Cameo Apple Tree – Malus domestica “Cameo” :
The Cameo apple produces raves from growers and consumers. The fruits have a red stripe over a yellow-light green under color. The Cameo fruit is medium to large and uniform in size. The flavor has been judged to be faintly sweet/tart with excellent eating quality. This variety is widely heralded as one of the most flavorful, crispy, and juicy apples anywhere. The Cameo matures one week before Fuji and has a long harvest and storage window.
The Cameo apple tree grows best in Zones 4 to 8. More info on Hardiness Zones
Zone 4 -20 Degrees °F to -30 Degrees °F
Zone 8 +20 Degrees °F to +10 Degrees °F
Cameo Apple History
The Cameo was discovered by chance in a Dryden Washington orchard in 1987. Its parentage is thought to be Red Delicious and a Golden Delicious since it was found near orchards of those fruits. It also appears similar to the original Delicious cultivar.
It is bright red striped over creamy orange, firm and crisp with an aromatic flavor. It is rapidly becoming a favorite, and is now among the top ten most grown apples in Washington state.
Apple eater comments:
The Best Apple You’ll ever eat! After shopping for a crisp perfect counterpart to rich caramel to make our fave halloween treat, we passed by most of the usual mushy ones- choosing cameo for the first time. We were simply delighted at this find! The perfect apple in everyway! Crisp and juicy to eat and to caramel. The word for this is Fabulous! makes a heavenly caramel apple to die for! simply perfect.
Growing your own apple tree can be easy, affordable and fun. We offer a huge selection to suit a wide range of climates, environments and spaces. Each will produce bushels of healthy, flavorful apples that can be eaten fresh off the tree, stored for later, or used for cooking. You can’t beat the superior homegrown taste — or the savings — you’ll enjoy if you plant one of these trees instead of making trips to the grocery store.
- Within our apple tree selection you can also find Disease-Resistant Trees
- Plus antique Heirloom Varieties of apple trees
- As well as Cider Apple Trees that bear apples perfectly suited to the task
- Our Starkspur® Apple Trees have up to twice as many fruiting spurs as others, which means more apples per tree, helping to maximize your apple production.
- We even offer edible and ornamental Crabapple Trees to add landscape interest and to provide pollination for apple orchards large and small.
To ensure your growing success and satisfaction, there are a few things to consider when you buy an apple tree.
Your climate plays an important role in whether an apple tree will be successful. Make sure the hardiness zone range of the tree you choose includes your area.
- Most of our apple trees grow well in zones 5-8
- Cold-Hardy Apple Trees can thrive in cooler, northern zones 3 & 4
- Heat-Tolerant Apple Trees are perfect for warm southern zones 9 & 10
Pollination by a different apple variety is key to the success of most apple trees. Often, its absence is why trees produce poorly or don’t bear fruit. Be sure to check the description of your selection to see which pollinators our experts suggest.
We do grow some Self-Pollinating Apple Trees, but we still recommend planting a second apple variety in your yard for optimum fruit production.
As a note, we generally recommend planting a Golden Delicious Apple Tree within close proximity of any apple tree, because it is an excellent pollinator variety.
Mature Tree Size
Make sure you pick the right size apple tree for your available space.
- Columnar Apple Trees mature to be about 8-10′ tall, but only 18-24″ wide. This makes them perfect for growing in containers on balconies and patios.
- Dwarf Apple Trees mature to be about 8-10′ tall and wide. Even though they are smaller, they produce an abundance of full-size apples.
- Semi-Dwarf Apple Trees mature to be about 12-15′ tall and wide. They offer maximum apple yield per square foot.
- Standard Apple Trees mature to be about 15-25′ tall and 20′ wide. They are perfect if you have a large space or want a multi-purpose apple & shade tree.
Everything you wanted to know about the Cameo apple including what it tastes like, when it is in season, and what to do with them.
I have known about Cameo apples (sometimes referred to as American Cameo) for several years, but I keep missing reviewing them for the blog. But no anymore.
What is a Cameo Apple?
This late season apple that is among the most pretty was discovered as a chance seeding. It wasn’t intentionally bred. It was found in an orchard in Dryden, Washington not far from Red Delicious and Golden Delicious trees. It is believed that these are the parents of this apple, but it has not been confirmed.
The apple is one of the most stunning. It has streaks of red, orange, and pink in it’s skin.
When Are They In Season?
The apple is picked later in the season after it’s likely parents, Golden and Red Delicious. As the tendency with later apples, Cameos store well and keep their crisp texture long after other apples have gone mealy.
So their season runs from October into the winter months.
Due to their similarity to Galas in appearance and sweetness, I know at least one farmer who stores them until they have sold out of Galas (which do not keep as well) for the season.
My Experience with this Apple
These apples can be a mixed bag, they aren’t always as great tasting as they look. I got some really big ones recently they were just bland. I would opt for the smaller ones that have a nice sweet flavor, reminding me of Gala, but better.
Can You Cook or Bake With Them?
The sweetness of these apples make them a good choice for adding to homemade applesauce so that additional sugar is not needed. I think they are too sweet for baking with. Cameo are best for out of hand eating.
What Happened to Cameo Apples?
I have seen people searching for what happened to Cameo apples? They seem to have been growing in popularity but that seems to have come to a stop. Here in Michigan, I don’t find them very easy to find. I think that might continue to be the case with big marketing campaigns behind apples like Opal and Cosmic Crisp.
Here are some apple related kitchen tools I recommend:
Amco Dial-A-Slice Adjustable Apple Corer and Slicer : Allows you to slice apples into either 8 or 16 pieces
Zyliss Soft Skin Peeler : The best peeler I have ever owned. Does a great job peeling an apple.
Mirro Foley 2-Quart Stainless Steel Food Mill : A great tool for making your own applesauce. You can make the sauce without having to do any peeling.
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