Apple Varieties


In order of Harvest

Summer Varieties

SUNRISE

Maturity Season: Early season, mid August to early September in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Based on ripe eating taste and background colour change from green to cream/yellow.

Fruit Description: Medium to large in size. Taste is sweet and sub-acid. Skin color is pinkish/red blush and stripes over a cream/ yellow ground. Flesh is white to cream in color.

Tree Description: Vigorous, spurry and fairly precocious.

Production: Very productive and precocious. A multiple pick variety.

Strains: None

Advantages: Early season bi-color apple.

Disadvantages: Storage life is very short. Marketing period is limited to pre-Gala timing. For niche markets only. Susceptible to apple scab.

Storage: Very short, direct sales only.

Planting Trends: Current planting considered adequate. Planting in later areas will be limited to direct sales as normal retail trade will not take Sunrise once Galas are available

Comments: Market acceptability is limited. Use caution if planning on planting this variety. Niche market only.

 

GINGER GOLD

Canadian Plant Breeders Right 0389

Maturity Season: Early Season, Mid August to early September in BC

Harvest Criteria: Based on skin color change from green to yellow colour and 25% to 50% of the seeds with colour change.

Fruit Description: Taste is sweet and sub-acid. Skin color is yellow with no over color. Flesh is white to cream in color.

Tree Description: Vigorous, spurry and fairly precocious.

Production: Very productive. 1 to 2 picks.

Strains: None

Advantages: Early season yellow apple.

Disadvantages: Storage life is short.

Extremely short harvest window.

Very susceptible to mildew and fire blight. Unproven market acceptance.

Storage: Very short, direct sales only.

Planting Trends: Limited planting.

Comments: Market acceptability is limited. Use caution if planning on planting this variety.

 

GALA

Maturity Season: Early Season, Late August to mid September in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Based on starch conversion and ground color change from green to creamy-white color. Starch charts are available.

Fruit Description: Taste is sweet and sub-acid with distinctive aromatics. Skin color is 40 to 90% orange red blush, stripes and flecks over cream yellow ground. Creamy yellow flesh is firm, crisp and juicy.

Tree Description: Vigorous, spurry and fairly precocious. Wood is very brittle. Caution is advised when manipulating branches during tree training.

Bloom and Pollination: Can have an extended blossom period.

Production: Very productive. This variety needs prompt and adequate thinning to ensure good fruit size. Fruit on over-cropped trees may not mature in a timely manner. Royal and Imperial are multiple pick varieties. New strains may be 1 or 2 pick varieties.

Strains & Standard Sports: Royal and Imperial,

New high Color Sports; Davison Gala, Brookfield, Olsen two (Pacific), Gales, Galaxy, Mitchgla

There are many sports and strains. Contact you field person for recommendations. Buckeye and some other blush strains are not recommended.

Advantages: World known variety, accepted as a commodity type apple.  BC can produce high quality fruit. Annual cropping

Disadvantages: World production of Gala is increasing. Royal and Imperial are multiple pick varieties. Fruit size can be small. Susceptible to powdery mildew, apple scab and fire blight.

Storage: 3 1/2 months in air

Perhaps 6 months in CA

Planting Trends: Increasing in North America and the World. High colored one pick strains and sports dominate plantings.

 

MCINTOSH

Maturity Season: Early September in BC, with or just after Gala. 

Harvest Criteria: Dependent on the change to red in the skin over-color. Lack of red color will reduce the packout.

Fruit Description: Taste is sweet/tart and unique. Skin color is red blush over green ground. Flesh is white.

Tree Description: Moderately vigorous, and moderately precocious.

Production: Moderately productive and precocious. Needs prompt and adequate thinning to ensure fruit size. 1 to 2 picks.

Strains: There are many strains but Summerland Red Mac and VK71 a new high coloured sport are probably the most widely planted.

Advantages: “Mac” is an established variety in Canada and has a consumer following.

Disadvantages: Attaining adequate color can be a problem with standard Mac.  Storage life is short.  Stored fruit can lose pressure quickly resulting in a short shelf life.  This variety is subject to stem punctures and bruising at harvest. Care in handling is essential.  Suffers from pre-harvest drop.  Susceptible to scab, mildew and fire blight

Storage: Short, about 8 weeks in 1°C air. Longer in CA

Planting Trends: Declining rapidly, current production is adequate.

Comments: While market acceptability is known over production and poor storage qualities may result in low returns. Use caution if planning on planting this variety.

 

HONEYCRISP

Canadian Plant Breeders’ Right 1007

Maturity Season: Early Season, slightly after McIntosh in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Based on skin color, fruit pressure and starch conversion. The fruit can be very slow in developing over-color. Excess nitrogen can inhibit fruit coloring.

Fruit Description: Taste is sweet and sub-acid. Skin color can be 40 to 90% pink red blush and/or stripes over green/yellow ground. Creamy yellow flesh is firm, crisp and juicy. Fruit has a dull finish and a dimpled appearance.

Tree Description: Non-vigorous, spurry and fairly precocious. Growth is very weak after fruiting commences. Leaf mottling and some leaf edge necrosis are inherent in the variety. Tree is very cold hardy, perhaps up to -40°C. Reports of extreme biennial bearing.

Production: Moderately productive. Can be very biennial. Can suffer preharvest drop.

Strains: There are reports that there may be 2 distinct strains of Honeycrisp. One that colors well (blushed) and one that colors poorly (striped). This has not been substantiated in BC.  There are a couple new high coloured strains in the US which have not been released into Canada yet.

Advantages: New variety that is getting a good reputation for eating quality in the world.  Some promotion of the variety has occurred in the world. Very limited plantings in BC.

Disadvantages: Can be very biennial.

Achieving color on the fruit can be difficult

Fruit size and appearance are very unstable

Keeping fruit size down to an acceptable level can be a problem.  Bitter pit in large fruit.  Tree is susceptible to mildew.  Fruit is susceptible to soft scald in storage

Reports of internal browning in stored fruit

Storage: 3 1/2 months in air

Perhaps 6 months in CA

Planting Trends: Increasing in North America and the World. Slow increase of plantings in BC.

Comments: This variety has many challenges that growers may or may not be able or willing to overcome. A world-wide program to remedy some of the challenges has been undertaken. Honeycrisp is more suited to cooler areas such as the North Okanagan. Caution is advised when considering planting this variety.

 

EARLY FUJI

Maturity Season: Mid September in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Harvest by starch conversion, taste and red over-colour.

Fruit Description: The taste is sweet, size is large.

Tree Description: Moderate vigour, spreading, precocious.

Production: Unknown

Strains: Auvil Early Fuji, Autumn Rose, September Wonder.

Advantages: Works for Northern regions with shorter season where growing standard Fuji can be a problem or as an Early Fuji as long as can be sold before traditional Fuji matures.

Disadvantages: Biennial bearing.

Storage: Not as good as Standard Fuji.

Planting Trends: Limited.

Comments: May have some potential in the Southern Okanagan as a pre-Fuji.

 

GOLDEN DELICIOUS

Maturity Season: Mid to late September in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Harvest by starch conversion. Starch conversion charts are available. Do not use color as a harvest indicator.

Fruit Description: The taste is sweet and slightly tart. Skin color is green/yellow with no over color. The flesh is white to cream in color.

Tree Description: Vigorous, productive and precocious.

Production: Very productive and precocious. Needs prompt and adequate thinning to ensure fruit size. 1 to 2 picks. Can be biennial bearing.

Strains: No specific color strains. Gibson Golden (Smoothee™) is somewhat russet resistant. Numerous spur-type clones. Spur-type clones have inferior internal quality compared to non-spur types.

Advantages: “Golden” is an established variety in the world and has a consumer following. It is the most planted yellow apple. Productive, used as pollinizer for many varieties.

Disadvantages: Skin russet can be a problem.  Some biennial bearing. Can bruise at harvest, requires care in handling.  Cannot be used to pollinate first generation off-spring e.g. Jonagold.

Storage: Long storage in CA.

Planting Trends: Declining in the last few years.

Comments: Golden Delicious production has declined worldwide in the last few years.

 

Mid Season

AMBROSIA

 
Canadian Plant Breeders’ Right 0388

Maturity Season: Late September to Early October in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Harvest by starch conversion only. Ambrosia starch conversion charts are available. Do not use color as a harvest indicator. Starch in the fruit of Ambrosia converts at about 1.5 units per week. This gives Ambrosia a short harvest window

Fruit Description: The taste is sweet; the flesh is crisp, juicy and aromatic. Skin color is cream/yellow ground with distinctive 40 to 80% pink/red over-color. The over-color is blush and broad faint stripes. The flesh is white to cream in color. The fruit is very clean.

Tree Description: Moderately vigorous, and very productive and precocious. Tree is very upright and spurry. Growth in the first year after budding or grafting can be slow. Well suited to super spindle plantings.

Production: Very productive and precocious. Needs prompt and adequate thinning to ensure fruit size. 1 to 2 picks. No reports of biennial bearing. Over cropped trees or trees treated with excessive nitrogen result in poor colored fruit with low storability.

Strains: None

Advantages: Ambrosia is a new cultivar creating grower, buyer, and consumer interest. The fruit is easy to harvest and packs well. Release of the variety in the world will be under controlled planting and production agreements. Growers are committed to promoting this variety.

Disadvantages: Short harvest window.

Storage: Moderate storage life in air and CA. Similar or less than Gala.

Planting Trends: Increasing dramatically in the last few years

 

8S6923 / AURORA GOLDEN GALA

Canadian Plant Breeders’ Right 1652

Maturity Season: Late September to early October in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Harvest by starch, (4-5 on the Cornell Generic or Jonagold) taste, and change in skin color to yellow, (No. 4 on the Aurora Golden Gala colour chart).

Fruit Description: Medium in size, round conic in shape. Skin color is yellow at harvest. Flesh is cream/white in color, very crisp and very juicy. The taste is sweet and very mildly tart with fruity aromatic undertones.  Thin skin eats very well but marks and shows bruises easily.  Some sun exposed fruit will develop a light red blush on the sunny side.  Blush is attractive but variable based on growing location and year.

Tree Description: Moderately vigorous, and very productive and very precocious. Tree is very spurry. Well suited to super spindle plantings. 

Production: Extremely productive and precocious.  Extensive winter spur pruning is required to keep the number of fruiting sites manageable.  Needs prompt and adequate thinning to ensure fruit size and even maturity. 1 to 2 picks. No reports of biennial bearing. Over cropped trees or trees treated with excessive nitrogen result in poor prolonged maturity season.

Strains: None

Advantages: 8S6923 is a new cultivar from the breeding program at PARC.  It is a new yellow apple that has a long storage life and exceptional eating qualities.  Extremely long storage and shelf life.

Disadvantages: Extremely grower intensive.  Consumer response to another yellow apple is unknown. Can be hard to pick if trees are young.  All marks are apparent, so must be marketed on its internal qualities, not its looks.  Care should be taken to minimize bruising at harvest and the packing lines.  Very new variety.

Storage: Very good storage life in air.

Planting Trends: Decreasing in the last few years.

Comments: This variety is very new to the apple world. Caution is advised when deciding whether or not to plant this variety.

 

SPA493 / SALISH™

Canadian Plant Breeders’ Right 3391 

Maturity Season: Late September to early October in Summerland. Harvest and storage criteria are being established by PARC.

Harvest Criteria: Ripe eating, 4-5 on Cornell General Starch Chart.

Fruit Description: Medium fruit size, round and slightly squat in shape, bicoloured, 80% solid pinkish-red over colour and yellow-green background colour, usually a bright yellow calyx end flash.  Fruit is tangy, sweet sub-acid in taste, juicy and very crisp. Medium stem bowl russet that often breaks over the shoulders is characteristic.

Tree Description: Flattened and wide branch angles, spurry, moderate vigour. Very grower friendly to super spindle system.

Production: Good productivity and precocity with regular bearing.

Strains: None

Advantages: Attractive new variety with good flavour, storage, and growth habit.

Disadvantages: Young tree fruit are susceptible to russet and misshapen fruit which is often unmarketable.

Storage: Excellent, 6-8 months in regular cold storage.

Planting Trends: This is a new variety that is being planted in limited quantities, but growing steadily.

Comments: Although there is strong potential as a high end niche variety, the full market potential of this variety has not yet been assessed.  Salish™ is a protected trade name that carries with it certain quality standards. A license must be obtained from PICO to use the Salish™ name when selling fruit.

 

SPARTAN

Maturity Season: Mid Season, mid to late September to early October in BC.

Harvest Criteria: Based on starch conversion and red over-color

Fruit Description: Medium to large in size, globose in shape. Taste is sweet/tart, and distinctive. Skin color is 90 to 100% dark red blush over green ground. The white flesh is crisp and juicy.

Tree Description: Vigorous, spreading tree habit and fairly precocious. No spur types recognized. Has some blind wood.

Production: Moderately productive. 1 pick.

Strains: None

Advantages: Long storage life. BC grows very high quality Spartans. Very few other growing areas produce Spartan.  Attaining color is usually not a problem. 1 pick.

Disadvantages: Blind wood can be a problem.  Needs adequate thinning to maintain fruit size.  Needs adequate light penetration to maintain high fruit color. Very few other growing areas produce Spartan.  Historically, selling agencies have been able to maintain the price and market for the amount of Spartan grown in BC, however the last few years have seen declining returns.

Storage: Fruit has been stored for long periods in CA. Up to 9 months.

Planting Trends: Stable in BC.

Comments: Spartan breakdown in storage can be controlled with Calcium dips. Avoid excessive nitrogen applications.

 

SPA440 / NICOLA

Canadian Plant Breeders’ Right 3390

Maturity Season: Mid-Late season, Early – Mid October. 

Harvest Criteria: Based on starch conversion, (3-4 on Cornell Generic starch chart) and background color starts to break from green to yellow.

Fruit Description: Large in size. Taste is sweet with low acidity and high in aromatics. Skin color is 80% cherry-red blush over green/yellow ground. The white/cream flesh is very firm, crisp and juicy. The fruit is borne on very long thin stems.

Tree Description: Low to moderately vigorous and with flat branch angles and some blind wood. Precocious and productive.  Tree establishment is preferred over early cropping as growth can be weak after fruiting commences.

Bloom and Pollination: Very late season bloom.

Production: Moderate to good production.

Strains: None.

Advantages: Long storage and shelf life.

Late bloom may be advantageous in frost-prone sites. Keeps well in air storage without becoming waxy

Disadvantages: Market response is unknown.  Limited regional evaluations have been done on this variety.  Some stem bowl russetting, more noticeable on first year fruit or after cool wet springs.  Sunburn may be an issue; if overhead cooling is not available, a sunburn protectant and / or ensuring good leaf cover may help.

Storage: Very long storage potential and long shelf life.

Planting Trends: Limited new planting due to challenges with stem bowl russet.

Comments: SPA440 (Nicola™) is a mid-late season high quality apple variety. Growers interested in planting this variety are urged to contact PICO for information.

 

FUJI

Maturity Season: Late Season, mid to late October in BC. With Braeburn. 

Harvest Criteria: Based on starch conversion, taste and red over-color.

Fruit Description: Taste is sweet with little acid, and distinctive. Skin color is 25 to 50% pink/red blush over green/yellow ground. The white/cream flesh is firm, crisp and juicy.

Tree Description: Moderate vigor, non-spurry habit and very precocious. Can exhibit biennial bearing. Can be difficult to train.

Production: Moderately productive but can bear biennially.

Strains: Many strains; Fuji BC 2 are the most common in BC.  Newer sports include: Fuji 97 and Aztec.

Advantages: Unique taste has a consumer following.  World class apple.  Good storage potential.  

Disadvantages: Can have a very long growing season.  Production in China is expanding rapidly.  Achieving color can be a problem.  Fruit can exhibit skin russeting, sunscald, and watercore.

Storage: Good with very good CA potential and long shelf life

Planting Trends: Stable in BC and the world with the exception of China. Some interest in new strains. Only newer, high coloured sports should be planted.

Comments: The production of Fuji in China has scared a lot of growers off planting Fuji. Caution is advised in planting this variety.

 

GRANNYSMITH

Maturity Season: Late Season, mid to late October in BC. with Braeburn, often picked earlier. “The time to pick is when the price is right”. 

Harvest Criteria: Based on starch conversion, taste and market availability.

Fruit Description: Medium to large in size, round in shape. Taste is distinctively tart with some sweetness. Skin color green with conspicuous white lenticels. The white flesh is firm, crisp and juicy.

Tree Description: Vigorous, slightly weeping in habit, and precocious. Has a tendency to tip bear.

Production: Very productive.

Strains: Regular Granny Smith is the only strain worth planting. Spur type Granny’s are very inferior in fruit quality.

Advantages: Unique taste has a consumer following.  World class apple.  Good storage potential.  Consumer acceptance has allowed Granny to maintain its market and returns

Disadvantages: Can have a very long growing season. Fruit can exhibit, sunscald, and watercore. Fruit with pink/red blush may be undesirable in the market place. Moderately susceptible to apple scab, powdery mildew and fireblight.

Storage: Good with very good CA potential and long shelf life. Storage scald may develop if picked too early.

Planting Trends: The world market for green apples is stable.

Comments: Granny Smith has maintained its market share for the last few years. Solid green fruit color may be maintained if the trees are kept vigorous and fuller than super-spindle. Some markets are rejecting fruit with blush and conspicuous white lenticels.

 

CRIPPS PINK

PINK LADY®

Maturity Season: Very late season, late October to early November; after Fuji. 

Harvest Criteria: Based on pink/red over-color.

Fruit Description: Small to medium in size, conical, long oblate in shape. Taste is tart and distinctive. Skin color is 25 to 70% pink/red blush over lime green/yellow ground. The skin of the fruit can have a dimpled (pebbled) appearance. The white/cream flesh is very firm, and somewhat dry. Fruit should be stored to achieve optimum flavor.

Tree Description: Vigorous with upright habit and moderately precocious. Can be difficult to train. Very distinctive leaves.

Bloom and Pollination: Can have very extended bloom. 

Production: Moderately productive.

Strains: None. There are sports being produced in other fruit growing areas of the world, e.g. Pink Kiss. They are not available here at this time.

Advantages: Unique taste has some consumer following. Good storage potential. May have a place in the tart apple market

Disadvantages: Can have a very long growing season. Very susceptible to fire-blight and apple scab. Achieving maturity can be a problem.  Fruit size can be small.

Sensitive to harvest and packing bruises. Tree is not grower friendly.

Storage: Good with promising CA potential and long shelf life

Planting Trends: There is demand for this variety but perhaps it should be grown in only the earliest sites.

Comments: Pink Lady® is a registered trademark in Canada. There is an international organization dedicated to the promotion of Pink Lady apples. Caution is advised for growers; this variety matures very late in the season.