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Oct 14, 2010 12:36 PM

Pippin Apples

An english friend was bemoaning the lack of Pippin apples in the US - anyone ever seen them?

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  1. I got Yellow Newtown Pippins (and RI Greenings and Roxbury Russets, among others) at Red Apple Farm in Phillipston last year. They were very good and kept well. I got them in the shop, easy to zip in and out now that PYO is over (unfortunately they've gotten to be bit of a zoo on weekends during the PYO season). Pippins are a late apple, probably picking about now.

    Red Apple Farm
    455 Highland Ave, Athol, MA 01331

    1. There are several types of apple with the name "pippin" and they are all different. I think "pippin" is the name for a seedling apple tree (as opposed to most apple trees which are grafted). I've occasionally seen Newtown Pippins around MA -- just bought a few at Cider Hill Farm in Amesbury. There is also a type called Cox's Orange Pippin, which I think is popular in Britain -- this may be the one your friend is thinking of. I have not seen these in New England, but recently saw an email advertising Smolak Farms' Antique Apple Orchard, which supposedly has them. Give 'em a call.

      5 Replies
      1. re: stomachofsteel

        Nashoba Valley Winery has several varieties of pippins, including Cox's Orange Pippin, Golden Pippin, Kerry Irish Pippin, Newtown Pippin, Ribston Pippin, and a couple of other varieties. Most of those varieties may already be gone by, however.

        1. re: Allstonian

          Thanks all, for schooling me on apples. I will pass the info on, and hopefully score a piece of (Cox Orange Pippin) apple pie.

        2. re: stomachofsteel

          Indeed, I'll confirm that pippin is a generic name that essentially means exactly what you say - a chance seedling. What's funny is that, of course, all new apple varieties are essentially pippins. It's just that some of the old ones had that term attached to their name. Now we propagate those "pippins" by grafting, the only way to propagate an apple and keep it true to type. But the term doesn't tell you anything about the type of apple, beyond that it is an old variety.

          1. re: celeriac

            I know this is getting a bit off topic, but aren't many new varieties (which does not include any of the apples named "pippin") products of breeding programs -- and thus not pippins? I can't claim any experience with apple growing, but this is what I've read.

            1. re: stomachofsteel

              You are correct - virtually all commercial apples are grown on trees that are grafted onto root stock. Apples are extensively hybridized, so planting, say, a Honeycrisp seed, will not produce a tree that yields Honeycrisps. However, new varieties can be developed when accidental or planned experimental hybrid seedlings grow up and prove to have desirable fruit and other growing characteristics. If it is decided to continue on with a given tree, it will be propogated via grafting.