From the founding of Jamestown to the time of Washington and Jefferson, every plantation owner made cider, drank cider, and bragged about his cider.
NORTHERN SPY may have originally been called Northern Pie Apple, and is also known as Red Spy and Red Northern Spy. It was found in an orchard at East Bloomfield, New York, with seedlings brought from Connecticut about 1800. It has been selected for use in the development of new varieties and in rootstock research. The fruit is large, especially on young trees, and on well-colored fruit, there is a clear-yellow shade with bright-red tints, distinctly streaked with the yellow under-color, making the red almost scarlet, but fruit color can be quite variable. The white flesh is very juicy, crisp, tender and sweet with a rich, aromatic subacid flavor and is a good dessert apple and pie apple that is also used for cider. The hardy tree has an upright free-growing habit with long curved branches and dense foliage. The shiny, smooth leaves, medium in size, are folded, reflexed, and slightly waved with sharp, shallow, but indistinct serrations. The principal veins in the leaves are prominent, and the leaves are slow to unfold. It is subject to bitter pit and blossom fireblight, and the fruit will bruise easily. During rainy weather, the fruit may crack, and because of the delicate skin, it is easily damaged during harvest. Northern Spy blooms late and escapes frost, but it is notorious for being slow to begin bearing. On standard rootstock, 10 years may expire before the first harvest, but on size-controlling rootstocks, bearing usually begins in 3 to 4 years. It contains 13.77% sugar that ferments to 6+% alcohol. One of the best storing apples, Northern Spy ripens in late September and early October
- Early Fall - September
- Mid Fall - October