History: The origins of Golden Russet are unclear, but we know it was discovered in New York in the first half of the 1800s. It may have come from the seedling of an English russet variety and could have Ashmead's Kernel parentage. It was grown commercially for some time before falling out of favour, although it has regained some popularity recently due to its strengths in cider production.
Why We Grow It: With both lots of sweetness and acidity, Golden Russet is one of our favourites for fresh eating. The flavourful juice from these apples is also great for making cider. The thick russetted skin discourages insect damage and it is resistant to scab, canker, and powdery mildew. Its tip-bearing habit gives these hardy trees a wispy appearance.
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: Tip-bearing, moderately vigorous and very hardy, heavy crops. Slightly susceptible to cedar rust but resistant to mildew, scab, and canker.
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: Early
Ripens: Early October
Storage: Keeps until March when stored in cold storage
Recommended Use: Fresh eating, cider
- Class: Sharp
- Sugar: Very high, SG 1.074
- Acidity: High, TA 9.2 g/L
- Tannins: Low
- Juice Yield: Medium
- Taste: Full-bodied and alcoholic with complex aromatics and a finish reminiscent of Sauvignon Blanc
- Recommendations: Great base for a dessert apple cider blend and blends well with lower acidity varieties. Can also be made into a single-variety cider.
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 and Washington State University's "Cultivar Performance Gallery"