Submitted to: Annual Cumberland Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: March 27, 2003
Publication Date: June 1, 2003
Citation: Miller, S.S. 2003. Horticultural performance of apple cultivars in the ne-183 planting in west virginia. Annual Cumberland Shenandoah Fruit Workers Conference. Vi, 78:189-202, 2002 Interpretive Summary: Systematic, long-term evaluation of newer apple cultivars is lacking in the United States. Fruit specialists and growers lack good information for a sound and economical basis for future plantings. This study is part of a regional project to evaluate newer apple cultivars under a wide range of edaphic and climatic growing conditions and determine their adaptability and quality across regions. Replicated plantings were made in 1995 and 1999 of 43 cultivars. Results have identified potential cultivars adapted to the mid-Atlantic region and the fruit quality and sensory characteristics that can be expected. This information will assist commercial and dooryard apple growers as well as extension fruit specialists in future planting of high quality apple cultivars.
Technical Abstract: Twenty-three apple cultivars were planted in duplicate, replicated blocks with five trees per cultivar in 1995 at the Appalachian Fruit Research Station. One block was used to evaluate the horticultural (H) performance and one block was used to determine the pest (P) susceptibility for the different cultivars. A third planting was made in 1999 that contained 20 additional cultivars. Trees were planted in a randomized complete block with five trees per cultivar (except as noted because of budwood shortage). Despite early and heavy tree losses in the 1995 H planting, because of a fire blight infection following a hailstorm in June 1995, all cultivars performed reasonably well under local growing conditions. In the 1995 planting, two scab resistant cultivars, 'GoldRush' and 'Enterprise', performed quite well and appear to be cultivars suited for planting in the mid-Atlantic region. Flesh cracking was a problem in some years on 'GoldRush' and studies are being planned to examine treatments that can reduce or prevent this malady. Several cultivars exhibited high levels of preharvest fruit drop under natural conditions, most notably 'Golden Supreme' an otherwise high quality, early, russet-free, yellow skinned apple. Data are presented for the annual yield, days from full bloom-to-harvest, preharvest fruit drop, fruit quality, and sensory ratings for selected cultivars from the first two cropping years of cultivars in the 1999 planting. Potential cultivars well adapted to the mid-Atlantic region are identified.