Gardening Articles: Edibles :: Fruit & Nut Trees

What's New With Deciduous Fruit?

by Lance Walheim


'Bluebyrd' Plum

New deciduous tree fruit varieties don't appear very often, but when they do, it usually points to a significant development in flavor, hardiness, or disease resistance. Here are some of best of the more recent additions to the fruit tree world.

Apricots for the North

'Harglow' is reputedly hardy and fruitful from USDA Zone 4 in the North to zone 8 in the South. Cross-pollination is not needed. It makes large, juicy, flavorful fruits and the tree has some resistance to the common apricot diseases of brown rot and perennial canker.

Apriums and Pluots for California

These fruits are hybrids of apricots and plums, and as you might expect, the apriums taste and grow most like apricots, and pluots are most like plums. Pluots and apriums perform best in California where winters are moderately cold and late-spring frosts are rare. Apriums grow well throughout apricot-growing regions of California, Washington, and Utah. Pluots grow wherever Japanese plums grow well (primarily zones 5 to 8). How they both perform outside California isn't known. All need cross-pollination (recommendations are listed with each variety).

'Dapple Dandy' is a very sweet pluot with white-flesh streaked with red. The medium-sized fruit has deep red and yellow mottled skin. Pollinate with 'Flavor Supreme' or any Japanese plum that blooms simultaneously.

'Flavor Delight' is a sweet, yellow aprium with strong apricot flavor tinged with plum. Pollinate with any apricot.

'Flavor King' is a deep red, deliciously sweet, and spicy pluot. The tree is naturally small. Pollinate with 'Flavor Supreme' pluot or 'Santa Rosa' plum.

'Flavor Queen' is a sweet pluot with greenish yellow skin and amber-orange flesh. Pollinate with any other plum or pluot except 'Flavor King'.

'Flavor Supreme' is a pluot with red flesh and greenish maroon and mottled skin. Pollinate with any other pluot or 'Santa Rosa' plum.

Apples for Anywhere

The premier deciduous fruit of North America, apples grow in most regions. Breeders look for two significant traits: flavor and disease resistance. Several of the following varieties offer both qualities. All apples produce better if pollinated by a tree of a different variety.

'Alkemene', a reddish orange variation on 'Cox Orange Pippin', is prized in the coastal Northwest for its sweet-tart flavor, productivity, and scab resistance.

'Anders' varies with the time of harvest: Picked in late August, color and flavor are similar to those of 'Granny Smith'; later, the fruit develops red striping and tastes like 'Fuji'. Also, it is low-chill; produces well in mild-winter areas of zones 9 through 10.

'Enterprise' is a late-ripening apple with glossy red color and zesty flavor. It is immune to scab and resistant to fireblight, cedar apple rust, and powdery mildew.

'Fiesta' is a sweet and tangy red apple with a green background that resembles 'Cox Orange Pippin'. Best adapted to the coastal Northwest.

'Ginger Gold' is a 'Golden Delicious'-type apple that ripens five weeks earlier than that variety. It's large, yellow, rust-free, crisp, and juicy. Widely adapted.

'GoldRush' is a late-ripening yellow apple with fine, spicy flavor and crisp texture. Immune to scab and resistant to mildew and fireblight, it grows well in the Midwest and Northeast.

'Honeycrisp' is a very hard red apple from Minnesota. Its flavor is good fresh or when used for baking. Somewhat resistant to scab.

'TropicSweet' is another low-chill variety with medium-sized, red, sweet fruit. The tree is resistant to powdery mildew and fireblight but requires pollination by 'Anna' or 'Dorsett Golden'.

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