Apples are reliable fruits grown on the Northern Plains since homesteaders settled the west. As for the variety of apples we see in the produce display today, the kinds of apples just seem to expand. This week’s Plant Exchange Blog focus is on the Honeycrisp and a few related apples.
David Bedford is a member of the apple research and plant breeding team at the University of Minnesota that developed the ‘Honeycrisp’ apple (Malus pumila‘Honeycrisp’) This apple is one of the top ten apples grown commercially in the United States. (Photo Courtesy of David Bedford)
David Bedford led a tour of his university research center grounds during the 2018 Midwest Master Gardener Conference held at Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. Apple tree seedlings like the ones pictured are trialed outdoors in regional weather conditions. Seedlings that thrive will be the options for future study. Samples of seedlings re studied for desired DNA markers. Of the thousands of apple seedlings trialed, it takes more than two years for the remaining 1% of seedlings to be grown to maturity for fruit taste-testing.
The ‘KinderKrisp’ apple was developed by David MacGregor of Fairhaven Farms in Wright County, Minnesota. Its heritage includes ‘Honeycrisp’ and an edible crabapple cross. It is sold as a backyard apple tree at greenhouses and in catalogues such as Stark Bro’s. (Photo Courtesy of Stark Bro’s)
If you’d like to find out more about what it takes to make a good apple, the link below is to the article recently published by the Yankton Press & Dakotan newspaper:
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