Golden Russet


Origin England, 1800s.
Parentage Unknown.
Availability Mid October to April or later.
Source Only in limited quantities from certain nurseries.
Quality Rich, aromatic, distinctive; moderately juicy and crisp.

Size Below medium, fairly uniform in size.
Surface Partly or fully covered with fine smooth russeting.
Ground Colour Medium green to golden depending on culture, season and maturity.
Over Colour Usually none. May have a tinge of dull red on the exposed cheek.
Flesh Colour Creamy yellow.
Harvest Season Mid October. One of the last cultivars harvested.
Storage Keeps very well in cold storage; high, but slightly less than 100%, humidity is necessary to prevent shriveling. This can be overdone as fruit in fully sealed polyethylene lined bins with freely visible water will become mealy and may develop soft scald-like symptoms.
Strains A spur type was discovered in 1982 in Connecticut. Untested in Nova Scotia.

Vigour Moderately vigourous. Older trees become quite large.
Habit Spreading. With its thin willowy shoots the trees tend to develop an umbrella form with excessive blind wood, complicating pruning.
Precocity Somewhat slow to bear full crops.
Fruit Placement On laterals, some spurs and terminals.
Bloom Period Early.
Pollination Pollinated by other diploids with overlapping blossom periods; a good pollinator.
Nutrition Requires average to above average feeding.
Crop Only a moderate cropper and may be somewhat irregular.
Synchrony Good.
Adaptation Seems to like cool growing seasons. Only moderately hardy.
Disease Reaction Leaves are susceptible to scab, fruit are fairly resistant. Moderately resistant to mildew. Resistant to canker.
Insect Reaction Somewhat susceptible to leaf rollers and budmoth.
Rootstock Minor trials with size-controlling stocks have neither shown any problems nor a solution to the low cropping problem; fruit size may have been improved. Good canopy volume appears necessary for adequate crop volumes.

Golden Russet is a cultivar of long standing, noted for its high eating quality. Its distinct appearance gives it a special market niche. In early settlement days it was favoured for its ability to retain full flavour and juiciness (even though somewhat shriveled) in unheated cellar storage. Highly valued as a sweet cider apple since as little as 10% will provide a distinctive flavour to the juice.

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