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 Post subject: Black Twig Apple?
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:37 am 
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Joined: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:31 am
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Location: Florida Panhandle
In 1973, my family moved to a farm in mid-western Ohio with an apple orachard. My favorite flavored apple was a small, very dark red, sweet apple that everyone called Black Twig. I've tried looking for it over the past 6 or 7 years but to no avail. Does anyone know if they still exist? Or if there ever was such an official name?

I would love to plant such a tree at our home in Ohio, if possible.

Appreciate any help/information anyone can provide.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 25, 2008 6:26 pm 
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Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 8:01 pm
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Location: Elizabethtown, PA
Yes, Blacktwig is a real variety. Originated in the mid 1800's.
The apple you describe does not sound like a Blacktwig to me. Blacktwig are green (or light yellow when ripe) with red stripes and VERY tart.
I grew them until the mid 90's for cider making. They are probably the tartest apple I've ever tasted. Make your mouth pucker like a lemon.

Not grown commercially anymore because diminished cider sales in the US. In my opinion, not good for much but the addition of tannins in cider.

If your still interested in growing this variety, I'm sure someone in this forum can help. Many antique apple orchards still grow this variety.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun May 11, 2008 4:56 pm 
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Joined: Sun May 11, 2008 4:45 pm
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To find out more about black twig apples, you can listen to the archived program on eating heirloom varieties, on National Public Radio's news and feature stories program called something like Weekend Edition (it's their weekend version of "All Things Considered"), on the evening program May 11, 2008. They explain quite a lot about this apple variety's history, appearance, flavor, its keeping qualities, and so on. If you look on the radio station's Web site, www.WNYC.org, for instance, they should have this program archived and easy to find. I remember these apples very fondly from growing up in Missouri: some orchard grew them commercially in a fertile alluvial area called Gumbo, near the Mississippi River. We used to buy them by the bushel in the fall and they were the best apples I've ever had. I'd LOVE to find them again, but have heard that the only way to get them now is to grow them yourself...and I live in a city apartment. If anyone reading these posts finds out some way to locate them, I'd love to know. A Google search just now didn't turn up any source.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:33 pm 
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Just found this site researching Black Twig apples, which I just bought at a farmer's market in California. I also found a site selling the trees: http://www.treesofantiquity.com/index.p ... ucts_id=27

A bit late, but hope it helps.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 6:36 pm 
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When I was a child (1950s), the "apple man" used to come down from the NC mountains and sell apples door to door. "Black Twig" was one of the varieties, along w/ "Limber Twig", Stayman or Winesap (in NC they're generally treated as the same) and several others. I'm sure the "Black Twigs" we bought were red. I bought some by that name from an apple house in Wilkesboro, NC, about two years ago. They were, as you describe, on the small side and dark red in color. They were fairly tart (which I like), but I didn't enjoy them as much as I remember from my childhood, as there was a slightl bitter taste (probably from the peel).

Here's a good website for information on apple varieties, with photos:
http://www.bighorsecreekfarm.com/descriptions1.htm

They describe the Blacktwig as green or yellow w/ red stripes, but I think most laypeople would describe them as red, based on the photo. It's also possible that the apple you remember is something else similar, such as an Arkansas Black.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Twig Apple?
PostPosted: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:32 pm 
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Joined: Mon Feb 01, 2010 9:21 pm
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Lori wrote:
In 1973, my family moved to a farm in mid-western Ohio with an apple orachard. My favorite flavored apple was a small, very dark red, sweet apple that everyone called Black Twig. I've tried looking for it over the past 6 or 7 years but to no avail. Does anyone know if they still exist? Or if there ever was such an official name?

I would love to plant such a tree at our home in Ohio, if possible.

Appreciate any help/information anyone can provide.


yes, they are a true variety. We had some very old ones in our apple orchard in the 60's. Now, you can find them at
http://www.boyernurseries.com/fruit_tre ... _twig.html

good luck.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Twig Apple?
PostPosted: Sun Jan 01, 2012 5:00 pm 
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you can find the Black Twig at ELA Orchard in Wiscosin.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Twig Apple?
PostPosted: Wed Mar 06, 2013 9:58 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 16, 2008 2:05 pm
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Might try Cummins, Alan there told me they were going to do something with them a few years back. Bought mine from a local fellow now deceased.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Twig Apple?
PostPosted: Sat May 23, 2015 5:07 pm 
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Joined: Sat May 23, 2015 4:54 pm
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I have a Black Twig apple tree, the last of 6 I grafted from cuttings from the orchard of Ed and Alice Hick, in southern Illinois. Black Twig was Ed's main cider apple, though he used other varieties. Ed had a large orchard on seedling rootstock, as well as a large number of peach trees, which were a labor-intensive crop. Ed had an auger-fed cider press with a continuous output, and I guess he made a thousand or more gallons of apple juice (cider) for sale every year. The Black twig apple is good for fresh or fermented cider. It is heavily productive and produces a crop every year. It is hard, juicy, sweet but very tart and also bitter, good cider characteristics but challenging to eat, although it is easier to eat than a ripe Kingston Black. I will try to revive this tree in my orchard with about a dozen grafts this year. If you are interested in obtaining a grafted whip, please contact me through this forum.


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 Post subject: Re: Black Twig Apple?
PostPosted: Mon Jan 11, 2016 11:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Jan 10, 2016 8:10 am
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Eric Norstog wrote:
I have a Black Twig apple tree, the last of 6 I grafted from cuttings from the orchard of Ed and Alice Hick, in southern Illinois. Black Twig was Ed's main cider apple, though he used other varieties. Ed had a large orchard on seedling rootstock, as well as a large number of peach trees, which were a labor-intensive crop. Ed had an auger-fed cider press with a continuous output, and I guess he made a thousand or more gallons of apple juice (cider) for sale every year. The Black twig apple is good for fresh or fermented cider. It is heavily productive and produces a crop every year. It is hard, juicy, sweet but very tart and also bitter, good cider characteristics but challenging to eat, although it is easier to eat than a ripe Kingston Black. I will try to revive this tree in my orchard with about a dozen grafts this year. If you are interested in obtaining a grafted whip, please contact me through this forum.


Hi Eric, I'm hoping to grow some nice Black Twigs. How many gallons of apple juice do you get per year from your 6 would you say? I'm looking to get between 5-10 of the Black twigs.

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