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Obscure apples pose new challenges for growers, makers

Photo courtesy Fruit Growers News

Photo courtesy Fruit Growers News

““We grow sugar in our apple crop in an effort to avoid dosing our ciders with purchased sugar,” Suhr said.

Each variety has its own nuances, so thinning is a challenge. You can easily fall into a biennial bearing cycle (the University of Vermont is conducting a thinning trial in his orchards), he said.

Suhr said planting cider trees poses multiple dilemmas. Should you plant based on ripening of fruit? Timing of pollination? Vulnerability to fire blight? In hindsight, he said keeping his fire blight-prone trees together regardless of harvest timing was probably a good decision.”

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Obscure apples pose new challenges for growers, makers