This very good all-purpose apple resembles Cortland and was bred by Russ Bailey (1901-1990), head of agricultural research projects at UMaine for 35 years and one of our most famous plant breeders. Responsible for the Northern pickling cuke and Brock apple, Bailey also made a number of apple crosses that he never released. We located ME 8256 with help of Maine orchardist Scott Miller, who grafted scions onto old Red Delicious trees at Pietree Orchard in Sweden, ME. The apple soon became a customer favorite, and in a naming contest it earned the moniker “King’s Ransom”—a nod to Stephen and Tabitha King, who had purchased and revamped the old scenic orchard.
Ripens a couple weeks before its parents and keeps well for such an early apple. Like the fruit, the tree resembles Cortland’s growth habit, though it is not as droopy. Blooms mid-late season. Z4. Maine Grown. (Standard: 3–6' bare-root trees)
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