MALUS domestica 'Shiawassee'
Plant Common Name
An antique apple variety rarely grown today, this presumed seedling of 'Fameuse' originated in Vernon, Michigan, sometime before 1850. It produces modest to heavy crops of medium to large, flattish apples with red-blushed, carmine-streaked, pale yellow skin. The white, crisp, fine-textured flesh of this dessert apple is juicy and tender with a full, slightly tart flavor. The fruits ripen in early to mid-fall and keep until early winter. This variety typically produces large crops in alternate years. The vigorous, spreading, cold-hardy trees are relatively disease-resistant. Plant 'Shiawassee' near other apple varieties to insure cross-pollination and fruiting. It makes a good choice for home and specialty growers of heirloom apples.
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.
Apple trees do best in full sun and moist well-drained soil, but tolerate light shade and periodic 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.