NEWER APPLE VARIETIES WORTH USING AND CULTIVATING
by Terence F. Moore
The best selling apples in the United States today are Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious, MacIntosh, and Jonathons, but these are slowly being replaced by newer varieties. Some of these new varieties originated as a chance sport on an existing tree, but some were genetically developed by various agricultural research stations around the world.
Newer varieties, which are truly outstanding, are as follows:
Gala - This apple, which ripens in mid September in our region, may one day replace the Red Delicious as the favorite eating apple in the USA. A cross between a Golden Delicious and a Cox Orange, it originated in New Zealand and was introduced to the United States in 1965. The apple is similar in taste to the golden Delicious. Numerous types of Galas are grown in Michigan. Some of them are: the Royal Gala, Imperial Gala, Fulford Gala, and Scarlet Gala. It is impossible to differentiate between these types in blindfold tests, but each has its own unique coloring. Gala is an all-purpose apple which is especially good for eating.
Jonagold is a cross between Golden Delicious and Jonathan and has the best qualities of both. It has fine dessert and eating qualities and excellent cooking properties. Jonagold ripens in mid October and was originally introduced in 1968 by the Geneva experimental station in New York. It is the most widely planted apple tree in Europe and for good reason.
Criterion is a cross between Red Delicious, Yellow Delicious and Winter Banana. It has a red delicious shape, Yellow Delicious character and the storage qualities of a Winter Banana. It is rated as excellent for eating, cooking, freezing, drying or canning. It was introduced in 1973.
Macoun - This apple is shaped much like MacIntosh, which is one of its parents. It is dark purplish with a red blush and is less tart than a MacIntosh. It is a very high quality, all purpose dessert apple. The apple was actually introduced by the Geneva Experimental Station in 1923 and has been a favorite apple of people in the northeast for several decades. In taste tests it usually rates in the upper 5% of the apples being sampled. It ripens in mid October, but falls relatively soon after ripening.
Mollies Delicious is a mid-season apple that ripens in early September in my orchard. It is shaped like a Red Delicious, only larger. It is very juicy and a high quality eating apple with more flavor than any Red Delicious I have ever eaten. Although they do not store well, it is worthwhile to grow them because they are one of the best eating apples of their season.
Blushing Golden. This apple is sometimes referred to as 'Griffith' and has a yellow, waxy skin like a Yellow Delicious with an orange red blush on it. It will not shrivel in storage and is more crisp and tart than a Yellow Delicious. It is a very good all-purpose apple that ripens in mid-October in Midland.
Mutsu, also called 'Crispen', is a large, greenish yellow apple. It is a cross between Golden Delicious and Indo that was developed in Japan in the late 1940's. Mutsu is an outstanding apple for applesauce, eating and baking. It is difficult to grow in Michigan because it is very susceptible to the diseases of scab and blister spot. In fact, it is not recommended for Michigan growers because it is so susceptible to these diseases. Nonetheless, when grown successfully, it is of outstanding quality.
Fugi is a very high quality apple that is a cross between a Ralls Janet and Delicious. Developed in Japan and introduced in the United States in 1962, it is the most popular apple in Asia at the present time. It is a crisp, juicy, yellow-green, of medium size and has outstanding eating qualities. It ripens in late October in Midland even though some people say we are too far north for it to ripen. It will keep in a basement until April.
Spigold is a cross between Northern Spy and Golden Delicious. This large golden fruit is covered with bright red stripes and many think it is superior to either of the parents. It was introduced in 1962 and is outstanding for baking and excellent for almost all other purposes.
Even newer varieties are being planted that will eventually replace the varieties just mentioned. Their names will only become familiar after the turn of this century; Honey Crisp and Ginger Gold are two such varieties. A friend who owns a 300 acre orchard states that the Honey Crisp apple is the best piece of fruit he has ever had in his mouth.
All of this is good news for apple lovers. Be sure to taste a particular variety before planting the tree. One of these new varieties might be the ideal match with your particular taste and you may deem it to be the perfect apple.
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