Apple tree Black Prince - Dutch aristocrat in your garden

Despite the huge number of domestic apple varieties, gardeners often prefer to grow apple trees of foreign selection. One of the popular and very attractive varieties is the Black Prince (or Red Johnprinz), originating from Holland and characterized by unusually beautiful dark red fruits.

Description of the variety Black Prince and its characteristics

The Black Prince variety has appeared in Russia relatively recently, but is of interest to many gardeners due to its characteristics.

Where do the Black Prince apples come from and where do they grow

The story of the apple tree The Black Prince is not too long, but very saturated. It comes from the popular variety Jonagold, bred in the middle of the last century by American breeders. Due to its increased drought tolerance, high productivity and unpretentiousness, Jonagold quickly “conquered” Europe, and also served as the basis for the cultivation of many clones, which now number about 100. One of the most successful descendants of Jonagold is the variety Wiltons Red Dzhonaprints (or Jonagold Red Prince), which in Russia is known as the Black Prince. The variety was bred in the Netherlands in 1994.

Variety Red Johnprinz gained popularity due to the beauty of the fruit and good taste

Nowadays, the Black Prince apple trees are grown in almost all European countries, as well as in Ukraine and in the southern regions of Russia. It is grown commercially in Canada (Ontario). The variety has not yet been entered in the state register; since 2015, it has been in the state variety test.

Description and main characteristics of the variety

The Black Prince is a mid-early autumn variety bearing fruit in the last decade of September - early October.

Trees are characterized by very intensive growth at the beginning of life, then the growth rate drops to medium, as a result of which mature trees are considered medium-sized. Gardeners advise growing them on dwarf rootstocks.

Red johnprinz apple orchard on a dwarf stock - video

Flowering occurs 2-3 days earlier than the varieties Golden Delicious and Golden Ragers. It should be borne in mind that the Black Prince does not have the ability to self-pollination, therefore, pollinating trees must be planted on the site. It should be remembered that the Black Prince, like all descendants of Jonagold, is a triploid, that is, it contains a triple set of chromosomes. This feature makes the variety more resistant to scab, determines the regularity of crops, but makes it difficult to select pollinators. The most suitable varieties for this are Brabern, Elstar, Pinova, Gala, Golden, Junami. They should be no further than 50 m from the Black Prince apple tree.

Pollinators of the apple tree The Black Prince in the photo

New Zealand Gala apple tree is one of the most sought after commercial varieties in the world.

Apple tree Brabern comes from New Zealand

Elstar is an early Dutch variety with high yield

The fruits are symmetrical, rounded conical in shape, have large sizes (weight up to 200 g, diameter up to 10 cm) and a flat surface. The skin is dark red even with some shading, and apples that are well-lit by the sun become red-black. The fruits are painted very early - already in June, the peel begins to turn red. The dense pulp has a fine-grained structure and is painted in a yellowish-cream color. Sweet, slightly sour taste is highly appreciated.

Apples are distinguished by saturated bright coloring.

Compared to other varieties, Red Johnprinz fruits contain more sugars, vitamins and antioxidants. Also in these apples there is a lot of calcium, magnesium, iron and phosphorus. Therefore, Black Prince apples are recommended to normalize the digestive system, and due to their low calorie content they are included in various diets for weight loss.

Advantages and disadvantages of the Black Prince variety

Any variety can best be characterized by considering its advantages and disadvantages.

The advantages of the variety include:

  • early maturity (apple trees begin to bear fruit from 3-4 years of life, and full fruiting occurs from the 6th year);
  • regular and plentiful harvests;
  • excellent marketability and taste of the fruit;
  • good transportability and durability;
  • relative disease resistance.

The disadvantages of the variety:

  • the need for careful selection of pollinators;
  • low winter hardiness
  • fruit shredding with insufficient watering.

Planting the Black Prince variety apple tree

To get good yields of the Black Prince apple, you need to pay attention from the moment of planting.

General advice on preplant

To place the apple tree, choose a site with fertile soil. The most suitable are light loams. If the soil is not rich enough in nutrients, it is necessary to cultivate it - to make organic fertilizers under deep digging (3-4 buckets per 1 m2 of rotted manure or compost). This operation is performed 6-7 months before planting.

You can not plant an apple tree in places of close occurrence of groundwater. If the site is located in a lowland, you need to plant a tree on an artificial hill. You can also drain the site.

DIY drainage - video

When choosing a seedling, special attention should be paid to the state of the roots (they must be well developed and flexible), the places of grafting (there should be no signs of rotting, cracks), all parts of the seedling should be elastic, and the bark should be intact.

Landing rules

Planting pit should be prepared in advance, at least 2-3 weeks, and preferably 2-3 months before planting a tree. The size of the pit should be sufficient to ensure the normal development of the root system. Typically, a pit for planting an apple tree is made with a depth of 0.8 m, a diameter of 0.8–1 m. When planting in clay soils, a drainage layer of broken brick or gravel must be laid on the bottom of the pit, as well as a hole filled with 1-2 buckets of sand. If the soil is sandy, an 8-10-cm layer of clay should be put at the bottom of the pit, which will retain moisture. Then the pit is seasoned with a fertile mixture of horse soil, ash, compost with the addition of a handful of superphosphate. A layer of fertilizer is sprinkled with clean soil to protect the thin roots of the seedling from burns .

To ensure a sufficient feeding area, neighboring apple trees should be located at a distance of 3.5–4 m from each other.

When planting a seedling, you must strictly follow the recommendations - cut dry or damaged parts of the tree, fill the planting pit with fertilizers and beat the stake in it and do not forget to tie the seedling to the stake after planting and water it

Landing procedure:

  1. A landing stake 140-150 cm long is driven into the center of the pit.
  2. Inspect the seedling, cutting dried roots and twigs. Before planting, dip the roots of an apple tree into a clay mash (you can add a growth stimulator to it).
  3. At the top of the mound formed from the nutrient mixture, a tree with spread roots is placed.
  4. The roots of a seedling are filled up, holding the trunk in a strictly vertical position and slightly rocking it so that all the spaces between the roots are filled with soil.
  5. Seal the soil around the trunk with your foot (you need to put your foot on the toe to the trunk).
  6. Tie the trunk with a soft cloth strip to the peg.
  7. An annular roller of soil is formed at a distance of 30 cm from the trunk and the seedling is watered with 2-3 buckets of settled water.

The selection of apple tree seedlings and its planting in the video

Features of cultivation and subtleties of care

The technology for growing apple trees Red Johnprinz is simple and differs little from the cultivation of other varieties of apple trees.

Features of growing in various regions, including in the suburbs

The Black Prince apple tree is suitable for growing in regions with a winter temperature of -23 ... -29 ° C, that is, no further than the 5th frost resistance zone.

For example, in Ukraine, the Black Prince can be planted throughout the territory from Transcarpathia to Lugansk.

In Belarus, only the Brest region is suitable for this apple tree.

In Russia, Crimea, Stavropol Territory, Krasnodar Territory, Rostov Region are suitable for cultivating varieties. For the conditions of the Moscow Region, Red Johnprinciple is not suitable. If you still have an irresistible desire to plant this apple tree, you need to grow it in a low-stem or bush form, so that it is easy to provide insulation for the winter.

Care Features

Caring for the apple tree The Black Prince includes standard operations of cutting, watering, fertilizing and loosening the soil.

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Pruning - shaping and sanitary - is carried out every year, in spring or autumn. Starting next year after planting, you need to start forming a crown. Usually create a sparse-tier crown of 2-3 tiers of branches evenly spaced along the height of the trunk. The Black Prince variety is prone to overloading with fruits, so the crown must be thinned out every year, removing all thickening shoots. In the process of formation, it is necessary to ensure that the main branches have an angle of departure of at least 45 degrees (if necessary, adjust the angle of departure with spacers or braces). The principle of subordination of branches to the central conductor must also be observed, all competitive shoots must be cut.

The formation of a sparse-tier crown takes 3-4 years

Watering and soil care

Since the sizes of Red Johnprinz apples are very much dependent on watering. you need to monitor the soil moisture. You can water the trees on ring furrows or a bay of tree trunks. Sprinkling is also good. Young trees of the 1st year of life are watered every week at the rate of 1-2 buckets of water per 1 tree. With age, the frequency of watering decreases and for adults, apple trees need only 1 watering per month (often watered only in very hot weather). In case of accidental overfilling, it is possible to make punctures with a depth of 0.5 m using a crowbar in a circle at a distance of 0.6-0.7 cm from the trunk. You can arrange drip irrigation for the garden.

DIY drip watering - video

After watering, as soon as the surface of the soil dries, you need to carry out loosening and mulch the trunk circle. Mulching not only retains moisture, but also inhibits weed growth. Soil outside the near-stem circle should also be as far as possible cleared of weeds and dug up. You can sow the aisles with a lawn mixture, and use the mowed grass for mulching.

Top dressing

Regular top dressing will help the apple tree develop normally and plant large yields. In the first year, it is useful to feed the young tree with nitrogen to activate growth. Urea (3 tablespoons per 1.5 buckets of water) is applied under young trees in early spring. You can spray the apple tree 3-4 times during the growing season with a solution of sodium humate (20 g per bucket of water) at a rate of 2 liters per 1 tree.

From the second year, the apple tree is fertilized 2 times a year, in spring and autumn, with complex fertilizers (for example, Nitrofoska) and organics (compost, humus) for deep digging of the soil.

Feeding the apple tree - video

Winter preparations

Due to the not very high winter hardiness, it is advisable to insulate the Black Prince for the winter. To ensure good wintering at the end of October, water-charging irrigation is carried out at the rate of 60–80 liters of water per 1 tree.

Before the onset of cold weather, the boles and tree trunk up to a height of 1.5 m are wrapped with warming materials (agrofabric, paper, reeds), and to protect the root system a thick (20–25 cm) layer of mulch from sawdust or peat is poured in the trunk circle. When snow falls, it needs to be raked to the trunk, compacted and covered with a tree trunk to a height of 30–40 cm. In spring, it is necessary to remove both snow and mulch.

The author has successfully used the method of hilling frozen soil to protect apple trees from frost. This is done after the onset of the first mild frosts. The stamp, the trunk and the base of the skeletal branches are wrapped in strips of any fabric, and on top - 2 layers of thick white paper, which is properly tied with twine. In this state, the apple tree tolerates frost. Spring top dressing with microelements (zinc and cobalt sulfates, potassium permanganate, boric acid) also improves frost resistance.

To protect against rodents, an apple tree can be protected by wrapping the trunk with a metal mesh or lapnik.

Preparing trees for winter - video

Diseases and pests and protection against them

Despite the fact that usually triploid apple trees usually have increased resistance to diseases, the Black Prince can be affected by diseases such as scab, powdery mildew, and bitter rot. Particularly affected by the bitter dimple.

The scab caused by a fungal pathogen affects the leaves, fruits and shoots of apple trees, especially in wet weather. Affected fruits lose not only their presentation, but also their keeping quality. In addition, they reduce the amount of vitamin C. For the prevention of the disease, you need to timely eliminate the fallen leaves, keep the soil under the tree clean and follow the rules of care. If the spring is wet, during the opening of the buds, the trees are sprayed with a Bordeaux mixture of 3% (“blue” spraying). In arid areas, 1% Bordeaux can be used. During the extension of the buds, it is possible to carry out preventive spraying with a solution of HOM, Cuprosil, Strobi. After flowering, trees need to be treated with preparations of Skor, Rubigan, Horus.

Scab greatly affects the appearance of apples

Powdery mildew appears as a grayish-white coating on the leaves and shoots. With severe damage, it can lead to a deterioration in productivity by 40-60%, as well as to a decrease in winter hardiness. As a preventive and protective measure, spraying with Bordeaux liquid or other fungicidal preparations is used 3 times a season.

Similar sprays also help against rot.

The treatment of apple trees from fungal diseases - video

Bitter dimple usually occurs with a lack of calcium. In this case, an excess of potassium or other fertilizers can also contribute to the occurrence of bitter dimple. Therefore, to prevent the disease, it is necessary to strictly observe the dose of fertilizer, as well as treat the trees with calcium chloride preparations.


The most common pests of the apple tree are the codling moth, moth, apple bee-eater, apple moth. To protect trees from these pests, he recommends hanging bird feeders on the branches of an apple tree. It is also possible to carry out preventive treatment of trees with broad-spectrum insecticides (Decis, Confidor).

Harvesting, storage and use of crops

Apples ripen in unison by the end of September (usually 6–7 days earlier than Golden Delishes). You can collect them in one step. If you collect them earlier, the fruit's shelf life will be much worse, and taste will not have time to reach the proper level. Consumer maturity comes in November.

Apples are well tolerated due to the dense pulp and strong skin. You can store the crop for 2-3 months at room temperature, 5-6 months - in a refrigerator, and 9-10 months in a specialized store. For home storage, it is advisable to stack the fruits in shallow boxes, in 2-3 layers (layers are laid with paper or soft hay).

It is recommended to store apples in shallow boxes

Typically, the Black Prince apples are consumed fresh or as part of fruit salads, but you can also use them for baking, jam, compotes.

Gardeners reviews

Red Johnprinz ... Recently, many of my friends are disappointed in this variety - mainly due to the later ripening than Jonagold's maturity, relatively low frost or winter hardiness. I am still saddened by his uncharacteristic majority of Jonagold clones, weak growth. Two years in a row with a friend in the Lisyansky district, Cherkasy region. matured with Gala Mast. After ripening, it did not stay on the tree for a long time, relatively fast maceration, the development of physiological diseases, including subcutaneous ...

Yavorsky Oleksandr

I was also disappointed, Jonagored, Decosta, Red Jonaprint for some reason, small, 50 mm. Trees were planted in the fall of 2013. Other varieties are encouraging, with the size everything is fine.


Red John Prince is one of the new clones of Jonagold, I have it, the clone is like a clone. As with all new products, they now want to earn extra money on it.


Black Prince apple trees in many respects are superior to other varieties and do not require too complicated care. Given their low winter hardiness, it is desirable to grow these trees in warm regions, otherwise warming for the winter will be required.


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