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Rubinette apple tree

Rubinette

If you want to grow the best-tasting apple in the world, this is probably it. This unassuming apple has perhaps the most remarkable flavor of any variety. The balance between sweetness and sharpness is often a good indicator of flavor quality in apples - and in Rubinette that balance is close to perfection.

Most people who try Rubinette agree it is the best apple they have ever eaten - here is a selection of the tasting notes from our sister website about Rubinette:

"Undoubtedly the best tasting variety we grow …"

"Rubinettes are, by far, the tastiest apples I have ever eaten."

"... the most delicious apple I have had in years."

" ... a wonderful little apple."

"Crisp-juicy-flavorsome-tart - the most tasty apple we have had for years."

"... by far the tastiest apple variety I've tried in a long time."

"Extreme summer heat did not bother it and the flavor and crunch were outstanding."

"... the best apples I have eaten."

"... spent a couple of hours tasting a huge variety of apples, and we all kept coming back to Rubinette."

"This apple is a revelation ..."

Although it is a cross between Cox's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious, the depth and subtlety of Rubinette's flavor comes almost entirely from Cox's Orange Pippin.

Rubinette apple trees for sale

  • Small 1-year bare-root tree $33.75
    Mature height: 6ft-9ft after 10 years
    B.9 rootstock

How to grow

The main issue with Rubinette is its tendency to produce a large quantity of small apples. This is easily addressed by thinning the fruitlets in late spring just after the blossom finishes - allow no more than 1 fruit per set of blossoms. An unusual feature of Rubinette is that fruit size usually improves as the tree gets older, with good size being achieved about 3 years after planting.

Rubinette can be grown with some success without any chemical treatments (we do ourselves) but spraying against scab (using either conventional or organic pesticides) should give better results in wetter climates. Keep the ground around the tree free from grass and use a mulch to suppress weeds. Religiously clear up all old fruit and fruitlets to deny pests and diseases a home over winter.

Rubinette is a good choice for apple enthusiasts in warmer areas of North America who have not been able to achieve satisfactory results growing Cox's Orange Pippin. Rubinette performs much better than Cox in warmer climates, including southern California. However it is equally at home in cooler temperate climates and can be grown anywhere that Cox can be grown.

Most growers also find that Rubinette maintains a consistently high quality flavor every year, regardless of the weather.

Advice on fruit tree pollination.

Historical details

Rubinette was developed in the mid-20th century by Walter Hauenstein, a grower from Rafz in Switzerland (hence it is sometimes known as Rafzubin). It is a marriage of two of the world's greatest apple varieties - Cox's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious.

Hauenstein was originally hoping to produce an "improved" Golden Delicious, but as it turned out Rubinette inherited almost all its characteristics from Cox's Orange Pippin. It is an essential variety for Cox enthusiasts.

Rubinette characteristics

  • Gardening skillAverage
  • Self-fertilityNot self-fertile
  • Pollination group3
  • Pollinating othersAverage
  • PloidyDiploid
  • Bearing regularityRegular
  • Fruit bearingSpur-bearer
  • Picking seasonLate
  • UsesEating fresh
  • CroppingLight
  • Keeping (of fruit)1-2 months
  • Flavor style (apples)Sweet/Sharp
  • General resistancePoor
  • FireblightSome susceptibility
  • ScabSome susceptibility
  • MildewSome susceptibility
  • Cold hardiness (USDA)(4) -30F / -34C
  • Summer maximum temperaturesCool ( 20-24C / 68-75F)Warm (25-30C / 76-85F)
  • Country of originSwitzerland
  • Period of origin1950 - 1999
  • Fruit colorOrange flush

Similar varieties

  • See also Cox Queen
    Cox Queen
    A modern self-fertile form of the renowned Cox's Orange Pippin, with arguably even better flavor.
  • See also Cox's Orange Pippin
    Cox's Orange Pippin
    Cox is widely considered to have the best flavor of any dessert apple variety.
  • See also Kidd's Orange Red
    Kidd's Orange Red
    Kidd's Orange Red is one of the best Cox-style apples, aromatic, sweet, and easy to grow.