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Rhode Island Greening apple tree

Rhode Island Greening

Rhode Island Greening is one of the best American culinary apples. Described by William Kendrick in his book The New American Orchardist (1833) as "... tender, rich, juicy, of an agreeable flavor in which acid predominates" - an excellent summary of the key attributes of a good kitchen apple.

Along with Roxbury Russet, Rhode Island Greening is generally considered the oldest apple variety in North America, with records going back to the 17th century. Whereas Roxbury Russet has only recently come back into favor, Rhode Island Greening has always been a popular variety with many commercial plantings - largely because apple pie made with these apples is very hard to beat.

Rhode Island Greening trees are notably long-lived (a characteristic shared with the English Bramley, which like Rhode Island Greening is also a triploid variety).

Rhode Island Greening apple trees for sale

  • Medium 1-year bare-root tree $29.00
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    G.935 rootstock

How to grow

The best quality Rhode Island Greening apples probably come from zones 5-7, as it prefers a cooler climate. Pick when green for storage, or when slightly yellow for eating fresh.

It is a triploid variety, and hence cannot pollinate other apple trees.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

Historical details

USA 17th century.

Rhode Island Greening characteristics

  • Picking seasonLate
  • UsesCulinaryTraditional cooker
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
  • Flavor style (apples)Sharper
  • Cooking resultKeeps shape
  • Fruit persistenceNormal ripening
  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group3
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • PloidyTriploid
  • VigourVigorous
  • PrecocitySlow to start bearing
  • Bearing regularityBiennial tendency
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • General resistanceAverage
  • Cedar apple rustSome susceptibility
  • FireblightVery susceptible
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(5) -20F / -29C
  • Summer average maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1650 - 1699