New Apples On the Horizon

Two new apples are coming this fall to select farm stands: SnapDragon and RubyFrost. These apples have been in development for more than a decade by Cornell University and are under an exclusive licensing agreement with New York Apple Growers. According to the growers’ group, a limited crop will be available this year, with full grocery store sales expected to begin in 2015.

SnapDragon’s parent apple is the popular Honeycrisp and so it should also be a great snacking apple. The apple has a spicy-sweet flavor, ripens in late September and has a longer storage and shelf life than the Honeycrisp (itself a cross between Macoun and Honeygold and developed by the University of Minnesota

RubyFrost ripens later in the fall, stores well and has high vitamin C content. It should be popular with fans of Empire and Granny Smith apples.

Cornell has released 66 apple varieties since the late 1890s, including Cortland, Macoun, Empire and Jonagold. Historically, public universities released new varieties freely to growers and nurseries. A federal law passed in 1980 gave universities the ability to retain the intellectual property rights for their research with limited plant-based royalties.

New York is the nation’s No. 2 apple producer behind Washington and averages nearly 30 million bushels of apples annually.</em>