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Pollination group:

Sweet Winesap

Synonyms: Hendrick Sweet, Henrick Sweet, Henry Sweet, Ladies Sweet, Rose Sweet, Red Sweet Winesap, Sweet Pearmain

Identification: Medium, round-conic. The skin is smooth and tough. Green-yellow base colour covered almost entirely with a dense pattern of red stripes. Marked with scattered, medium-size lenticels. The stem is long, rising well above the shoulders, knobbed at the end and set in a moderately deep and narrow cavity. The calyx is medium size or larger and closed, set in a deep and wide, pleated basin. The apple is often covered with a fine bloom when ripe.

Characteristics: Flesh is white, fine-grained, somewhat crisp, juicy. Very sweet.

Uses: A good fresh eating apple, also great for crisps and pies, sometimes used for flavour and usable sweetness in cider making.

Origins: The origin of this cultivar is difficult to track down. Charles Downing, in his 1857 update of "The Fruits and Fruit Trees of America" first mentioned the Sweet Winesap, saying it originated in the State of Pennsylvania. In his 1869 update, he expanded the listing with a list of synonyms that includes Henrick Sweet, Henry Sweet, Ladies Sweet, Sweet Pearmain and Red Sweet Winesap. In the same era, John Jacob Thomas published several editions of "The American Fruit Culturist" in which he made no mention of the Sweet Winesap. He did, however, list the Sweet Pearmain with its synonym—English Pearmain—in his 1850 edition and stated that it had been "Introduced from England before the (American) Revolution." That would place its introduction to before 1765. In the 1867 edition, the synonym for Sweet Pearmain is given as Henrick Sweet. S.A. Beach, in his "The Apples of New York" (published 1903) states that "Sweet Winesap has long been cultivated in Western New York under the names Henrick Sweet and Hendrick Sweet. In some localities, particularly in Wayne County, it is known as Rose Sweet. Occasionally it is erroneously called Ladies Sweet, Lady Sweet or Lady Sweeting. Since it bears some resemblance to the true Lady Sweet, it is not strange that it is sometime confused with that variety." While the origin of the Sweet Winesap can be narrowed down to either England or Pennsylvania and was possibly better known colloquially under the name Henrick Sweet, there seem to be no clues to its parentage.

Cultivation: Moderately vigorous, medium large, upright spreading tree with somewhat densely branched crown. Slow to start bearing fruit. Needs to be heavily pruned to maintain fruit size and prevent over-bearing. Will produce annual crops.

Ploidism: Diploid. Self sterile.

20 weeks

Cold storage: Keeps up to five months in storage, much longer in refrigerated storage.

Vulnerabilities: Susceptible to fire blight.

Harvest: Ready for harvest in the middle of the fifth period. Needs two pickings and fruit tends to drop.

Harvest period: 5

Type(s): Cider, Eating, Pie

Hardiness Zone min: 4

Hardiness Zone max: 8