Here’s a sure sign of the spring season: The more than 11 million apple trees across New York State are beginning to bloom! The New York Apple Association (NYAA) announces this spring event on behalf of NYAA members, the 500 commercial apple growers of New York state who produce, on average, 29.5 million bushels of apples annually, making New York the second largest apple-producing state in the U.S.
While it is still too early in a long growing season to speculate about the state’s 2018 harvest size, this year’s bloom is on track with its perennial schedule. “The state’s apple trees generally don’t mind the cold temperatures and snow associated with New York winters,” said NYAA President Cynthia Haskins. “In fact, apple trees need a certain number of “chilling hours” before they can bloom.
New York State is known as “Apple Country” to those who recognize the great tasting apples that are grown here. In fact, New York apples are known the world over for their extraordinary taste and texture and it is all due to the ideal mix of climate, geography and rich glacial soils here in New York – the essential ingredients for exceptional flavor that’s beyond compare.
In all, 26 new and classic New York apple varieties are grown here, including new and exclusive varieties like Ruby Frost® and SnapDragon®, managed varieties like SweeTango® and popular varieties like Honeycrisp and Zestar!®. New York also has a full line up of classic varieties like McIntosh, Fuji, Gala and those that were developed in the state including Acey Mac, Autumn Crisp, Empire, Fortune, Macoun and Jonagold.
“New York is proud of the many varieties we grow,” said Haskins, adding “there’s a New York apple for every palate.”
In New York, apple harvest dates vary by variety and growing region. Growers will start harvest in August for some early-season varieties like Jonamac which is a cross between a Jonathan and a McIntosh apple with a unique sweet/tart flavor. In the southernmost growing areas, harvest is largely finished by October for late-season varieties.