• Is redder better?

Is redder better?

  • January 15th, 2010

Gale Gala is one of more than 30 Gala strains.

In the last two decades, Gala apples have taken the world by storm, finding favor around the globe with consumers and growers. But as redder and redder Gala strains are planted, is the tree fruit industry repeating Red Delicious history?

Gala [...]

  • Planting for the future: Rootstocks

Planting for the future: Rootstocks

  • January 15th, 2010

Malling 9 rootstocks, shown in layer beds at Willow Drive Nursery, Washington, have proven to be the most efficient rootstocks in most regions. The various clones differ considerably in size, with 337 among the smallest and Nic.29 the largest.

This is the second of a series of articles covering all [...]

  • The 1-2-3 rule  of pruning

The 1-2-3 rule of pruning

  • January 15th, 2010

Two-year-old wood and young spurs produce the most and best Packham pears.

The largest and best quality apples and pears grow on two-year-old wood and young spurs. To develop two-year-old wood, prune trees according to the 1-2-3 rule of renewal pruning. This rule ensures that the fruiting wood remains young [...]

How to choose the variety

  • January 1st, 2010

This is the first of a series of articles covering all aspects of planning and establishing a competitive orchard.

When planning a new orchard, first of all consider what challenges or problems the orchard needs to address, advises Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

“Are plantings [...]

A new game

  • January 1st, 2010

New apple varieties from Washington State University’s breeding program present opportunities for the state’s growers, said Tom Auvil, research horticulturist with the Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission.

WSU has just released the first variety from its breeding program, WA 2, and has more in the pipeline. These varieties will be [...]

  • Current planting trends

Current planting trends

  • January 1st, 2010

Golden Delicious plantings have dropped to their lowest level in 25 years.

Fuji has replaced Gala as the most popular variety to plant in Washington. Around 23 percent of the trees budded for planting next spring are Fuji, a survey of nursery tree sales shows. Many growers are replacing older [...]

  • Strategies for Success

Strategies for Success

  • January 1st, 2010

Jim and Rena Doornink planted this block of Jazz apples last spring. Jazz will fill a gap in their harvest schedule between Honeycrisp and Fuji, keeping their crew busy all summer long.

During his 35 years as an orchardist, Jim Doornink has always enjoyed strategizing about how to run a [...]

  • Last Bite

Last Bite

  • January 1st, 2010

Perham Fruit Company used these five labels during the 1920s and 1930s.

Some of the most beautiful and sought-after fruit labels that collectors desire are the old Perham labels. Illustrated here are the five original company labels from the 1920s and 1930s. There are variations of each label. Swan, Tulip, [...]

Field sorting culls

  • December 1st, 2009

One area of research that John Verbrugge thinks has been overlooked is field sorting of culls.

Verbrugge, new president of the Washington State Horticultural Association, said the industry has made great strides in developing a mechanical harvester that uses robotics, although when it is commercially ready, the harvester will require [...]

Identity crisis

  • December 1st, 2009

The flood of new apple varieties will continue until the consumer is so confused about the Washington apple identity that they might turn to something else that they can identify, predicts Dr. Don Heinicke, a grower at Orondo in north central Washington. Heinicke was asked to revisit the 1987 [...]

How many is too many?

  • December 1st, 2009

When it comes to new varieties, John Rice predicts that in the next decade, most retailers will offer five main apple varieties year round—Gala, Fuji, Granny Smith, Golden Delicious, and Red Delicious—and use the sixth slot to feature seasonal varieties, like Honeycrisp in the early autumn months and other [...]

  • Blast from the past

Blast from the past

  • December 1st, 2009

Robots harvesting fruit, scientists creating the perfect apple trees in petri dishes, and a fruit industry run by conglomerates were just some of the changes envisioned for the next half century by industry leaders, as the Wenatchee Tree Fruit Research and Extension Center celebrated its 50th anniversary in 1987.

Because [...]