Book Review: Apples for the Twenty-First Century

April 16, 2010

When I was researching for what apples to grow, one of the books I came across was Apples for the Twenty-First Century by Warren Manhart written in 1995.

Manhart grew up in the colder climates of Minnesota before coming to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, where he had a large orchard established. He talks about 50 different apples that he likes to grow, discussing the usual things like pollination, soil, disease, preferred climates etc, but also adding in history and his own personal experience growing the tree. Since I live just a tad bit north of where the Willamette River empties into the Columbia River, I’m on the northern edge of his climate zone, so his advice is local for me, which I love. However, for others outside of this area, he also talks about other climate recommendations.

Remember though, that this is a list of his 50 favorite apple trees to grow, eat, and cook with, so there are many missing off of this list, and he does not talk about cider making at all and which apples would be suited for that.

Another flaw with the book is that they printed all the pictures of the apples as plates, so when you are reading about the apple, you have to flip to the plates to see what it looks like.

This book also contains a section on how to care for the trees, along with lists in the back regarding bloom times for pollinating and other very useful information that is easy to flip to and find.

All in all, I really like this book and someday I will purchase it. It is quite large, and is most suited as a coffee table book.

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