History : A Malinda cross, the pollen parent formerly thought to be Ben Davis, but DNA testing has shown that Wealthy is the likely pollen parent developed at the University of Minnesota. Selected in 1913 and released in 1923. Originally Minn.90 (test name). It is named after Charles Haralson, superintendent of the University of Minnesota Fruit Breeding Farm.
Fruit Uses : This is a cultivar that comes highly recommended, especially for the homestead. It is all purpose, an excellent fresh eating apple and a first rate culinary fruit. Firm and crisp when fresh, with a near perfect sweet-tart balance which is far more fully flavored and assertive than modern commercial varieties. In pies and tarts the slices keep their shape and flavor. It is also among the best as a storage apple, keeping 4-6 months in proper conditions (high humidity/ 33 degrees). Keep for months in the fridge while maintaining flavor. Dried fruit is quite strong, but delicious. For sauces, it does better with the addition of a more collapsing variety mixed in (ie mac family selections are a good bet). Excellent for single variety or mixed cider. For hard ciders a higher sugar cultivar mixed in or an additional sugar source is recommended in years when brix is below 12.
Tree : It is moderately vigorous. Blooms are white. Flowering period is mid (about even with Golden Delicious), in Walden about May 18th. Fruit hangs past maturity to a fair level. Standard form and spurring. Not a tip bearer. Tree can set a very heavy crop, needing some thinning, which can help to reduce the incidence of biennial bearing which it is moderately prone to do. We have managed here to keep it in annual bearing with early and heavy thinning. Haralson makes a strong healthy and well formed tree with decent crotch angles, but benefits from some light training. Has a strong central leader tendency. Grows to a moderate size in average soil conditions. They are model trees in form with good management. Very cold hardy, to -50F reportedly. Somewhat precocious in bearing.
Fruit : Partially red stripes and splashes, may become fully red , over a greenish yellow base. Average weight is 400g, 62 x 77mm in size. Rounded conical in shape. With good thinning the fruits can get quite large. Skin is medium toughness. No bloom. About 10% of the skin surface is finely russeted and non- localized. Russet netting sometimes appears. Flesh is cream to yellowish, moderately crisp to firm, and aromatic. A good sweet to tart balance. Average sugar level at Walden Heights has averaged 12.5 % with some fruits nearing 14 in optimal years, or with afterripening. Flesh oxidizes (browns) at a moderate rate when ruptured. Ripens at Walden Heights late September to early October. (Latitude: 44-27’08” N Longitude: 072-15’25” W, 1700ft elevation, zone 3)
Additional physical attributes: Fruit stem length 22mm. Persistent calyx on fruit. Acute shallow fruit basin. Globuse to conical shape. Acute deep stem cavity. Tree form standard/standard. Moderately resistance to fireblight reported. Moderate resistance to cedar apple rust. Susceptible to apple scab fungus.
image and some details courtesy of national germplasm repository records