The Midwest Apple Improvement Association (MAIA) has recently introduced four new apple varieties, building on their success with the popular EverCrisp apples. These new varieties, namely Rosalee, Sweet Zinger, Ludacrisp, and Summerset, are expected to be available for purchase in 2020 after being grafted in 2018.
Rosalee is a cross between Fuji and Honeycrisp apples. It ripens alongside Golden Delicious, offering a long harvest window. This apple has a texture reminiscent of Honeycrisp and maintains its texture even in storage. However, growers have noticed a higher incidence of storage rot compared to other varieties. Rosalees are susceptible to fire blight and have a low level of scab resistance. The trees have moderate vigor and require chemical and hand thinning. Rosalee apples are medium to medium-large in size, growing to 2.75 to 3.75 inches.
Summerset, another Fuji-Honeycrisp cross, ripens alongside traditional Honeycrisp apples. It has a two-week harvest window, but extreme heat can shorten this period. Summerset apples are large-sized, with a size comparable to Honeycrisp. They have fewer management problems and offer a good packout. The trees grow with moderate vigor and require pruning to control the number of spurs and ensure optimal fruit production. Summersets have a long harvest window and can stay on the tree without getting soft or falling off. However, extended storage requires the application of MCP.
Ludacrisp is an open-pollinated Honeycrisp apple that ripens later in the Golden Delicious season. This bright red apple has modest scab susceptibility and fewer fire blight strikes compared to Honeycrisp. However, further resistance trials are needed to evaluate its performance. The tree’s vigor is slightly stronger than EverCrisp, with unique growth patterns. Apples grow to 3 to 3.5 inches and are known for their Juicyfruit-like taste.
Sweet Zinger, a cross between Gold Rush and Sweet 16, harvests approximately two weeks after Golden Delicious. It has a distinctive acidic taste, adding to its appeal. The tree has a compact growth habit, with wide attachment angles on fewer branches. It is well-suited for platform picking. Sweet Zinger shows low susceptibility to fire blight and apple scab but is not ethylene resistant. To ensure optimal storage and quality, heat treatment in the shade and subsequent cold storage is recommended.
MAIA does not propagate or sell trees directly, but interested parties can contact Wafler Nursery of Wolcott, New York, currently serving as the licensed nursery for these varieties. They offer grafting services and will guide growers through the process of obtaining these new apple varieties.
For more information about MAIA and their apple varieties, visit Ratingperson. MAIA is constantly striving to improve apple varieties and will be evaluating additional varieties during their winter meeting, which will be held in conjunction with the Mid-Atlantic Fruit and Vegetable Convention in Hershey, Pennsylvania, from January 30th to February 1st.
Disclaimer: The descriptions provided are based on MAIA’s test plot experiences and may vary depending on specific growing conditions and practices.