Description: Fruit medium or above, uniform in size and shape, nearly round to somewhat oblate, skin thin, smooth, clear pale yellow to straw yellow; dots few, minute, white and green. Flesh very white, tender, juicy, crisp, subacid or somewhat acid. Ripe late June/July in most of the South.
History: Early Harvest is one of those apple varieties that does well in most apple-growing areas. It has been praised from New England to Texas and points beyond, both for cooking and fresh eating. An 1859 Virginia nursery catalog says: “Taking all its qualities into consideration, it has no superior among early apples.” Coxe (1817) first described Early Harvest under the names Prince’s Harvest and Early French Reinette. It may have originated before 1800 in the famous William Prince Nursery on Long Island.
Description: Fruit small to medium, roundish to oblate, slightly conical; skin smooth, thin, pale greenish yellow, irregularly striped and splashed with dark red; dots russet and greenish to nearly white. Flesh yellowish white, tender, juicy, mild subacid. Ripe mid-July.
History: About 1800 Heman Chapin of Ontario County, New York, planted some apple seeds he obtained from Connecticut. From Chapin’s seedling orchard came three fine apple varieties—Early Joe, Northern Spy, and Melon. Early Joe was brought to the attention of the public in 1843 by being exhibited at a fair in Rochester. Its reputation spread quickly because it was listed in southern nursery catalogs as early as 1853. In 1994, Lee Calhoun found two old Early Joe apple trees, still bearing heavily, belonging to Mrs. Pearl Pickard of Pleasant Hill Church, Alamance County, North Carolina.
Description: Fruit medium or above, roundish oblate, slightly conical, broadly lobed; skin dull, pale yellow or greenish yellow; dots small, indented, gray or russet. Flesh white, tender, moderately coarse, crisp, juicy, brisk subacid to subacid when fully ripe. Ripe late June.
History: The best information is that Early Ripe originated about 1800 on the farm of George Delap (or Dunlap) in Adams County, Pennsylvania. The fruit ripens about ten days after Early Harvest and is of similar or slightly better quality.
Description: Fruit medium or smaller, roundish, flattened on the ends, slightly conical, often oblique and irregular, sides may be unequal; skin smooth, mostly to completely covered with fine stripes and stains of bright red to dark red; dots numerous, small, grayish, some with a red areole. Flesh almost white often stained red, soft, moderately juicy, aromatic, sprightly, subacid. Ripe late June/July.
History: Thought to have originated in New York before 1838.
Description: Fruit medium, roundish oblate; skin greenish yellow or yellow, lightly striped and blushed with red or brownish red; dots numerous, gray. Flesh yellow, fine-grained, tender, juicy, subacid. Susceptible to fungal diseases. Ripe late September/October.
History: The original tree grew before 1869 in the orchard of Sampson Edwards of Chatham County, North Carolina, and was thought to be a seedling of Hall x Ralls Janet. An 1898 North Carolina agricultural experiment station bulletin says: “This is a seedling of the Hall, twice as large as that variety and fully as good and as good a keeper.” Lee Calhoun searched for this apple for years but finally gave up, believing it extinct. In early 1992, he was taken to two gnarled old trees, the remnants of a sixty-tree farm orchard planted about 1916 near Crutchfield Crossroads in Chatham County. One of the trees was Edwards’ Winter. Sampson Edwards lived on an adjacent farm and was buried in a nearby Quaker cemetery.
Three trees of this old West Virginia apple were found by Dr. L. R. Littleton in Grant County, West Virginia. He described the fruit as greenish yellow, partly to mostly covered with a reddish blush. Ripe September.
Description: Fruit medium size or above, roundish, regular, flattened on the ends; skin tough, bumpy, light yellow, occasionally blushed; dots irregular, russet or greenish and sunken. Flesh whitish, juicy, crisp, almost sweet. Ripe July.
History: A single tree was found in the 1990s on the old Hartman farm just south of Upper Tract, West Virginia, by Dr. L. R. Littleton
Description: Fruit medium or above, roundish to slightly oblong, conical; skin tough, deep yellow, mostly covered with bright red with inconspicuous darker stripes, almost purple in the sun; dots large, distinct, yellow and russet, sometimes elongated near the stem end. Flesh yellow, crisp, juicy, rather tender, aromatic, sprightly subacid. Ripe September/October.
History: Often claimed to be Thomas Jefferson’s favorite apple, Esopus Spitzenburg originated before 1800 in Esopus, New York. The fruit is subject to a condition called Jonathan Spot that specks the skin, especially if the apples remain too long on the tree before being picked.