Apple Master List (revised for 2021)
The apple has always been Greenmantle's primary fruit focus. This obviously reflects the broad adaptation and distribution of such a fundamental fruit, as well as its long list of distinct varieties. It also derives from the apple's primacy and longevity in the local landscape. More than a century ago, our region was settled by an influx of Euro-American homesteaders who "proved" their claims in part by establishing orchards. Many survivors of these plantings still stand and produce fruit. And most of them are apple trees.
England's devotion to the apple took root and grew to huge proportions in the American soil. Many of the world's great varieties began as seedlings planted during the colonial period or shortly thereafter. New York and New England became centers of apple culture. The resulting varietal legacy includes Esopus Spitzenberg, Swaar, Northern Spy, Baldwin, Tompkins King. Roxbury Russet. Jonathan, Rhode Island Greening, and many more.
As the frontier was pushed westward, apple trees - both grafted varieties and unproven seedlings - moved with it. The story of John Chapman aka "Johnny Appleseed" is a national legend based on fact. Chapman's pioneer nurseries provided thousands of apple seedlings for settlers in the Ohio River Valley. Some of these ended up as rootstocks grafted over to established varieties brought from the eastern states. And many were left to produce nondescript fruit which was blended into hard cider and apple jack; these were the most popular beverages on the American frontier.
By the time Euro-American dominion established itself in Northern California (circa 1850), the roster of "domestic" apple varieties had become quite extensive. This formed the foundation for homestead orchard plantings here. A survey of the surviving trees reveals that the Mattole and Eel River Valleys of Humboldt County were well suited for growing the classic varieties of NewYork State, including Tompkins King, Esopus Spitzenberg, Jonathan, and Northern Spy. Southern apples like Arkansas Black, King David, and Winesap also flourish here.
While California is not usually regarded as "apple country", all kinds of varieties seem well adapted to the Northwestern corner of the state. Our own experience confirms this remarkable felicity. Notoriously tempermental English varieties like Cox Orange Pippin and Pitmaston Pineapple bear first-rate fruit next to long-season Japanese varieties like Fuji and Mutsu. Apples from all over North America and the world seem at home here in the coastal mountains of Humboldt County.
MASTER LIST OF APPLE VARIETIES
CODE: EHC - Euopean Hard Cider AHC - American Hard Cider
The apple portraits are reproduced from Apples of New York - S.A. Beach (1905). All the varieties pictured , except Roxbury Russet, were collected in old homestead orchards in Southern Humboldt orchards..........
WE NO LONGER OFFER.VARIETIES MARKED BY *
Why do we need so many kinds of apples? Because there are so many folks. A person has a right to gratify his legitimate tastes. If he wants twenty or forty kinds of apples for his personal use, running from Early Harvest to Roxbury Russet, he should be accorded the privilege. Some place should be provided where he may obtain trees or scions. There is merit in variety itself. It provides more points of contact with life, and leads away from unifromity and monotony."
- Liberty Hyde Bailey, The Apple Tree 1922
All original text and images © Greenmantle Nursery 2005 -2021