Malus ‘Golden Russet’

Thanks again to Ruth for both today’s photograph and write-up. Unfortunately, due to a bit of miscommunication between myself and Ruth, this didn’t get to me in time to post it prior to the garden’s Apple Festival this year, but the event was a success by all accounts despite that.

The food garden collection at the UBC Botanical Garden sports a wide variety of fruit and vegetable crops grown for display and educational purposes, and then harvested for donation to the less fortunate. Apple trees, such as this Malus ‘Golden Russet’ are staked up on trellises surrounding much of the food garden. The trellises consist of rows of thick metal wires tied to wooden posts. From youth, the limber apple trees are guided along the wires to encourage a trained growth pattern. This process, espalier, is used extensively in the commercial grape industry as well as small space gardens for intensive production.

Malus 'Golden Russet'

12 responses to “Malus ‘Golden Russet’”

  1. Sue in Bremerton WA

    i guess there is a whole science dedicated to small gardening with class and style. One of my uncles grafted five kinds of apples to his tree so that he could have variety, but he only had room for one tree. It worked for him.

  2. Alexander Jablanczy

    Are you sure this is a (golden) Russet? To my mind a Russet has thick leathery skin and a brownish green dark dull complexion. This one has pale green peel and is more delicious like and too shiny. Maybe a hybrid of delicious and Russet?
    On a related note all my life until about twenty years ago I have eaten tons of apples without peeling them. Then came the Alar scare and I stopped eating apples altogether. Lately I have restarted eating them with reluctance except Russets which are not shiny but dull therefore I guess their skin is not a chemicalised horror. So now I peel the rare apple I eat crying all the time as the nutrition is under the skin.
    Does anyone know if Russets are in fact chemical free and are all other apples still sprayed with a shiny chemical but not Alar?
    Am I right that the only apples free of chemicals are Russets and wild apples from abandoned orchards?

  3. Michael F

    Any apples that are sold as ‘organic’ will be free of it. Growers’ regulations for organic produce ban the use of chemicals like that. Most larger shops sell organic-grown fruit now.

  4. elizabeth a airhart

    this apple looks so good
    just simply enjoy

  5. Steven McKay

    I have to agree with the earlier comment that this doesn’t look like a Golden Russet, as there is no visible russeting (think Bosc pear or Russet Burbank potato).
    Regarding shiny apples and Alar: shiny apple peels does not indicate anything regarding alar. Very many apple cultivars are naturally shiny, or at least buff up nicely, regardless of whether they have been sprayed.
    It is my understanding that, at least in the States, Alar was removed from the market years ago.

  6. Margaret-Rae Davis

    I really liked the photo of the Apple. The write up was interesting. In Massachusette , Alar was banned right away. I purchase my apples at Pine Orchard Farm and like to shop locally to support the farmers around here.
    Thank you,

  7. lavender

    in this season too look such beaut apples like this , its very enjoy !
    thanks Ruth and Daniel

  8. Joe

    In the US, the registration for Alar was cancelled in 1989, meaning that its use went (at worst) a year or two past while growers used up any they might have had left around, although given the publicity, I’d bet that most growers quit using it even before the EPA yanked the registration. It was a growth regulator, not a coating. Some apples are naturally shiny, and some get coated in wax. The same wax gets used on organic apples….
    Whatever kind of apple that is, it looks tasty!

  9. Don Fenton

    I do a little multi-grafting, but a friend has a tree [one tree!] with 27 Apples, 11 Pears, and 9 other assorted pome fruits all on one!There is nothing like a prune with all that hard graft!

  10. Alex Jablanczy

    Thank you all for the responses on Alar. I wish I never wrote. I am quite distressed. It seems the more I know the less I know. The only thing I am sure of is that Alar was mainly used on red apples and cherries increasing colour, therefore russet apples should be safe with their dull greenish brown colour. Serious medical journals demand disclosure of interest, none of the articles I read on Alar do, so they may all be ignored. There is hardly a question about its carcinogenicity but there is about the extent.
    The issue is of course a lot wider than apples all vegetable foods are either chemicalised or GM and of course unlabelled as such. We now get Na levels in processed foods but O information about fruits and vegetables.
    Admiring these photographs as eye candy is one thing but whether they are edible is another matter.

  11. john murtaugh

    I would sure like to see a picture of Don’s friend’s tree!
    We have a an espalied apple tree with five varieties of apples but have only one or two survive to ripeness thanks to our Toronto racoons.

  12. Connie

    Do a lude, Alex- Your federal tax dollars pay to make sure that any fruit marked “Certified Organic” is just that, not treated with chemicals. I suppose you can still get bacterial food poisoning from them. And so far almost all available apples aren’t GM, either.

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