Sam Benowitz’s Top 12 Apples

Apples are an all-American success story-each ...
Apples are an all-American success story-each of us eats more than 19 pounds of them annually.(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

1. Akane: Disease resistant and produces a good crop each year even when others fail.

2. Pristine: Disease resistant productive, beautiful yellow color early season.

3. Williams Pride: Scab resistant, Earliest good flavor very productive, long lived blooms, good pollenizer. Can get mildew in some situations.

4. Liberty: Disease resistant, good Mac flavor, pretty apple, rates highest on Jo Robinson’s list of most nutritious. Can overbear and be small.

5. Dayton: Big red, productive, disease resistant mid season apple.

6. Belmac: Excellent keeper, beautiful dark red, big apple, great flavor, Mac family, disease resistant.

7. Bramley: Disease resistant, big apples great cooking apple

8. Ashmeads Kernal: Somewhat disease resistant russet apple, very productive and flavorful

9. Cherry Cox: A productive Cox’s Orange flavored apple, that is disease resistant and productive.

10. Karmijn de Sonnaville: Not as disease resistant but has the finest complex flavor of all.

11. Centennial: Very productive naturally dwarfed tree with small delicious apples. Disease resistant. Perfect size apples for children.

12. Belle de Boskoop: A great keeper apple, large fruit and not too bad on disease.

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Visit Raintree Nursery at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show, Feb. 5-9


Visit the Raintree Nursery booth at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in the Washington State Convention Center, booths 2344-8 in the North Hall, February 5-9.

And, if you are there on Wednesday evening, Feb. 5, you can hear featured speaker Raintree Nursery owner Sam Benowitz at 7 p.m. in the Hood Room of the Washington State Convention Center.

The topic of the lecture is Fruit Varieties From Around the World Proven to Thrive in Northwest Gardens. Sam will show pictures of hundreds of Raintree varieties and talk about where in the world each plant comes from.

Around the World
Proven Global Fruit Varieties for NW Gardens
Wed, Feb 5 at 7 pm / Hood Room

Our Pacific Northwest region is made up of gardeners from around the world. Each has brought their unique techniques, cultivars and recipes for fruit growing with them. For forty years fruit tree expert Sam Benowitz has been distilling this invaluable information into a great collection of plants from many cultures. After trials and testing, he has a list of fruit trees that will thrive in our Northwest climate, mostly coming from other temperature zone regions. Some of the regions outside the U.S. that the proven winners have come from are Great Britain, France, Holland, Italy, Germany, all over Eastern Europe, Russia, Chile, Japan, China, Korea and Canada. Sam Benowitz has spent 40 years bringing the best of the world’s fruit cultivars to the Northwest. Now he wants to bring them to your garden. Bring your own fruit tree growing experiences to the discussion.

Raintree Nursery has made it possible for Northwest fruit gardeners to grow the world’s most nutritious, delicious and most disease resistant cultivars and Sam will take you on his 40 year journey of bringing those varieties to you.

What is Raintree Nursery bringing to the show?

Raintree offers almost a thousand varieties but only has room for about 25 at the show. However, we are bringing some of the best and most popular varieties for you to take home.

We will have Brazelberries (R) both blueberries and raspberries that are dwarfs and ideally suited to grow in containers.

blueberry_tophatAnd also blueberries:

  • Chandler
  • Darrow
  • Sunshine Blue
  • Misty blueberries
  • and Evergreen Huckleberries.

Raspberries include:

  • everbearing Autumn Brittan
  • and July-bearing Cascade Delight.

Strawberries include:

  • Musks
  • Alpines
  • and Day Neutral Seascapes.

We’ll also have Black and Red Currants, Thornless Blackberries and Lingonberries. And Olives, Figs, Bay Trees, Mini Dwarf Apples and Espalier apples, as well as Dwarf Peaches. We will also have root crops of the Incas and Wasabi as well as mushroom dowels and spawn.

See you there, at the Northwest Flower & Garden Show in the Washington State Convention Center, booths 2344-8 in the North Hall.


Medlars: A delicious snack

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn the winter, when all the fruit is long since picked and frosts have long since hit, attention can turn to the lowly Medlar. The Medlar fruit is roundish and often only 1 1/2 inches in diameter. They are brown and funny looking. After frosts they blett which means they soften. The pulp inside tastes like cinnamon applesauce if you can manage to eat it before it bletts to much and starts to ferment and rot.
The trees grow slowly and only to about 10 feet tall and are self fertile. We bud them on pear rootstock, which they seem completely compatible with. The leaves are large, leathery and tropical looking though the tree is easily comfortable in USDA Zones 5-9. What is the best variety? As far as I can tell they all taste about the same and grow equally well. Some do have cooler names like the Monstrueuse de Evreinoff.
An interesting story is that in European pubs, before the availability of modern snacks, you could order yourself a plate of medlars while you drank away your troubles in a public brew house.
Medlars have been eaten for thousands of year’s so a horticultural riddle I made up is what do quinces and medlar’s have in common with McDonald French Fries?
The answer is that they were both cooked in ancient Greece.


Cornus Mas: an edible dogwood

Redstone Cornus Mas (D568)
Redstone Cornus Mas (D568)

These edible dogwoods — Cornus Mas (also known as Cornelian Cherry) have a big seed and delicious pungently flavored flesh. We offer both red and yellow fruited varieties and they both make wonderful jelly. They are ripe now at the Raintree Nursery.

The trees are perfect for a yard growing about 10 to 12 feet tall. They have beautiful yellow flowers in the spring and attractive summer leaves and produce lots of wonderful fruit.

Select two varieties for pollination.


Dayton apple: early ripening, summer dessert apple

Dayton apple,
Dayton apple.

This is a really good year for apple production here at Raintree Nursery and the early ripening apples are abundant.

William’s Pride and Pristine are already ripe and have been collected.

The apple that is ripe now at Raintree is the Dayton.

It is another of the scab and mildew resistant varieties. The large, round fruits are red and have excellent flavor.  Dayton comes from the breeding program of Purdue, Rutgers and Illinois: PRI.

The fruit is large, an attractive glossy red, and matures with ‘Prima’ and 4 weeks before ‘Delicious’. Fruit is well distributed over the tree and hangs for almost 2 weeks without loosing its firmness and dessert quality. It retains its good flavor and firm flesh up to 4 weeks in cold storage (1°C). ‘Dayton’ is released as a potential commercial cultivar for use as a summer dessert apple; in addition, it makes an excellent backyard apple. ~Dayton apple, PRI website

It is a winner in the northeast, northwest, midwest, and will probably does well elsewhere.

The Dayton apple is available for spring shipment. Order and pay — on or before January 1, 2014 — for spring shipment and choose 20% of your spring order subtotal in FREE BONUS ITEMS from selected varieties.