Stay me with flagons; comfort me with apples.
FUJI is a cross of Ralls and Red Delicious made in 1939 at the Tohoku Horticultural Research Station, Nakahara, Japan, by H. Niitsu. It was selected in 1958 and named in 1962. Medium dull-red color, and unless the fruit has good sun exposure, there is low color quality. There are reports from Australia and New Zealand, where the variety has been fruited since the 1960s, that the color intensity does not develop and stabilize until the tree is 5 or 6 years old. Usually, the color does not develop until a few weeks before maturity. The flesh is yellowish-green, dense, crisp and more sweet than tart. The stem is long and the shape is roundish, conic, not crowned. Fuji is slow to begin bearing but is vigorous in habit, with up to 12 or more feet of growth in 3 years under good culture. Since the growth structure takes irregular shape, like its parent Ralls, it must be carefully pruned annually to maintain good tree form. The excessive twiggy inside growth requires thinning out to open up the tree, and if this is done near the first of June, less regrowth will take place. There is a sprawling and weeping form to the tree under a heavy load of fruit. It bruises easily on the light color of the skin and there are some reports of water core problems, but generally there are no pronounced diseases. This dessert apple has good flavor retention after picking, even when stored at room temperature. Long-term storage is excellent and required for the best flavor to develop. The chilling requirement is 1056 hours. Some cracking has been observed, which is characteristic of the parent Ralls. It is reported that scionwood from the basal portion of the graft limb often will not bud out, and that Fuji grafts tend to be brittle. When fruits fail to mature fully, the flesh is hard and woody. In central Virginia, it is ready for harvest in early October, but weather conditions can accelerate the ripening time
- Mid Fall - October