Submitted to: HortScience
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/3/2005
Publication Date: 4/1/2005
Citation: Glenn, D.M., Drake, S.R., Abbott, J.A., Puterka, G.J., Gundrum, P.G. 2005.Season and cultivar influence the fruit quality response of apple cultivars to particle film treatments. HortScience 15:249-253. Interpretive Summary: Producing apples of high fruit quality is dependent not only on the inputs and management of the grower, but environmental conditions of the growing season. We applied a reflective particle film (Surround Crop Protectant) to 3 different cultivars under East and West coast conditions during a 3-year period and measured the effects on fruuit quality. Some apple cultivars had consistently improved fruit quality, while other cultivars demonstrated improved fruit quality in some years but not in others. The fruit quality response of apple cultivars to Surround applications seems variable due to location and yearly environmental characteristics with no detrimental effects.
Technical Abstract: Apple fruit quality is a complex developmental process that is influenced by location, rootstock, cultural practices, and the unique environmental conditions of each growing season. Ten experiments were performed over three years to examine the effect of time of application of a particle film on fruit quality and how different cultivars responded to particle film treatments on the East and West coasts. Surround WP, a particle film material, was applied to 'Empire' apple either on a season-long basis, only in May and June, or not at all. Hue angle was significantly reduced (more red color) by both the Surround WP treatments compared to the non-treated control treatment in all years. Surround WP was applied, starting at petal fall, every week for 6 weeks after petal fall and then every 2 weeks to 'Empire', 'Gala' and 'Fuji' trees in W. Virginia and to 'Cameo', 'Fuji' and 'Gala' trees in Washington. Cultivar response to Surround WP season-long applications varied by year and location. 'Empire' consistently had improved red color with season-long applications of Surround WP. 'Gala' had greater fruit weight and red color with Surround application in one of two years in W. Virginia but not in Washington. 'Fuji' had greater fruit weight and soluble solids with Surround application in one of the two years in Washington. 'Cameo' had greater soluble solids, starch index, and red color in Washington with the Surround application. Application of a particle film to apples never reduced color in these studies. A taste panel did not identify quality differences in 'Empire' apples treated with Surround WP vs the control. The cultivar response to Surround WP applications is variable due to location and yearly environmental characteristics with no deterimental effects.