Title: Apples of North America
Author: Ton Burford
Strong points: This is a fabulous compendium of noteworthy apples from an expert who truly knows his apple varieties up close and personal! Many previous books on fruit varieties were often mainly encyclopedias of dry characteristics—color, shape, ripening season—rather than the real meat you need to select varieties for growing in your garden: disease susceptibility, tree growth characteristics, best uses and storage life. Tom Burford manages to cover all of this succinctly with a little history and apple lore thrown in to boot!
Weaknesses: A minor quirk, the varieties included in this book were selected from the 2011 and 20012 crop years because some were biennial bearing and not available for photographing. Alas, so it is with mother nature. I guess I might drop a variety from my favorites list for this unfortunate characteristic. Although I might still be tempted to overlook this if the apple had many other truly exceptional qualities and taste. Fortunately there are sooo many great choices included here, you will be a long time in taste-testing and growing.
Green thumbs rating:
Whether you are a “foodie” looking to explore all the taste sensations that apples have to offer, a home gardener trying to choose the best fit for your home orchard, or a larger grower looking to cater to the next generation in the throws of discovering apples’ many nuanced flavors; you will thoroughly enjoy this book! Just reading it is an adventure. Joining the treasure hunt of local markets and orchards where you can find these gems will surely lead you on a journey to the nurseries that will provide you trees of your own to grow.
Not only will you find many varieties to inspire your inner Johnny Appleseed in Apples of North America, you find a short primer on how to get started growing them. One of the best parts of this primer are the extensive photos and easy to follow directions on propagation. Once you’ve been bitten by the heirloom apple bug, this often seems to be the next step: swapping scionwood and grafting and growing harder to find varieties. Tom Burford and I would both hardily encourage you to do so!
ISBN: 978–1-60–469-5 (Hard cover)
# of pages: 300 pgs.
Appendix: Mainly a bibliography of select antiquarian apple growing books primarily focusing on variety descriptions.
Publisher: Timber Press
Publication Date: 2013