Tree Growth and Productivity and Postharvest Fruit Quality in Various Strains of `Delicious' Apple

in Journal of the American Society for Horticultural Science
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  • 1 Department of Plant, Soil, and Entomological Sciences, Parma Research and Extension Center, University of Idaho, 29603 U of I Lane, Parma, ID 83660
  • 2 Tree Fruit Research Center, Washington State University, Wenatchee, WA 98801

Twenty-six strains of `Delicious' apple (Malus domestica Borkh.) were evaluated over several years for growth, yield, and fruit quality at harvest and after 6 months of storage. `August Red', `Rose Red', and `Sharp Red' had larger trunk cross-sectional area (TCSA) 3 and 18 years after planting compared to most other strains. `August Red' and `Starking' had larger TCSA and cumulative yield. `Apex,' `Improved Ryan Spur', `Silverspur', `Starkrimson', and `Wellspur' were also among strains with high cumulative yields and yield efficiencies. `Hardi-Brite Spur' and `Red King Oregon Spur' had moderately high yields and small TCSAs, thus, high yield efficiencies. `Atwood', `Hardispur', `Imperial', `Improved Ryanred', `Starkspur Supreme', and `Topred' had low cumulative yields. `Ace' and `Improved Ryanred' had low yield efficiencies. `Ace', `Imperial', `Red King Oregon Spur', `Rose Red', `Starking', and `Wellspur' had heavier fruit, while fruit weight in `August Red', `Hardispur', and `Starkrimson' was lighter than that in most other strains. `Redspur' and `Starkspur Supreme' had the largest length to diameter (L/D) ratios. `Early Red One' had a similar red skin color rating as `Rose Red.' The red skin color rating of `Early Red One' was significantly higher than that of all other strains. `Hi-Early', `Improved Ryanred', `Redspur', and `Starking' had the poorest skin color ratings. `Hardispur', `Nured Royal', `Silverspur', and `Starkrimson' had high soluble solids concentrations (SSCs) at harvest and after storage. `Early Red One', `Imperial', `Improved Ryan Spur', and `Red King Oregon Spur' had lower SSCs at harvest and after storage. Fruit of `Apex' and `Redspur' had relatively high firmness at harvest, while `Hardispur', `Silverspur', `Starkrimson', and `Starkspur Supreme' had firm fruit at harvest and after storage. `Hardi-Brite Spur' had the softest fruit after storage, and fruit from `Rose Red' had a lower firmness than most other strains at harvest and after storage. Considering cumulative yield, yield efficiency, or some quality parameters, `Apex', `Classic Red', `Improved Ryan Spur', `Red King Oregon Spur', `Silverspur', and `Wellspur' had satisfactory overall performance. Strains are also suggested for planting depending on the market situation and the demand for a particular quality factor. `Hardispur' and `Sturdeespur' (Miller) are not recommended for planting under climatic conditions similar to those of this experiment.

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