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North Jersey Apple Maturity Report

North Jersey Apple Maturity Report, Retain and NAA Stop Drop
Win Cowgill, Professor and County Agricultural Agent,
Suzanne Sollner-Figler, Research Assistant,
Ben Cowgill, Visiting Scholar

Apple blocks in Northern New Jersey appear to be maturing significantly early this year. Several McIntosh blocks are very close to harvest, followed by Gala strains. Honeycrisp appears to be dragging just a bit as to the other two.

Apple growers should be VERY observant as we approach Gala, McIntosh and Honeycrisp harvest in North-Central Jersey. All three of these varieties are significantly advanced. On my rounds to orchards Sunday and Monday (August 12) I have found harvestable fruit on McIntosh and not Retained Gala. I believe the significant number of 90+ F days this summer has advanced apple fruit maturity (8-10 days).

Peach harvest has been 2 weeks early all season and most growers will be done with peaches September 1-5.

Several nights in the low sixties have started to bring on red color. The highly colored strains like Linda Mac, Snappy Mac, BT1035 Mac, Brookfield Gala and others more red color than the older strains.

Galas should be harvested when the background color turns cream, is 16 lbs pressure or more and has 12% sugar in a perfect world.

It is too late to apply Retain for Macs, Galas and probably Honeycrisp in Central and most of Northern NJ.  It is time to apply Retain for Macoun, Empire, Jonagold

However give the forecast it might be prudent to apply additional NAA by Thursday for added stop drop control on these cultivars. 10 -20ppm can be used. It takes 3 days to work! It can be applied on Retain treated fruit.
Note: Next week will have time to think of applying Retain to Empire, Red Delicious and Macoun varieties in North West New Jersey. Paulared is our old standby late August apple in northern NJ. It is being harvested this week in Warren County. Pressure is down so short term storage only.

Maturity Testing

Warren Location DateRetainPressureBrixStarch-Iodine
Paula RedHackettstown8/13yes14.411.96.7

McIntosh growers in Central and North Jersey should watch their Mac’s closely for early maturity development and drop. They are running a full 2 weeks ahead of last year!

Rogers Red MacSnyder8/13yes13.711%5.4
Linda MacSnyder8/13yes13.611.54.6

McIntosh-MarshalHackettstown8/13yes13.7 10.92.7
Mac SpurHackettstown8/13yes13.710.92.7

LindaMacHarding Twp8/13yes1611.94.6

Newer strains are already showing good red color with older strains fairly yellow. Avoid any additional moisture stress in Gala until harvest. Fresh market Galas should be harvested when the background color is turning from a yellow to a cream color. SI index with the Gala Starch chart can be a guideline as well.



Gala FulfordHarding Twp8/13yes16.710.82.3

Buckeye GalaSnyder8/13yes20.310.72.5
Mitchel GalaSnyder8/13yes1911.45.7



Is very slow to develop red color this year, color is just starting. All the more reason to pick them at the optimal maturity to ensure the varietal flavors that help make Honeycrisp the winner it is commanding premium prices.


HoneycrispHarding Twp8/13yes11.411.11.1


Note: Growers should note that Honeycrisp can drop severely and the tendency is to pick it early with red color development. If it is picked prematurely it may not develop the full array of flavor that this apple is noted for. It will be then hard to demand the premium price it deserves well. A lousy eating Honeycrisp is a lousy apple.

Early Fuji Strains
There are at least 8 early fuji strains, usually ripe mid September. They are moving fast like our earlier cultivars, mine were treated with Retain but appear to be at least 3 weeks early. We need to keep a close look at these strains.

September WonderSnyder8/13yes1610.62.3