By: Bonnie L. Grant, Certified Urban Agriculturist
One of the better-known varieties of apple are the Fuji. These apples are known for their crisp texture and long storage life. According to Fuji information, they are a Japanese hybrid crossed from Red Delicious and Virginia Ralls Genet. Growing Fuji apples in your landscape will allow you access to fresh apples with amazingly sweet tones. Read on for some Fuji apple tree care that will start you on the road to enjoying these fruits right out of your own tree.
Fresh, crunchy, sweet/tart apples are one of life’s simple pleasures. Fuji apple trees produce perfectly balanced fruits that remain fresh tasting for a long time. Fujis are warm climate apples but are considered hardy down to USDA zone 4 and up to 8. Some tips on how to grow Fujis will have you picking these sugary fruits right from your backyard tree.
Fuji apple trees grow 15 to 20 feet wide with the same spread (4.5-6 m.). The fruits contain 10 to 18 percent sugar and are excellent for eating right off the tree, in pies, or sauce. Flowers consist of pretty creamy white to pink blooms. The apples are round, medium to large with yellowish green skin often blushed with pink or red. Occasionally, the skin will be attractively striped.
Amazingly, the fruits can keep for up to a year if refrigerated properly. Fuji apple trees, like most apples, need a pollinating partner. Gala, Jonathan, Golden Delicious, or Granny Smith are good suggestions.
Fuji apples need to be sited in a location where they will receive 200 to 400 chill hours to flower and fruit. This is considered a “low chill” apple, since many varieties need many more chill hours and are only suitable for cold, northern climates.
Select a location with full sun for best production. Soil should be well draining, nutrient rich loam. Plant trees while still dormant in the cool season but when hard freezes are not expected.
Young trees may need a stake initially to keep them growing straight as well as some training to develop an open vase-like shape with sturdy scaffold branches. Keep young trees well watered.
Once established, growing Fuji apples is a breeze. Thin the apple trees annually to prevent crowding of fruit. Prune when dormant and remove any vertical branches, crossed limbs, broken, or diseased wood. After ten years, remove some of the fruiting spurs to make room for new producing material.
Spread mulch around the base of the tree at the root zone to conserve moisture, limit weeds, and gradually feed the tree as the mulch decomposes.
Fuji apples are susceptible to fire blight, apple scab, cedar apple rust, and powdery mildew. Apply copper-based fungicides in spring.
You can expect ripe fruit around mid-October. Store them gently in cool temperatures or refrigerate what you can’t gobble up immediately.
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The tree will be shipped dormant and bare-rooted.
According to the University of Missouri Extension, Honeycrisps are among the earliest of apples to flower and are right in the middle of their bloom when Fujis are just beginning. The fruit is large and yellow, with red mottling, a mild, sweet flavor and crisp texture.
Apples trees are grown by grafting a stem of the correct variety onto the root system of a special apple grown only for this purpose. This is a skilled operation and must be done by experts. It is also very important that the tree used for the grafted stems really is a Fuji Apple and so only specialized nurseries can create these trees. Apple trees cannot be successfully grown from seed. Trees that do not develop strongly are sold cheaply, so beware of buying cheap trees as they will not be sturdy plants ready to become healthy apple trees.
We sell only trees that are true to the original form and we have a wide range of sizes to give you the best plant for your purpose. However, we are constantly renewing our stock so our customers get fresh, healthy plants, so supplies of this tree may be limited. To avoid disappointment order now.
Fuji apples are an excellent all-around apple for use in recipes, both fresh and cooked. These sweet apples have a fine texture and juicy flesh, making them ideal for everything from smoothies to tarts (and of course, apple juice!). They can be used in recipes where apples are raw, baked, roasted, or stewed.
The flesh does brown easily after being cut, making Fuji apples not the best choice for apple slices that may sit out or in a lunch bag. Ambrosia apples are a better choice for a sweet apple that’s slow to turn brown.
Fuji apples are good for baking, as they tend to hold their shape and texture well when cooked. They do have a more mild flavour than some other cooking apples, however, so it is not unusual for bakers to blend Fuji apples with different varieties to add a complexity of flavour. Common varieties to blend with Fuji include Braeburn, Granny Smith, and Bramley (all rather tart types).
Here are some recipes to make with Fuji apples:
There are a few apples that make a good substitute for Fuji apples if they are not available. Both Ambrosia and Pink Lady apples have a similar outer appearance. For cooked applications, Envy apples are an excellent substitute. If a smaller size apple is acceptable, try Jazz or Royal Gala apples.
“We tend to still put Red Delicious at the center of our pomological cosmology, but outside the United States, everyone knows that we live on Planet Fuji.”Apples Of Uncommon Character: 123 Heirlooms, Modern Classics, & Little-Known Wonders, by Rowan Jacobsen
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