The University of Minnesota’s apple breeding program has released its latest variety: MN33, branded as Kudos.
Kudos is a cross of Honeycrisp and Minnewashta (marketed as Zestar!), making it a sibling of Minneiska (marketed as SweeTango). A UMN announcement described Kudos as a “beautiful red apple with a unique combination of traits including an excellent, crisp, juicy texture and a sweet, well-balanced flavor with occasional tropical overtones.”
UMN apple breeders and growers have tested Kudos for years at the university’s Horticultural Research Center and in orchards across Minnesota and other states. Kudos trees have proven hardy up to U.S. Department of Agriculture Plant Hardiness Zone 4. The fruit ripens in late September, slightly later than Honeycrisp.
Kudos has been released as an “open variety” (tree royalty only). It was released to licensed nurseries for propagation in 2022. To purchase trees, go online to: mnhardy.umn.edu/kudos for a list of licensed nurseries. Nurseries interested in obtaining a license to propagate and sell Kudos should email Adam Bolton (firstname.lastname@example.org) in the UMN Office of Technology Commercialization.
UMN’s apple breeding program has been developing cold-hardy apples for 115 years. Its previous release was MN80 (marketed as Triumph), a scab-resistant variety released in 2021. Most of the apple breeding and evaluation takes place at the Horticultural Research Center at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum in Chaska, Minnesota. For more information about UMN’s other apple varieties, visit: mnhardy.umn.edu.
—by Matt Milkovich