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Roadside Seedling - crab apple?
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davem
312 Posts
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October 23, 2018 - 10:07 am

I have been watching a seedling grow along the edge of highway 14 for a couple of years. This year it produced fruit for the first time, so this morning I stopped and picked some. They don't look like regular apples, I am guessing that it is a crab apple? I tasted one, it is very tart and very sweet.

It is growing in a brutal spot, at the bottom of a south facing bedrock slope.  The soil is pretty shallow. So this is a tough tree. I am thinking of taking some cuttings in February, which is why I wanted to check out the fruit.

https://photos.app.goo.gl/ijk1.....gADYjpup76

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jafar
622 Posts
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October 23, 2018 - 5:16 pm

The fruit are beautiful Dave.  I wonder  if the conditions contribute to the flavor.

I'm interested to follow how they do for you.

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davem
312 Posts
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October 23, 2018 - 11:13 pm

jafar said
The fruit are beautiful Dave.  I wonder  if the conditions contribute to the flavor.

I'm interested to follow how they do for you.  

Could be.  I am quite amazed that it survives the summers in that spot.

I forgot to mention that the fruit is very hard, 1.0-1.5 inches diameter.  The flesh is juicy with a strong tart + sweet flavor.

Do any of you use crab apples?  For what purpose?

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jafar
622 Posts
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October 24, 2018 - 8:58 am

I haven't used crabapples, but I look at those and the first thing that came to mind is them pickled whole.  They'd need  to be without codling moth.

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davem
312 Posts
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October 24, 2018 - 9:28 am

jafar said
I haven'tf used crabapples, but I look at those and the first thing that came to mind is them pickled whole.  They'd need  to be without codling moth.  

I saw no evidence of any bugs, probably because they are very hard. I too can picture them as some kind of candied dessert.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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October 24, 2018 - 12:53 pm

Those are lovely apples.

 

I could see making apple sauce with them.  Cut in half. Use slow cooker method.  When tender, run through a food mill to remove seeds.  That's what I do with windfall apples and some are pretty small.

 

There's a crab apple on the road to my place in Battle Ground, near Daybreak Park.  Nice bright red apples.  But they taste terrible.  Bitter.  I thought about collecting scion, and use as a pollinator.  Pretty tree.

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Larry_G
151 Posts
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October 24, 2018 - 7:04 pm

I've juiced 5-gallon buckets of crab apples, making an excellent drink.

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John S
PDX OR
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October 24, 2018 - 7:36 pm

That sounds like a great apple, Dave M.

I would love to get my hands on some of those scions.

I am a huge fan of crabapples. Maybe I should say that I am a medium-sized enthusiastic fan of crabapples.

Strong sweet and strong tart is my favorite flavor profile.

I just eat the crabapples as apples-fresh in the orchard mostly.

Crabapples are the most nutritious of apples.

If their small size and density keeps away codling moth-all the better.

One of my theories is that strong flavor and nutrition can be compensated for by small volume.

That's one method I'm trying to use to become skinnier.

Results so far are mixed.

I used to be skinny, but I think the extra weight just slowly snacked up on me.

Let me know Dave M, if you've got some extra scions.

John S
PDX OR

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davem
312 Posts
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October 24, 2018 - 10:08 pm

In Febrary I will set some scions aside for anyone who wants them.

I shared some of the apples with a friend who owns a restaurant in town. He wants to try using them in various ways at his restaurant. I told him that since it is a seedling, we should come up with a name. We decided to name it after his restaurant, "hey jack," (yes with a comma - the name is like a greeting).

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davem
312 Posts
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October 25, 2018 - 4:33 pm

I also just noticed that if you buff one on your clothing, it gets really shiny.  Maybe a natural wax coating or something? 

https://photos.app.goo.gl/pxgP.....NPvTP457v5

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jafar
622 Posts
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October 25, 2018 - 9:17 pm

That is quite a shine.  The hazy white "bloom" on the surface in the first picture is the natural wax on the apple.

I'd like a scion as well.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
684 Posts
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October 27, 2018 - 1:24 pm

Dave M: Those look true to the kind of "ranetka" hybrid apple (malus: domestica X baccatta) as (by the description) you can get. It is an old idea of the russians to use them as hardier rootstocks to graft better cultivars to in northern climates to make better use of northern orchards and it is still a common practice in interior Alaska.

John: I found recently on the internet that these hybrids and the true to type siberian baccattas are higher in vitamin C and possibly other nutrients. 

One would expect to find many feral ranetka apples along places people travel because many an apple farmer use m baccatta ungrafted in each row to pollinate the marketable apples. They are smaller and more bush like. It looks funny to see them in the apple rows looking like overloaded hawthornes. The cultivated Alaska forms of baccatta are extremely variable and long lasting on the tree. Some are so sugary they stay sweet like raisins one year later. I now have my own best selections.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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October 28, 2018 - 6:15 pm

Rooney, that is very cool information. Thank you for providing that!  I learn so much here.

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davem
312 Posts
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October 28, 2018 - 6:55 pm

Thanks Rooney for the great info.  The tree does look like a bush, but it is also very young.

I put a bunch of them in my dehydrator today.  Most have just one seed or no seed.  Out of about 150 apples, 2 had started going bad.  I had a hard time cutting some of them, a few were quite hard.  I should have used a shorter, tougher knife.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
375 Posts
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15
October 29, 2018 - 4:47 pm

Hi davem,

Those are beautiful fruits!  They appear to be virtually pest and disease-free, and it definitely looks like something worth propagating and testing.  I'd be interested in a scion me-self.

I agree with Rooney that it looks like -- and I would guess, is -- a cross between a true crabapple (M. baccata) and a "typical" apple (M. x domestica).  A crabapple seed would be the more likely to have been disseminated by a bird, and the bird wouldn't have had a clue that the pollen parent was a large, unwieldy apple more likely to have its seed dispersed by a human, a deer, or a coyote.

I've recently gotten more interested in the sparing use of "apple-crabs" in cider making.  They are often -- despite their size -- proportionately high in sugars, but also high in malic acid and/or tannins.  If appropriately mixed with other apples, they can often make a superior cider of distinction.  Some experimentation might be in order.

Quite some years ago now, I remember reading a brief article by someone (-- it must've been in an issue of Pomona, published by NAFEX --) In which the author distinguished between crabapples (which we think of as small-fruited and usually grown as ornamentals), apples (which we think of as reasonably large and grown for eating or cooking), and "apple-crabs", which are hybrids between them and generally intermediate in size.  I don't know whether such a scheme is used very widely, but I have often thought that it was a useful distinction.  

I'll definitely watch for the Hey Jack to show up amid the HOS scions!

Reinettes.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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October 29, 2018 - 6:00 pm

On crabapples, I'm ignorant about this so looked it up.  Interesting article about the various types of crabs.  I recall that in the PRI (Purdue Rutgers Illinois) program that brought many tasty disease resistant apples, the disease resistant species was mainly Malus floribunda, which are decorative crab apple trees

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davem
312 Posts
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17
January 15, 2019 - 12:24 pm

I cut about 15 scions from the "hey jack," tree today, I'll put them in the refrigerator tonight. 

It is looking like I won't make it to the propogation fair this year, otherwise I'd say we could meet up there. Perhaps I could bring them to someone in my area (east or south Clark County WA) who is going?  I was also planning to bring some Miss Jessamine apple scions as usual. 

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davem
312 Posts
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18
January 15, 2019 - 12:36 pm

Oh and I tried drying a bunch of them. They lost all their flavor, so I wouldn't recommend drying them.

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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January 15, 2019 - 2:24 pm

davem said
I cut about 15 scions from the "hey jack," tree today, I'll put them in the refrigerator tonight. 

It is looking like I won't make it to the propogation fair this year, otherwise I'd say we could meet up there. Perhaps I could bring them to someone in my area (east or south Clark County WA) who is going?  I was also planning to bring some Miss Jessamine apple scions as usual.   

I split my time between Battleground and west side Vancouver.  Planning to attend scion exchange unless something stops me. Happy to take your scions there.  I dont know how to private message here.

I have some scions to give away too if anyone wants them.   Pawpaw NC1 and Sunflower, Yates and Nikitas Gift persimmons, and Northpole apple.

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davem
312 Posts
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20
January 15, 2019 - 2:34 pm

DanielW said

I split my time between Battleground and west side Vancouver.  Planning to attend scion exchange unless something stops me. Happy to take your scions there.  I dont know how to private message here.

I have some scions to give away too if anyone wants them.   Pawpaw NC1 and Sunflower, Yates and Nikitas Gift persimmons, and Northpole apple.  

That would be great Daniel. I work in Hazel Dell right next to I-5 so it sounds like that area might work.  If you use Facebook messenger you can reach me: https://m.me/dave.miller.7545

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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21
January 15, 2019 - 3:33 pm

Dave I livenear there and use the Hazel Dell fred meyer a couple times a week.  Im not on facebook.  I posted a question on the forum as to whether its possible to private message someone on the forum.

 

It is possible for members on the growingfruit.org forum to private message one another.  I am on there as bear_with_me.

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davem
312 Posts
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22
January 15, 2019 - 4:46 pm

Ok I signed up there as daveincamas, perhaps you can message me? I didn't see a way to message you.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
375 Posts
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January 15, 2019 - 8:31 pm

Hi guys,

Sorry to hear that you can't make it this year davem.  I hope that you and Daniel can work something out to make the scions available.  I've got Hey Jack on my "intended acquisition" list.  Still trying to figure out my rootstock purchases and scion acquisitions for this year.  Had intended to order some rare apple cultivars from the national germplasm collection this winter, but can't do so because of our president's "hissy-fit" which has shut down so many important branches of the government. Cry

Tim

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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24
January 18, 2019 - 9:31 pm

Great cooperation!
John S
PDX OR

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davem
312 Posts
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25
January 18, 2019 - 9:52 pm

John S said
Great cooperation!
John S
PDX OR  

Daniel and I have connected, he us going to bring "hey jack," and "Miss Jessamine" scions for me. John or Jafar, can he bring those to you at the event?

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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26
January 19, 2019 - 9:23 am

Glad to help.  Those sound like interesting finds.

 

There is a roadside crab in my area.  I tasted them.  Sort of like a cross between sawdust and vinegar with a hint of treebark.  Yours sounds infinitely better!

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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January 20, 2019 - 9:42 pm

Yes, get them to us and we can get them labeled and ready to be used.  Thanks for doing that!
John S
PDX OR

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davem
312 Posts
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28
January 20, 2019 - 10:08 pm

John S said
Yes, get them to us and we can get them labeled and ready to be used.  Thanks for doing that!
John S
PDX OR  

There is already a label for "Miss Jessamine".  Often I will give them to one of the volunteers while I am waiting for the doors to open.  One year I had someone who really wanted Miss Jessamine scions but they never found them, because they were in line ahead of me and only made one pass through the apples 🙁

I know of 5 people who want "hey jack,", that will leave about 10 scions for general consumption. 

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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29
January 27, 2019 - 8:58 pm

I get in early, because I volunteer at the info table all day. If someone like Daniel has them early, I can bring them in. Just tell someone at the door to get me at the info table, or hand them in and tell them. Thanks,
John S
PDX OR

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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30
January 29, 2019 - 8:19 pm

John, will do!

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davem
312 Posts
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31
December 16, 2019 - 12:27 pm

FYI the last apple from the "hey jack," tree dropped yesterday 12/15/2019.  So if you are growing this tree I think you'll want to harvest them really late (mid-late November?).

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DanielW
Clark County, WA
519 Posts
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December 16, 2019 - 2:04 pm

Thanks Dave for the info.

My graft of Hey Jack took and grew about a foot.  We'll see what it dies next year.

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davem
312 Posts
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33
December 16, 2019 - 3:04 pm

DanielW said
Thanks Dave for the info.

My graft of Hey Jack took and grew about a foot.  We'll see what it dies next year.  

All of my grafts took as well.  It will be a lot more convenient to harvest in my backyard vs. next to the highway 🙂

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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34
December 17, 2019 - 10:03 pm

Me too.  There aren't many good late crabapples. Wickson is the only one that comes to my mind. Thanks for adding another.

John S
PDX OR

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davem
312 Posts
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35
January 31, 2020 - 6:21 pm

I stopped tonight and cut a nice bag of scions from the "hey jack," tree. I'm not sure if I'm going to make it to the propogation fair this year but hopefully I can get them down there somehow. 

Last weekend I cut a bunch of "Miss Jessamine" scions to go to the event also.  I am thinking more and more that the parent apple may be Opal.

Speaking of Opal, a couple of years ago I grew some Opal seeds and got 6 seedlings. Last year I took cuttings and grafted them onto my mature trees. I think they all took. So maybe next year I will have some new varieties to try.

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davem
312 Posts
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36
October 13, 2020 - 1:06 pm

One of my "hey jack" grafts produced fruit this year.  Pretty amazing considering the grafted branch is about 6 inches long.

They will turn bright red in the coming weeks.20201013_123901.jpg

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John S
PDX OR
2593 Posts
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37
October 15, 2020 - 9:20 am

Mine haven't fruited, but I look forward to tasting them in my own yard.

Thanks for doing that.
John S
PDX OR

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