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Ted Swenson's Research
old HOS publications
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katmendeux
45 Posts
(Offline)
1
February 12, 2024 - 10:39 am

Hi,

Doing quite a bit of research here, and ran across one of Ted Swensen's old publications by chance. Back in 2006, he compiled an amazing list. It has two parts. This first, is a list of about 1,000 spur and semi-spur varieties. The second is another list of about 350 tip and partial tip bearers. Here's the link: "Apple Fruiting".

Ted worked with Nick Botner and some other old-timers to put the list together. It's a lifetime of apple (actually a couple lifetimes) of experience and knowledge. I've never seen anything like it, and I'm pretty sure nobody around today could compile a similar document.

After I ran across this list, I discovered that Swensen had written some others. One source said the HOS sold four other titles, and they were about $5 each. Low cost, low tech, but incredible info. Trouble is, I can't find any of the others. Which brings me to my question: Any of you got any of them? I'm something of an apple nerd, and would like to read them for research purposes.

BTW. I found Ted's list on a website for an U-Pick orchard in the Midwest. Since then, they've redone their site, and don't link to it anymore. The above link seems to be an orphan that they missed during the redo. I'm not sure it will work for long. After that, it's archived on the Wayback Machine.

Cheers,

katmendeux

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
2
February 12, 2024 - 1:04 pm

When I joined the HOS, Ted was the guru.  I just wanted to be in the room when he was talking.  Later, he didn't participate as much.   I don't have a lot of his stuff, but I remember many things he said and I've incorporated them into my practices.  If I find something good, I'll try to link it here.

JOhn S
PDX OR

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
3
February 16, 2024 - 2:52 pm

The list he published is something I wish more of because it gives us interest groups much more choice compared to nursery sales people. Sam of Raintree, who was more than just a salesman, that as a journalist was one of the first of those that I grew accustomed to who listed everything in his catalog as what to look for, such as disease resistance. 

Here are a few things I think nobody ever lists that I think could. For example we know through our own personal experiences that pears have less instances of codling moth damage than apples. But the thing is, both pears and apples vary by cultivar in incidents of this pest, and it would be nice to see a list compiled into how each cultivar stacks up in these attributes. 

For example one of the things suggested to me once were that malus fusca had codling moth resistance, which isn't even true because having seen codling moth in wild fusca. As I further investigated this I was finding that pears and apples that have the seed core in the center of the fruit rather than closer to the end, the infections were almost absent. Pears are generally more protected in that regard as the travel distance from the end to the core of seeds is greater. 

However I think the strategy of having fruits with the core in the middle only works when surrounded by trees of the type that are easier for the codling moth to achieve more success with. I think this is true because at the Rombough tree observatory in Aurora Oregon that I have access to, the chinese quince trees have fruit as hard as wood, and yet I found a couple of fruits having had entry by codling moth. The seeds were also very hard coated, unlike soft pear or apple seeds, and had still been consumed. This happened there due to an insufficient amount of easy prey from the codling moth, so over time they evolved to chinese quince. 

The Rombough's did have several pear trees and the odd apple. but they were too far on the other end of the property to have halted this evolution that I am imagining.

Hopefully the topic of currently " missing publications from Ted Swensen " will yield some results for us. With enough knowledge from those with degrees, and especially like Ted in the PDX area, (even though he's gone now) we could rebuild (repopulate) the HOS main page again.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
(Offline)
4
March 7, 2024 - 10:01 pm

Reinettes off topic and interrupting again, apparently...

..."Sam of Raintree"...

Rooney:  When my wife and I first moved up here to Washington state in 1999, I worked that first spring at Raintree Nursery in Morton, WA.  I have to say that Sam was just a great guy! A good sense of humor, knowledgeable, friendly, helpful, and generous with his employees.  Raintree is just not the same without him.  Primarily it lacks Sam.  He was Raintree Nursery.  

I miss him and, where ever he is, I hope that he is getting the retirement that he merits!

Reinettes. Cry

[Wow!  I actually got to use the "cry" emoji! Laugh]

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katmendeux
45 Posts
(Offline)
5
March 8, 2024 - 6:54 am

Reinettes,

You're right. Sam did so much for fruit-growers! He was in attendance at the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation field day last year. They shepherd the WSU Extension test orchard at Mt. Vernon.  He was keeping busy, mentoring, meeting, greeting, making it fun. I bought my first fruit tree from Raintree. It arrived wrapped up like a mummy in brown paper. No box. I still laugh when I think of the package. Tree was just fine, though.

The WWFRF field day is tomorrow,  in case anybody needs scions, rootstocks, inspiration. And then the Bremerton Fruit show is coming right up, too. They have they an astonishing assortment of scion wood.

kat

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
(Offline)
6
March 8, 2024 - 8:46 pm

Kat,

"...He was in attendance at the Western Washington Fruit Research Foundation field day last year...."  

Do you happen to know where he retired to?  For some reason unknown, I thought that he was retiring to California.  I'm glad to hear that he is still active and getting about, but then again, he was really a lover of fruits and their diversity, and so many of the items that I first saw in Raintree Nursery's catalogs began to appear in other catalogs of a similar ilk -- I guess out of competition.  He was truly instrumental in bringing a diversity of items into the fruit nursery trade.

I love the guy.  I wish that he were still in charge of Raintree.  It's just not the same.

Reinettes.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
(Offline)
7
March 8, 2024 - 8:50 pm

Kat,

I forgot to ask:

"I bought my first fruit tree from Raintree. It arrived wrapped up like a mummy in brown paper. No box. I still laugh when I think of the package. Tree was just fine, though."

May I ask just what year that was?  It musta been quite early on.

Reinettes.

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Rooney
Vancouver SW Washington
793 Posts
(Offline)
8
March 16, 2024 - 11:05 pm

katmendeux said
Hi,

......

BTW. I found Ted's list on a website for an U-Pick orchard in the Midwest. Since then, they've redone their site, and don't link to it anymore. The above link seems to be an orphan that they missed during the redo. I'm not sure it will work for long. After that, it's archived on the Wayback Machine.

...

  

Thanks Kat !!

Some of us had been looking for our favorite articles we thought were gone for good. Here's a few general topics by various authors from there. It's comforting to know we can still find them.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
(Offline)
9
March 17, 2024 - 9:32 pm

John S.,

I'm still waiting for some insightful replies and input from our friends, '30 tacos' and 'Tentjest'.  ...I recently got an unexpected email -- out of the blue -- from "Your long-lost cousin" who, amazingly, told me that '30 tacos' had started a multi-billion dollar business that I should invest in....  But, still no word on 'Tentjest', other than a Wino, laying next to a sidewalk in downtown Portland, who told me that 'Tentjest' had given up on orcharding and was trying to push a new "cryptocurrency" to passers-by on street corners....

John:  A good harvest to you this year, my friend.  There are a lot of good people on this site.  Nice to have you keeping your eyes open to the ever present fraudulent sorts....

Appreciations, Wink

Reinettes.

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John S
PDX OR
2834 Posts
(Offline)
10
March 17, 2024 - 10:19 pm

Thanks for the reminder.  Sadly, I must inform you that you will not be hearing more from them here. 🙁

JohN S
PDX OR

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sweepbjames
NE Portland, OR Cully Neighborhood
234 Posts
(Offline)
11
March 22, 2024 - 8:39 pm

Rooney, Thanks for uncovering the links, I had been lamenting their loss.

BTW there are some twenty articles written by Ted housed there. Of course not all are the extensive researched list compilations ... none the less.

Grape articles, particularly instructive to the Pacific NW climates, by the late Lon Rombaugh.

Timeless Treasures.

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Reinettes
Lewis Co., WA
428 Posts
(Offline)
12
April 4, 2024 - 7:17 pm

     In regard to a lot of accumulated data about apple varieties and their attributes, I suppose that I should mention that I found much of that same information years ago in the individual listings of apple varieties which are held in the USDA National collection in Ithaca, New York.  Obviously, Good ol' Nick Botner  would have had many additional apple cultivars which were not in the National collection, and from which observations such as "tip-bearer" or "semi-tip-bearer" could have been deduced to make the list more complete.

     I don't know where all the data came from, but there's a tremendous amount accumulated by the USDA's National collection.

     ALL of it is profoundly helpful when one is trying to get a good idea of characteristics, and how a particular variety might perform here in the PNW.

Reinettes. Wink

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