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Climate change, more heat, shorter storage of fruit
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John S
PDX OR
2564 Posts
(Offline)
1
May 21, 2022 - 4:13 pm

With our ever-increasing heat units, I have noticed that my storage apples aren't storing as well as they used to.

My #1 storage apple, Gold Rush, isn't lasting nearly as long as it used to .  The tree is the same size, and produces the same number of apples.  I had years when they would store, after picking, in unheated storage for one entire calendar year, from November to November of the next year. Now, they might last through June, or maybe not. 

Apples are my #1 storage fruit, as I think they are for most people, at least when you don't do anything to them like freezing, drying, salting, fermenting, etc.  My other apples aren't even doing that well. 

I always look for a potential positive side.  I think we are getting a longer growing season, and some plants that might not have endured our lowest cold snaps might survive better.  We may get better winter vegetables, particularly green leafies.  My goal was to make the fruit last until June, when we start getting more fruit from the new year.  I think I have achieved that.  I may get more nutrition in my compost with so many apples rotting earlier.

Has anyone else noticed a change in how long their apples store?

Thanks,
John S
PDX OR

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Larry_G
142 Posts
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2
May 22, 2022 - 12:08 pm

Are you considering both:

1) The outdoor weather growing conditions up to harvest

2) The storage conditions, is your storage area well-isolated from outdoor weather?

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John S
PDX OR
2564 Posts
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3
May 22, 2022 - 6:33 pm

A)I wasn't thinking too much about the weather up until harvest.  Once they're harvested, they have many months of storage. They seemed to be in about the same shape.

II) My storage shed is exactly the same from year to year. It is enclosed.

I don't think there are many differing variables except the heat units.  I asked because it is just one data point. I have seen the research about how much better they store at 33 F than at hotter temps.  I wanted to see what other people were getting with their storage fruits.

John S
PDX OR

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cmullin
Philomath, OR
64 Posts
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4
October 3, 2022 - 1:29 pm

John

 

I know this is late but are some of your apples better after having been stored? I have heard Arkansas black is woody prior to storage, but sweet and juicy after a while.

 

Chris

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John S
PDX OR
2564 Posts
(Offline)
5
October 3, 2022 - 6:44 pm

Yes, Arkansas BLack is one of the best storage apples IMHO.  It is hard as a rock almost, upon picking.  Newtown Pippin is also supposed to be better after storage. The problem is that they won't store as long now.

John S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
656 Posts
(Offline)
6
October 15, 2022 - 8:09 pm

As far as results from dieback due to moisture deprivation my evergreen alberta spruce aged to 8 feet tall got put on the chopping block list from terrible sun damage these past two summers. All my plum and cherry trees right next to it all at least 10 years along survived better due to better hosing of water every few weeks. All are grafted to cultivars of course. Most of them grafted really high and after the main center section got removed and as a result Sun penetration was down the top, and just where water conduction at the upper surfaces of near the grafts that graft branch shows over-exposure.

One cherry cultivar as a result of improper shading over the top is all I'm losing. Which isn't bad for all the 100% of good growing cherry grafts. My big lesson learned lately, is after losing only ornamental cherry, that those need certain specific cherry stocks. Not prunus mahaleb or most other sweet cherry (p. avium). will not work, but clones like 'F12/1' and one other from the wild I found will. 

Basically other than the incompatables I lost none but one for these last 10 years or so which was the one edible cherry I described above. 

After all the pictures taken of high grafts today I decided to upload none because I think I described my graft survival well enough. I will pass along if ones interested what a prunus domestica plum looks like as competition of other branches high on a myrobalan plum kind of tree. What's cool there is the skinny cross section of the domestica plum that can never overtake in a race any Japanese plum types or species. Just let me know.

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