Wanted: Endangered apples

  • May 15th, 2010

Walking through the Maine Heritage Orchard in Unity, Maine, is like walking through a Noah’s Ark for apples. The orchard, maintained by the Maine Organic Farmers & Gardeners Association, is filled with endangered apple varieties grafted onto stock apple trees, sometimes up to ten varieties on a single tree. [...]

  • Maine apples wanted

Maine apples wanted

  • May 15th, 2010

John Bunker examines an apple at the Sandy River Orchard, Mercer, Maine, with 90-year-old Francis Fenton, owner (in blue).

These are some of the varieties John Bunker is seeking:

Briggs Auburn: Originated on the farm of Thomas Record of Minot (then part of Auburn). The fruit is large and yellow with [...]

  • You hear that buzz?

You hear that buzz?

  • May 15th, 2010

SweeTango orchards like this one at Pepin Heights produced enough fruit last year to start the buzz, which could rise to a crescendo this August if a good crop and the marketing plan come together as planned.

SweeTango apples will, nature cooperating, begin flowing to market in commercial quantities in [...]

  • Cherries with stems

Cherries with stems

  • May 15th, 2010

The challenge is getting the cherry to separate at the upper abscission zone at the twig.

In the complex world of sweet cherries, one market is calling for light-colored sweet cherries with stems on for processing, and is willing to pay three to four times the normal processing price to [...]

  • Clonal research takes years and money

Clonal research takes years and money

  • May 15th, 2010

UC staff member Jorge Osorio Aguilar weighs grapes from a Syrah clonal selection under test for San Joaquin Valley conditions.

To a grower, the right wine grape clone can improve yield, advance or delay ripening, and reduce susceptibility to rots. For a winemaker, the right clone can add complexity to [...]

  • Fruit from the Prairie

Fruit from the Prairie

  • April 1st, 2010

The five members of the Romance series of sour cherries, released in 2003, surround Carmine Jewel, which was released in 1999. All are very dark and sweeter than the tart cherries produced in the United States.

Fruit production doesn’t get much attention at Canada’s 52° north latitude, but plant breeders [...]

  • Apples from the prairie

Apples from the prairie

  • April 1st, 2010

Autumn Delight (right photo) and Misty Rose.

Three apple cultivars released by the University of Saskatchewan fruit breeding program are being recommended for commercial production in that prairie province this year, according to fruit breeder Dr. Bob Bors. They are Autumn Delight, Prairie Sensation, and Misty Rose.

Autumn Delight (top photo [...]

  • Australia testing two new pears

Australia testing two new pears

  • April 1st, 2010

Garry Langford says testers will be licensed to grow trees for five years to produce enough pears for sampling.

Two new pear varieties from Australia are being propagated for testing in the United States.

One is an early-season blushed yellow pear that is ready to eat off the tree; the other [...]

Stretching storage of Honeycrisp

  • February 15th, 2010

As production volumes increase for Honeycrisp apples, the need for a longer marketing window becomes more important. Researchers like Ines Hanrahan are looking for ways to stretch storage of Honeycrisp beyond Christmas.

With consumers and retailers clamoring for the popular variety, growers have responded to the strong demand by planting [...]

  • Time to test drive WA2

Time to test drive WA2

  • February 1st, 2010

WSU selections available for tasting, during a new variety showcase at the Washington State Horticultural Association’s annual meeting.

Washington apple growers are being offered the opportunity to evaluate Washington State University’s new variety WA2 in their orchards.

WSU has licensed the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission to make WA2 available to [...]

  • Who’s pushing red strains?

Who’s pushing red strains?

  • January 15th, 2010

Yakima, Washington, grower-packer Dave Allan doesn’t think consumers are the ones demanding redder apples.

The worldwide popularity of Gala, a variety that originally was an apple with orange-red stripes and a cream-yellow background, would seem to prove that red color does not beat eating quality.

Although there is concern that Gala [...]

  • Early Fujis  kick-start the season

Early Fujis kick-start the season

  • January 15th, 2010

It’s been said that when Grady Auvil discovered an early Fuji sport in his orchard in 1993, the tree fruit pioneer predicted it would “revolutionize” the Fuji market. More than 20 years later, early strains are helping to jumpstart the Fuji market, but they haven’t replaced standard Fujis.

The Auvil [...]