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2017 Apple Maturity Assessments – Week Seven

This week we received three fruit samples from a Maryland grower who grows a wide variety of ‘newer’ apple cultivars for direct-market sales.

AutumnCrisp, CrimsonCrisp and Empire

This week we tested three ‘newer’ mid-season apple cultivars for fruit maturity and quality. Like many of the samples tested this year, fruit size was relatively small. And, like many other samples we’ve tested, most fruit had a number of poorly-developed seeds. Did this result from poor pollination weather or the difficulties faced in chemical thinning this year? Who knows?

AutumnCrisp fruit were the ripest among these three cultivars. CrimsonCrisp fruit were firmer than the Empires, but Empire fruit retained slightly more starch and had the least soluble solids, measured as degrees Brix (see table). While we noted considerable watercore in CrimsonCrisp during 2016, none was seen in samples tested here in 2017.

CultivarDiameter (inches)Red Color (%)Ground ColorFirmness (pounds)Soluble Solids (°Brix)Starch Pattern (1-8 scale)
Autumn Crisp 2.9 83 Light Yellow 14.5 14.8 6
Crimson Crisp 2.6 77 Yellowish Green 22 13.8 5.3
Empire 2.8 70 Yellowish Green 17.9 11.1 4.5

Olympic Asian Pear

For the past two years, we have published alerts about internal browning in late-season Asian pears. While we sent out that information last week, we want to again mention our concerns this week. Growers with late-season Asian pears like Olympic or Ya Li need to begin checking their fruit now for internal browning. Early-mature harvest, short-term storage and consumer education are suggested as ways to minimize losses from internal breakdown in late-season Asian pears like Olympic.

Honeycrisp and Gala

Maturity studies of these cultivars were completed in our trials at the end of August. The commercial harvest of these has been completed in most orchards, unless growers treated their trees with ReTain to delay fruit ripening and reduce pre-harvest drop.

CC week 7

Starch staining pattern and red color development of CrimsonCrisp harvested from tall-spindle plantings in Maryland during the first week of September, 2017. Photo: Audra Bissett, University of Maryland

empire week 7

Starch staining pattern and red color development of Empire harvested from tall-spindle plantings in Maryland during the first week of September, 2017. Photo: Audra Bissett, University of Maryland

Contact Information

Christopher S. Walsh
  • Professor of Pomology, University of Maryland
Tara Baugher
  • Senior Extension Educator
Email:
Phone: 717-334-6271 x314