Do you know about Fortune apples? Have you eaten one? If not, you’re missing out. Fortune apples have a very unique spicy flavor that cannot be found in other cultivars. The flavor is so unique and delicious, you might want to grow them on your own! Here’s all you need to know about Fortune apples and how to grow and care for them.
About Fortune Apple Tree
Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station has been developing new apple cultivars for over 125 years. Fortune apple is one of these developments. One of the recent developments in 1995, Fortune apples are a cross between Empire and Schoharie Spy, a red variant of Northern Spy. These late season apples shouldn’t be confused with Laxton’s Fortune or the Sister of Fortune cultivars.
As we mentioned earlier, Fortune apples distinct spiciness combined with a flavor that is more tart than sweet. The apple is medium sized, green and red with firm yet juicy cream-colored flesh. This variety of apple was developed for the northern regions of the United States. It’s not very popular commercially despite the fact that it keeps well in storage, up to four months if refrigerated. One of the reasons for its lack of popularity is that it is a biennial producer. Another reason is perhaps the fact that it has more of the attributes of an old-fashioned heirloom apple. These apples are delicious eaten fresh or made into pies, applesauce or juice.
How to Grow Fortune Apples
Plant Fortune apple trees in the spring. Select a site that has rich soil with good drainage and gets full sunlight, at least 6 hours or more each day. Now, dig a hole that is twice the diameter of the root system and about 2 feet (a bit over half a meter) deep. Striate the sides of the hole with a shovel or fork. If the roots have dried out before planting, soak them in a bucket of water for an hour or up to 24 hours. Gently loosen the roots to make sure they are not twisted or crowded in the hole. Set the tree in the hole and make sure it is straight and the graft union is at least 2 inches (5 cm.) above the soil line. As you fill the hole in, tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets. Water the tree in well.
Fortune Apple Tree Care
Avoid fertilizing at planting time as it may cause the roots to burn. Fertilize new trees one month after planting with a food that is high in nitrogen. Fertilize again in May and June. For the next year, fertilize the tree in the spring and then again in April, May, and June. When applying fertilizer, be sure to keep it at least 6 inches (15 cm.) away from the trunk of the tree.
When the tree is still young, prune the tree to train and shape it. Prune each year to remove the scaffold branches, dead or diseased branches, or those that are crossing over each other. During dry periods, water the tree deeply twice a week. Also, mulch around the tree to help retain moisture and to retard weeds. However, make sure to keep the mulch away from the tree trunk.