Hardcover: 300 pages
Publisher: Timber Press (September 24, 2013)
Product Dimensions: 8.4 x 1 x 9.4 inches
Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #84,377 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #15 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Trees #35 in Books > Crafts, Hobbies & Home > Gardening & Landscape Design > Fruit #42 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking by Ingredient > Fruits
Written by a renowned apple expert, Apples of North America is the quintessential reference book this iconic fruit. Detailing nearly 200 varieties of apples, Tom Burford explains the uses, history, tree, season of ripening, taste, and any other distinguishing characteristics of each type. He also covers how to plant, prune, and graft your own apples for the ambitious reader. Not only is this book a treasury of information, but it is also fun to browse as it is visually appealing and includes a photo of each apple variety (some of the heirlooms are absolutely breathtaking). You can't read this book without coming away with a profound respect for apples and by extension nature's bounty. If you love apples, or fruit in general, this book belongs in your library. I have since come across a great book to supplement my knowledge of fruit tree care that deems a share: How to Prune Fruit Trees, Twentieth Edition. This book offers the most simple instructions for pruning for fruit trees from the almond to plum.
Tom Burford who lives VA is a leading authority on propagation and growing apples.He has collected and simplified his vast knowledge and life experiences with heirloom and commonly known apples. He is a delight in person as well as a fine writer for the novice or veteran apple grower.
I ordered this book through interlibrary loan before buying it, and I am glad that I did. It has nice photos and enticing descriptions, but doesn't give info about the best growing conditions for apples, so there are varieties in the book that do well in Virginia and other warm places, and maybe New England, but I get no clue from the book which varieties might do well, or even survive, where we get cold winters, such as Minnesota, or Wisconsin. My experience has shown the in the midwest USA we can't grow and crop many of these varieties because of our cold winters and shorter growing season, so many trees don't make it through the winter, or if they do, the apples aren't ripe when we get snow and continued cold weather. There are many varieties that we can grow, and I was hoping that this book would give an indication of how cold of weather they could withstand, and how long of season they require to ripen. Without that info, the book is mostly pretty pictures and not very useful info. The growing and grafting info is okay, but it is readily available many other places, too.
I have a expanding personal orchard that is still pretty young and I was looking for references to help me select appropriate additional varieties for my growing conditions. I was also hoping for summarized varietal information so I could plan sequenced ripening, select for my growing condition (cooler/wetter summers) etc. Only 40% of the varieties I currently grow are covered. I will probably find this book useful when I need to review pruning or other general information, but for now, I get better information about apple varieties from the Raintree Nursery catalog or from the WA extension office.
Thank you Mr. Burford for sharing with us the benefit of your long history with, and obvious love of apples! Not only is this a great apple I.D. aid (focused on apples on this side of the Atlantic), with great pictures and descriptions, but also gives excellent tidbits throughout about how certain apples have been used in this country in a time when people tended to be more knowledgeable about their homegrown foodstuffs. Mr Burford's family background in the Blue Ridge mountains seems to have provided a sanctuary of sorts for this kind of practical information (eg. which apple cultivars are best for drying, which are best for vinegar, which are best for pickling, etc.), information that might otherwise have been lost. As an apple lover and grower, this book goes on my top shelf!
One page to an Apple, each with a representative photo. You also get a paragraph of history for each, alternate names (a lot of them in some cases) and interior/exterior descriptions, season of ripening, storage quality, tree characteristics, disease resistance, and uses for the apple(s).No recipes for anything but you do get some tips in the Apple products section in the back. That's one of several sections in the last part of the book telling you about planning and starting your orchard (it also mentions pruning and grafting. Most of that stuff- you'll need/want a better book to really get you going. No sources listed to actually buy anything from.Two page bibliography, mostly history (there is a cider book by Ben Watson, also mentioned in the text) and three pages of of the apples, "recommended uses of apple varieties", so you can search out Apple sauce, cider or whatever without having to wade through the whole book for apples of a type.I'd recommend getting at least this book and Rowan Jacobsen's. "Apples of Uncommon Character" as a starting point for apple exploration.
September then October are soon approaching, and that comes apple season around these parts. This book looked lovely so I couldn't wait to preview it. (I can smell the apple pies already).The intro starts with some interesting history about the "apples" which began in the Asia Minor region of Kazakhstan and by 2500 BC apples were being grown throughout Mesopotamia and Persia, and soon became part of the food cultures of the world.*Part 1 of the book is all about -- Apple Varieties A-Z*Part 2 is -- The Orchard Primer -- covers: Planning and Design, Planting and Cultural Management, Propagation and Apple Products*Apple Varieties section was awesome - each variety of apple has: a photo of the type of apple, other names (if any), history, exterior and interior description, tree characteristics, disease resistance, season of ripening, storage qualities, and uses (cider varieties, pie varieties etc -- did you know you could pickle and fry apples?I really enjoyed browsing this book and came away with good information. I only wish I had enough land to plant a small orchard now.If you are looking for an all-encompassing reference book about apples, the author's background can't be beat. Tom's family has been growing apples in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia since 1715.
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