Submitted to: Journal of American Pomological Society
Publication Type: Peer reviewed journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 4/1/2007
Publication Date: 5/1/2007
Citation: Miller, S.S., Mcnew, R., Crassweller, R. 2007. Performance of apple cultivars in the 1999 NE-a83 regional project planting: II. Fruit quality characteristics. Journal of American Pomological Society. 61:97-114. Interpretive Summary: The objective and systematic evaluation of apple cultivars across many planting sites in North America would provide valuable assistance to growers in selecting new cultivars to plant. In addition, consumers would be able to make informed purchasing choices if provided with fruit quality descriptions. A regional project was initiated in 1995 to evaluate apple cultivars on Malling 9 rootstock planted at 19 sites across North America. The project was expanded in 1999 with the addition of 23 apple cultivars. The present paper presents the results for fruit quality attributes for 23 cultivars at 12 of the planting sites. The results support the need for widespread systematic evaluation of new apple cultivars to support future commercial planting. Information developed by this regional project provides a valuable resource for cultivar selection for tree fruit extension, fruit consultants and fruit growers.
Technical Abstract: The fruit quality performance of 23 apple (Malus x domestica Borkh.) cultivars and/or numbered selections on Malling 9 (M.9) rootstock was evaluated over four growing seasons at 12 locations across North America as part of the NE-183 Regional Project, "Multid sciplinary Evaluation of New Apple Cultivars." At each site, trees were planted in 1999 in five randomized blocks with single-tree plots. 'Golden Delicious' served as the standard cultivar for comparison. 'Minnewashta' was the earliest maturing cultivar being harvested an average of 43 days before 'Golden Delicious'. 'Cripp's Pink' was the latest cultivar to mature and was harvested an average of 29 days after 'Golden Delicious'. The selection NY 79507-49 had the largest diameter fruit at 8.6 cm followed closely by 'Runkel', 'Hampshire' and 'Co-op 29' ('Sundance tm'). The British Columbia planting location produced the largest fruit averaged across all cultivars. The highest length/diameter (L:D) ratio was recorded for 'Delblush' ('Tentation tm'). 'CQR10T17' was the firmest flesh cultivar at 10 of 11 reporting locations, but it's average firmness of 11.1 kg at harvest would make it too firm for immediate fresh consumption. Average fruit soluble solids concentration (SSC) across all cultivars and locations was 14.5 percent indicating most cultivars in this test had excellent sugar levels. 'BC-8S-26-50' had the highest average SSC at 17.0 percent followed closely by 'Delblush' and then 'Golden Delicious'. Utah recorded the highest SSC at 16.5 percent. 'NJ 90', 'Chinook' and 'Co-op 39' ('Crimson Crisp tm') recorded 88 percent to 90 percent surface red color. Skin russet generally affected about 10 percent to 15 percent of the surface of BC-8S-26-50, 'Golden Delicious', and 'Co-op 29' ('Sundance tm'). Results support the need for widespread testing of new apple cultivars.