Low to No Spray-Organic Production is Easier, Long Period of Ripening into the Tree, Delicious Flavor, Good Cooking Apple
This new apple variety Kelly Renee represents a new beginning for the apple. Selected for attributes normally not found in todays modern day breeding programs, Kelly Renee delivers on taste plus creates a whole new genre of apples. It can be harvested on the tree into December without the fruit degrading. Kelly Renee apples maintain their shape without damage from freezing temperatures and do not blet like most crabapples. The fruit keeps its integrity and flavor over two months in the orchard. This allows for a long harvest season which is ideal in an era where the harvest window is plagued by getting people to do the harvest. The fruit ripens fully in mid October but continues into November is southwestern Michigan.
It is also the beginning of the end of the high intensity spray programs needed to grow the apple. Kelly Renee is one of a few 'no or low spray' apples that can be grown organically or other low input systems. It has strong insect resistance due to its thick skin. Very little codling moth is evident over the last decade and few fruit worms of any type have been found. But some damage has been observed on the skin causing a 'warping' of the apples growth during the season. This only happens on a small portion of the crop but it would likely be an advantage to maintain a neem spray as both preventive and curative during the early and mid season to help clean up the apples in their appearance. More will be posted on this as I begin a small management program in 2022. The idea is to have a means to remove the toxicity found in today's modern orchard environment.
Kelly Renee apple is a lightly sweet apple with a dense white flesh that does not break down in cooking similar in many ways to the Northern Spy. Its density makes it ideal for apple sauce. Visitors to my farm whom have eaten the apple fresh like it best when it later in the season as it ripens fully.
Kelly Renee was an apple grown from seed collected from a tree at a old abandoned homestead in northern Michigan. It was a solid russet apple that looked like a baked potato in a tree. I grew out several seedlings of it and this one was the most vigorous of the lot. As the tree matured so did the yields.
200 seeds of Kelly Renee are included with 4 sticks of scionwood to allow clonal reproduction. The seeds help create further varieties in this russet class. From others who have worked with these no spray apples, russets often appear to offer a solution to resistance to both disease and insects. Unlike 'pretty' apples the seedlings often carry with them bumps and that baked potato look which the consumer might call it the 'what the heck happened' apple. The coloration though is soft and usually the russet is overlaid on top of greens and red. For this reason, the no spray apple movement will have to educate people on the benefits of these apples both environmentally as well as health wise to the farmer who has to spray a regular crop of apples 16 times a year with very powerful insecticides that only get more powerful as insects develop resistance
200 Seeds Harvested in fall of 2021 and 4 pieces of scionwood. Limited supply. Cost includes the right to propagate and sell the Kelly Renee Apple as well as help me maintain my collection. Thank you.
|Genus & Species||Malus domestica|
|Height (ft)||20-40 ft. with equal width Standard apple. Appears to be a natural semi dwarf on its own roots.|
|Pollination Requirements||Self fertile. Seeds are likely hybridized with the surrounding russet seedlings as well as the hewes apple seedlings. I do not have other grafted apples in my plantings so the seeds are very good in terms of finding more spray free apples as I removed all weak trees early on in my planting. But it is possible some will be more 'crabby' in this regard to second generation. This is normal for the apple from seed scenario.|
|Soil||Loam, sandy loam, depending on the rootstock you use. Seedling are fine in a variety of soil types like all wild apples.|
|Climate||Zone 4-8. Appears to do well in cool climates. Not tested yet in the south.|
|Ease of Cultivation||Slow but sure, this selection of russet apple could help create a way to enjoy growing apples without the plague that afflicts this most useful fruit. Likely it will not solve all the problems facing apple growers and this is not a cure all but it will offer a chance to move away from the spray can slow but sure. This apple was grown for 20 plus years before releasing as a cultivar. The seeds offer a good chance of finding other smaller fruited sweet crab apples as well as any apple than can withstand the barrage of diseases and insects that are inevitable in the apple world.|