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MALUS domestica 'Black Oxford'

Image of Malus domestica 'Black Oxford'

Russell Stafford

Family

Rosaceae

Botanical Name

MALUS domestica 'Black Oxford'

Plant Common Name

Antique Apple, Apple, Red Apple, Winter Eating Apple

General Description

Originating in Oxford County, Maine, in the late eighteenth century, 'Black Oxford' produces handsome, tasty, long-keeping apples on very hardy, disease-resistant trees. Ripening in mid-autumn, the spherical, medium-sized fruits have deep red skin. The greenish-white flesh of this dessert, cooking, or cider apple is firm, juicy, and sweet-tart. The fruits keep well for several months, their flavor and texture improving in storage. Plant another apple variety nearby for cross-pollination. Trees tend to bear in alternate years.

There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own apple trees. The domestic apple is most commonly a medium-sized tree with a rounded to oval canopy. It originates from southeastern Europe, Siberia, and southwestern Asia and has been in cultivation for thousands of years. In spring, the trees offer sweet, fragrant flowers of light pink, white or rose and in fall reward us with crisp, juicy apples.

These fruits come in a wide variety of colors, textures and flavors and may be eaten out-of-hand, pressed for cider, frozen, canned or baked in a variety of ways. There are thousands of cultivars available, including many interesting heirlooms as well as fresh new varieties. Different selections vary in height and may bear fruit in summer, fall or winter.

While the domestic apple prefers full sun and well-drained soil, it will tolerate light shade and bouts of drought. For best fruit production, trees must be vigorously pruned and maintained. Apples are susceptible to many pests and diseases, but resistant varieties are available. Most apples are grafted onto rootstock that provides a wide range of benefits such as vigor, pest and disease resistance and dwarf stature, depending on the stock.

Characteristics

  • AHS Heat Zone

    9 - 1

  • USDA Hardiness Zone

    2 - 8

  • Plant Type

    Fruit

  • Sun Exposure

    Full Sun, Partial Sun, Partial Shade

  • Height

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Width

    15'-25' / 4.6m - 7.6m

  • Bloom Time

    Early Spring, Spring

  • Native To

    Eastern Europe, Southern Europe, Russia/Siberia, Southern Asia, Western Asia

Growing Conditions

  • Soil pH

    Acidic, Neutral

  • Soil Drainage

    Well Drained

  • Soil type

    Clay, Loam, Sand

  • Tolerances

    Drought

  • Growth Rate

    Medium

  • Water Requirements

    Average Water

  • Habit

    Oval/Rounded

  • Seasonal Interest

    Spring, Fall

Ornamental Features

  • Flower Interest

    Showy

  • Flower Color

    White, Pink

  • Fruit Color

    Red, Dark Red

  • Foliage Color (Spring)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Summer)

    Green

  • Foliage Color (Fall)

    Green, Light Yellow, Brown

  • Bark Color

    Brown, Gray

  • Fragrant Flowers

    Yes

  • Fragrant Fruit

    No

  • Fragrant Foliage

    No

  • Bark or Stem Fragrant

    No

  • Flower Petal Number

    Single

  • Repeat Bloomer

    No

  • Showy Fruit

    Yes

  • Edible Fruit

    Yes

  • Showy Foliage

    No

  • Foliage Texture

    Medium

  • Foliage Sheen

    Matte

  • Evergreen

    No

  • Showy Bark

    No

Special Characteristics

  • Bark Texture

    Fissured

  • Usage

    Edible, Feature Plant, Fruit / Fruit Tree

  • Sharp or Has Thorns

    No

  • Invasive

    No

  • Self-Sowing

    Yes