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Greenings & Harveys

Posted by Laura Sieger 
Greenings & Harveys
January 07, 2021 05:19PM
Hello fellow fruit explorers,

I've been in discussion with several pomologist types in Maine about the confusion of and prevalence of "greenings" grown in the state. It appears as if some of the once commonly grown named Greening varieties (Naked or Bare Limbed Greening, Prospect Greening, Harvey Greening) in Maine around the late 1800s/ early 1900s may have all been synonyms of each other. This has me thinking that the category of greenings is very similar to the Russet confusion that still exists centuries later. 

Does anyone else have information about greenings grown in New England? Experience growing them? Eventually, DNA tests will be able to help untangle some of this, but a lot of the nomenclature seems to be attached to written records rather than to specific trees whose names we know for sure.

Dan Newman of Palermo notes that in fair records from 1880-1900 Bare Limb Greening was exhibited and received premiums at the Monroe Fair most every year. Then Fall Harvey showed up in 1904, and was exhibited at least until 1915 at the Monroe Fair. In 1898 there were Harvey Greenings at the Prospect Fair, but no longer any Naked Limb Greenings exhibited.

Atkins, who sent in the Prospect Greening to the USDA, identifies it as being synonymous with NLG. It would be interesting if anyone else has found any of these Harvey apples. Harvey? Anyone??

Bradford's Apple Varieties in Maine notes of Fall Harvey (syn. Pall Greening; Harvey; Harvey Greening):

"Our first record of the apple in this state dates from 1847, when it was exhibited at the Maine Pomological Society by J. H. Hartwell of Augusta (2). The scions had been brought by Hartwell from his boyhood home in Lincoln, Massachusetts. It appears to have been fairly well known about Augusta at that time...  It is today a well known apple, both for home use and for market and probably ranks among the ten leading apples for commercial use.... Further south in the state, it is not so popular and not so common. It has been grown in the state for about all the uses to which apples may be put."

Bradford does not seem to be aware of the possibility of NLG and Harvey Greening as synonyms for each other, but does list the following on Naked Limbed Greening:

"Synonyms: Bare Limbed Greening; Beefsteak (?); Limbertwig Greening; New York Pippin; NewYork Greening (erroneously).
An apple much grown and much liked in Waldo county a few years ago. It is probably a variety introduced from sources outside the state but its identity cannot definitely be established. One account gives the source as Goodale's nursery at Orrington. This account stated that the apple had been generally considered a New York variety and had been called New York Greening, or sometimes Limbertwig Greening."

Below are some images of the mentioned varieties.

One other new addition to this is that we just got back a batch of DNA SNP array tests, and Prospect Greening matched to a Blenheim Orange sample from the Grove Collection in Tasmania. A bit odd... (Their Blenheim sample does not match the USDA/ Nick Howard Blenheim samples). But more on DNA test results, russets and sweets in another post.

Harvey Greening:Prospect Greening:Naked Limb Greening (?): [www.maineheritageorchard.org]

Maine Heritage Orchard
Unity, ME zone 5a
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