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Gravenstein Apple on B.118 (Spring 2021)


A beloved heirloom apple from Europe. Also known as Early Congress, Graff Stein, Grave Slije, Ohio Nonpareil.

Like many of the best apples, Gravenstein is difficult to grow. This is partly because it predates modern breeding programs that have selected apples for disease resistance, but it also has some tricky special features that growers must take into consideration. Gravenstein is both triploid and very early blooming. Two diploid pollenizers will need to be present for full pollination, and these should have bloom times that overlap with that of Gravenstein. It should be well pruned and thinned to maintain annual bearing. Otherwise, this tree is large, wide spreading, vigorous, and long-lived. It is susceptible to fireblight, powdery mildew, butter pit, and scab, but very resistant to cedar-apple rust.

The apple is fairly large with a thin skin that is sliced by distinct ragged stripes of red over yellow. The yellowish flesh is firm and fine-grained but very tender and easily bruised. This apple does not store for any appreciable length of time. Gravenstein is sweet-tart. Tasters rave about the honeyed, aromatic flavor, and in Apples of New York, Beach says: "For culinary purposes it is perhaps unexcelled by any apple of its season." (From WSU for Red Gravenstein: "Tannin (percent tannic acid): 0.07; Acid (percent malic acid): 0.56; pH: 3.49; SG: 1.052; oBrix 12.6.")

The origin of this apple is slightly obscure. From Bussey's Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada: "Possibly originated in the garden of the Duke of Augustenberg, Castle of Graefenstein, Schleswig-Holstein (in the far north of Germany), but according to others it was an apple called Ville Blanc that originated in Italy or southern Tyrol and was sent to Schleswig-Holstein. Also there are reports that scions from Italy were sent home by the brother of Count Chr. Ahlefeldt of Graasten Castle in South Jutland (an area even farther north of Germany that is now part of Denmark). Said to have arrived in Denmark about 1669." Gravenstein is now the national fruit of Denmark, and in 2012, Slow Food USA added Gravenstein to its "Ark of Taste."

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Like many of the best apples, Gravenstein is difficult to grow. This is partly because it predates modern breeding programs that have selected apples for disease resistance, but it also has some tricky special features that growers must take into consideration. Gravenstein is both triploid and very early blooming. Two diploid pollenizers will need to be present for full pollination, and these should have bloom times that overlap with that of Gravenstein. It should be well pruned and thinned to maintain annual bearing. Otherwise, this tree is large, wide spreading, vigorous, and long-lived. It is susceptible to fireblight, powdery mildew, butter pit, and scab, but very resistant to cedar-apple rust.

The apple is fairly large with a thin skin that is sliced by distinct ragged stripes of red over yellow. The yellowish flesh is firm and fine-grained but very tender and easily bruised. This apple does not store for any appreciable length of time. Gravenstein is sweet-tart. Tasters rave about the honeyed, aromatic flavor, and in Apples of New York, Beach says: "For culinary purposes it is perhaps unexcelled by any apple of its season." (From WSU for Red Gravenstein: "Tannin (percent tannic acid): 0.07; Acid (percent malic acid): 0.56; pH: 3.49; SG: 1.052; oBrix 12.6.")

The origin of this apple is slightly obscure. From Bussey's Illustrated History of Apples in the United States and Canada: "Possibly originated in the garden of the Duke of Augustenberg, Castle of Graefenstein, Schleswig-Holstein (in the far north of Germany), but according to others it was an apple called Ville Blanc that originated in Italy or southern Tyrol and was sent to Schleswig-Holstein. Also there are reports that scions from Italy were sent home by the brother of Count Chr. Ahlefeldt of Graasten Castle in South Jutland (an area even farther north of Germany that is now part of Denmark). Said to have arrived in Denmark about 1669." Gravenstein is now the national fruit of Denmark, and in 2012, Slow Food USA added Gravenstein to its "Ark of Taste."


The Fruit

Fruit Type

Category: Apple
Subcategory: Heirloom, Cider, Hot-Climate

Fruit Uses & Storage

Uses: fresh eating, cider, baking
Cider classification: sharp
Storage duration: less than one month (approximate, depending on storage conditions)

Fruit Appearance

Skin color: red
Flesh color: yellow

Fruit Origins

Parentage:
Origin: Germany or Italy
Introduced in: 1600s
Introduced by:

The Environment

Calendar & Geography

USDA zones: 5 - 8
Chill hours: 700
Ripening date: Aug 25 (approximate, in New York State) - 21 days after McIntosh

Tree Height & Spacing

Rootstock: B.118 Rootstock
Rootstock size class: Semi-Standard (90% of Standard)
Tree spacing (natural spread of tree): 24'
Good for wildlife planting? N

Diseases & Pests

Fireblight: Susceptible
Powdery Mildew: Susceptible
Apple Scab: Susceptible
Cedar-Apple Rust: Very Resistant
Bitter Pit: Very Susceptible

Pollination

Pollination Factors

Bloom group: 1
Is it self-fertile? N
Is it fertile? N
Ploidy: Triploid
Rootstock size class: Semi-Standard (90% of Standard)

Pollination Partners

This table shows the first few results from a full search for pollenizers of Gravenstein Apple on B.118. Please see our Pollenizer Search to run other queries and read how the application uses various factors. Also read more about fruit tree pollination.

Tree Ships Currently in Stock
CrimsonCrisp™ Apple on B.118 2021 20
Crimson® Topaz CV. Apple on B.118 2021 11
Reine Des Pommes Apple on MM.111 2021 9
Somerset Redstreak Apple on MM.111 2021 2
Golden Russet Apple on B.118 2021 0
SnowSweet® Apple on B.118 2021 0
Galarina™ X-4982 CV. Apple on B.118 2021 0
Kerr Apple on MM.111 2021 0
King David Apple on MM.111 2021 0
Centennial Crab Apple on MM.111 2021 0
Cox's Orange Pippin Apple on B.118 2021 0

See all pollination matches for Gravenstein Apple on B.118






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