There are many good things to say about apples, but one of the greatest is the many uses that can be made of them. Eating fresh, in salads, baking into pies or muffins, turning into juice or jelly – the list just goes on and on. Many varieties of apples are better for some purposes than others, and if baking is what you love to do, then the Rome Beauty Apple should be an essential tree in your garden. A second good thing is that some varieties of apples store for months, so when you have a good harvest nothing goes to waste, and the Rome Beauty Apple keeps for months and months.
The beautiful Rome Beauty Apple looks exactly like an apple should – big, round, and bright red, with pure-white flesh. It is good to eat fresh, with a balance of sweet and tart, but it is in baking that it takes the prizes. With cooking the flavor develops into something very special, and it keeps it shape when cooked, instead of collapsing into a wet mess. For pies it can’t be beaten. Something as simple as sautéed apple slices (with ice cream of course) become a gourmet treat. Muffins, crisps and crumbles, turnovers of whatever you and your family love, a steady supply of this apple will make them all possible. The Rome Apple has its first ripe fruit late in the season, in October, just in time for baking winter treats, and it stores for months, so the supply will not run out.
Growing Rome Beauty Apple Trees
The Rome Beauty Apple is an easy apple tree to grow. Although all apple trees can sometimes have problems, this tree is much hardier and more pest and disease resistant than many others. Plant it in a sunny place, and within 2 or 3 years you will be picking your first apples – the pleasure of eating your own fruit is something everyone should be able to enjoy. There are lots of traditional and organic methods to keep your trees healthy and your apples unblemished, and you can choose how you grow them, so you will know just exactly what has, or has not, been done to them.
The Rome Beauty Apple tree will grow in most well-drained garden soils. This tree will grow almost anywhere, all the way from zone 4 to zone 8, which covers most of the country. It performs well in cool states, but also in hot ones, so everyone can have a tree of this perfect cooking apple in their garden.
Maximizing Your Crop
This variety is also self-fertile, so you can grow just this one tree, and harvest a big crop. You can increase the size of your crop by planting a second tree of a different variety, such as a Delicious apple, or a Honeycrisp apple. A good tip for getting a big crop from any apple tree is to plant a white-flowering crab apple in your yard. It will pollinate just about any variety of apple tree you choose to grow.
Planting and Initial Care
When planting your apple, be careful to plant it with the ‘kink’ you can see in the stem above the ground. This is the graft union – the point where the piece of Rome Beauty Apple was attached to a special root system. Anything that grows from below this point should be removed cleanly. Mulch the ground around your tree with a circle of rich compost or manure, each spring, keeping it clear of the trunk. Do not allow grass or weeds to grow under the tree until it is mature and very well established.
Begin pruning and training your tree from the beginning. Develop your tree with a single central trunk several feet tall, and side branches radiating out around it at a wide angle, not upright, and not hanging down. Keep the center area free to let the sun in to ripen the fruit – it should look like a fat doughnut.
Storing Your Apples
To store your Rome Beauty Apples to use over winter, begin by picking them carefully, like they were eggs. Avoid bruising or damaging them, and sort out the perfect ones for long-term storage, using any damaged ones first. Wrap each apple individually in a piece of newspaper or Kraft paper. Place side-by-side in a single layer if possible, in boxes or on an apple rack. For small quantities a refrigerator is perfect, but for larger quantities, find a dark place that is high humidity and just above freezing. A basement or garage are often ideal places. The Rome Beauty Apple will store for months in these conditions. If you don’t have suitable storage space, you can also prepare the apples as slices, then freeze them on a tray and transfer them to freezer bags. They will last for months and months in the freezer.
History and Origins of the Rome Beauty Apple Tree
Back in 1816, the Ohio River valley was a thriving pioneer area. Joel Gilette lived in Rome Township, Proctorville. One day he bought 100 apple trees in the nearby town of Marietta, but among them he found a mismatched tree, which is declared to be a “worthless seedling”. He gave it to his son, Alanson, who planted it along a nearby riverbank. Some years later he went back to check on it, and discovered it heavy with big, bright red apples. He took some branch pieces home and grew some trees from them.
At first the tree was called ‘Gillette’s Seedling’, but later it was renamed ‘Rome Beauty’ to honor the town. Outside the town today there is a sign saying Proctorville, Home of the Rome Beauty Apple. Today the apple is more correctly simply called ‘Rome’, but other names, like ‘Red Rome’ are sometimes seen – all for the same apple.
Our Rome Beauty apple trees are produced by skilled nursery workers, who graft healthy stem pieces onto special roots to control the final size of your tree, and to keep it vigorous. This heirloom apple tree is becoming harder to find, and supplies are limited, while demand is high. Order now while our stocks last.