• Last Bite – Bing is still king

Last Bite – Bing is still king

  • May 15th, 2011

The Bing cherry was named for Seth Lewelling’s Chinese foreman.

Bing has been king of fresh market sweet cherries in the United States for decades. Though cherry breeders have searched for varieties that don’t have some of Bing’s ­horticultural weaknesses, it still is recognized as the premier [...]

  • Cherry breeding is slow work

Cherry breeding is slow work

  • May 15th, 2011

Bob Andersen (left) is evaluating some 60,000 seedlings created from the breeding work of David Cain (right).

The cherry breeding program at Cornell University in New York was the largest public program in the nation when Dr. Bob Andersen retired in 2004. He left behind about 3,000 elite seedling sweet [...]

  • Breeding cherries for hot climates

Breeding cherries for hot climates

  • May 15th, 2011

Bob Andersen retired as Cornell’s stone fruit breeder in 2004, when this picture was taken, and now works with David Cain at International Fruit Genetics.

When Dr. Bob Andersen retired as Cornell University’s stone fruit breeder in 2004, it took less than a year before he was back in the [...]

  • Honeycrisp challenges club concept

Honeycrisp challenges club concept

  • May 1st, 2011

The name Ambrosia reflects the aromatic flavor of the apple.
Courtesy Sally & Wilfrid Mennell

Honeycrisp has set the standard for new varieties to follow in terms of consumer acceptance and the returns that growers expect, apple marketers say.

It’s also one of the few varieties that producers can freely plant [...]

  • Old Southern apples star in book

Old Southern apples star in book

  • May 1st, 2011

Disharoon, an old, north Georgia apple thought to have been cultivated by native Americans, came to Lee Calhoun’s orchard in 1998.

The apples in Lee Calhoun’s orchard look ultra-modern, planted as they are on Budagovsky 9 rootstock and trained to trellis wires using the European oblique cordon style. But to [...]

  • Last Bite – A pear, by any other name

Last Bite – A pear, by any other name

  • May 1st, 2011

Left: D’Anjou grows well in the Pacific Northwest’s dry climate. Right: This photo was taken at the National Clonal Germplasm Repository in Corvallis, Oregon, where varieties are grown unsprayed to reveal their natural characteristics, such as the scab on these d’Anjou pears. Inset: Belgian physicist, chemist, and amateur pomologist [...]

  • Last Bite: Gala breeder put flavor first

Last Bite: Gala breeder put flavor first

  • April 15th, 2011

Gale Gala is a sport of Royal Gala discovered by Wally Gale in Wenatchee, Washington, and patented in 1997. Inset: The Pacific Gala is a red mutation of Royal Gala discovered by Dick and Larry Olsen at Prosser, Washington, and patented in 1996.

Gala was developed more than 70 years [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • April 1st, 2011

In 1966, Michigan placed this historical marker at the South Haven Experiment Station com­mem­orating Stanley Johnston’s work and the peaches he released. Johnston is pictured with the marker.

Until the Redhaven peach came along in 1940, Elberta held the title as the most-planted peach variety in the world. After that [...]

Washington needs to own the Syrah variety

  • March 15th, 2011

The salvation to lagging wine sales of Syrah may be in Washington State owning the variety as it now does Riesling, says Bob Betz, who describes himself as an “unapologetic, unabashed ­supporter and lover of Syrah.”

Betz, of Betz Family Winery in Woodinville, first tasted Syrah in France’s Côte Rotie [...]

Be patient with Syrah

  • March 15th, 2011

The lack of consumer interest in Syrah wines is of keen interest to Washington’s wine industry. Some industry officials estimate there are 3,000 acres planted in the state, with many of the newer plantings just beginning to bear fruit. Syrah tonnage in 2010 was up 9 percent from 2009.

Syrah’s [...]

Where to find unusual apples

  • March 15th, 2011

The New York State Experiment Station in Geneva includes a USDA-ARS Plant Genetic Resources Unit, with a germ plasm repository containing one of the world’s largest collections of apple (more than 3,000 accessions of Malus including more than 40 species collected from around the world) and cool-climate grape varieties [...]

  • Unusual apples are researcher’s passion

Unusual apples are researcher’s passion

  • March 15th, 2011

On an ordinary weekday, Dr. Ian Merwin is a Cornell University teacher and researcher who has put his mark on the orchards of New York—and elsewhere—because of his work with orchard floor management systems, including nutrient dynamics, soilborne diseases, ground cover, and weed control.

But in the evenings and on [...]