This species apple comes from Russia and is known for its ability to impart hardiness to apple selections that are grafted onto it as well as its winter apples that ripen late in the season. Northern Spy is a selection from this seed strain. It was a discovery by naturalist J. V. Michurin in the late 1800's. It spawned a whole new range of aromatic apples with strong flavor. It is best known as a processing apple as it doesn't break down into sauce when cooked. It is still can be used as a seedling tree for producing large green and yellow apples. A few selections exist today and are still used. Clean foliage is typically found within this selection. It does best in the northern part of its range into zone 3 easily where long and cold winters are ideal.
Antonovka has been put to the test going back to the early 1900's where it out performed many other northern cultivars right up there with the world's hardiest apple Malus baccata dipping below the minus 40 mark. It is still used both as a rootstock and as a seedling apple tree either for human use or as a 'wildlife' tree. My selection was from a collection of apples maintained as some of the original germplasm through an arboretum exchange about forty years ago. I only had one tree of it and planted it out in an open field. The tree showed medium vigor yet produced a dense canopy with wide spreading branches. From seed it took roughly ten years to fruit from seed. It took another decade for me to kind of evaluate it to some extent and give it a name. The ripening period is late and tastes the best in early to mid November where the sourness decreases and the sugar content increases. Seed is available as well as scionwood. Likely has crossed with nearby Malus x heterophylla and Kerr apples which is ideal for growing out for unique flavors as well as heavy yields on vigorous trees.
AntonovCrisp--Hetero Apple Hybrid This is the most heavy bearing full sized form of the common Antonovka apple. The tree tends to be semi dwarf and carry the apples all along the branches. The ornamental large white flowers adorn the canopy in the spring followed by green apples blushed with yellow and red. The interior of the apple is more yellow with flavors of Golden delicious and Granny Smith. More for processing, this apple requires some spray program as it has issues with some fruit worms but not enough to deter its fruiting. The fruit remains in the tree until December. The fruit is best for processing and making pies. The seedlings can be used for developing further crosses or as rootstocks imparting hardiness to the varieties put on top of it. Scionwood is available on request with purchase of the seeds.
To germinate the seeds: Put the seeds in a slight moist media like Canadian peat moss and store at 33F to 38F for 90 plus days. Some seeds will sprout early. Pluck them out and put in pots, lightly covering the seeds. Seeds can be fall planted by drilling into the soil in rows and covering with 1/4 to 1/2 inch sandy soil. Selections can be made early on by finding the most vigorous plants as well as those that have clean foliage free of disease.
|Genus & Species||Malus Antonovka possible hybridization nearby Malus x heterophylla and/or Malus x Kerr|
|Seed Source||Michigan. Selected seedling from a large grow out of seedlings that was more vigorous with clean foliage.|
|Hardiness||-30 F and likely more.|
|Height (ft)||Standard 40 ft. by 40 ft.|
|Pollination Requirements||Likely self fertile. Highly floriferous with lots of pollen produced|
|Soil||Loam, sandy loam|
|Ease of Cultivation||Super easy to grow as an apple seedling and worthwhile growing as a seedling. The dense flesh and aromatic flavor as well as the possibility of finding more of the Northern Spy type of fruit qualities makes this more than a deer apple. Foliage health is very good and worthwhile to continue the strain even as a seedling type. Plus could make a good rootstock for super northern areas.|