The WA 2 tree is compact and highly productive. <b>(Geraldine Warner/Good Fruit Grower)</b>

The WA 2 tree is compact and highly productive. (Geraldine Warner/Good Fruit Grower)

Both the WA 2 and the WA 38 were developed by Washington State University specifically for Washington growers, but the two apples have some differences in growing tendencies, said Tom Auvil, a research horticulturalist with the Washington State Tree Fruit Research Commission.

Here are a few highlights and pointers from Auvil for growing WA 2.

—The WA 2, known as both the Crimson Delight and the Sunrise Magic, is not as adaptable to all the state’s environments as the WA 38, marketed under the name Cosmic Crisp, Auvil said.

The WA 2’s color development is more temperature sensitive, developing a light pink harvest color in the warmest sites but a maroon coloring in the cooler sites.

—Some locations may cause the apple to develop a “dirty” look with large lenticels or russet, Auvil said.

Some sites consistently raise fruit with five pronounced ridges. Other sites produce very symmetrical fruit.

—The WA 2 is a compact tree and should be planted 24 to 36 inches apart on Malling 9 rootstock. The tree can set heavily, so thin aggressively to minimize overcropping and biennial bearing.

—Fruit from one-year wood is unmarketable due to russet and parrot beaks.

The fruit can develop significant stem bowl splits if it has advanced starch conversion rating, deep maroon color and a weather change with frosty nights and/or rain.

—WA 2 is a semi-spur type variety, similar to Oregon spur Red Delicious in growth habit. It’s easy to maintain and produces high yields with no bitter pit.

—Sunburn for the WA 2 is not a significant problem compared with Honeycrisp, Jonagold or Cameo.

—The fruit polishes to a high sheen if not covered with hard water deposits and sustains a high sheen without wax.

It stores 12 months or more in controlled atmosphere storage with no problem and has a long shelf life at room temperature after removal. That’s a unique trait.

—Researchers have not observed storage disorders, such as scald, soft scald, internal browning or bitter pit.

— by Ross Courtney