Having your own farm of organic apples to grow and use in making hot apple pies and apple sauce is a luxury not many can afford. However, with all the right information, growing Pristine apple trees is quite easy and simple. Pristine apple is a fairly young cultivar from the 1970s. It was introduced as the result of trials at Purdue University. These apple trees bear fruit early in the season and have a long storage life. Here are some tips on growing Pristine apples so that you can enjoy the crisp, tangy flavor of the fruit in just a few years.
Pristine Apple Facts
Pristine apples are the result of an early breeding experiment with ‘Camuzat’ as the seed and the ‘Co-op 10’ for the pollen. This variety was first introduced in 1974. Originally, it was called ‘Co-op 32’ because they were developed with the cooperation of the New Jersey, Illinois and Indiana breeding stations and was likely the 32nd cross. However, on its commercial introduction to the public, the name was changed to Pristine as a remark on its smooth, unblemished appearance. The letters “pri” in the name are also a nod to the breeding partners, Purdue, Rutgers, and Illinois. The fruits are beautiful, medium to large apples with almost perfect golden skin. They ripen in summer, around July, and have a softer crunch than later crops. Pristine apple trees also have great resistance to pests and diseases like apple scab, fire blight, cedar apple rust and powdery mildew.
How to Grow Pristine Apples
Pristine trees are available in standard, semi-dwarf and dwarf. However, they do need a pollinating partner to bear fruits. Some good pollinator candidates are Cortland, Gala or Jonathan.
When growing Pristine apple trees, site them in full sun, in a well-draining, fertile loam with a pH of 6.0 to 7.0. Dig holes that are twice the depth and width of the tree roots. Before planting, soak bare root trees in water for up to 2 hours. If you’re planting grafted trees, make sure the graft is above the soil. Also, firm soil well around the roots and water in well. When the trees are young, stake and water them consistently. Prune the first two years to establish a strong leader and scaffold branches.
Pristine Apple Care
Once mature, apple trees are fairly easy to care for. However, you do need to prune them annually when dormant to remove dead or diseased wood and promote horizontal branches and air circulation. Every 10 years, remove old fruiting spurs to make way for new ones. Just like other apple trees, fertilize Pristine apple trees in early spring.
If your region is prone to fungal disease, apply copper fungicide to the trees early in the season. You can also use sticky traps for many apple pests and horticultural oil sprays such as neem, for others. Once the fruits are a full golden color with no trace of yellow, harvest them. And to enjoy these fruits for weeks, store them in a cool, dry location or in the refrigerator.