MALUS domestica 'Smokehouse'
Plant Common Name
Originating as a seedling in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, in the early nineteenth century, 'Smokehouse' is still prized for its tasty fruits and its adaptability to diverse soils and climates. Its medium to large, spherical to conical apples have greenish-yellow skin that blushes dull-red as they ripen in late summer and early fall. The pale yellow, crisp, fine-textured flesh of this dessert and cooking apple is juicy, tender, and aromatic, with a full, mildly tart flavor. The fruits are borne on relatively large, dense-branched trees that succeed in heavy to light soils in most regions of the United States including the Southeast and California. Plant 'Smokehouse' near other midseason-blooming apple varieties (such as 'Cortland' and 'Honeycrisp') for cross-pollination. 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.