Sweet Bough

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Fruit Fact: sweet Bough, a variety of apples

Very old favorite sweet Summer heirloom from New York, one of the earliest sweet Summer apples, unlike other Summer apples, this one is not tart, but rather honeyed-sweet. Hence if you are a fan of golden delicious and fuji, then this is the Summer apple for you.

Variety Background:

Most Common Name: sweet Bough
Species: malus domestica seedling
Synonyms: Bough, August Sweet
Origin: The exact origin of this apple is unknown, most likely the US East Coast sometimes in the late 17th century, but could be even older. The first references for this apple show up in the early 18th century. This is a very long lived, disease resistant variety, hence it has survived to this day.
Patents or Trademarks: None


Description: A large, round, slightly conical and sometimes irregularly shaped pale yellow apple with faint red bush. Has numerous small, barely visible light colored dots. When this apple first comes off the tree, it's usually light green and just starting to turn yellow. In cool coastal areas this apple can be left on the tree to fully ripen without going mealy.

Flavor and tasting notes: The fine white flesh is tender, moderately crisp and very juicy. Very sweet flavor that is characterized as honeyed, slightly aromatic, and rated everywhere as good to very good in quality.


Sweet Bough is not a hardy tree, and also seems to be quite tolerant of lack of chill and mid Winter heat spells. It is highly recommended for both the Southeast and Southwest. It is a soft apple and thus somewhat sensitive to Summer heat and will most likely not do so well in interior valleys of California. This is an ideal Summer apple for the coolest coastal areas.

Bloom Time Rating: F10

Growth Habit:

Moderately vigorous, upright and spreading, leading to a nice round canopy.

Vigor: T2

Harvest, storage and consumption:

Mid July to early August in warmer latitudes with lower chill, late August to early September North. Will store for about a month if picked early enough.

Begin of Harvest: mid July
End of Harvest: early Aug
Stores Until: early Sept


A great dessert apple, the literature claims it's good for cooking but it's lacks the tartness required for it to be a good cooker.

Eating: Yes
Cooking: No
Cider: No


Scab Susceptibility:
Fire Blight Susceptibility:
Powdery Mildew Susceptibility:
Cedar Apple Rust Susceptibility:
Black Rot Susceptibility:
Phytopthera Rots Susceptibility:
Fly Speck Susceptibility:
Coddling Moth Susceptibility:

Nurseries that carry this variety:

Photo Gallery

Watercolor from Royal Charles Steadman in South Haven, Michigan, drawn 1919. (c) U.S. Department of Agriculture Pomological Watercolor Collection. Rare and Special Collections, National Agricultural Library, Beltsville, MD 20705