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late dormancy of euro cider varieties

Posted by Jeb Thurow 
late dormancy of euro cider varieties
May 24, 2015 07:51PM
OK all you old hands at growing cider apples. I have Dabinetts on two different rootstocks (G935,G30). these are all very young trees, just planted last spring. The question I have is that they are coming out of dormancy very slow, is this common for the dabinett or should I be looking for other possibilities? ...Any thoughts?


Jeb Thurow
Berry Glade farm
Zone 7 WA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/25/2015 07:32AM by Michael Phillips.
Re: Dabinett
May 24, 2015 08:16PM
I don't have Dabinett, but there are many cider apple varieties that break dormancy very late.
Stoke Red for one is the latest I have seen. But now, if you have Stoke Red and they break dormancy earlier than your Dabinett, then I would be a bit worried about Dabinett...

Jolicoeur Orchard
Zone 4 in Quebec
Re: Dabinett
May 24, 2015 09:00PM
I concur. Most of our Euro cider varieties putter. This makes things tough in cold climates when you want every day possible to get some growth.

Walden Heights Nursery & Orchard
Zone 3 in Vermont
Re: late dormancy of euro cider varieties
May 25, 2015 09:45AM
I like that word "putter" in regards to cider varieties brought from completely different continents. Yet again a northern perspective, for as Todd says, we indeed have a shorter growing season. Apples here must be able to respond to our longer days to make up for lost time. Getting a late start on breaking dormancy doesn't help. I've noticed this particularly with Harry Master's Chisel Jersey just now showing green tissue. Most dessert varieties in northern New Hampshire are more than halfway through bloom this day. Dabinett looks fine though perhaps a bit sparse, being a late bloomer on par with Blue Pearmain and Northern Spy. Several years back I planted three Court Royal trees promoted by a New York nursery ... thinking these were Royal Court, a red sport of Cortland. Turns out that Court Royal is a sweet cider apple from Britain aka as Sweet Blenheim ... so I accepted my misperception (easily done!) as low acid juice helps counter the acidity of dessert fruit. But two of these trees developed "hyper late dormancy" and were a month behind the other one, which showed late tendencies as it were. I watched this for two springs and then removed those two trees, thinking weird winter injury had more to do with this.

Apparently there's much to learn about "apple immigrants" in new places, but if you're going to bet the farm up north, stick with proven North American cider varieties and grow out bittersweet seedlings for the long term.

Lost Nation Orchard
Zone 4b in New Hampshire
Re: late dormancy of euro cider varieties
May 25, 2015 10:26AM
I am not sure it as simple as that. My Spy is indeed at early pink. (We are north of Michael, and had a horrendous April, with 5 ft. of snow, widespread collapse of roofs and greenhouses etc. Still have extensive snow cover in Cape Breton.) But my Harry Master's Jersey is at full pink, as is Bulmer's Norman and Pomme Gris. Brown Thorn is always behind, and is at early pink. And Yarlington Mill, another English cider apple, is in early bloom, (king blossoms out, rest set to burst in next day or so.) (I don't have Dabinett, so can't really comment on the actual subject of this thread.)

Broomholm Orchard
Zone 5b in Nova Scotia
Re: late dormancy of euro cider varieties
May 25, 2015 10:36AM
I too have seen what thoueth have witnessed. Dabinett, Chisel, Kingston esp seem to be well delayed. I would be interested in theories on what physiologically is going on here since it can't be chilling hours or GDD. Or can it? Hormonal? It also doesn't seem to be geogrpahy, since folks from different locations are witnessing the same thing.

Mike Biltonen, Know Your Roots
Zone 5b in New York
Re: late dormancy of euro cider varieties
May 25, 2015 12:34PM
Thanks for all the great replies! My Harry masters Jersey and Dabinett are just finishing blooming while Kingston Black, Muscadet De Dieppe, Brown and Yarlington mill apples have been done for a couple of weeks. It is going to be fun to watch how these develop compared to the sweet apples. After reading Claude's book I figure with 41 different varieties of apples I'm growing and using 2-4 different apple in each batch I have about 112,000 different combinations to try, The joys of being an orchardist

Jeb Thurow
Berry Glade farm
Zone 7 WA
Re: late dormancy of euro cider varieties
June 02, 2015 08:32AM
I planted my orchard of nine cider varieties this spring. Everything seems to be doing fine save for the Dabinett which are now showing signs of transplant shock (I think). Leaves are bronzing. The Dabinett were actually among the earlier trees to leaf out and they had a fair amount of bloom. I was delayed in getting them water in a dry spell and also delayed in pruning them back. These are the only significant differences I'm aware of in how the trees were treated. It's painful to see them suffering. I hope they'll pull through. Perhaps this variety is a bit more susceptible to transplant issues.

Nat Bouman
Growing cider varieties in Zone 5b
On B.118 at 18X24
Susquehanna County, Pennsylvania
Re: late dormancy of euro cider varieties
May 26, 2016 01:01AM
We have 20 plus cider varieties planted that are between first and fourth leaf. Last year was so unusual for us due to lack of winter chill that it was not a good guide to how they behave. This year though, we had decent chilling and a pretty good fruit set on our eating apples, so I am better able to notice the very odd behavior of some cider apples. Note that in our region we actually started bloom on March 10 this year, about 2 weeks ahead of usual.

As of today, May 25, the Stokes Red is still completely dormant but it doesn't look dead and the root suckers are growing like crazy. The Medaille D'Or and Dabinett are barely starting to wake up and same with Foxwhelp, which had several trees die over winter. The varieties that are doing best are Kingston Black, Centennial Crab, Domaines, Harrison, and Granniwinkle. And of course Wickson. Most of the others are somewhere in between or too young to tell. I am hoping to get enough bitter fruit the season to make a gallon of hard cider.

Fruitilicious Farm
Zone 9b in California
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