The comprehensive resource for apples and orchards

Roxbury Russet apple



Roxbury Russet is generally recognised to be the oldest apple variety which originated in North America, and its history can be traced back to the colonial era.  It is very probably a seedling of an apple variety brought over by early settlers from Europe.

One of the most fascinating aspects of the development of apples in North America is that very few of the original European varieties adapted to the climate.  Hence most of the apple varieties that became popular as the United States spread westward were grown from seedlings (often of European varieties at first) which had proven more suited to the local conditions and thus been propagated further - this is one of the useful consequences of the fact that apples do not grow true from seed.  Roxbury Russet also has some resistance to cedar apple rust and fireblight, which are prevalent in some of the eastern states.

Roxbury Russet is in most respects typical of that group of apples known as russets.  Although it has some tartness it is like all russets a fundamentally sweet apple.  It is also a fairly good keeper, an important attribute before the advent of modern storage methods.  Visually the extent of russeting can vary considerably, in some seasons and on some trees it can be extensive, whilst in other situations there may be very little.

Although the parentage of Roxbury Russet is unknown, it is possible that it shares some common ancestor with Ashmead's Kernel - although Roxbury Russet predates Ashmead's Kernel by about a century and the latter was raised in England not the United States.  However Ashmead's Kernel has a slightly odd flavor which is in some ways reminscent of Roxbury Russet.  As well as the traditional green/yellow russet both Roxbury Russet and Ashmead's Kernel can exhibit some reddening.

Last updated 18 Mar 2012.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 3.6 out of 5. Total votes cast: 5
 

Visitor comments

(Use the form at the bottom to add your own comments about this variety)

18 Oct 2013 
I was raised in West Roxbury and spent a few weeks looking for this variety this year. I founf the apple's flesh to be sweet and dense, and the skin slightly bitter and rough. Aftertaste has a touch of honey. Quite satisfying!


09 Nov 2012 
Flesh is not crisp, but the flavor is--bright and clean. Sweet but with some tart. If you left a Granny Smith on the tree and let it mellow, it might taste like this. Pleasant old heirloom variety.



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Probably the first apple variety originating in North America, as a seedling from a variety brought from Europe by early settlers.

Roxbury Russet phototape

Origins

  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Unknown, probably European variety
  • Originates from: Massachusetts, United States
  • Introduced: Early 17th century
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1581
  • UK National Fruit Collection accession number: 1952-111

Identification

  • Fruit colour: Yellow / Gold
  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Flesh colour: White to Greenish to Greenish Yellow
  • Flesh colour: Yellow to Very Yellow
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Bultitude apple group: 8. Russeted, sweet

Using

  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Uses: Hard cider
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Sweeter
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more

Growing

  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering period: Mid-Late season
  • Flowering group: 4
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Triploid
  • Pollinating others: Poor
  • Vigour: Slightly large
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
  • General disease resistance: Average
  • Period of origin: 1600 - 1649

Climate

  • Climate suitability: Temperate climates
  • Climate suitability: Tolerates cold winters

Disease resistance

  • Scab  - Very resistant
  • Fireblight  - Very resistant
  • Cedar apple rust  - Very resistant

Roxbury Russet identification photos from official fruit collections

UK National Fruit Collection

©Crown Copyright more >
UK National Fruit Collection

Roxbury Russet identification photos from website visitors


Roxbury Russet (showing minimal russeting)
Roxbury Russet (showing minimal russeting)


Fruit tree register

Do you have a tree of this variety in your garden or orchard? If so please register the details here and contribute to our international register of fruit trees.

The following Roxbury Russet trees have been registered - click the name to view more details of each tree.

You can also view these trees on a map.

United States

Canada



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2013 season

  • 4th May  2013  - tree owned by Jeff in READING, United States

2012 season

  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in ESTACADA, United States
  • 8th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 20th April  2012  - tree owned by Jeff in READING, United States

2011 season

  • May  2011  - tree owned by v in LUCKNOW, Canada
  • 28th March  2011  - tree owned by Martin in LAKEPORT, United States

Record your blossom dates in our Fruit Tree Register - more >>.

Latest harvest records for this variety

2013 season

    2012 season

    • 3rd week November  2012  - tree owned by James in ESTACADA, United States

    2011 season

    • 2nd week October  2011  - tree owned by Martin in LAKEPORT, United States
    • 1st week October  2011  - tree owned by v in LUCKNOW, Canada

    Where to buy apple trees

    The following fruit tree nurseries offer Roxbury Russet apple trees for sale:

    Where to buy apples

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