Pristine™ apple – Facts for Fancy Fruit

Pristine™ apple

Although PristineTM was selected in 1982, its history goes back to the early days of the PRI breeding program. From an original cross of Rome Beauty with Malus floribunda 821, selections and hybridizations were made incorporating Golden Delicious, McIntosh, Starking Delicious  and Cazumat along the way. The cross that resulted in PristineTM was Coop 10 x Cazumat made in 1974 at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and PristineTM was selected at the Purdue Hort. Farm in 1982.

PristineTM is a very early maturing apple usually ripening in late July in Lafayette. It is very attractive with a clean finish (see Fig. 2). For such an early apple, it has very good eating quality, certainly much better than other very early apples such as Lodi or Transparent. The texture is crisp and flavor has a good acid/sugar balance. If fruit are allowed to become over-mature, pre-harvest drop can be severe, but with timely pickings this should be a minimal problem. Fruit stores well for up to a month or so, but usually growers will probably only store the fruit until better quality, main season fruit comes along, such as Gala.  PristineTM has good field resistance to apple scab, and seems to have quite low susceptibility to fireblight and powdery mildew. Russet and skin disorders are rare, but bruising can be severe so careful handling is required.

For direct marketers, PristineTM may be a very good way to kick off the apple season, or to transition from peaches into apples. But only grow them in such quantities that you can have them sold by the time main-season apples are ready.

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