Rubinette apple trees

Rubinette apple tree
  • Best seller
  • Pick: Late-season (early October)
  • Flowering group: 3
  • Uses: Eat fresh 
  • Pollination partners

If you want to grow the best-tasting apple in the world, this is probably it. This unassuming apple has perhaps the most remarkable flavour of any variety.

Most people who try Rubinette agree it is the best apple they have ever eaten - here is a selection of the tasting notes from our sister website about Rubinette:

"Undoubtedly the best tasting variety we grow …"

"Rubinettes are, by far, the tastiest apples I have ever eaten."

"... the most delicious apple I have had in years."

" ... a wonderful little apple."

"Crisp-juicy-flavoursome-tart - the most tasty apple we have had for years."

"... by far the tastiest apple variety I've tried in a long time."

"Extreme summer heat did not bother it and the flavor and crunch were outstanding."

"... the best apples I have eaten."

"... spent a couple of hours tasting a huge variety of apples, and we all kept coming back to Rubinette."

"This apple is a revelation ..."

Rubinette is related to Cox's Orange Pippin, and has a very similar style and flavour. It is perhaps the only variety that could legitimately claim to surpass Cox for the richness and balance of its flavours.

We offer the "Rubinette Rosso" sport, which has a slightly better skin colouration.

Rubinette apple trees for sale

Order now for delivery from 14th December.

Mature size* Supplied as Price Quantity

Bare-root fruit trees

Medium  (2.2m - 3m after 5-10 years) 1-year - bare-root - M26 rootstock  Rosso £18.95
Large  (3m - 4m after 5-10 years) 1-year - bare-root - MM106 rootstock  Rosso £18.95

Delivery period: Pot-grown trees can be delivered from September onwards. Bare-root trees can be delivered from mid-November onwards. Within those periods you can specify your preferred month of delivery during the checkout process. It is best to order as soon as you can to ensure items are reserved for you.

*Mature size: Height shown is the approximate height of the tree when mature (after 5-10 years), not the height when supplied. See photos of trees as supplied. Actual mature heights may vary considerably dependent on your local conditions and training and pruning regime.

Stock availability: Items showing as 'sold out' will probably be available again next season. Click here to be notified when we get more trees of this variety.

Alternatives to Rubinette apple trees

Summary features of Rubinette

Growing

  • Gardening skill: Average?
  • Cropping: Light
  • Fertility: Not self-fertile?
  • Flowering group: 3?
  • Pollinating others: Average?
  • Ploidy: Diploid?
  • Vigour: Weak growing?
  • Bearing regularity: Regular?
  • Fruit bearing: Spur-bearer?
  • Fruit persistence: Normal ripening?
  • Overall disease resistance: Poor?
  • Scab: Some susceptibility?
  • Mildew: Some susceptibility?
  • Fireblight: Some susceptibility?

Uses

  • Picking season: Late?
  • Use / keeping: 1-2 months?
  • Flavour quality: Exceptional?
  • Flavour style: Sweet/Sharp
    Probably the best balance of sweet and sharp of any apple variety
  • Good for eating fresh
  • Drying / Discoloring: Oxidising?
  • Vitamin C content: Low?

Identification

  • Country of origin: Switzerland
  • Period of origin: 1950 - 1999
  • Fruit colour: Orange flush
  • Blossom colour: Pink - light
  • Leaf colour: Green
  • Popularity: Best sellers?

Climate

  • Frost resistance: Some resistance?
  • Warm climates?
  • Temperate climates
  • UK Zone 2 - Northern UK: Yes
  • UK Zone 3 - Southern UK: Yes
  • Cold hardiness: -30F / -34C?
  • Planting position: Full sun preferred

Pollination guide for Rubinette

Rubinette is in flowering group 3. Rubinette is self-sterile and needs to be pollinated by another tree of a different variety nearby. Since it flowers in the middle of the blossom season it can be pollinated by most other apple trees.

How to grow Rubinette apple trees

The main issue to be aware of is that if left to its own devices Rubinette has a tendency to produce under-sized apples. The solution is to thin the fruitlets in late spring just after the blossom finishes - allow no more than 1 fruit per set of blossoms. An unusual feature of Rubinette is that fruit size usually improves as the tree gets older, with good size being achieved about 3 years after planting.

Rubinette can be grown with some success without any chemical treatments (we do ourselves) but if you are in a wetter climate then spraying against scab (using either conventional or organic pesticides) should give better results. Keep the ground around the tree free from grass and use a mulch to suppress weeds. Religiously clear up all old fruit and fruitlets to deny pests and diseases a home over winter.

Rubinette is a good choice for apple enthusiasts in warmer areas of Europe who have not been able to achieve satisfactory results growing Cox's Orange Pippin. Rubinette performs much better than Cox in warmer climates, such as southern France and Spain. However it is equally at home in cooler temperate climates and can be grown anywhere that Cox can be grown.

Most growers also find that Rubinette maintains a consistently high quality flavor every year, regardless of the weather.

Historical details

Rubinette was developed in the mid-20th century by Walter Hauenstein, a grower from Rafz in Switzerland (hence it is sometimes known as Rafzubin). It is a marriage of two of the world's greatest apple varieties - Cox's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious. Ironically, Hauenstein was intending to raise an "improved" Golden Delicious, but as it turned out Rubinette inherited almost all its characteristics from Cox's Orange Pippin. Enthusiasts may frown on the presence of Golden Delicious, but somehow it is the one-dimensional rich sweetness of Golden Delicious (or perhaps its spicier parent, Grimes Golden) that lifts and draws out the subtle flavours of Cox. It is certainly a marriage that works, and anyone interested in the flavours of apples will surely want to grow Rubinette.

Rubinette Rosso is a sport of the original variety, with more prominent red coloration, but the same flavour and growth characteristics.

Botanical name

Malus domestica 'Rubinette'


UK-grown trees All our trees are grown in the UK.