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Hawkeye delicious trees?

February 5, 2019

I am looking for a good reliable source for true hawkeye (red) delicious trees. Bigger the better. I am only looking for one for my backyard. I hear they are tasty and I thought now would be a good time to start my hunt

Comments (10)

  • abrahamx

    Or sell me on a good one of another type. I really only eat honeycrisp bought from the store but dont mind a yellow/gold delicious or fugi. I guess I prefer a thin skin crisp sweet or tart (not sure) I do love sour though. I do plan on getting a honey crisp and something else to go as a pollinator.

  • spartanapples

    Everyone these days keeps bashing Red Delicious. Perhaps rightly so since some of the "newer" strains were all color and not much on flavor. Or maybe they picked them super early for better long term storage.

    I recently read some old reports of "delicious" from the early 20th century and it is amazing how orchardists in Washington raved about them. So many of my uncles and aunts would only buy Red Delicious years ago. They loved the taste of them and didn't mind paying a "premium price" for them.

    I too enjoy a good delicious apple and have one at my home orchard. When picked right and stored for a few weeks it truly is delicious and is a great long term keeping apple.

    Years ago an orchard I worked at while in college had old standard Hawkeye apple trees.

    He sold them as "old fashioned delicious" and charged a higher price than for the red delicious apples he grew. He had a cult following for them. They are often more yellow/red and striped than modern strains with very thin skin. Excellent flavor. Not nearly as pretty as current strains of red delicious.

    I must admit my red delicious tree in my orchard (strain unknown as already there when I got the land) bears heavily and reliably every year. No biennial bearing nor is it finicky in any way to grow.

    Not sure who offers Hawkeye delicious but I recall Stark Nursery used to. You might also try Cummins Nursery in New York or Trees of Antiquity.

    I also am fond of Golden Delicious too. It pains me to hear from local orchardists that it has fallen out of favor as well with the public. Too bad. I found it excellent for eating and for cooking. Makes great pie and sauce (just don't add much sugar as it is already sweet).

    They are way more work than red delicious as far as production is concerned. The fruit must be thinned about 12" apart or you will get nothing but bushels of green apples the size of golf balls that never color up. For quality fruit it is imperative to thin heavily. The trees also do not live as long as red delicious and I do not believe they are as winter hardy.

    Ambrosia is even better than Golden Delicious but very prone to apple scab, ripens later and can be prone to fruit cracking if the weather is too wet. Still a favorite of mine too and also is good both for cooking and fresh eating. I made sauce out of Ambrosia and found it to be just excellent. Ambrosia trees are just coming available on the market for home growers and may still be too difficult yet to find. Something to look forward to. A friend of mine has had a tree for years so I get them from him each fall.

  • Embothrium

    This says Ambrosia is prone to fire blight (scroll down to near the end):


    I didn't find any home orchard cultivar recommendations on the MSU site. But they might have some at the nearest Cooperative Extension branch office. Apples are like hybrid roses, if particular varieties chosen and planted have not been proven to be reasonably easy to manage under local conditions recurring significant problems with diseases and other issues may be encountered.

  • abrahamx

    I thought I did see a home cultivar recommendation list on the msu site. Maybe it was another site. I've been reading a ton for years now. Really narrowing it down now so I can purchase soon. I think what I really need is a local taste test.

  • Embothrium

    Apart from what any green groceries there might be purchasing locally and setting out in their produce sections there could be an enthusiast fruit show held each year somewhere in your vicinity.

  • dbarron

    I had never thought about the Red Delicious that I grew up with (so good) versus the ones now (taste like cardboard), that they kept using 'Red Delicious' when it was a different selection. *better*...not. Thought provoking, but my yard isn't really conducive to apples (too hot here and not well drained). Good luck in finding the old strain (I assume) that you want.

  • abrahamx

    Yea, a good orchard will walk you through it and give you the schpeel and samples. Just felt like a nice conversation online could not hurt either.

  • rayrose SC 8

    Try Century Farm Orchard. That's where I bought mine.

  • abrahamx

    are they as good as I hear they are? Alot different from a store bought red delicious?

  • rayrose SC 8

    It's a VERY different apple than what you see in grocery stores. It's more

    green than red and is striped, smaller, crunchy, with decent flavor.

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