ANNUAL REPORT OF COOPERATIVE REGIONAL PROJECT NE-183, Multidisciplinary Evaluation of New Apple Cultivars

January 1 to December 31, 1996
John A. Cline and Mary Bom

I. Progress and Principal Accomplishments

Objective 1: Evaluate horticultural qualities and pest susceptibilities of new apple cultivars, strains, and advanced selections at numerous locations throughout North America to determine both the limitation and the positive attributes of these cultivars.

1995 NE-185 Cultivar Trial (Tables 1 and 2)

The orchard site consists of a sandy-loam soil overlying a gravely-sand calcareous parent material. Six trees died in the year of planting (1985) followed by one additional tree in year 2 (1996), all likely related to the severe moisture stress and canker experienced in 1995.

II. Usefulness of Findings

Objective 1:

Any observations on initial tree growth must be considered preliminary given that the trial has been in the ground for two seasons. Nevertheless, there do appear to be clear cultivaral differences in tree growth, habit, vigour, and possibly disease susceptibility.

A much greater appreciation for cultivar differences in terms of tree growth and fruit quality will be realized beginning in 1997 (yr 3) when the trees are fruited for the first time.

III. Work Plans for 1996

Objective 1:

1) Continue data collection as outlined in the protocol developed by the NE-183 technical committee (and sub-committees).

2) In conjunction with others, try to establish a common approach where sensory evaluations could be conducted in an objective manner on each of the cultivars. This would lead to the development of cultivar profiles which could then be used to compare site differences in terms of fruit quality.