What Is A Jonagold?

A Jonagold is a variety of apple with a small, round shape. They are popularly known as “red” or “golden apples”. Their flavor ranges from mild to strong. Some varieties have a slightly sweeter taste than others. Most varieties are available in two colors: yellow and red. Yellow ones tend to be smaller and less flavorful than their red counterparts, but they make excellent dessert apples for pies and other desserts. Red Jonagolds are larger and more flavorful than yellow varieties.

Jonagold Tree Care

The Jonagold tree requires good soil with well drained organic matter. It needs lots of sun exposure.

They do not like cold temperatures so keep them away from frosty weather conditions. They prefer full sunlight, but will tolerate partial shade if it does not get too hot or dry out too quickly.

They need plenty of room to spread their branches out. They do best when there is enough space between each branch.

If the branches are too close together, they may become brittle and break easily.

They require very little fertilizer, just regular potting mix. They don’t like any sort of fungicide either because they produce toxic compounds called glycosides which cause skin irritation and allergic reactions in some individuals.

Water when the soil starts to dry. Too much water will rot the roots and cause them to decay, but they are very drought tolerant.

They do not like their roots to be in standing water. This can cause the skin to decay or get mushy.

They require moderate pruning just like other apple trees. The branches should be spread out and trimmed so that the sunlight can hit all parts of the tree.

This will allow for more even growth and better access to sunlight.

General Upkeep

The Jonagold is a very hardy apple tree that can tolerate most conditions if it is not too extreme. They can survive in most types of soil as long as it has good drainage.

You should keep the grass away from the base of the tree to avoid competing for nutrients. They have poor disease resistance so keep an eye out for anything that looks like it could be a sign of disease and treat it immediately.

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History Of The Jonagold Apple

The jonagold apple is a cross between the Golden Delicious and the Jonathan apples. It was first bred in 1953 in New York by an apple breeder named Norman Muller.

He created it to create colorful fruit with good flavor.

The skin of the jonagold is tough like that of a golden delicious, but the flesh is softer similar to a jonathan. The jonagold has a unique flavor and aroma that is sweet and tart.

It is best for eating fresh and does not hold up well for cooking or baking. When it is ripe, it will usually come off the tree fairly easily, but you may have to help it a bit.

Jonagold Apple Tree Growth And Care

The Jonagold Apple tree is self-fruitful, so it doesn’t need another apple tree to produce apples. They typically start to produce fruit 2-3 years after being planted, but some trees can produce fruit in as little as 1 year.

It can grow in a wide range of climates and conditions. It prefers a colder climate and large amounts of precipitation.

It doesn’t typically get diseases or insects. Due to its larger size it may require a bit more maintenance than other apple tree varieties.

The Jonagold Apple is great for fresh eating or canning. The skin does not typically turn brown when it is cut so it is very popular for making apple slices for lunches.

It can be grown in all 50 states, but it grows best in zone 4-9. It typically grows to be between 10-20 feet tall.

It can grow up to 40 feet in ideal conditions. It typically produces a large amount of apples each year. The tree starts to produce fruit 1-2 years after being planted and can continue to produce for up to 50 years. It typically takes 2-3 years before it starts producing a decent amount of fruit. The Jonagold is very high in pectin so it is ideal for making apple sauce, jam, and jelly.

It is an excellent choice for an orchard. It typically grows very straight and does not typically require a lot of pruning.

It has a fair resistance to most diseases and insects. It can typically grow in most types of soil as long as the drainage is not excessive. It grows best in moist and loose soil.

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You can typically find Jonagold Apple Trees for sale from nurseries and tree farms. If you want to plant your own, check with local garden centers or farms to see if they sell the seed.

You can typically find them online as well. They should be planted 1/2 to 1 mile apart. They require a lot of space so make sure you have a proper place for it before planting. They should be planted in hole 2-3 times as big as the root ball. Fill in around the tree and add mulch to keep the moisture in. Add a layer of straw or leaves over the top to keep the tree shaded from the sun.

In most areas, Jonagold trees will start to produce fruit 2 years after being planted. After they start producing fruit it typically takes 1-2 years for them to mature enough for harvest.

Care should be taken to make sure other animals do not eat the fruit. Most of the time birds will get to the fruit before you can, but if that is a concern you should build a bird feeder to attract the birds to eat away from your trees.

Rabbits and deer will also eat the leaves and fruit so you may want to build some sort of fence around the tree or plant it somewhere it can grow undisturbed.

Harvesting the Apples

Apples will typically become ripe in the fall. When apples are ripe they will be very easy to remove from the tree.

You can also pick them when they are green if you want to have apples in the winter. Pick when convenient for you and your family.

In the spring and summer, apply a layer of mulch around the tree to keep moisture in. This will help it grow and produce more apples.

After you have enjoyed your applesauce and baked plenty of apple pies, you can let your children pick the apples they want for snacks. They will love rolling the apples off the tree and playing with them.

If you want to keep your orchard tidy you can have them pick up the fallen apples.

When the time comes to start planting your garden, you can till under the soil where the tree was growing. Add in some fertilizer and you will have a great place to start your vegetable garden.

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If you have lots of trees you will need to take other steps to keep the weeds under control. If you don’t want a garden there next year, just let the weeds grow for a year.

They will eventually choke out most of the other plants and you can till under the soil again to start fresh.

These trees won’t provide all your fruit and vegetable needs, but they will certainly take some of the burden off of your other crops. They will even provide your family with some exercise as your children roll apples off the trees and play on tire swings that you can hang from them.

Happy growing!

Sources & references used in this article:

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Control of fire blight (Erwinia amylovora) on apple trees with trunk-injected plant resistance inducers and antibiotics and assessment of induction of … by SG Aćimović, Q Zeng, GC McGhee… – Frontiers in Plant …, 2015 – frontiersin.org

6 Promotion of Adventitious Root Formation of Difficult-to-Root Hardwood Tree Species by PM Pijut, KE Woeste, CH Michler – Horticultural reviews, 2011 – books.google.com

Desert southwest community tree guide: benefits, costs and strategic planting by G McPherson, JR Simpson, PJ Peper… – … Community Tree …, 2004 – fs.usda.gov

Biotechnological efforts for preserving and enhancing temperate hardwood tree biodiversity, health, and productivity by PM Pijut, SS Lawson, CH Michler – In Vitro Cellular & Developmental …, 2011 – Springer

Predicting apple leaf emergence from degree-day accumulation during the primary scab period by O Carisse, T Jobin, G Bourgeois – Canadian journal of plant …, 2008 – NRC Research Press

Tree classification with fused mobile laser scanning and hyperspectral data by E Puttonen, A Jaakkola, P Litkey, J Hyyppä – Sensors, 2011 – mdpi.com

Tree Top: Looking Forward by M Boland, P Mancia, M Taylor – … Strategy Cases: A Book in Honor …, 2009 – researchgate.net

Fruit & Veg: A is for Apple… by P Hammond, S Leslie – Child Care, 2014 – magonlinelibrary.com

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