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Priscilla

Posted by Chris McGuire 
Priscilla
June 09, 2022 05:55AM
Not my favorite or my least favorite variety, but an interesting one. A very early release from the PRI breeding program for scab-immune varieties.

Generally high-yielding and annual cropping. Fairly vigorous and we have to be vigilant with pruning to keep the canopy open. Priscilla fruits grown in the shade are utterly green, exceptionally insipid, and altogether without merit. We have grown it on G.16 and G.41. It is strongly tip bearing for us although a nearby grower says it is not tip-bearing for her...

Very disease free and generally has excellent foliar health. Somewhat susceptible to fireblight, but suffers no scab or CAR. Very little Alternaria on foliage. Fruit are definitely susceptible to quince rust however.

Without thinning sprays, Priscilla can set multiple fruit per cluster and need thinning, but generally has responded well for us to 2 potassium bicarbonate sprays during bloom.

Ripens here in 2nd week of September, similar to, or a bit before, Pixie Crunch, CrimsonCrisp, & Crimson Gold.

Fruit is sweet and juicy with a delicate but interesting licorice flavor, a very good eating apple if you catch it at the ripe stage. I enjoy them for 1 or 2 weeks every year. But picked too early, it is very bland and starchy; and it can rapidly turn mushy if left on the tree or stored too long. When ripe and/or soft, it is a great saucing apple. Said to be good in hard cider as well although we do not make cider.

Because of its reliable annual yields, trouble-free nature, and healthy foliage, I would group Priscilla with Liberty, Enterprise, Bonkers as a potential "mortgage-lifter" for the commercial organic orchard, EXCEPT that is hard to sell all the Priscilla fruit before they turn to mush. The mushiness is what keeps us from planting more trees.

Chris McGuire
Southwest WI, zone 5A
Re: Priscilla
June 17, 2022 11:09PM
Interesting insights!

I don't have much to add, but a few years ago I did a custom graft for an organic orchard of Priscilla apples from their own scionwood, in Innisfil ON; they do u-pick though, perhaps how they get around the mushy aspect for sales; clearly they justified planting more. We have one from that batch we grafted in the test orchard on EMLA 106, and it's proved a fairly precocious tree, we enjoyed some fruit off it last fall. Though I tried saving some for our fruit tasting event in mid Oct and they were on their way out by then... definitely a short window to enjoy them.

Silver Creek Nursery
Zone 5 in Wellesley, Ontario
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