How a new apple variety comes about
Table fruit sorts are propagated vegetatively by grafting the table variety onto a so-called root pad which determines the later growth of the tree. Some of our old apple sorts are the outcomes of cultivation in old monastery or house gardens or are chance mutations, such as green and red Gravensteiner, or the Beauty of Boskoop or Holsteiner Cox.
It is still a thrilling and nature-dependent process. Today however, marketing aspects already influence the selection of parent varieties for cultivation. The development of new varieties follows consumer trends. In the last 30 years apples have sold better the redder, the crunchier and the juicier they have been. A rough thick skin is less popular than a smooth or soft one. Fruit size also matters. European commercial grade 1 requires a diameter of between 65 and 85mm, with a tolerance of 10mm.
Cultivation of a new fruit variety is an expensive and risky process which takes years. Whether it will be a success at the end is uncertain. It starts with the choice of the parent sorts because the new apple has to satisfy market requirements, but its cultivation process also has to convince. Storage capability and natural resistance – for instance against harmful fungi such as scab or mildew – also decide about the success of a new variety. A cross–cultivation generates many tree descendants whose fruits are monitored and evaluated over several harvests. Only a few trees successfully come through the selection process. From their buds small young trees are cherished which in turn are tested over several years for their ability to keep sort characteristics stable and do not reverse the mutation. At the end there will be a survivor which will be registered and protected legally under a new name. The cultivator decides on propagation and marketing and can allocate license rights.
And into the club …
… how a branded product comes into being.
Some new apple sorts are nowadays marketed in limited numbers by selected licensed producer enterprises and wholesalers under set quality criteria and under their own brand name. A club variety is a brand product which is made available to the market in controlled quantities to avoid overproduction and to ensure price stability.
Wegener is in the club:
you can purchase the club variety Junami® from us.