Malus domestica ‘Jonagold’     Family: Rosaceae
Common name: ‘Jonagold’ apple
Zone: 4 – 9
Origin: New York State Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University‘s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
Parents: Jonathan (1820s) x Golden Delicious (pre-1914)
Introduced: 1953
Harvest: September

Fruit is decently large. Skin is greenish-yellow background and a rosy-crimson blush overtone. Taste echoes its parentage…sweet tartness of the ‘Jonathan’ and complementary aromatic honey-flavouring of the ‘Golden Delicious’.

Special Notes:
 This apple was bred at the New York State Agricultural Experiment Station of Cornell University’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences. Released in 1958. This apple is a triploid; it needs pollen from another apple variety to develop fruit. Blossoms appear about mid-May. Fruits are ready to harvest in the month of September…exact date is determined by the weather during the growing season. Fruit does not keep overly long, but will last longer if picked slightly under-ripe. Good eating and holds its shape well as a cooking apple in pies, tarts and cakes. Wonderful made into a sauce or preserved.

Susceptibility is high for scab, cedar rust and fire blight; low for powdery mildew.

In our zone 7a garden: 
‘Jonagold’ is one of the bottom branches on our 3-tier espalier tree, which has six different apple varieties…one for each branch. We have never enjoyed a bumper crop of ‘Jonagold’ since we planted the tree in the spring of 2013. This may be due to it needing two other apple pollinators since it is self-sterile. ‘Spartan’, on the opposite bottom branch, is self-fertile as is ‘Akane’ on the top branch on the ‘Spartan’ side. Then there is ‘Melrose’, another self-fertile variety, in the middle. With three possible pollen donors, I would expect better yields.

However, the rhubarb plants situated right in front of the espalier apple tree can throw quite a decent amount of shade. I do try to keep the rhubarb picked on that side bit sometimes the large rhubarb stalks with their huge leaves get away on me.


Posted on September 2, 2020