MALUS domestica 'Duchess of Oldenburg'
Plant Common Name
Apple, Cooking Apple, Duchess of Oldenberg Apple
Introduced from Russia to England (and thence the United States) in the early nineteenth century, 'Duchess of Oldenburg' is still valued for its exceptional cold hardiness and flavorful apples. Ripening in late summer, the medium to large, spherical fruits have thick, tender, greenish yellow skin heavily blushed and streaked with red. The fragrant, fine-textured, pale yellow flesh of this dessert or cooking apple is firm, tender, and juicy. The fruits store poorly. This cultivar bears heavy crops on upright, spreading, medium-sized trees that are resistant to scab. Plant it near another early-season variety (such as 'McIntosh') for cross-pollination.
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, these trees offer sweet, fragrant flowers of light pink, white or rose, and in fall reward us with crisp, juicy apples.
These fruits have 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 late summer or fall.
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.