersweet; makes a soft vintage cider.  Very productive in New York. Bloom medium-late.  Fruit 1-3/4".  Vigorous.  Late November harvest.  Scab moderately susceptible. English, 1880s. 

MEDAILLE D'OR November harvest. Full bittersweet. Developed by a Mr. Goddard of Boisguillaume, Rouen, France. Introduced into England in 1884. Medium light yellow roundish fruit mostly covered with patches and netting of smooth tan russet. In the 1993 British text, The Book of Apples, Joan Morgan and Alison Richards write that it "produces sweet, heavily astringent juice and full bittersweet cider often high in alcohol, fruity and good quality." Combine with other late varieties. Z4-6. Scab resistant. Annual production.

MICHELIN
 Normandy 1872. Midseason cider Apple. Medium bittersweet. Developed by Mr. Legrand of Yvetot, Normandy, France. Introduced into England in 1884. Named after a famous cider researcher. Small-medium conical ribbed pale green fruit dotted with russet and sometimes slightly blushed. Along with Dabinett one of the most reliable croppers. Currently the most widely planted variety in the West of England cider country. Medium-sized tree with upright multi-leader habit. Sweet astringent flesh and soft tannin juice, best for blending with other midseason varieties. Mid-late season bloom, good self-fertility; good pollinator with Dabinett, Stoke Red, and Breakwell's Seedling. Scab tolerant. Z4-6.

MUSCADET DE DIEPPE Origin: Normandy, 1750. Harvest: September. Description: Excellent cider apple. Orange-red, smallish fruit. Sweet and aromatic. Good resistance to fireblight.

MUSCAT DE BERNAY A bittersweet cider apple from Normandy, France. It originated near the commune of Bernay at the site of the Benedictine Abbey. Fruit is large and ripens in midseason. Description taken from http://www.foggyridgecider.com/our-cider/our-apples.php: "So tannic it is known as a "spitter," this French variety has long been grown in England for blending with sharp and sweet apples. Muscat de Bernay trees reach straight for the sky and are impossible to train into a more productive shape. A frustrating but valuable apple."


NEHOU Full bittersweet. French origin. Bloom medium early. Medium vigor. Precocious and productive. Harvest midseason. Scab susceptible.

REDFIELD Medium or larger. Dark red with russeting, dark red flesh. Juice is red. Not for fresh eating. Tree Characteristics: Wood and leaves are red. Extremely hardy. Deep red flesh is slightly dry making it excellent for baking. Produces an exceptional jelly, blood red cider, or vinegar. Ripens in October.

REINE DE POMMES From Brittany, 19th century. Bloom early. Tree vigor medium. Productive. Harvest early midseason. West County Cider: "Reine de Pomme is an archaic French Apple. We were struck by the taste- tannins and iron- that made it inedible, but intriguing for a cider. As a cider it has a deep, dark-fruit, honeyed taste. We blended it with our Dabinett to round out the tannins, and Redfield to add bright fruit and to balance to the bitter-sweets. Though blended, Reine de Pomme leads the taste, and the Dabinet and Redfield fall in nicely as supports. It is the fullest-bodied cider we have made." Strongly tannic bittersweet.

SOMERSET REDSTREAK Preferred blending base for the early to mid season at Eves Cidery in Ithaca NY; grown in volume for its classic bittersweet nose and ability to soften harsher tannins and fruit characters without loss of flavor.

ST. MARTIN French cider and Calvados (apple brandy) variety. Bittersweet, very late ripening. Green skin with red splashes.

VILBERIE Very bitter with high astringency. Bitterness is harsh - best used in blending. If one likes a very stout cider, this is the one. 19th c variety from Brittany. Late harvest; fruit 2", green. Vigorous tree. Precocious and productive. Very late blooming. Supposedly self-fertile. Fireblight susceptible.

VIRGINIA CRAB A
bsolutely one of the best cider crab apples available today. The exact date of origin is unclear, but trees of Virginia Crab were discovered in Virginia in 1817 which were already a hundred years old. It produces a clear, dry cider which is excellent by itself or used in a blend with other ciders. Fruit is very small (1 ½ inches diameter) with dark green skin mostly covered with dull, purplish red and numerous large white dots. Flesh is firm, crisp, astringent and quite acid in flavor. Ripens September to October and is a good keeper. Quite susceptible to cedar apple rust.

YARLINGTON MILLS  Sweet and mildly bitter; makes vintage cider.  Late October.  Fruit 2-1/4 inches, conic.  Bloom early midseason.  Distinctive large, dark green leaves.  Precocious and consistently productive though somewhat biennial. Quite winter hardy. Moderately susceptible to scab.

Varieties we no longer propagate on speculation but will gladly make for you:

Dymock Red