Tree Fruit & Alternative Fruits W. Wash WSU Extension
Extension > Maritime Tree Fruit > Reports > Harvest Report 1998 – Tree Fruit

Harvest Report 1998 – Tree Fruit


Conditions for pollination were good in spring 1998, and most varieties had a moderate to moderately heavy set for evaluation. Angela, Viscount, Emperor Francis, Kristin, and Hardy Giant were reliably productive. A netting framework was installed this year to cover the mature cherry plot, and as a result the crop was protected from bird damage. In the new dwarf cherry block on Giesela rootstocks, netting was also effectively used by stringing it on poles to cover those varieties that had a good fruit set. Two varieties on Giesela 5, Lapins and Sweetheart, produced impressive yields in their fourth and third leaf, respectively. Quality and size were good on both, ripening in the late season, Sweetheart being the later of the two by about a week. Trees of the newer varieties and selections are growing well, and we look forward to seeing samples of fruit from them in 1999.
Proposed DiscardNY 11375 – tart cherry type, very late, unproductive in 8 years;  Craig's Crimson – poor set, serious cracking


Conditions for pollination were good in spring 1998, and most varieties had a moderate to moderately heavy set for evaluation. Angela, Viscount, Emperor Francis, Kristin, and Hardy Giant were reliably productive. A netting framework was installed this year to cover the mature cherry plot, and as a result the crop was protected from bird damage. In the new dwarf cherry block on Giesela rootstocks, netting was also effectively used by stringing it on poles to cover those varieties that had a good fruit set. Two varieties on Giesela 5, Lapins and Sweetheart, produced impressive yields in their fourth and third leaf, respectively. Quality and size were good on both, ripening in the late season, Sweetheart being the later of the two by about a week. Trees of the newer varieties and selections are growing well, and we look forward to seeing samples of fruit from them in 1999.
Proposed DiscardNY 11375 – tart cherry type, very late, unproductive in 8 years;  Craig's Crimson – poor set, serious cracking


Conditions for pollination were unusual in 1998, and many varieties set fruit that had not done so in previous years. This allowed us to eliminate some varieties, particularly in the 1994 plot, which appear to be unproductive after 5 years on trial. Among the early season peaches, Sentry was again notable for good size, quality, and relatively few split pits; it ripens in mid to late July. Harrow Diamond is a productive early variety but fruits tend to be small. Proud peach clone is in process of being introduced, with the name of Avalon Pride. The fruit is large, highly colored, attractive, with little fuzz, and of good quality. It is being evaluated for its leaf curl resistance.

Mature trees in general did well, with reliable producers like Harbelle, Harken, and Redhaven carrying a good set of fruit. After several years on trial, Newhaven appears to have consistently high fruit quality, but is only moderately productive. Harrow Beauty continues to perform well with large flavorful fruit and attractive golden undercolor.

In the new stone fruit block, we were able to evaluate most of the varieties planted in 1994. Rich Lady, a yellow fleshed peach ripe just before Redhaven, had good red color, with very firm, sweet flesh. Notable were the white fleshed peaches, many very attractive with nearly 100% dark red skin color at harvest. Snowbrite, an early variety ripe about a week before Redhaven, is somewhat prone to split pits but attractive and tasty. White Lady, ripe with Redhaven, is very sweet and almost entirely free stone. Sugar Lady, about a week after Redhaven, had very high levels of sugar at harvest.

Varieties fruiting for the first time included Harrow Dawn. It is an early yellow fleshed peach, about two weeks before Redhaven, that was quite productive, although like many early peaches it had some split pits. We will give this one a closer look in 1999. Several selections from the Harrow program look promising, including HW 271, an attractive white flesh peach ripe with Redhaven. Saturn was a very interesting peach, with exceptionally sweet white flesh and a distinctive flat doughnut shape. Starfire, about two weeks after Redhaven, set well with very colorful yellow-fleshed fruit; it may be a promising late season variety.
Proposed DiscardDelp Hale – mediocre quality; Mid-Pride - unproductive, blooms too early most years though 1998 was an exception; June Pride - unproductive; May Sun – unproductive, disease prone;  Early White Giant - unproductive


The early season nectarine varieties were seriously affected by both cracking and rot, and set on most was poor. Juneglo and Nectired have both performed rather poorly for the last few seasons and we are looking for improved varieties to replace them. Arctic Glo, a white-fleshed nectarine ripe about a week before Redhaven, will get another look next year to see if it is more promising. Cracking and rot affected it this year, although fruit flavor was good.

Later on in August the warm, dry days contributed to better results with some of the midseason varieties. Hardired and Tasty Gold, both about 10-15 days after Redhaven this year, were the best of the newer yellow fleshed varieties. They have been consistently productive, and both are good flavored and attractive. Two new selections from the Harrow breeding program that did well in 1998 were HW 108, ripe with Redhaven, which had excellent color and firm flesh texture, and HW 109, ripe about 5 days later; both were quite productive. Crimson Snow, another white-fleshed variety, stood out for its excellent color, sweet flavor, and productivity, though fruits were rather small and some were cracked. Fruiting for the first time, Crystal Red and Crystal Rose both looked promising, with very sweet white flesh and good color.
Proposed DiscardSummer Beaut – cracking, rot, unproductive;  Earliglo – unproductive;
May Kist – unproductive


Plum varieties again looked promising in 1998. Beauty and young trees of Methley both produced good crops. Early Laxton had a moderate crop compared with 1997, but fruit quality was again excellent; its extended ripening period and spreading tree habit recommend it for home gardens. Cocheco and Hollywood were very productive in 1998, and their purple leaves give them ornamental value as well. Cocheco is upright-spreading and vigorous with pinkish orange, round fruit that is flavorful and attractive. Hollywood is a more broadly spreading tree, with sweet dark red fruit. Imperial Epineuse, a European type ripe in late July, is proving itself a consistent producer of excellent quality fruit. Victory, ripe in early September, is also very productive, and the sweet freestone plums are great for fresh eating, drying, or culinary use. The tree has an attractive upright spreading habit.

Trees of Seneca yielded a full crop of large, high quality fruit; it is still the standard for quality of the European type plums. Two promising yellow plums, Fritz seedling and Coe's Golden Drop, were both productive, with flavorful fruit. Among the plums fruiting for the first time were a large group of numbered selections from Geneva, New York. Several looked promising and we will check in 1999 to see if any will be introduced. Two recent Geneva introductions, Longjohn and Castleton, produced fruit this year. Both are European types; Longjohn, ripe in early September, rated moderately high in fruit production with distinctive long oval shaped fruit of good flavor, and Castleton is similar to a large Italian prune.
Proposed DiscardAU-Amber – unproductive; AU-Roadside - unproductive;  AU-Rubrum – unproductive; Earliqueen – bland, watery, bad cracking & rot


Opening the season for 1998 was a very early variety, Ubileen, which fruited for the first time. The pears were large, attractive, with a light, pleasant flavor, good right off the tree. Another early pear, Bella de Guigno, that did well in 1997 had no fruit this year, perhaps because it bloomed in the early cold spell when bees were inactive. We look forward to seeing how these will perform next season. Harrow Delight, ripe in early August, is a consistent cropper with good quality fruit. Rescue and Orcas are both summer pears good for canning and drying as well as eating fresh. The red pears Starkrimson and Sensation Red Bartlett continue to show good production. Young trees of Cascade are producing well, and so far do not show a tendency to alternate bearing.

Yieldsof Bosc were moderately high, though somewhat lower overall than 1997, and those of Concorde were moderate. Conference had moderately high to heavy yields of excellent quality, sweet flavored fruit. Trees of Comice on Quince A had only sample fruit in 1997, but this year they produced a heavy load of fruit. Much of the fruit was heavily russeted but flavor and quality were very good. Fruit from standard Bosc and from Bronze Beauty and Golden Russet strains all were fully russeted and quite attractive.

Elimination of certain tree fruit blocks along the station boundaries resulted in a number of pear varieties being removed. Some have been replaced with new trees not yet fruiting, others will be replanted in the Display Garden area.
Proposed DiscardRoosevelt – evaluation completed, mediocre;  Passe Crasanne – v. late, hard, unattractive; Passe Crasanne Rouge – v. late, hard, unattractive, streaked dull red;
Blancia – unproductive

Asian Pear

In 1998 conditions at bloom time were unfavorable for most Asian pears, and they produced much less fruit than usual. Shinseiki, Yoinashi, and Chojuro, generally reliable producers, had few fruit, though the quality of the fruit that was produced was generally good. Ichiban Nashi set a moderate crop, though some bird damage occurred before all the crop could be harvested. Hamese #1, usually the earliest-ripening variety, was later than usual but had a moderate set of sweet yellow-skinned fruit. Mishirasu had a full crop of very large roundish fruit. The unusual shape and thick russet brown skin look peculiar, but its excellent flavor, crisp texture, and reliable production recommend it for the home garden. Two selections from UC Davis also produced plenty of fruit, but at this point it does not seem that they will be introduced. Young trees of Atago produced specimens only, but the tan-skinned, attractive fruit had good flavor.
Proposed Discard:  None


In 1998 fruit set in most apple varieties was good, and there were very few instances where productivity was low. Ripening dates were relatively consistent, and though some varieties ripened earlier than usual it was not a uniform trend. In determining optimum harvest for a specific variety, we relied more this year on indices of starch conversion, fruit firmness, and soluble solids (sugars) as well as external color. Yields in general were good and fruit quality was high, with many new young trees producing enough fruit for evaluation this year.

Early Season (Disease resistant varieties are covered in a separate section, below.)

Among the early season varieties ripe before Gravenstein that did well this year are Sunrise and Homei Tsugaru. Just after Gravenstein season, Aroma, Alkmene, and Sansa all were productive. In particular Aroma set well but like many early varieties, variable color and ripeness make it necessary to do repeated pickings.


The red strains of Gala being evaluated all produced good quality fruit this year. Regal Gala (Fulford) is distinguished for its size, uniformity, good flavor and even color, nearly 100% blush red. Scarlet Gala was smaller and less colorful. Young trees of Royal, Ultrared, and Galaxy strains all had very good color, as expected in small trees with high light exposure.  In season with Gala, Honeycrisp had plenty of large, very crisp fruit, and the young trees were notably productive. Hatsuaki did not color well this year but flavor and yield were both very good.
Cox's Orange Pippin produced fruit of excellent quality and good color, but wasn't as productive as the Queen Cox or Cherry Cox strains, both of which had very good fruit. Fiesta, another Cox cross, produced only a moderate crop but quality and size were good. Karmijn de Sonnaville, a Cox cross very popular as a gourmet apple, produced well although subject as usual to some sunburn and water core. Daliest and Daliter, red strains of Elstar, continue to perform well, more colorful than the standard and equally flavorful.

Several strains of Jonagold are being evaluated for their potential in both commercial and home orchards. Jonagored, Jomured, DeCoster and Rubinstar have the most red color of the strains tested here, followed by King (Jored). All of these strains yield some fruit with 100% red color, the difference being that the first four seem to produce a higher amount of all-red fruit per tree. Fruit of King (Jored) were very attractive this year and can sell well if a bicolor apple is desired.

McIntosh Types

The McIntosh variety is very popular in New England and the eastern U.S., and several strains that we are testing have done well here. Jonamac in early mid season, Spartan in late mid season, and Empire in the late season are great Mac crosses that adapt very well to our area. Redcort, a red sport of Cortland, has a unique tart flavor at first picking in mid September, and retains its firmness for later pickings as a rich spicy flavor develops. The different Mac types and strains ripen at various times throughout the season. Marshall Mac appears to ripen about a week earlier than Pioneer Mac. Compact Mac, ripe with Marshall, is a tree of upright-columnar habit with good quality fruit, useful where space is limited. Redmax, ripe with Pioneer, did not set well this year though its flavor was excellent. Acey Mac ripens about three weeks later, and is very similar to Spartan.

Late Season

Two late yellow apples from Japan did very well this year. Shizuka and Mutsu, both Golden Delicious crosses with a livelier flavor and better keeping quality, had good crops of large, attractive fruit. Mutsu, the later ripening of the two, is best planted on M9 rootstock, as it is quite vigorous, and sometimes ripens too late under our climate conditions. SunCrisp, a New Jersey introduction, has good flavor, very firm texture, and hangs well on the tree into November.

Among the older varieties, Melrose, Red Boskoop, and Bramley's Seedling are all reliably productive. Melrose is a dual-purpose apple that stores well, while Boskoop and Bramley's are known as good culinary varieties.

Braeburn produced a full crop of fruit with good color and little russet, and fruit size and quality were excellent. Harvest was completed in two picks, in late October for the best-colored fruit and a final "cleanup" in early November. Young trees of the Hillwell strain with redder color had their first fruit in 1998. Commercial production of Braeburn is a possible consideration, especially on M9 rootstock, which contributes to earlier ripening. Several strains of Fuji (Standard, Yataka, and Akifu) were harvested in late October and early November. Much of the fruit had water core and russeting, which would seriously reduce the quality for commercial markets. However, the fruit ripened better than most years and would be perfectly good for home growers' use. Beni Shogun, a new earlier ripening Fuji type, looked promising. It ripened about a month ahead of the standard Fuji strains.

New Evaluations

In the early season, Arkcharm, a recent introduction from the Arkansas program, is an attractive bicolor with good sweet-tart flavor that needs several pickings. Slightly after Gravenstein, in late August to early September, two red dessert type selections from B.C. stood out for attractiveness and flavor. 11W-12-85 and 11W-19-18 are crosses of Summerred X Discovery; 11W-19-18 appears to keep longer. Most of the B.C. selections performed better this year than in previous years with respect to color and fruit maturity. 8S-29-18, 8S-27-2 and 8S-31-56 all showed good overall appearance and flavor; 8S-27-2 had some scab. Chinook (BC 8S-27-51) was productive, and fruits were very firm with good flavor but the size was small, and color quite variable.

Greensleeves, an English introduction, continues to look good in the mid-September season, an attractive green-skinned fruit with lively subacid flavor. Rubinette is small, with russeted yellow skin, but is very productive and its excellent flavor recommends it for home gardens. One of the Colonnade series, Emerald Spire, fruited for the first time at the station. The fruit was green with a smooth, attractive finish, sweet-tart flavor, and rather tender flesh texture. The Colonnade apples with their narrow upright growth habit are intended for small yards and container growing. In early October Thome Empire continues to draw attention with its unusual blackish-red color, and its good Empire flavor.

Scab Immune Cultivars and Selections

These trees did not receive any fungicide treatment, so that their resistance to disease could be evaluated. Though bred for scab immunity, the resistance to other diseases such as powdery mildew can vary from resistant to quite susceptible, as has been shown in ratings taken over the years. In 1998 the same outbreak of black spots on the fruit was seen, and samples resubmitted for analysis; the cause still has not been identified. This emphasizes the point that growing scab immune varieties does not guarantee a trouble-free orchard or undamaged fruit.

In the early season Pristine showed promise as a very early yellow apple, ripening two weeks before Gravenstein. Williams' Pride, about a week after Pristine, was productive and the fruit good though with considerable russet due to mildew. Ripe about a week after Gravenstein, Wynooche was very productive: its biggest drawback is fruit dropping before fully ripe. Dayton has crisp, juicy, flavorful fruit, relatively unaffected by fruit blemishes. It has better quality than Prima in the same season, and keeps longer. Liberty ripens about two weeks later; fruit is on the small side, with good color and flavor. In the late season Enterprise was again quite productive, with large attractive fruit that stored well, though some fruit was damaged by black spots. Flavor is fair, but it is one of the best keepers among scab immune varieties. In some warmer areas GoldRush may be an alternative; it has sprightly sweet-tart flavor when ripe but is very late, hanging on the tree well into November, and often has unattractive russet.

Coop28, ripe in mid October, is an attractive bright red, crisp, with sweet-tart flavor. PAR-12T-101 ripened this year in early October, about 2 weeks earlier than 1997, with attractive, uniform fruit, dark wine red, firm and flavorful. P15R-3T-86 is a productive tree with fruit similar to Melrose, ripe in late October. Three selections from Geneva, ripe in late September, continue to look good. NY 75414-1 is productive, and the sweet-tart fruit is an attractive deep wine red. NY 65707-19, similar in appearance to Red Delicious, combines good mildew resistance with good quality and attractive appearance. NY 75413-30 was very productive, with large, dark red fruit that hangs well on the tree. TNR-10T-11 is on the late side, ripe at the end of October, with excellent color and good sweet-tart flavor.

Proposed DiscardCox, Red – Red sport, less productive than Queen or Cherry Cox;  Cox, Cherry – Red sport, smaller than Queen Cox, tree too vigorous;  Discovery – Fully evaluated, excellent flavor, early, poor storage, cracking; Egremont Russet – Fully evaluated, unattractive, dense flesh, home orchard only; Freyberg – Fully evaluated, excellent flavor, row being eliminated; Lysgolden – Fully evaluated, not best Golden type for flavor; Macfree - Fully evaluated, not outstanding, row being eliminated; NY 617 – Fully evaluated, very large, not being introduced; NY 632 – Fully evaluated, not outstanding, not being introduced; NY 652 – Too similar to Empress in same season;  NY 674 - Check w/NY for status, otherwise fully evaluated;
NY 61343-1 – Disease spots, pale color, unattractive; Russet King – Fully evaluated, block being eliminated; Sunset – Nice small apple but fully evaluated, no commercial potential; Swaar – Fully evaluated, late green subacid, row being eliminated; Tydeman's Late Orange  – Unattractive, blossom end crack/rot, woody flesh, late;  Winterstein – Fully evaluated, Gravenstein cross, later ripening, block eliminated

Unusual Fruit

With the help of a special donation in 1997, we initiated a planting of unusual fruit for evaluation that we hope to increase in future. We will test a number of uncommon kinds of tree and bush fruit to see if they are well adapted to western Washington conditions, and to look at any specific cultural needs that may apply to growing them in our area. Among the fruit kinds that have been planted are figs, kiwi varieties from England and Switzerland, black, red and white currants, persimmons, paw paws, and some new seedless grape varieties. Some of the uncommon bush fruits include aronia, mulberry, elderberry, honeyberry, sea buckthorn, mountain ash, cornelian cherry, azerole, and sorbus.

We have also been managing trial plots of strawberry, raspberry, and blueberry varieties and selections, which are part of the research program of Dr. Pat Moore at the Puyallup research station. Anyone interested in the results of these projects can obtain specific reports from him.


The evaluation of ornamental crabapples for disease resistance begun in 1984 continues with new additions as well as the establishment of several proven varieties in a rootstock trial. The established varieties chosen for the rootstock trial included those with high resistance to scab, excellent ornamental quality, and a wide range of tree habits and bloom times (see table, below).

Name Bloom
Tree Habit Fruit 
Sugar Tyme white early large upright red
Evereste white mid mid spreading, large fruit red 
Molten Lava white mid large weeping red
M. x zumi 'calocarpa' white mid large spreading red
Christmas Holly white mid-late small rounded spreading red
Prairifire red-pink late mid rounded, bronze leaves dk red
Golden Raindrops white late mid spreading, cut leaf foliage yellow

The rootstocks used in this trial include M 27, M 9, M 26, M 111, Budagovski 118, Budagovski 490, Cornell Geneva 228, Cornell Geneva 778, and Domestic seedling. Measurements of tree diameter were taken at planting in April 1997, in March 1998, and November 1998 to see if any significant differences in size were observable. The data are in process of being analyzed; preliminary observation seems to indicate that there are size differences between the rootstocks that are consistent across the different crabapple varieties. We hope to continue the trial for several more years to see the effects in more mature trees.

Several introductions being evaluated for disease resistance and ornamental quality look promising. Adirondack is a white-blooming, upright tree with good scab resistance and small, persistent pinkish-orange fruit. Purple Prince also appears quite disease resistant, and its purple -green leaves are ornamental, but its tree habit has become more spreading as the trees mature. Still needed is a pink flowered crabapple with upright habit and disease resistance. Prairie Maid has deep-pink flowers in contrast to green leaves slightly tinged with bronze. It shows good disease resistance, and the small red fruits color up early, but birds like them so the tree has little color after the leaves are gone. We hope to acquire some new crabapple introductions also, such as Lollipop, Guinivere, and American Spirit that may fill in some landscape niches in future.

Some seedlings of local origin may have potential for future development. Pink Cloud has pink double flowers, bronze leaves and large, tart red fruit. Another seedling cross is a semi-double, white flowered tree with narrowly upright habit which would be suitable for street side planting, especially as it seems to have little or no fruit. A cross of Alkmene X Prima made here at the station in 1990 resulted in an upright-spreading crabapple with scab immunity; it has white flowers and large, persistent bright yellow fruit, tart but edible. Pollination trials in 1998 showed that this seedling will pollinate both Jonagold and Fuji. These seedlings are being evaluated for possible introduction.


The assistance and support in our tree fruit projects that has been forthcoming from the members and board of the Western Washington Tree Fruit Research Foundation, the Western Cascade Fruit Society, the Seattle Tree Fruit Society, and those at the Northwest Agricultural Research Foundation, the Washington State Nursery and Landscape Association, the Phosphate and Potash Institute, and local fruit growers are most gratefully acknowledged. The contribution of nurseries that have donated trees and materials, and the many individual volunteers who have given their time and help are also very much appreciated, and recognized with our thanks.

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