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Gold Rush Crab apple?
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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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1
December 9, 2023 - 7:14 pm

Several of my gold rush were indeed small enough to be considered crab apples. I let it go biennial, so this was an on year.  Tons of small apples.  It is more work, but it's also more nutrition.  The vast majority of the nutrition is in the peel, which is more of the fruit in small apples.  In addition, I think it's better for storage apples, because when you have to sift through and throw out the bad ones, the mold, etc. doesn't spread as fast from apple to apple as it does within the apple.  On a big apple, each time you throw out a lot of apple. 

I may try to aim it for yearly fruit.  I have heard that you prune it in the off year, which seems counter intuitive, but seems to work. 

My GOld Rush also didn't get quite as gold colored as it often does.  It seemed a little more green.

ANyone else growing Gold Rush?

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
780 Posts
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2
December 10, 2023 - 12:37 am

Yes, I grow Goldrush.  It set very heavy this year, and in spite of thinning many from the branches I could reach, it was still way too much.

I think the quality is worse, with more insect damage and later ripening when it bears that heavily.   

In spite of all that, they still tasted great.  Many of them split this year, probably from the timing of drought and rains.  I don't think I irrigated that tree even though I had irrigation in the area.  I was trying to avoid vigorous growth, but next time I'll try to keep giving it some water.

Crunch a Bunch on the same tree were much bigger, didn't split, got fully yellow, and had a great texture.  But they didn't have as good a flavor to my palate.  Also seemed to have less sugar, although i didn't test them.

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Dannytoro1
60 Posts
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3
December 10, 2023 - 6:44 am

clark3.jpegclark2.jpegI'm going to get some of those Clark Crabs:

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JeanW
51 Posts
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December 10, 2023 - 4:04 pm

I grow GoldRush too, but the current tree is still fairly small.  It had about 4 apples in 2022 and nothing in 2023.  I prefer them to be larger, so I do fairly serious thinning as GoldRush really tends to overset.  I had it as a couple of limbs on another tree in my old orchard, and it almost always set every blossom and required major thinning to be able to harvest anything even close to being ripe.  In my climate, even with thinning the apples sometimes do not fully ripen on the tree and are still partly green, but after some storage time, they are still delicious.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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5
December 23, 2023 - 4:57 pm

jafar said
 

I think the quality is worse, with more insect damage and later ripening when it bears that heavily.   

  

I may agree with you about the quality and ripening.  I still have a couple of them on the tree and they are untouched. Other apples, almost all of which are larger, are attacked by squirrels. Even apples that are partially rotten that are larger are attacked more by squirrels.  I don't get more insect damage when they are smaller.  Larger apples are a much bigger prize.  Fake apples used to trap insects are always very large.  I get more predator damage on larger apples.

John S
PDX OR

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GH
Battle Ground, WA
129 Posts
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6
December 24, 2023 - 1:32 am

My GoldRush trees are on M26 and M9 rootstocks and are the same age.  The M9 was my first grafting attempt, at one of the Home Orchard Society grafting classes, so it's a sentimental favorite.  They produced different results this year.

I thought that I had thinned the dwarf M9 enough this spring, but it should have had another 25%, if not more, of apples removed.  The apples were mostly small to medium in size, definitely smaller than normal.  The medium-sized ones eventually ripened by mid-November, even though they weren't as yellow as usual.  I left the small, green apples on the tree until we got several nights in the low-20's, just before Thanksgiving; I picked them even though they were obviously not ripe.  The flavor is terrible on the green apples, and I don't think that time in the refrigerator will help.  They're now food for wildlife, with a few being rationed to them daily.

The semidwarf M26 was decently thinned, and the harvest was much closer to normal in size and color.  They ripened mostly by mid-November, though, which is a couple of weeks later than usual.  The flavor is easily better than that of the M9 this year.

 All of my apple trees bloomed extremely late this year - usually the flowers are gone by May, this year the flowers didn't open until May and were at least two weeks behind their usual schedule.  This had to have contributed to the late ripening, even though my failure to adequately thin the M9 was the biggest culprit there.

I have to agree with John that the "Larger apples are a much bigger prize", even though in my case it's birds instead of squirrels. They search for the largest, prettiest apples, and who can blame them for that I guess?

My experience with GoldRush has been that quality and ripening are greatly affected by a lack of proper thinning.  It's a great apple, though.  It stores beautifully and is excellent for fresh eating and baking.  I've read that it's also a favorite for making apple cider.

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molyg
2 Posts
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7
April 7, 2024 - 8:45 pm

JeanW said slice master
I grow GoldRush too, but the current tree is still fairly small.  It had about 4 apples in 2022 and nothing in 2023.  I prefer them to be larger, so I do fairly serious thinning as GoldRush really tends to overset.  I had it as a couple of limbs on another tree in my old orchard, and it almost always set every blossom and required major thinning to be able to harvest anything even close to being ripe.  In my climate, even with thinning the apples sometimes do not fully ripen on the tree and are still partly green, but after some storage time, they are still delicious.

  

The GoldRush trees I grow are only small in size but still produce delicious-tasting fruit. I think this is due to the climate, similar to your case. 

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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8
April 8, 2024 - 8:33 am

I remember from Ted Swensen's lists that Gold Rush is a low vigor apple tree.  It is not advised to graft anything above Gold Rush on that tree, because it will outcompete Gold Rush. This is especially true of high vigor apples, such as Jonagold.  Gold Rush is the only tree in my orchard that has only one variety on it.  It is a small tree, but it produces as many apples as any other tree, and it produces way more keeper apples than any other tree.  As I get into the late spring and summer, my keeper apples tilt toward 100% Gold Rush, as the others have rotted and gone into the compost.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
780 Posts
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9
April 8, 2024 - 9:41 am

@John S I don't think the more insect damage is from being small, I think its from being un-thinned, which go hand in hand.  Insects and trouble seem to go with apples touching each other.

 

I suspect some of Goldrush's low vigor is due to precocious and heavy bearing.  BTW, it seems to be doing great as espalier on dwarf rootstock.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
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10
April 8, 2024 - 12:43 pm

I agree with you about apples touching each other. You can see the worm  go from one apple to the other. 

It makes sense that it would do well as an espalier, which is a French word for "lots of work".

I think that the tree goes biennial on purpose, because it wants the bugs to die out in the off year, and need to go elsewhere to find an apple host. 

I don't think that a lot of thinning occurs in nature. 

I think that some varieties are naturally lower in vigor than others, and that's the evolutionary lottery ticket that they are buying.

John S
PDX OR

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jafar
780 Posts
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11
April 8, 2024 - 2:00 pm

Once trained the Goldrush espalier is low maintenance.  It seems easier than my other apples, but maybe because its within the fenced vegetable garden.

Most varieties don't set nearly so heavily as Goldrush, which I believe is a result of an intensive breeding program.  So the type and manner of its bearing fruit don't necessarily reflect directly on what apples do in nature.

And apple trees don't necessarily need to make apples that are clean and store well in order to propagate.

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