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Roxbury Russet apple tree

Roxbury Russet

Roxbury Russet is an apple variety that traces its history right back to the colonial era, and it is thought to be the oldest apple variety originating in North America - almost certainly a seedling of a European variety brought over by the early colonists. It remains popular as a variety for gardens and small orchards, not just for its history but because it is also a good all-round apple.

Roxbury Russet is a typical russet apple, with a sweet flavor. However it is larger than most russet apples. The extent of russeting can vary from considerable to minimal, and like many russets it can develop an attractive sun-kissed flush as well.

It has many uses from eating fresh to sweet and savoury salads, juicing and cider. It keeps well in cold storage and can be used throughout the winter months.

Roxbury Russet apple trees for sale

  • 1Small 1-year bare-root tree $33.75
    Mature height: 6ft-9ft after 10 years
    G.41 rootstock
  • 2Medium 1-year bare-root tree $33.75
    Mature height: 8ft-12ft after 10 years
    G.210, G.890 rootstock
  • 3Large 1-year bare-root tree $33.75
    Mature height: 10ft-16ft after 10 years
    B.118 rootstock

How to grow

Like many antique apples, Roxbury Russet has some natural resistance to some of the diseases prevalent in the areas it originated, notably cedar apple rust, fireblight and scab.

Part of the reason for its success is that Roxbury Russet is both a very reliable and a very good keeper - qualities which are as useful today as when it was first discovered.

Although usually associated with the eastern apple-growing areas, Roxbury Russet has a good climate range - including coastal southern California.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

Historical details

In use in Massachusetts in the early 17th century.

Roxbury Russet characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group4
  • Pollinating othersPoor
  • PloidyTriploid
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingPartial tip-bearer
  • Picking seasonLate
  • UsesEating freshCulinaryJuiceHard cider
  • CroppingGood
  • Keeping (of fruit)3 months or more
  • Flavor style (apples)Sweeter
  • General resistanceAverage
  • FireblightVery resistant
  • ScabVery resistant
  • Cedar apple rustVery resistant
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(4) -30F / -34C
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Country of originUnited States
  • Period of origin1600 - 1649
  • Fruit colorRusset