Apple Cultivars for the Wholesale Market

To keep up with consumers’ changing tastes, growers should routinely replant orchard blocks with new apple cultivars.
Apple Cultivars for the Wholesale Market - Videos


In this video, we will discuss cultivars well suited for wholesale marketing. These are apples consumers will recognize the names and enjoy the tastes of, and many of them will hold up well in storage and shipping.


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- [Instructor] To keep up with consumers' changing tastes growers should routinely replant orchard blocks to new apple cultivars.

In this video we will discuss cultivars well suited for wholesale marketing.

These are apples consumers will recognize the names and enjoy the tastes of and many of them will hold up well in storage and shipping.

Honeycrisp was developed at the University of Minnesota.

The tree is not very vigorous and should not be planted on M9 or B9, unless they are spaced close together.

Leaves of Honeycrisp frequently exhibit a yellow mottling during the summer.

Fruit are known for their outstanding crisp texture, and mature early to mid September.

Fruit are large, with a 50 to 70 percent solid to mottled scarlet red on green background.

There are new higher coloring strains available as well as earlier maturing strains.

Regular atmosphere storage life has been as long as six to seven months.

Fruit are prone to storage disorders, and researchers are investigating strategies for predicting which fruit to market immediately, versus which ones are likely to store well.

For further information on this and other apples released by the University of Minnesota, visit their site at

Ambrosia was found as a chance seedling in British Columbia.

The parentage is believed to be a combination of Delicious and Golden Delicious, which is apparent by its slightly conical shape.

Ambrosia matures in late September to early October.

Trees have an upright growth habit, making the limbs difficult to spread.

The fruit are easy to thin with chemical thinners.

Fruit are fine grained and sweet with a smooth red over yellow finish.

Though originally released to the general public, it was placed under restrictions that limited its planting to Canadian growers.

These restriction are due to expire in the U.S. in June 2017.

Fuji was developed in Japan.

A strong biennial bearing habit makes thinning and return bloom sprays important practices with this variety.

Fruit are medium sized and round to conical in shape.

The flesh is firm and crisp and fruit have a sweet sub-acid flavor.

Standard Fuji matures in late October, and may not reach maturity in central and northern Pennsylvania.

However, early maturing strains are now available that allow Fuji to be grown in nearly all apple producing regions of the state.

Gala was developed in New Zealand as a cross between Kidd's Orange Pippin and Golden Delicious.

Gala matures at the end of August in the southern portions of Pennsylvania and requires multiple pickings for best quality.

Gala has crisp juicy flesh and an excellent flavor, and storage life is rated at three to six months.

Fruit size tends to be on the smaller side and is uniformly oval to round.

The original Gala is pale to golden yellow with bright red orange stripes, but many high coloring strains are now available, including Buckeye Gala, and Gale Gala.

There is also Autumn Gala, a late maturing strain.

Cameo was a chance seedling found in a block of Delicious and matures in mid October.

Fruit have an attractive bright red striping over a yellow to green ground color.

Fruit are conical like a Delicious and medium to large in size.

The flesh is firm and creamy white.

The flavor has been reported as sweet tart and has been well received by consumers.

Storage life is reported to be up to one year in controlled atmosphere storage.

Delicious was discovered as a chance seedling in the 1800s.

In the late 1900s it was one of the most widely planted apple cultivars.

Delicious matures early to mid October.

Early strains of the variety were vigorous and not very precocious.

Strains with spur type growth habits were discovered in the 1980s and these were highly productive and easier to manage.

Spur type trees are more compact than standard strains and should be planted closer together, or on more vigorous rootstocks.

There are many strains available, though only spur types are recommended.

Redchief is one of the best early coloring strains evaluated.

Evercrisp was developed by the Midwest Apple Improvement Association, a private grower funded organization.

It is a cross of Fuji and Honeycrisp.

To purchase trees, the individual must be a member of the association and agree to pay a per tree royalty once they begin producing.

Fruit mature mid to late October and resemble the maternal parent, Fuji, in shape and appearance, while the fruit texture is similar to Honeycrisp.

Fruit are sweet and have a long harvest and storage window.

Golden Delicious was discovered in West Virginia in 1905 and is believed to be a cross of Grimes Golden and Golden Reinette.

It matures late September to early October.

It is an all purpose apple and a reliable producer that is relatively easy to manage.

Fruit can develop some skin russeting in humid production regions.

The Gibson strain of Golden Delicious has less tendency to russet and now that it is no longer under patent, most of today's Goldens originate from this bud spore.

The trademark name is Smoothee.

Cripps Pink is the correct name of the cultivar being marketed as Pink Lady.

When trees are purchased, the grower receives a royalty free license from Pink Lady America, allowing the grower to use the Pink Lady name.

Trees grow vigorously and upright, but are susceptible to fire blight.

Fruit have a pink blush over a yellow background with a cream colored flesh.

Fruit are medium in size and oblong in shape.

The flesh is very firm and the fruit have a long storage life.

Fruit mature mid November, so many locations in Pennsylvania do not have a long enough growing season to adequately mature the fruit.

In central Pennsylvania, fruit are harvested still immature around November fifth.

RubyMac is an early coloring strain of McIntosh and matures in early to mid September.

McIntosh is known for its tender white flesh and tangy tart flavor.

Fruit are firm and hang well on the tree.

McIntosh is highly susceptible to scab and the southeast portion of the state may be too warm for Macs.

Royal Empire matures in early October.

It is a high coloring strain of the original.

Empire is a cross of Delicious and McIntosh.

It has a creamy white flesh and a good sweet tart flavor.

The variety tends to be small but it stores well and packouts are often higher than other varieties.

Empires tend to do better in warmer regions than Macs, however, since it is still a Mac type, it is also susceptible to scab.

These cultivars have been evaluated in orchards in Adams and Centre Counties.

As mentioned in some descriptions, there are a few cultivars that will perform well in one region of the state, but should be avoided in others.

Before setting out large plantings of a new strain or cultivar, always plant a few trees on a trial basis.

Also try to visit or talk to growers in your area who may already have bearing fruit of a particular apple you'd like to grow.

For more information on cultivar and rootstock selection visit the Penn State Extension Tree Fruit Production website.

If growing fruit trees is a new venture for you gather as much information as possible prior to planting a new orchard, and also consider taking a Penn State Extension Workshop on commercial fruit growing.


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