Potted plants are still available at the nursery! We are open by chance or by appointment through July and August!

Ben Davis Apple

Ben Davis Apple

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History: Once one of the most popular commercial apples in the United States, Ben Davis apple trees were planted across the continent following its discovery around 1800. Due to its firm fruit and excellent keeping qualities, this apple was extremely easy to transport over longer distances which led to its popularity. Once storage and transportation improved, this apple was slowly replaced with better tasting varieties and it is now a relatively rare. It's also a parent to Cortland.

Why We Grow It: The mellow, sub-acidic, mildly aromatic red fruit is not quite as flavourful as some apples but it stores exceptionally well, lasting into spring. Flavour improves in storage, like many heritage apples. The trees are reliable and heavy croppers, earning them the nickname of 'mortgage-lifters' when they were grown commercially. 

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 3

Soil Preference: Sandy loam, loam, clay loam. Prefers average to moist conditions, avoid planting anywhere that floods for more than two weeks in the spring. Generally quite adaptable to different soil conditions. 

Growth Habits and Disease Resistance: Spur-bearing, moderately vigorous and precocious, a good cropper. Susceptible to scab but very resistant to mildew and fireblight.

Sun/Shade: Full sun (approx. 8-10 hours of sun daily)

Pollination: Requires a pollinator of a different apple variety that blooms around the same time

Flowering Time: Middle

Bloom Colour: White

Ripens: Late October

Storage: Keeps until April when stored in cool humid conditions

Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cooking

Size including roots:

  • 100-200 cm whip, 1 year grade
  • 100 cm+ with 3 or more branches, 30 cm or more, 2 year grade
  • 50-80 cm, B-grade 
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