Geneva Apple

Geneva Apple

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History: The Geneva crabapple was developed in the 1930s in collaboration with the Ottawa Experimental Farm and the New York State Agricultural Research Station based in Ottawa. The creation of this crabapple was head by Isabella Preston who specialized on creating cold-hardy ornamental plants.

Why We Grow It: This attractive crabapple has deep maroon flesh. The tree itself is quite visually appealing, sporting red leaves and bright pink flowers in the spring. The taste is reminiscent of rhubarb and is suitable for cooking as well. As it is a low sugar/high acid juice, it is best blended with another high sugar variety for cider. It also adds a nice red hue to blends.

Canadian Hardiness Zone: 4

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: Vigorous and hardy, resistant to scab

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

Pollination: Partially self-pollinating, this variety will produce some fruit without an apple tree of a different variety but will produce more and better fruit if one is present. Will not pollinate other apple trees. 

Flowering Time: Early

Ripens: Mid September

Fruit Size: 1-1.5in in diameter

Storage: Should be used relatively quickly

Recommended Use: Cider, cooking

Cider Properties:*
  • Class: Likely Bittersharp
  • Sugar: Low, SG 1.044
  • Acidity: Very high, TA 11.3 g/L
  • Tannins: Medium
  • Juice Yield: High
  • Taste: Low sugar and high acidity makes a very tart juice
  • Recommendations: Mostly recommended in blends for its bright red juice, should be blended with high sugar and low acidity varieties

Size including roots:

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

*Information based on Claude Jolicouer's The New Cidermaker's Handbook