The Pacific Northwest fruit industry is one of the largest worldwide. Washington State produces approximately 55% of the US apple crop and together with Oregon, produces approximately 80% of the US fresh pear crop. Few of our current apple varieties have been bred and selected for the specific growing conditions of the PNW and the adoption of many new pear orchard innovations is restricted due to lack of availability of dwarfing precocious rootstocks.
This program is attempting to address both these challenges:
- Producing new improved apple varieties especially suited to our growing conditions
- Producing new dwarfing, precocious rootstocks for pear