by Ines Hanrahan, Washington Tree Fruit Research Commission

Honeycrisp was first planted in Washington State in the 1990s. Growth since then has been exponential, with 9,100 acres planted in 2011 and a forecast of 13 million packed boxes available in 2021.

Stellar returns have spurred feverish planting of new orchards. Strong demand helped move the crop within three months of harvest during the first decade of production in Washington, well before major storage problems typically occur.

However, with the increasing volume, more fruit has to be kept until after January 1.

For example, by January 1, 2012, 31 percent of Washington’s Honeycrisp crop remained in storage, according to the Washington Growers Clearing House Association.

Prices for Honeycrisp are higher towards the end of the storage season, but long-term storage is a gamble, since packouts can suffer dramatically due to increasing incidences of physiological disorders such as bitter pit and soft scald.

Understanding proper orchard management to retain a higher percentage of fruit suitable for long-term storage has become the focus of our research activities.

Shown here are some of the various disorders that can affect Honeycrisp.

Can you name them? Answers at the bottom of the page.

Pop Quiz1. 
a. Soft scald
b. Freeze damage
c. Bruise

a. Bitter pit
b. Stinkbug feeding
c. Hail damage
d. Drought spot

a. Boron deficiency
b. Bitter pit
c. Lenticel breakdown
d. Calcium burn

a. Watercore
b. Senescent browning
c. Low oxygen injury
d. Soggy breakdown

a. Moldy core
b. Soggy breakdown
c. Delayed sunburn
d. Senescent browning

a. Soggy breakdown
b. Watercore
c. Moldy core
d. Senescent browning

a. Calcium burn
b. Lenticel breakdown
c. Bitter pit
d. Blister spot

a. Soft scald
b. Bruise
c. Decay

a. Chemical burn
b. Fungus
c. Soft scald

a. Mineral imbalance
b. Senescent breakdown
c. Carbon dioxide injury
d. Desiccation

1. a
2. c
3. b
4. d
5. d
6. c
7. b
8. a (early symptom)
9. b and c
10. c