New Apples

franktank232(z5 WI)August 3, 2013

One has some Honeycrisp in it (my fav)... Should be interesting. Looks like it's probably not likely we'll be able to grow these for awhile?

"Newswise �" GENEVA, N.Y. �" After years of development and consumer testing as âÂÂNY1â and âÂÂNY2â Cornell University and New York Apple Growers have given the hottest new apples in the Empire State names worthy of their unique assets:
SnapDragon and RubyFrost."


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Frank this is interesting news. Apples that were bred to not 'turn brown' after slicing. Eye appeal is surely important these days. Thank goodness they didn't create a 'blue or purple' apple that I would have to have.

    Bookmark   August 3, 2013 at 11:39AM
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alan haigh

What sucks is that they are following the trend of licensed production and the release of no trees to folks like you and me. We can soon buy the apples but not the trees. And I bet tax payer money finances the the breeding program- at least partially.

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 3:53PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

NY1 is Honeycrisp-like with less grower problems.
NY2 is a Autumn Crisp / Braeburn cross, keeper, anti-oxidizer.

Im not excited, I'll stick to the tried and trues.
There is an orchard close producing these, I can report if they are offered.
Not expecting a blow-your-doors-off experience.

What happened to trying to remarket old, lost varieties?
Plenty of good quality varieties from decades past that never got a fair shake.
Why not brand one and roll with it?

    Bookmark   August 4, 2013 at 10:59PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I wonder how disease resistant they are. Even though the article mentions "disease and insect resistance have long been the goals", it doesn't say if these apples realize those goals. I don't think the other 4 releases it mentions are particularly disease resistant (at least not scab resistant). Either way, it will be quite a while before this can matter to home orchardists.

Mrs G- If you are anxious to add another color, you can grow Blue Pearmain. Of course, the only blue from it is the blush...It was one of the apples I grafted this spring.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 12:13AM
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Hman - like Pacific Rose. I'd like to put on a black ski mask and infiltrate an orchard to steal some scion of that one.

    Bookmark   August 5, 2013 at 7:25PM
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alan haigh

It, I don't think the plant patent laws are really made to protect breeders from non-commercial growers- Zaigers is probably an exception because DW spends so much to promote that market. We are just collateral damage in their strategies to stop commercial orchards from grafting over hundreds of trees to avoid royalties.

I was at a farmers market in Santa Monica CA a few years back where a grower was bragging about grafting much of his orchard illegally to Zaiger varieties. He was quite proud of himself.

Mega, Cornell has a vast (or used to) collection of old varieties that they use in their program. Most heirlooms are not as useful commercially as most newer varieties for one reason or another, even if they may be as useful to us. Anyway, if they rolled with one where would they get their royalties?

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 5:19AM
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megamav(5a - NY)

They could brand just about any variety in ownership that wasnt patented. Like how Pinata is the branded variety Pinova.

I just think these apples now are taking a turn for mass production over quality.

As someone who takes a vested interest in growing the best rather than the easiest, I think this direction is leading toward apples being thought of as bland and crispy. Exactly what Honeycrisp is IMO.

There HAS to be a variety out there in the Cornell lot that is worth mass producing, have you seen the list? Its amazing. As more years pass, the Cornell/Geneva germplasm becomes more and more like a graveyard of pommes.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 1:53PM
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Never could figure the way Honeycrisp took off in popularity.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 2:06PM
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alan haigh

Honeycrisp has exceptional texture. It has very large cells that crack open when bitten into while most other varieties just split between cells. The taste is certainly not distinctive but it has the balance of sugar and acid the majority seems to prefer along with pleasing juiciness.

The problem is that it is being widely grown now in areas too warm for peak quality. Here, in southern NY, it can be quite good if spring doesn't start too early and it ripens during cool nights in Sept. Early springs and ripening on warm humid nights makes it pretty watery and mediocre, but it still commands its premium, apparently.

For people like most of us here, it is not all that interesting, I think because we have pretty jaded palates and want more flavor with that snap.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 5:27PM
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The first batch of Honeycrisp apples I tried was outstanding. It convinced me to buy 2 trees for my small suburban lot.

That was maybe 8 years ago and every year since has been a big disappointment.

    Bookmark   August 6, 2013 at 6:30PM
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So you guys that aren't impressed with honeycrisp, what do you like? I am new to apple snobbery and would like some suggestions of varieties to track down and try.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:13AM
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My favorite that I have access to is Golden Russet. For this time of year I think Smitten from New Zealand are pretty good. They've pretty much wrapped up though.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 1:55AM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)

I'll second Golden Russet, though it was subpar at the farmer's market last year and incredible at an orchard about 1.5 hours to the north, so there is some variance.

Goldrush is another great apple.

I normally find Honeycrisp in the upper half of apples, but not among the best. But, there was one time, 2 years ago, when it was truely outstanding, especially for a mid-September apple.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 2:23AM
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alan haigh

I like highest brix, dense fleshed apples. Of recent apples, I agree that Goldrush is an outstanding and essential apple if you have a long enough season to ripen it properly.- location can be as important as individual tastes, especially with heirlooms, I believe.

Newer varieties tend to be bred to perform well in a wide range of climate conditions. Goldrush seems to do so, but above Z6 is a bit iffy. It is the most grower friendly apple I grow- practically prunes itself, bears early and is not highly susceptible to bird or insect damage and is scab immune. Gets ugly in humid climates with sooty blotch, though, unless controlled with summer spray.

Golden Russet is intensely sweet and some years very difficult because of its attraction to wasps and birds. Takes a long time to come into productivity for me as well, but once it does it seems pretty reliable.

I love the flavor of Ashmead's Kernel but it has fulfilled its rep for unreliable bearing in my orchard.

In my orchard I grow Ginger Gold, Baldwin, lots of Goldrush, Ashmead's Kernel, Cox, Kidd's O R, Newtown Pippon, new strain Jonagold, Honeycrisp, Suncrisp, Williams Pride, Stayman (old strain), Winesap, (old strain), Zestar, Sansa, Jonathon, Spygold, Golden Russet and Fortune as well as a couple unknown heirlooms and a couple others whose names escape me.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 6:02AM
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megamav(5a - NY)

cckw, whats your location?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:03PM
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fruitnut Z7 4500ft SW TX

Makes me think I should start putting grafts of something else onto my Honeycrisp. But I'd like to taste a ripe one first. Tried them 3-4 times from the store and an awful green 8-10 brix every time.

How big are you guys getting with Goldrush? I grow bigger greenhouse pluot, half a lb, than I've managed so far with GR. My GR are about 2.25-2.5 inches at best.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 12:48PM
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alan haigh

I've read that size has been an issue with commercial production of Goldrush (for growers to get distribution of the fruit) but with the kind of thinning you do they should get bigger than that. For me they are a medium sized apple- about the size of your average store bought Granny Smith, I think. But I've seen them stay small on trees also, even when thinned. Maybe the tree needs to be vigorous.

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 6:33PM
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bob_z6(6b/7a SW CT)


Have you started picking William's Pride this year? This is the first year mine have fruited, so I'm not sure how long to wait. I picked one tonight and the seeds are mostly dark brown, though one was under-developed (see below). The outside was >95% red and the brix measured 10.5-11.5%, even in the watercore area (bottom of the 2 pieces on the left). It was an OK apple, but I'd like more sugar, as it reminded me of a Mac with better texture. How much longer can I wait without risking the apples going mushy?

    Bookmark   August 7, 2013 at 9:16PM
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Megamav, I am zone 5, across the river from Omaha NE.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 12:24PM
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megamav(5a - NY)

Purely a subjective list, but these are fairly reliable, not a lot of problems from what I've seen and have exceptional use and/or taste.

Late Summer: Ginger Gold
Early Fall: Jonamac, Akane
Mid Fall: Reine des Renettes aka King of the Pippins, Jonagold, Ashmead's Kernel, Roxbury Russet. Shizuka
Late Fall: Newtown Pippin, Spigold
Keepers: Golden Russet, Belle de Boskoop, Newtown Pippin

I've tasted all of these, I am sure there are others in each season of the harvest that are as good or better. Harvestman, Scott and Axel are much more experienced. That is my preferred apples grown in Zone 5.

Golden Russet is probably the only one above I wouldnt grow, its a bug magnet here, and locally I see rows of them torched with fireblight.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 1:31PM
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alan haigh

Bob, I've got some ripe Williams Pride, but they are just starting on my property. They are so gradual with first comers almost a month ahead of last.

Mine turn solid burgundy when ripe and pull from the calyx very easily. They fall off the tree when really ripe.

I don't pay much attention to them myself- hell, I've got two varieties of nectarines, five kinds of peaches, and 4 plums to sample first. Never really cared for summer apples that much- they are my winter fruit.

    Bookmark   August 8, 2013 at 5:16PM
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