Winesap Apple Tree
The Winesap Apple Tree, a cherished American heritage variety, is celebrated for its unique tart and spicy flavor profile, making it a favorite for cider making, baking, and fresh consumption since its late 18th-century origins. Boasting a striking deep red to burgundy skin and firm, crisp flesh, Winesap apples are harvested in late fall and excel in storage, maintaining quality throughout the winter. Thriving in USDA hardiness zones 5 through 8, these trees demand full sun and well-drained soil, while their moderate disease resistance calls for vigilant care against issues like apple scab and fire blight. Despite its sterile pollen rendering it a poor pollinator for other varieties, the necessity of an alternative blooming partner for cross-pollination does not diminish its value. The Winesap’s robust flavor and versatility in culinary uses, from baking to cider making, underscore its enduring appeal and significant place in American horticulture.
- Hardiness Zones: 5-8
- Pollination: Needs cross pollination
- Harvest Period: Late Fall
- Disease resistance: Moderate
How to Water Winesap Apple Tree
- Water your tree with a garden hose or a watering can.
- Water the tree deeply when you see the soil has dried out.
- Additionally, water the tree slowly and evenly all around the root zone.
- In fact, avoid splashing the leaves with water, as this can cause fungal diseases.
- Let the soil dry out between waterings.
- Mulch around the base of the tree in order to help retain moisture and reduce weed growth.
- Lastly, provide supplemental water during periods of drought or dry weather.
- Follow this link for more detailed instructions on how to water an apple tree.
Planting and Caring for a Winesap apple tree
- 1. Choose a sunny spot in your yard that is sheltered from the wind. Make sure the soil is well-draining.
- 2. Dig a hole twice as wide and just as deep as the root ball of your tree.
- 3. Remove the tree from the container and place it in the hole. Make sure the top of the root ball is level with the soil.
- 4. Backfill the hole with the soil you removed earlier and pat it down firmly.
- 5. Water the tree deeply and mulch the area around the trunk in a 3-4 inch layer.
- 6. Prune the branches to the desired shape and size.
- 7. Feed the tree with a fertilizer designed for fruit trees.
- 8. Watch your Winesap apple tree thrive in its happy home.
- For more detailed instruction on how to plant an apple tree, follow this article.
What is a Rootstock?
A rootstock controls the tree’s size, precocity, cold hardiness, and partly its disease resistance (such as fireblight). In order to grow a reliable and high quality fruit tree, growers graft the scion, which is above the ground and responsible for the fruit’s characteristics and disease resistance, onto the rootstock, which is underground.
How to Choose a Rootstock?
A rootstock that grows well in one location, may not grow well in another. Therefore you must consider your specific site considerations before choosing a rootstock. When choosing a rootstock, some considerations for growers are
- what size tree is optimal for your site
- how well the rootstock adapts to your soil
- the disease pressure on your site
- how well the rootstock anchors
- precocity (bearing fruit at a younger age)
If you are new to rootstock, don’t worry! We aim to grow our trees on reliable and virus free rootstocks. From our experience growing in New York, we have found the Budagovsky, Geneva, and EMLA series to be great options since they are virus free and produce very healthy trees.
How to Prune a Winesap Apple Tree?
For more detailed instruction on how to prune an apple tree, follow this article.
- First, prune the Winesap apple tree in late winter or early spring, before it begins to flower.
- Cut off any dead, diseased, or damaged branches.
- Remove any crossing branches.
- Prune the central leader (main trunk) and any upright branches, leaving branches that grow outward.
- Cut back branches that are too long or have grown too close to the ground.
- Thin out the branches to allow more air and light to penetrate the center of the tree.
- Prune the sides of the tree to shape it and keep it to a desired size.
- Remove any suckers (new shoots growing from the base of the tree)
- Lastly, prune with a smile on your face and enjoy the beauty of your tree!
The Winesap is old apple variety, but its origin is not known. There are several well know apple varieties, which are the seedling of Winesap, Arkansas Black, Arkansas, and Stayman Winesap. The fruit is bright deep red and the flesh is firm, crisp, and juicy. It can be used for cider making, cooking, and fresh eating. The tree is triploid and needs two other varieties to cross pollinate. Grows well cold hardiness zones 5-9.