All about apples, pears, plums, and cherries - and orchards where they are grown

Golden Russet apple

Golden Russet is a small moderately attractive apple, which keeps well, and is very versatile for eating, cooking or juicing.  The flavor is typical of a russet apple but rather more intense than the traditional English St. Edmunds Russet or Egremont Russet - more similar to Ashmeads Kernel.

The origins of Golden Russet are not clear but it arose in upstate New York in the 19th century, possibly derived from an English russet variety.  The flavor and slightly flattened shape suggest a connection with to Ashmeads Kernel, which has always been grown in the USA.  However there is also a variety with the name Golden Russet in England, described by the English Pomologist Robert Hogg in the late 19th century.  His description of the apple and its qualities are very similar to the American Golden Russet, yet he makes no mention of it being grown in the USA, even though he was aware of and described many other American varieties.

For a time Golden Russet was grown on a commercial basis but then fell out of fashion.  It has enjoyed a resurgence of interest because the strong-flavored juice is ideal for cider and hard cider production.

Last updated 02 Jan 2011.

Rate this variety for flavor

Current rating: 4.4 out of 5. Total votes cast: 26

Visitor comments

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

09 Apr 2017 
This has been my favorite apple for roughly fifty three years. I was turned off by the look until I was about eight. Then I finally tried one and it has been an obsession ever since. As a kid I loved the intense sweetness and nuttiness. The older I get the more I like the subtle nuances. They lose crispness after a month or two. Germans call russets "gummiapfel" (rubber apple) for the way they soften after a couple of months (not nearly as fast nor as mushy as MacIntosh though). But the taste lasts well --I've enjoyed home stored golden russets into June when they look and feel utterly disreputable. If anyone knows where I can get commercially stored golden russets, please post it.

15 Oct 2016 
A pleasant but not intense apple. Crisp, slightly thick skin. Bought at the UBC Apple Festival, mid Oct 2016. Flavour might become more complex with keeping??

18 Sep 2016 
This year 2016 my 8 year old, semi-dwarf GR tree is loaded! Lots of thinning out done. I had mistakenly planted and trained this tree as a cordon - wrong! It is a tip-bearer and therefore not suitable. As an ex-Brit of advancing years when we were young we could buy russet apples at local grocery stores in the UK. I bought russet apples because I loved tasting the nutty flavours. The GR is American but it rivals those I used to eat in the UK. My problem living in Squamish British Columbia Canada is how long to leave the apples to fully ripen on the trees or should I pick them early since black bears frequent the neighbourhood during fruit picking season and they are rather partial to fully ripe fruit!

05 Nov 2015 
OK this is my new favorite apple. The Fruit: Balance of sweet and sour is pretty good, a little on the sweet side compared to something like pink lady. But the flavor, good lord: Very intense, floral, spicy, with hints of what tastes like a sweet white wine. . Fruit is small and dense but seems to stay crisp even when it looks overripe from the outside. The Juice The juice is amazing: STRONG cinnamon flavor like a red hot, 2ndary almond flavor, peppery clovey finish. Tastes like a cider that's already been spiced. (Note I pressed cores, skin, seeds and all) Fermentation I fermented the juice under pressure like a natural soda with red-star wine yeast. One day out of the fridge, then into the fridge for 3 days. Because the apple is very sweet and only mildly tart, the cider tasted best when some of the sugar fermented out, so that sweet and tart were more in balance. Depending on how active the yeast are, you may have to wait a while for this to happen. So there you have it. Best apple, best juice, best sweet sparkling cider so far. Not sure how it is if fermented out completely. It never gets that far in our house.

02 Dec 2014 
Golden russet is absolutely my favorite apple. When describing them to someone who has never tasted one, my stock phrase is "like eating spiced cider". They have an amazingly high sugar content, although you might not be aware of that by just eating them due to the richness of flavor.

16 Nov 2013 
Quebec russet apples have been a traditional choice in our family since the early 1900s, but the search for them in West Quebec stores has become harder each year. I don't know what cultivar local orchards sold in the past, but the golden russet has become our go-to in the past decade. It's a crying shame that Canadians west of Manitoba are completely ignorant of this wonderful heritage apple. After almost 10 years in the West I was happy and relieved to return to Quebec and to my favourite apple.

31 Oct 2013 
This is, hands-down, my favorite apple of all time and I've tried many, many varieties. I used to get them in Portland, Or at New Seasons Market, but now that I live in Pittsburgh I haven't yet found them again. Highly recommend you try these if ever you see them.

29 Oct 2012 
Great apple. Fruit hangs very well on the tree. In fact last year I picked some on New Years Day.

09 Sep 2012 
What a wonderful apple! The tree's branches are pretty spindly and straggly but the fruit is sweet and crisp and I have had no trouble with it so far despite the frequent wet springs.

12 Oct 2011 
This variety is delicious:I wish people knew more than the handful of varieties sold at the supermarket. To say they're missing out is an understatement.

23 Sep 2011 
Thanks for the 31 Aug post. Once I get mine in the ground March 2012, will watch of signs of flowers and start spraying with Bordeaux spray before and while it flowers. Had the same issue with my Calville Blanc this year but sprayed and made it through the summer with additional healthy growth.

31 Aug 2011 
Tried growing one here in VA and it got fireblight the first time it bloomed and wiped it out in what seemed like days. Tasty apple, though.

09 Aug 2011 
One of my favorite apples. A very dense apple with an amazingly intense sweet-tart flavor. The apples tend to be small. Hard to find, but worth the effort.

09 Mar 2011 
I located some of these apple about 200 miles from my home (along with others) and tasted them. Golden Russet is a revelation! I typically prefer a tart apple; this has become my favorite sweet apple. Will find a way to graft this into one of my trees at home.

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Golden Russet is usually considered as one of the best-flavored of the American russet apples.

Golden Russet phototape


  • Species: Malus domestica
  • Parentage: Thought to be a seedling of an English russet variety
  • Originates from: New York state, United States
  • Introduced: 1845
  • Orange Pippin Cultivar ID: 1586


  • Fruit colour: Yellow / Gold
  • Flesh colour: White to Cream, pale yellow
  • Fruit size: Small
  • Fruit size: Variable
  • Fruit size: Medium
  • Fruit size: Large
  • Fruit shape: Flat-round
  • Fruit shape: Short-round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Round
  • Fruit shape: Round-conical
  • Fruit shape: Oblong-conical
  • Fruit shape: Oblong
  • Shape features (vertical view): Lop-sided, unequal sides, irregular
  • Shape features (vertical view): Symmetrical
  • Shape uniformity: Lack Uniformity in size & shape
  • Shape uniformity: Uniform, in size and shape
  • Russet % coverage: High
  • Russet % coverage: Medium
  • Basin russet: Concentric lines of russet
  • Basin russet: Gray to Brown Russet
  • Basin russet: Heavy russet
  • Basin russet: Smooth, fine Russet
  • Basin russet: Yellow to Golden Brown Russet


  • Uses: Eat fresh
  • Uses: Cooking
  • Uses: Juice
  • Uses: Hard cider
  • Uses: Drying
  • Cooking result: Keeps shape
  • Flavour quality: Very good
  • Flavour style: Honeyed / Scented
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
  • Flavour style: Aromatic
  • Harvest period: Late season
  • Use / keeping: 3 months or more


  • Cropping: Good
  • Flowering period: Early-Mid season
  • Flowering group: 2
  • Fertility: Self-sterile
  • Ploidy: Diploid
  • Vigour: Slightly large
  • Gardening skill: Average
  • Fruit bearing: Tip-bearer
  • Fruit bearing: Partial tip-bearer
  • Period of origin: 1800 - 1849


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


  • Scab  - Some resistance
  • Cedar apple rust  - Some susceptibility

Relationships to other varieties

Offspring of this variety:

See also:

References and further reading about this variety

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 Golden 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

United Kingdom



Latest Spring blossom records for this variety

2018 season

  • 11th May  2018  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
  • 28th April  2018  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States

2017 season

  • 30th April  2017  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

2016 season

  • June  2016  - tree owned by B. in Searsmont, United States

2015 season

  • 10th May  2015  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States

2014 season

  • 16th May  2014  - tree owned by Jim in Hallstead, United States
  • 8th May  2014  - tree owned by Dennis in Great Meadows, United States

2013 season

  • 8th May  2013  - tree owned by Jean in Martock, United Kingdom
  • May  2013  - tree owned by Robert in Plainfield, United States

2012 season

  • 9th May  2012  - tree owned by James in Estacada, United States
  • 5th May  2012  - tree owned by Florian in Brush Prairie, United States
  • 3rd May  2012  - tree owned by Mike in Glen Rock, United States
  • 26th March  2012  - tree owned by Ryan in Cumming, United States

2011 season

  • May  2011  - tree owned by Ron in Orion, United States
  • May  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada

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

Latest harvest records for this variety

2018 season

  • 1st week November  2018  - tree owned by Jerry in Point Reyes Station, United States
  • 4th week September  2018  - tree owned by Susan in , United States

2017 season

    2016 season

    • 3rd week September  2016  - tree owned by B. in Searsmont, United States

    2015 season

    • 4th week September  2015  - tree owned by George in Middlefield, United States
    • September  2015  - tree owned by Roger in Madison Heights, United States

    2014 season

      2013 season

      • 3rd week October  2013  - tree owned by Mark in Cape Neddick, United States
      • 3rd week September  2013  - tree owned by Robert in Plainfield, United States

      2012 season

        2011 season

        • 1st week October  2011  - tree owned by v in Lucknow, Canada

        Where to buy trees

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

        Where to buy fresh fruit

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