• Smart cherry breeding

Smart cherry breeding

  • June 1st, 2013

Breeder Nnadozie Oraguzie stands in a Phase 1 block planted in 2011 and 2012. He’ll begin collecting fruiting data when the trees are three to four years old.
MELISSA HANSEN

Breeding new varieties of fruit is all about numbers—it takes thousands of crosses to find one worthy of commercialization. Researchers [...]

Summerland’s focus switches

  • June 1st, 2013

Summerland cherry breeder Dr. Cheryl Hampson’s objective is to develop cherries that are large, firm, and sweet, have good stems, and are productive.

For the past 50 years, the focus of the program has been on developing self-fertile varieties. Hampson still prefers new varieties to be self-fertile, but if a [...]

  • Stellar lineage

Stellar lineage

  • June 1st, 2013

The Pacific Northwest cherry industry is seeing the effects of a shift to self-fertile varieties in the form of higher and more consistent yields.
courtesy of PARC

The Pacific Northwest cherry industry is seeing the effects of a shift to self-fertile varieties in the form of higher and more consistent [...]

WSU program focused on self-fertility

  • June 1st, 2013

Stone fruit breeding began at Washington State University in 1949 with the arrival of Dr. Harold Fogle, who had just finished his doctorate at the University of Minnesota.

In 1952, by crossing the two red cherries Bing and Van, he developed the blushed Rainier cherry. The variety—WSU’s first—was released in [...]

  • Chelan Fruit gears up

Chelan Fruit gears up

  • May 15th, 2013

Orondo Ruby is a yellow-fleshed cherry that has more blush and matures earlier than Rainier.
PHOTO COURTESY OF G&C ORCHARDS

Cherry production in north central Washington State is growing at such a pace that Chelan Fruit Cooperative is planning to build a new cherry line for next season.

Reggie Collins, chief [...]

  • Tip top cherry

Tip top cherry

  • May 15th, 2013

Kim and Troy Toftness with their children Brock and Brylee. Their Skylar Rae cherry brand is named after their first daughter who lived for only 49 days.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE TOFTNESS FAMILY

Cherry growers Troy and Kimberly Toftness are seeing international interest in the new cherry brand Skylar Rae [...]

Widely planted

  • May 15th, 2013

Coral Champagne has been the hottest selling cherry variety in California in recent years, according to accounts from nurseries, brokers, and growers.

Dave Wilson Nursery, a commercial tree fruit nursery headquartered in Hickman, California, reports that Coral Champagne has led their cherry tree sales in the last eight years.

A Sacramento, [...]

  • Popular cultivar almost wasn’t

Popular cultivar almost wasn’t

  • May 15th, 2013

Coral Champagne cherries ripen after Chelan and about ten days before Bing.

New tree fruit varieties can take decades before going mainstream and ­becoming popular with industry and ­consumers. Coral Champagne is a good example.

The early sweet cherry variety that came out of the University of California’s sweet cherry breeding [...]

  • Cornell releases wine grape varieties

Cornell releases wine grape varieties

  • April 15th, 2013

Cornell University has released two new wine grape varieties—a cold-hardy aromatic white variety and a red variety that is highly resistant to fungal diseases.
The two releases offer new characteristics not previously available to growers and wineries, particularly producers in New York’s Finger Lakes region, says Bruce Reisch, Cornell [...]

  • WSU seeks licensee

WSU seeks licensee

  • April 15th, 2013

Washington State University’s Research Foundation, which owns the new WA 38 apple, has issued an “announcement of opportunity” inviting individuals, companies, or cooperatives that are interested in managing the variety to submit proposals.

The successful applicant will have an exclusive license to manage the commercialization of the variety but will [...]

  • High-tech nursery cuts propagation time

High-tech nursery cuts propagation time

  • April 1st, 2013

Pear rootstocks growing in the tissue culture lab.
PHOTOS BY GERALDINE WARNER

A high-tech nursery based in Pullman, Washington, is propagating Washington State University’s new WA 38 apple through tissue culture in anticipation of its commercial release.

Phytelligence holds a propagation license for WA 38, which is one of the first [...]

  • Good to Know: Consumer expectations of apple quality

Good to Know: Consumer expectations of apple quality

  • March 15th, 2013

Everyone has a favorite apple variety but what makes it so? How do Washington State University’s new apple varieties WA 2 and WA 38 compare with each other, and with existing commercial varieties?

Consumers and producers may not always agree when asked what characteristics they desire in a new variety. [...]