The first Roxbury Russet tree sprung up around 1635 in Roxbury near Boston. It’s the oldest American apple still being grown today. Excellent old cider apple, a superb keeper, great for fresh eating, juice, and baking. Remarkable for it’s amount of sugar. It’s juice makes an excellent base for cider blending.
This heirloom is a greenish-bronze, russeted fruit that is hard, crunchy, sweet and aggressively acidic. Roxbury Russet improves in storage, Apples of Uncommon Character says “By early winter, the acid gives way to a delicious, rich persimmon with nutty undertones”. Flesh is firm, yellow-white with unique, sweet flavor.
Roxbury Russet is an apple variety that traces its history right back to the colonial era, and it is thought to be the oldest apple variety originating in North America – almost certainly a seedling of a European variety brought over by the early colonists. It remains popular as a variety for gardens and small orchards, not just for its history but because it is also a good all-round apple.
The tree is vigorous and open-spreading, and shows some resistance to scab, powdery mildew and cedar apple rust. It is partially self-fertile and mid- to late- bloom. Will bear annualy. Widely hardy to zone 4. Although usually associated with the eastern apple-growing areas, Roxbury Russet has a good climate range – including coastal southern California. Like many antique apples, Roxbury Russet has some natural resistance to some of the diseases prevalent in the areas it originated, notably cedar apple rust, fireblight and scab.
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