Stark Bro’s Debuts Two New ‘Honeycrisp’ Crosses

Stark Ruby Darling (Photo credit: Stark Bro’s)

The varieties ‘Red Delicious’ and ‘Golden Delicious’ put ‎Stark Bro’s Nurseries & Orchards Co. on the map many, many years ago. Both were varieties sent to the nursery by a grower, which Stark Bro’s then, in turn, grew and sold. So it’s quite fitting that the two newest releases by the nursery – ‘Stark Ruby Darling’ and ‘Stark Scarlet Crush’ were sent to the nursery from a longtime customer, who found them exciting.

In fact, this grower from central Illinois experimented with crosses and would sell the fruit at farmers’ markets. As the fruit fared well, he sent some of his ‘Honeycrisp’ crosses to Stark Bro’s, says Ken Lane, Chief Marketing Officer. Two of those turned out to be ‘Ruby Darling’ and ‘Scarlet Crush.’

’Scarlet Crush’ is by ‘Pink Lady’ with notes of citrus to go along with the sweetness, juiciness, and sap of the ‘Honeycrisp.’ Fruits are pink or rose, with a uniform, conical shape that nears around 3 inches. ‘Scarlet Crush’ harvests as early as late September.

Ruby Darling’ is by ‘Gala’ with large, 3- to 4-inch red fruits. ‘Ruby Darling’ offers a sweet crunchy fruit. Tree growth is open and spreading and has been known to set large crops. It harvests in early October.

“‘Scarlet Crush’ inherited more of the ‘Pink Lady’ characteristics in the tree. It is more of a vigorous, upright grower with some spread to it,” says Sarah DePass, Product Development Manager for Stark Bro’s “’Ruby Darling’ has more of the Honeycrisp look to it, it is a darker, fuller red. It pulls more of the Gala out of it.”

DePass says although ‘Scarlet Crush’ and ‘Ruby Darling’ have not been fully tested for disease resistance, what she’s seen in the orchard is no susceptibility to cedar apple rust or fire blight.

‘Stark Scarlet Crush’ (Photo credit: Stark Bro’s)

“We’re not seeing any of the weaknesses that ‘Honeycrisp’ has like the foliar diseases and the calcium deficiencies, the bitter pit,” DePass says.

DePass and Lane said they found by accident during Brix testing, both apples resist browning.

Both varieties are being eyed as alternatives to ‘Honeycrisp’ in southern states, with more testing being done to see how the varieties fare. “I did get notes from the grower that the fruit ripens evenly and the fruit holds well to the tree; that makes it good for mechanical harvest. Depending on the year, you can get it in two to three pickings, on average.”

“For the apples themselves, we know we’ve got better vigor further south than typical ‘Honeycrisp’ and we’re pushing the envelope this year to see how much further south we can go with that,” Lane says. “It’s a good apple in zones 5 and 6, which is a bulk of the market.”

Orders for both varieties are being taken for 2019 trees. As far as future releases from Stark Bro’s, Lane says they’re looking to get back what the nursery was known for.

“We’re looking to do more of these [grower varieties]. Whether it’s some interesting crosses out there in the pipeline for future years, or there are some growers who want to get their apples to us for the same type of thing — to give them a national distribution with a great brand– we’re looking to do those things,” he says.

 

Topics: ,

Leave a Reply

Apples & Pears Stories
Apples & Pears
October 9, 2017
How to Transition to Multileader Production
Use this guide to help you determine whether multileader production is a good fit for your farm. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 6, 2017
What You Need to Know About Multileader Systems for Apple Trees
While multiple leaders shrink the tree canopy, experts warn there are places where missteps can be made. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 5, 2017
Apple Growers Moving to Multileaders
Growers shift from single leader to multiple leader systems to increase light interception and production. But this system isn’t without its risks and costs. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 3, 2017
Mexican Fruit Grower Union Says U.S. Still Smuggling in Apples
Union seeks investigation into how 200 tons of U.S. ‘Golden Delicious’ apples were smuggled into the country. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 22, 2017
Media Reflects Modern Society [Opinion]
Little about fruit growing — or any agriculture — appears because too few of us are willing to illuminate the media. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 16, 2017
Researcher Finds Bacteria Can Stop Blue Mold on Apples
The natural bacterium found in soil can survive in cold storage; this promising biocontrol offers an alternative to chemical treatments. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 5, 2017
Pears Finding Home in Fermentation
Perry, a fermented beverage similar to hard apple cider, is gaining popularity in the U.S., and growers are learning about the production process from square one. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 26, 2017
‘EverCrisp’ Apple gets PLU Approval
Midwest Apple Improvement Association prepares for large harvest and larger distribution reach for first variety released. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 22, 2017
U.S. Apple Association Hosts Annual Apple Outlook Conference in Chicago
American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazine’s 2017 Apple Grower of the Year will be officially presented on Thursday, Aug. 24, during the first day of the conference. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 20, 2017
APHIS Seeks Comments on Risk Removal for Dormant Apple Cuttings
Dormant live cuttings from countries in the European Union must currently go through pest risk assessment. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 15, 2017
Wet Weather Breeds Phytophthora in Young Apple Plantings
Crown rot, root rot flourishing in very wet growing season. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 9, 2017
2017 Washington Apple Crop Down Slightly
Forecasted harvest predicted to be 131 million boxes, down 1.2% from 2016. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 5, 2017
Penn State University Develops Bitter Pit Prediction Model
Research team unlocks relationship between bitter pit, minerals, and shoot lengths. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 1, 2017
New York Growers’ Input Needed on Apple Tree Decline
Project has begun to identify rapid collapse and chronic decline being found in young Eastern apple orchards. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 25, 2017
Tips to Transition to an Apple Fruiting Wall System
Follow these suggestions to make the move from a 3-D spindle-shaped canopy to a 2-D system using mechanical pruning. Read More
The Latest
Apples & Pears
November 16, 2017
USApple Seeking Nominations for Young Ap…
Deadline to apply for program is Dec. 31. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 27, 2017
Penn State Extension Offers Horticulture…
A field training for Spanish-speaking workers in the fruit industry will be held Saturday, Nov. 18, at Hollabaugh Orchards in Biglerville, PA. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 25, 2017
Washington Growers Seeing the Effects of…
Tree fruit growers in the West are noticing sunburn on their this year, and they anticipate delayed symptoms to be more evident in storage. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 9, 2017
How to Transition to Multileader Product…
Use this guide to help you determine whether multileader production is a good fit for your farm. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 6, 2017
What You Need to Know About Multileader …
While multiple leaders shrink the tree canopy, experts warn there are places where missteps can be made. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 5, 2017
Apple Growers Moving to Multileaders
Growers shift from single leader to multiple leader systems to increase light interception and production. But this system isn’t without its risks and costs. Read More
Apples & Pears
October 3, 2017
Mexican Fruit Grower Union Says U.S. Sti…
Union seeks investigation into how 200 tons of U.S. ‘Golden Delicious’ apples were smuggled into the country. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 22, 2017
Media Reflects Modern Society [Opinion]
Little about fruit growing — or any agriculture — appears because too few of us are willing to illuminate the media. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 16, 2017
Researcher Finds Bacteria Can Stop Blue …
The natural bacterium found in soil can survive in cold storage; this promising biocontrol offers an alternative to chemical treatments. Read More
Apples & Pears
September 5, 2017
Pears Finding Home in Fermentation
Perry, a fermented beverage similar to hard apple cider, is gaining popularity in the U.S., and growers are learning about the production process from square one. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 26, 2017
‘EverCrisp’ Apple gets PLU Approval
Midwest Apple Improvement Association prepares for large harvest and larger distribution reach for first variety released. Read More
Apple Grower of the Year
August 22, 2017
U.S. Apple Association Hosts Annual Appl…
American Fruit Grower® and Western Fruit Grower® magazine’s 2017 Apple Grower of the Year will be officially presented on Thursday, Aug. 24, during the first day of the conference. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 20, 2017
APHIS Seeks Comments on Risk Removal for…
Dormant live cuttings from countries in the European Union must currently go through pest risk assessment. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 15, 2017
Wet Weather Breeds Phytophthora in Young…
Crown rot, root rot flourishing in very wet growing season. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 9, 2017
2017 Washington Apple Crop Down Slightly
Forecasted harvest predicted to be 131 million boxes, down 1.2% from 2016. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 5, 2017
Penn State University Develops Bitter Pi…
Research team unlocks relationship between bitter pit, minerals, and shoot lengths. Read More
Apples & Pears
August 1, 2017
New York Growers’ Input Needed on Apple …
Project has begun to identify rapid collapse and chronic decline being found in young Eastern apple orchards. Read More
Apples & Pears
July 25, 2017
Tips to Transition to an Apple Fruiting …
Follow these suggestions to make the move from a 3-D spindle-shaped canopy to a 2-D system using mechanical pruning. Read More