Article Why All the New Apples

This article was updated in late November. I like the chart showing the Club gang.

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Great article. One thing I noted in researching my pick list for improving “Blairwood” is the amazing inbreeding and line breeding involved with “Club Apples”. Many have some lousy growing traits.

There is no interest in traits for good, easy maintaining apple trees that will deliver for decades. Or being great home oriented plants.

{I am not saying none. There is some work on columnars and triploids. But as a percentage of research it is a minority of breeding efforts. And a lot of that is being done overseas.}

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I have to assume this is because they are not breeding trees for home gardeners. They are breeding them for commercial growers who will all use labor intensive pruning strategies regardless. It’s a great example of what makes a good apple to us, not being what makes a great apple to them.

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Patenting plants genetically is- for obvious reasons- a relatively new idea. Tie that into the old Land Grant colleges need to fund themselves in a world of declining governmental educational expenditures, and you’ve got a situation that could make a techworld patent troll lawyer salivate.
They’ll basically reconstitute every known successful genetic line in a newly patentable form in order to capitalize on this.

Fun fact: Back when Cosmic Crisp was still just a numbered selection, WSU hired a company to propagate it realizing it was going to be a big hit. That company was sued by WSU for selling 135,000 trees to an unlicensed orchard. The owner of the company said they never actually grafted the trees. WSU won all the appeals but by the time it was all done, that propagation company had gone bankrupt.