Have you ever eaten a Fortune apple? If not, you’re missing out. Fortune apples have a very unique, spicy flavor not found in other apple cultivars, so unique you might want to think about growing your own Fortune apple trees. The following article contains Fortune apple tree info including how to grow and care for them.
Fortune Apple Tree Info
For over 125 years, Cornell University’s New York State Agricultural Experiment Station has been developing new apple cultivars. One of these, Fortune, is a recent development that is a 1995 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 mentioned, Fortune apples have a 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 cultivar was developed for growers in the northern regions of the United States. It hasn’t caught on commercially, possibly because it has more of the attributes of an old-fashioned heirloom apple despite the fact that it keeps well in storage, up to four months if refrigerated. Another reason for its lack of popularity is that it is a biennial producer.
Fortune apples are not only delicious eaten fresh but are excellent made into pies, applesauce, and juice.
How to Grow Fortune Apples
When growing Fortune apple trees, plant them in the spring. Select a site that has good drainage with rich soil in full sunlight (6 hours or more each day).
Dig a hole that is twice the diameter of the root system and about 2 feet (61 cm.) deep. Striate the sides of the hole with a shovel or fork.
Soak the roots in a bucket of water for an hour or up to 24 hours if they have dried out.
Gently loosen the roots of the tree, making sure they are not twisted or crowded in the hole. Set the tree in the hole making sure it is straight and the graft union will be at least 2 inches (5 cm.) above the soil line, and then begin to fill in the hole. As you fill the hole in, tamp down the soil to remove any air pockets.
Water the tree in well.
Fortune Apple Tree Care
Do not fertilize at planting time, lest the roots burn. Fertilize new trees one month after planting with a food that is high in nitrogen. Fertilize again in May and June. The next year, fertilize the apple 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.
Prune the tree when it is young to train it. Prune scaffold branches back to shape the tree. Continue to prune each year to remove dead or diseased branches or those that are crossing over each other.
Water the tree deeply twice a week during dry periods. Also, mulch around the tree to help retain moisture and to retard weeds but be sure to keep the mulch away from the tree trunk.