Definitions

spitzenburg

Esopus Spitzenburg

Esopus Spitzenburg is a dual purpose apple cultivar originated in Esopus, New York, Ulster County, in the latter part of the 18th century. Widely grown in the USA in the 19th Century, it is renowned for making fine apple pies.

Esopus Spitzenburg was one of Thomas Jefferson's two favorite apple varieties, the other being 'Albemarle Pippin.' He had many of these trees in Monticello.

"Spitz" is likely one of the parents of the Jonathan and is classified in the Baldwin apple group.

Description

It is a large apple, oblong in shape, smooth-skinned and colored a lively, brilliant red, approaching scarlet. It is covered with small yellow specks.

The yellow flesh is rich, juicy, and sprightly, and in taste tests, it usually ranks very high. A shy bearer on slender, willowy limbs, this biennial bearer needs a pollinator.

The picked fruit is renowned for its long life in storage. The flavor of this apple is thought to improve after a number of weeks in storage.

The tree

The upright growing tree is moderate in vigor with olive-colored bark, and the dull leaves are folded with irregular shallow serrations. The branches have wide crotch angles and are long and drooping.

It is susceptible to fireblight, and if left on the tree too long, it will develop a condition called Jonathan Spot, which are brown skin-deep marks that detract from its appearance. Scab, canker and collar rot are also problems of this classic dessert fruit.

It ripens over a few weeks in late September and early October.

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