Wolf River apple - Zone 3 - An old-time apple that makes the best pies - In pie contests, Wolf River is always the winner. In the old time, it was famous to say about it: 'One apple, one pie'.

Wolf River apple - Zone 3 - An old-time apple that makes the best pies

In pie contests, Wolf River is often the winner. In the old-time, it was famous to say about it: 'One apple, one pie'.

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The fruit

The Wolf River apple (Malus sp. Wolf River) keeps its shape when cooked. This variety is comparable to the Alexander apple in size. The Wolf River apple tree bears fruit up to 20cm (8 inches) in diameter, although the average size is 11cm (4 inches). The average weight of this fruit is around 300g, however it is common to find apples weighting up to 450 g (1 lb). The apple is quite sweet with just a hint of tartness. The fruit will become sweeter if you leave it longer on the tree when the weather becomes cold. It is ready for harvest in early-October, but can be kept on the tree one month and used whenever you need it.

The fruit has a red and green peel with a light yellow to greenish small circle on top, and is extremely versatile. Some restaurants cook it in the oven with  syrup in the middle after they have removed the core, whilst others will use it It for dehydrating and apple butter.

The tree

The Wolf River apple tree has very vigorous growth. It is loved for its scab and excellent mildew resistance. It also has some resistance to the bacterial canker and the cedar apple rust. Although it has some susceptibility to fireblight, overall, it has very good resistance to disease. The tree is hardy to zone 3. Unfortunately, Wolf River takes a few more years than average to give fruit.

The origin

William_SpringerThe Wolf River is a seedling from the Alexander apple. The Wolf River apple has a long documented history that traces its origin from the shore of Lake Erie to its birthplace along the banks of the Wolf River, near Fremont, Wisconsin.

William Springer, a lumberman from Quebec, moved his family in a wagon to Wisconsin, where, en route he purchased a full bushel of Alexander apples. Once he reached his new farm, he planted the seeds from this bushel along the banks of the Wolf River. From these chance seedlings arose the Wolf River that we now know and propagate. In 1880, he demonstrated what he called his 'monster apple', a Wolf River weighing 600 grams! The photo shows a portrait of William Springer.

CharacteristicValue
Height at maturity7 metres (23 feet)
Spacing9 metres (30 feet)
Hardiness zone3
SoilWell drained
Sun / shadeFull sun
FloweringMid-May
HarvestMid-October
Average fruit weight300g
Fruit colorRed over pale green
Years to bear fruit7
PollinationSelf-fertile
Latin nameMalus sp. Wolf River
Average diameter of fruit108 x 76mm (3 x 4 inches)
Also known as