Thunderchild Apple

Thunderchild Apple

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History: Thunderchild is a crabapple that was developed by Percy Wright, a prairie plant breeder in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Although it is unknown when exactly Thunderchild was created, it likely came about in the 1900s and can still be seen as a common ornamental tree in the area.

Why We Grow It: Thunderchild makes for a lovely ornamental tree with a profusion of pink blossoms in the spring and deep red foliage. The tiny dark red fruits it produces can be used in cider blends and to make jellies with a gorgeous orange hue. The tree is quite cold hardy and generally disease resistant. 

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: Moderately vigourous and very hardy, upright growth pattern. Susceptible to scab but resistant to mildew, fireblight, and cedar rust.

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. Like other crabapples and applecrabs, this variety is an excellent pollinator thanks to its large number of blossoms.

Flowering Time: Middle?

Ripens: Late October

Fruit Size: 1-2 inches in diameter

Recommended Use: Cider, preserves

Cider Properties:
  • Recommendations: Use in cider blends where it adds acidity

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