Fall Russet

(Southmeadow Fruit Gardens) This small yellowish green and golden russet apple, often irregularly webbed with gray and dark green, was located in an old family orchard planted around 1875 in Franklin, Michigan. It was known only by the name “Fall Russet.” Although its true identity remains uncertain, it is believed by some to be the Autumn Pomme Gris as described by Downing. Shortly after Mr. Robert A. Nitschke, owner and fruit explorer for Southmeadow Fruit Gardens, had cut scionwood in the winter of l956, the tree was cut down because the “drab” appearance of the fruit made it difficult to sell. But if only his customers had stopped to taste the delicious flesh under the rusty coat! This apple has at first an exceedingly high flavor, a combination of sweetness and tartness which later mellows into pear-like richness. The tree fruits heavily in clusters. Ripens middle of September.


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