September Ruby Apple Tree- Zone 2
Characteristics of the tree
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September Ruby is a medium-sized apple, about 6cm in diameter, with dark red skin and a light green base. Occasionally the apple is completely red. The flesh is yellow-green, and all agree it tastes simply excellent: sweet with a little tart edge, crunchy and refreshing. The September Ruby apple is great for fresh eating, good in pies and outstanding for juicing. It might well become your favourite apple for juice, since its sweet and slightly tart taste is perfectly balanced for it. The apples will ripen between early and mid-September. The fruit will keep for about 4-5 months in good storage conditions.
September Ruby is hardy to zone 2a, and may be worth trying in sheltered areas of zone 1. In areas of the far north in zone 2, it flourishes with no dieback. Moderately resistant to fire blight, it’s annually productive and a vigorous grower with high yields. It will benefit from thinning by giving you bigger fruit (7cm) instead of smaller apples. It is somewhat precocious and usually will start producing in its fourth year. The tree is self-fertile, but will produce a larger crop with a pollinator nearby.
The September Ruby’s sweet and tart flavour had its origins at the Morden Research Station in Manitoba. Its parentage is from the Rescue and Haralson varieties. It was released in 1986, after being tested under the name PF36.
The apple trees we produce are grafted on standard-sized rootstock, so they are ‘full-sized’ apple trees (as opposed to dwarf or semi-dwarf). The life expectancy of this type of apple tree is around 100 years. The illustration shows different stages of its growth up until the age of 20 years (as one rarely plans a landscaping arrangement with a longer time period in mind). At 100 years old, the apple tree will be even larger than shown here – it can reach 7 m in height and spread over 9m – while the house might no longer exist!
You should note that this illustration is meant only to give a general indication of what you can expect, and the growth of your tree might look somewhat different. The development of a tree depends on the soil type, irrigation, fertilisation and climatic conditions. What we show here is based on our observation of observations of the growth of apple trees in zone 4, in rather poor soil. In zone 2, growth will probably be slower, while in a rich soil it would be faster.
All our apple trees are sold bare-root, without pots. They have been cultivated directly in our soil. Bare-root trees must be taken out of the ground and shipped during their period of dormancy, which is why we only ship trees in the spring. A big advantage with these kinds of trees, is that they take up very little space, and can therefore be easily shipped by mail all over Canada!
This photograph shows a 2-3-foot apple tree, just like one that you might receive. Depending on the height you choose at the time of purchase, the tree might be a little smaller (1-2 feet) or somewhat taller (3-5 feet.)
All our apple trees are grafted on standard-sized rootstock, which we grow ourselves at the nursery. Trees that are grafted on standard-sized rootstock will become full-sized apple trees (as opposed to dwarf, or semi-dwarf.) While the life expectancy of a dwarf apple tree is only about 20 years, full-sized apple trees such as those we propagate have a lifespan of around 100 years. We believe it is of the utmost importance to plant for future generations, which is one of the main reasons we prefer these kinds of trees.
Besides this, standard-sized apple trees also have many other qualities that set them above dwarf and semi-dwarf trees in our view. For example, their deep and well-developed root systems allow them to draw water from deep underground during periods of droughts. They are more vigorous and resilient, which in turn also makes them more disease-resistant. They are very hardy, and last but not least, much more productive!
To learn more about grafting and the role of rootstocks, see our article here!