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Journal of the American Pomological Society
(J Am Pom Soc)

American Pomological Society

Volume 73 Number 2 Article 2 Pages: 95-101
Year 2019 Month 4
Title: Heritage Apple Cultivars Grown in Homesteads, Nurseries and Orchards in Wyoming
Authors: Jonathan Magby, Gayle Volk, and Steve Miller
Citation
Abstract:
Apples (Malus x domestica) played a significant role in America’s westward expansion. Heritage apple trees can still be found in old orchard plantings and abandoned homesteads that were established during the 19th and early 20th centuries. In Wyoming, there are reports of 29 cities where apples were grown from the beginning (1870) to the rapid decline (1940s) of apple production. According to our review of the literature, 218 apple cultivars were tested or successfully grown in Wyoming’s cold, windy and drought-prone climate between 1870 and 1940. Sixty-two of the 218 cultivars reported in Wyoming Agricultural Bulletins (WGB) and University of Wyoming Experimental Fruit Farm Station Bulletins (EFFB) originated from Russia, Wisconsin and Minnesota. ‘Wealthy’ was the most frequently mentioned cultivar in the historic literature and was prized for being success-ful across Wyoming’s rugged landscape. Although trees from the 1800s and early 1900s can still be found in Wyoming, many of the largest orchards have experienced substantial losses over the last half century. Current conservation efforts seek to capture the cultivar diversity of Wyoming’s heritage apple varieties.

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