Apple Trees
There are several varieties of apples in Cascadel Woods.
Many of the trees were planted over 100 years ago.
These apples are part of the heritage of Cascadel.

The "Arkansas Black" is easily identified, the others are more difficult. Below are links to Web Pages which give descriptions and pictures for the varieties that are most likely to be growing in our orchards.

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Arkansas Black
Snow (Fameuse)
  1870, Arkansas   1739, France
Golden Delicious
  1890, West Virginia   1756, New York
Starking (Delicious)  
  1826, New York   named in 1893
  Lawver (Black Spy)  
King of Tompkin's County
      1804, New York
Red Delicious  
Winter Banana
  circa 1870, Iowa   1876, Indiana
    Red Pearmain        
  1800's, North Carolina
Apples are a legacy - short article
Vegetarians in Paradise - Apple history,
nutrition, folklore & recipes






  From the Tom Wheeler collection, North Fork, Ca. (Gathered by Phil Ellis & John Hawksworth Feb18,1992)  
SIERRA MOUNTAINEER DAYS, Sept. 28, 1989. "Apples ----"
  Apples are a legacy coming to us from antiquity  

Courtesy of

Yosemite Apple Trails

Apples are a legacy coming to us from antiquity. Under, cultivation since prehistoric times, the common apple appears in the mythology, traditions, history and archaeology of the most ancient nations. Throughout the ages, poets, including those of the Bible, have used apples metaphorically as a symbol of beauty and goodness


Here, in Eastern Madera County, the moderate, elevations, cold nights and warm days are ideal conditions for growing apples of exceptional quality. This was proven in 1893, when Frank Femmons won awards at the Chicago World's Fair for apples developed at his Home Orchard Ranch in Ahwahnee. These were famous for their size and flavor.


Local history shows that the first settlers came to Fresno Flats (now Oakhurst) and the surrounding hill country as early as 1850. This included the area of Ahwahnee. The first families came, it seems, not only bringing wagons and plows, but pouches filled with apple seeds and bundles of cuttings. One early descendent says that every homeyard boasted at least one apple tree. In the early 1850's, these apples were a welcome treat for the miners in the nearby gold camps. They needed the fresh fruit to help ward off "land" scurvy.


One early, and still producing, orchard is on Road 20 near Bass Lake. Planted sometime before 1856, by a long-bearded man called Jerusalem, it was acquired by the Dunlaps at that time. Until recently, it was owned by the pioneer Teaford Family. Another, over 100 years old and in production, is the Sunshine Ranch, located at 4,000 feet on Mammoth Pool Road. For many years, this was known


as the Foster's-Hogue Ranch. But the original planter was Jesse B. Ross who planted five acres of Red Pearmain and Snow apples around 1858.


In the early days, most of the orchards were for home use. Transporting the tender, easily bruised fruit by wagon into the valley-a two day trip-wasn't feasible. However, the apples could be stored for many months in a "cool" room. This structure would have thick walls filled with sawdust. The fruit was laid on the wooden floor between layers of straw.


Besides being eaten in their natural state, the apples were dried, canned and made into cider. The fruit was also used for barter. This was a popular exchange in Fresno Flats during the lunch stop of the Madera-Wawona. stage. It's said, the Yosemite pioneer, Galen Clark, who lived at Wawona from 1860 to 1865, was an apple trader.


Even the wood was put to good use. Dried over the summer to prevent warping, it made strong ax handles and other toolparts. Used in those early day smoke houses to flavor the hams and bacons, applewood remains a favorite for smoking and barbecuing meats today.


More than a century after the planting of the first orchards, the mountainsides and knolls around the Oakhurst Basin are once again being farmed with apples.


The annual Mountain Apple Fest and Crafts Show is held the second weekend of October in downtown Oakhurst. This popular event, features an apple pancake breakfast, held early Sunday morning. Newly harvested apples, fresh cider and pastries are sold by the mountain growers. All crafts are hand-made by California craftspeople. Work by local artisans is also featured.





  From the Tom Wheeler collection, North Fork, Ca. (Gathered by Phil Ellis & John Hawksworth Feb18,1992)  
SIERRA MOUNTAINEER DAYS, Sept. 28, 1989. "Apples ----"
Apple varieties from Eastern Madera County
Harvest Starts
Apple Character
Especially used for
Ark. Black November 1 Sweet, hard, dk. red Late keeper Excellent
Criterion October15 Sweet, yl. with red Wins taste tests Excellent
Empire October 1 Tart sweet, red McIntosh type uses Good  
Golden Del Septembet 25 Sweet-aromatic, yl. All Purpose Good
Granny Smith November 1 Tart sweet, green Tart sweet uses Excellent
Mutsu October 1 Sweet-anise, yellow Taste & drying Good Red
Red Del. September15 Mildly sweet, red Fresh bland uses Good Red
Red Gold September15 Sweet red Taste Good
Rome October15 Sweet red Baking Good
Royal Gala September 15 Sweet-arom.,orange red Early fresh use Fair