The biggest apple in Michigan … and the smallest crop

Biggest apple in Michigan. Wolf River apple. 1996

Biggest apple in Michigan. Wolf River apple. 1996, photo by vostok71

Orange Pippin says that the Wolf River apple (first discovered along the river of the same name in Wisconsin) is:

A well-known American cooking apple, notable for its large size. Wolf River is mainly used for cooking, and it keeps its shape when cooked. It is fairly sweet and doesn’t need much sugar added.

Wolf River has a very high natural resistance to the disease apple scab, and good resistance to fireblight and mildew. It is also very cold hardy, making it a good choice for growing in the northern part of North America.

The Freep notes that the extreme damage to Michigan’s 2012 apple crop has created problems for those in the apple business:

Prices will vary, but consumers can expect fresh apple prices to be about 30% to 50% higher than last year, according to Bob Tritten, Michigan State University Extension Service fruit educator for southeast Michigan. Cider prices are up about 50%.

Last year’s Michigan apple crop was about 26 million bushels, said Dawn Drake, manager of the Michigan Processing Apple Growers Division, a branch of the Michigan Farm Bureau. But early warm weather forced the apple blossoms out early, and that was followed by several days of freezes, which killed most of the tender young blooms.

“This year they’ll be lucky to have 2 (million bushels),” Drake said.

Sergei didn’t think much of the taste when he tried it at the Tree-Mendus Fruit Farm in Eau Claire, but I read that the Wolf River doesn’t reach full flavor unless it gets hit by frost. Check it out bigger and see more in his Fall slideshow.

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