This past Saturday, attendees of all ages gathered for some fall fun tasting apples grown at the UC ANR South Coast REC and learning a thing or two about “high-chill” apple varieties.
Since 2013, Dave Wilson Nursery has overseen a project here at the South Coast REC looking at the success of 20+ varieties of "high-chill" apples here in warm, and very "low-chill" Irvine. (High-Chill meaning the apple needs about 1,000+ hours of temperatures 32-45F). The goal of the project was to prove that there is a far greater palette of apples available to us here in Southern California than just the few popular low chill varieties like Anna and Dorset Golden.
Tom Spellman from Dave Wilson Nursery talked to attendees who sampled about 15 varieties of apples like Red Fuji, Braeburn, Melrose, North Pole, Cox Orange Pippin, and Gravenstein. This was an eye-opening event for anyone looking to start growing apples who now have a better understanding of just how well some of these chilly varieties can do in our much warmer climate.
Thank you to Tom Spellman, The Orange County Master Gardeners, and the Rare Fruit Growers of Orange County for all of your help in picking, prepping, and sharing your love of apples with the public!